Facebook Advertising for the Education Market: Budget Planning, Tracking and ROI (Part 2)

Facebook’s paid social advertising popularity has been on a roller coaster ride over the years.

Thanks to frequent changes to its interface, tools, and rules, it hasn’t been as easy to jump on the bandwagon and see results as quickly or cheaply.

But in terms of targeting, engaging, and increasing brand awareness today, it’s still a hard platform to beat.

With K-12 Education in particular, Facebook advertising is great if you need to cast a wide brand awareness net, have a long sales cycle, and need to reach your audience with multiple touch points before a lead converts.

In Part 1 of this series about Facebook Advertising for the Education market, we discussed the art and science behind the creative, targeting, seasonality, and business strategy behind the ads.

Today I want to help you focus on the tenet that for every $1 you spend, you should make $2 back.

Education Industry Benchmark

Here are some Education-specific benchmarks to give you an idea of your performance, according to Wordstream:

  • The average CTR (click through rate) from ad impressions to clicks in education is .73%.
  • The average conversion rate (conversions after an ad is clicked on) is 13%, the second highest behind fitness
  • The average CPC (cost per click) fortunately sits at a low average of $1.06
  • The average CPA (cost per action) is about $7.85, which is low compared to the CPA across most other industries

The Higher Education industry has been using Facebook strategies and advanced targeting successfully for years. Now, it’s time for schools and organizations who serve the K-12 market to step up and see what it’s all about.

Let’s talk about budget planning, tracking, evaluating ROI.

Budget Planning

While setting up a Facebook ad is not as easy as it used to be, there is fortunately a wealth of tutorials out there to help get you started.

First though of course, don’t you want to know how much Facebook advertising is going to cost you?

Here is the easy but annoying answer: however much you want to spend.

With Facebook as well as other platforms out there, you’ll be entering an auction. The cost is determined by how many other advertisers are also targeting the same demographic, how relevant you are, and how well you optimize along the way.

To choose the budget most appropriate for your situation you’ll have to work backwards and consider the answers to questions like:

  • How many conversions are you looking for?
  • What is the monetary value of the conversion?
  • What do you estimate your cost per conversion is going to be?
  • What are the sales pipeline touchpoints and conversion rates of each along the way?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What is the average value of a sale, your gross profit, and customer lifetime value?

Evaluating ROI

Before you launch your campaigns, you need to know what success is going to “look like” and make some projections based on your best educated guesses. And then, be sure you understand how to evaluate if Facebook ads are producing a positive ROI.

Well, if you’re judging performance on immediate sales, it’s important to reset your expectations. Remember that Facebook is a social platform, and people aren’t browsing around there in sales mode ready to make purchases.

Expecting to move a lead from unaware to interested, and thus into your sales pipeline, is a more realistic expectation.

There are metrics you’ll want to regularly visit within Facebook’s platform, such as:

  • Reach
  • Clicks/CTR
  • Conversions
  • CPC or CPM

But then ultimately of course, you’re evaluating performance against the overall goal. A few metrics you’re going to want to know outside of Facebook will be:

  • Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

So before you start running ads, you must set up proper conversion tracking as well as UTM links to help you see which campaigns, and which links, are performing well against your end goals.

And that’s it!

Well, that’s not really  it is as there is oodles to say about this topic.

Have you used Facebook ads successfully (or not so successfully)? If you’re in the K-12 market and need help deciding which Paid Social Advertising mix you need, reach out to me today to brainstorm.


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Jenny Munn

Jenny is an independent Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with more than 10 years of experience helping companies and content creators generate brand awareness, traffic, and conversions with SEO. She is a frequent speaker and is on the faculty for the AMA (American Marketing Association) and has taught SEO to thousands of marketers over the past 10 years.
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