14 Ways to Make Your Facebook Ads Better

Facebook advertising offers tremendous potential to increase traffic, gain inquiries, and increase enrollment. But leveraging the true power of Facebook for advertising isn’t always easy. Many organizations fail to achieve their marketing goals on social because they don’t know how to create ads that get results. Here are 14 ways to make your Facebook Ads better.

Should My School Advertise On Facebook?

Many school marketers who tried Facebook ads, especially in the early days, have decided Facebook advertising doesn’t work. 

You can’t argue with the results.

Facebook ads, if done right, are very effective.

According to an eMarketer study, 96 percent of social marketers consider Facebook the most effective paid advertising option available on the planet. 

Despite what haters say, Facebook continues to grow. Billions of people view ads in their feeds every month. And Facebook saw $21.22 billion in ad revenue in the third quarter of 2020. So someone’s clicking on ads. 

The truth is that Facebook offers an amazing advertising opportunity, mostly because there are SO many people active on the platform, and you can be granular about the targeting.   

How to Improve Your Facebook Ads

If you’re concerned about the performance of your Facebook ads, relax.

Today’s article offers 14 ways to make your Facebook Ads better.

 1. Improve your targeting

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. Targeting the right people with the right message is key. Ads with better targeting cost less per click-through and receive more clicks.

Here’s how to improve your targeting.

  • Laser-focus your demographics. Make sure you narrow down your targeted audience for every ad you create. 

Read more: How to Conduct a Social Media Audience Analysis for Your School.

  • Use the Interests section within Facebook Ad targeting. Once you’ve identified interests your demographic shares (i.e. Family, Parenting, etc.) you can focus your targeting.
  • Custom Audiences allows the most powerful and flexible audience targeting of all. There are standard custom audiences, website audiences (i.e. retargeting), app activity custom audiences, engagement audiences, lookalike audiences ad more. Click here to learn more about how to use custom audiences for school marketing.

2. Create a compelling inquiry magnet

An inquiry magnet is something you offer an audience in order to get them to give you their name, email address, and other contact information. 

A good inquiry magnet will:

  • Solve a problem
  • Offer a quick win
  • Be easy to read and comprehend
  • Offer a high perceived value
  • Provide instant gratification
  • Demonstrate your school’s unique value proposition (UPV)

There are basically five types of inquiry magnets. These are:

  • Educational (teach the audience something they don’t know)
  • Useful tool (usually a tutorial, calculator, or other tool that solves a problem)
  • Community-building (i.e. joining a Facebook group to build community with other people they have something in common with)
  • Entertaining (inspirational or entertaining)
  • Bottom-of-funnel (tip audience from inquiry to applicant)

An inquiry magnet is an important first step in building trust with a prospective parent. The right inquiry magnet will help your prospect get to know you better and give you basic information about them so you can start to nurture a relationship with them. An inquiry magnet, done well, will also help you establish your authority as a private school in your community.

3. Improve the clarity of your offer messaging

Let’s face it: people click on ads when they know exactly what they’ll be getting. Often, when I see ads that aren’t working, it’s because the offer messaging is either too vague or it doesn’t fit with the chosen audience. 

If you want your ad to be successful, you need to craft an offer that makes it very clear what the person will receive once they click on the offer. Your offer messaging needs to be specific and to the point. 

4. Mention social proof

Include a reference to the popularity of your school in the ad copy. Mention how long your school has been in existence, how many students have attended your school, academic markers, alumni accomplishments, and other school achievements.

5. Appeal to people from an emotional as well as rational standpoint

People make decisions using reason as well as emotion, so we, as marketers, need to appeal to both aspects.

Make sure your offer makes sense and offers great features and benefits.

At the same time, make sure you make an emotional connection with your readers. Have you ever heard someone say “I enrolled my child because this school just felt right”? That is because people are emotional beings. Your marketing needs to appeal to their emotions as well as their reason.

6. Improve your landing page

Marketers are recognizing the importance of landing pages for lead generation and conversions. Landing pages make it easy for potential customers to take the next step in your marketing funnel.

Your landing page should include certain elements, such as:

  • Headline
  • Subtitle
  • Design
  • Branding
  • Offer
  • Length
  • Bullets
  • Images    

Changing each of these elements can have an impact on the performance of your landing page. Keep in mind people like familiarity and landing pages that are easy to understand.

Demonstrate credibility by:

  • Using badges, professional associations, etc.
  • Detailed testimonials (include a photo of the featured person)
  • Give your landing page a SINGLE purpose
  • Optimize your landing page to achieve conversions
  • Be clear about the action you want visitors to take

Keep your Facebook Ad and landing page look consistent. Do this by using the same color scheme, font, design look, and branding. 

7. Try different images

Test various images for your ad, also called “ad creative”. You might be surprised at which images perform the best, so try at least two different images.

One type of photo to try is a natural-looking image that looks more like a picture taken by a friend than a professional stock photo. 

Another photo strategy to use when choosing an image is to look for images of people, specifically their faces. This allows you to draw people in with a human face, which leads them to your copy and, ultimately, take the action you’re asking them to take.

8. Test a carousel ad

While we’re discussing images, let’s talk about carousel ads

Carousel ads add a new element of color and layout to your ad. They provide a bigger feel to your ads without investing in other types of advertising, such as canvas ads

9. Use a call-to-action (CTA)

If your ad isn’t driving as many click-throughs as you were hoping for, the problem might be that you’re not compelling people to take action.

People need to know what action you want them to take, and how to take the action step.

Be sure to include language in your copy to invite conversions as well as using the call-to-action button Facebook generates. 

Common calls to action include:

  • Learn more
  • Read more
  • Sign up
  • Show me
  • Next step
  • Call us
  • Book an appointment
  • Let’s do it!
  • Get free XXX
  • Give XXX a try
  • Create my XXX
  • Yes, take me there
  • Enter your email here
  • Log in with Google
  • Yes, I want to…

10. Use urgency

Urgency is a tried-and-true marketing principle. People are more likely to take action if they know an offer is limited, an event will end soon, something will expire soon or a price will increase soon. 

Make sure your “urgency” is a real thing, meaning your offer really will end when you say it will. Honesty is essential when it comes to marketing.

11. Speak directly to people

The ad copy you use should speak directly to the reader, not to an ambiguous person. Demonstrate this by using “you” phrasing. Whenever possible, use the word “you” and write directly to the potential parent. This is a great way to establish credibility and show you understand the reader.

12. Use location-specific graphics

Facebook offers several different geo-targeting strategies and options, so take advantage of them to the best of your ability. Use images of local landmarks or graphics that are specific to your area. This offers a more customized experience for users and will result in a higher engagement level.

13. Test different color schemes

While you want to be consistent with your branding and landing page, you can try different color schemes (lighter vs darker, different shades, emphasizing one color over another, etc.) You never know how an audience is going to react, so at least test two different color schemes.

14. Choose the right placement

Most people let Facebook choose the default placements for their ads. Believe it or not, ad placement can make a dramatic difference in how well your ad performs.

Start by testing whether your audience responds better on mobile or desktop displays. While more people tend to view ads on their mobile devices, desktop ads are larger and easier to view. Also, mobile readers tend to have a shorter attention span than people who view ads on a desktop. 

Next, determine the best platforms for your ad. You can choose between:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network
  • Messenger

Most of the time Facebook will select the best placement for your ad, so you can let Facebook make the selection. But, if you happen to know from previous data Instagram traffic works better for your school, by all means, run some tests to see if it will work best for your current campaign.

If you haven’t received massive success from your Facebook advertising campaigns yet, don’t worry. The above simple solutions can have a major impact on the performance of your ads without a lot of work or effort on your part.


About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.

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