Facebook Advertising Best Practices for Online Teachers

As an online teacher, you may be looking for ways to build your student base. Or you may have a new product, course, or service that needs promotion. One of the most effective ways to reach wide audiences of people is through social media advertising. Specifically, Facebook advertising. This article covers Facebook ad best practices.

Facebook has designed an ad platform that is both easy to use and effective. But it’s important to build your ad correctly and put it in front of the right people in order to see a profitable return. This article will analyze whether Facebook advertising is worth it for you, and how to best go about putting the ad together.

Facebook Ads Best Practices: Is it worth it for me?

We’ll get most of the boring statistics out of the way first thing.

If you’ve done any internet marketing in the past, you may be familiar with the term Click Through Rate, or CTR. This refers to the percentage of viewers who click on an ad to get to the next step. The average CTR across all industries using Facebook ads is .90%, or less than 1 in 10. Add to that the conversion rate of those once they click on the ad. The average conversion rate in the education field is 13.58%.
Therefore, about one in 7.7 people who click on your ad will buy. About 9 in 100 people who view the ad are going to click on it. This means that if your ad reaches 1,000 people, about 6.93 people will buy your service.

Altogether, these aren’t bad numbers. After all, can’t you just pump more money into your ad to reach more people and get more conversions?

You can, but it’s important to consider the cost of advertising on Facebook. If you’re selling a product that only costs $10, you’re going to spend more money per sale than the profit made from that sale.

Facebook ads are ideal for online teachers promoting a course, package, subscription, or other higher price point item because the CTR on a well-designed ad is roughly the same regardless of your price point. Unfortunately, low price point items typically don’t see a good return on investment.

Facebook Ad Best Practices: Targeting

You want your ad to reach a specific audience, right? After all, there’s no sense selling Spanish lessons to someone born and raised in Mexico. This is where targeting comes into play. Facebook ads allow for direct targeting of your desired audience. Narrow down the reach of the ad by location. Then get more specific by targeting age, gender, and specific interest. Advertisers can select specific criteria that a Facebook user must have (according to their profile likes and information) in order for your ad to appear in their newsfeed.

Facebook Ad Best Practices: Optimization

Design your ad to be attractive on both desktop and mobile devices.  This is surprisingly easy to do even for those of us with no graphic or web design knowledge – Facebook shows you what your ad will look like in both scenarios prior to purchase.

Optimize the ad by including video or photo to make it more visually appealing. Hook in the reader with catchy ad copy that lets them know exactly why they need your product or service.

Facebook will let you know about how many people your ad will reach. A well-designed ad will reach towards the higher part of that estimate, while a poor ad will generate results towards the lower end. Facebook also tells you how much you’ll need to spend to increase that reach. Generally, more reach is better – but ultimately your advertising budget is the determining factor.

Facebook Ad Best Practices: Video

Video is an increasingly engaging way to reach customers on Facebook. Over 1 billion videos are watched per day on the platform. That’s a huge number – and it’s only going to increase.

Videos are effective because they engage the user. They also allow the publisher to create a mood that otherwise isn’t possible to convey. Storytelling is much deeper, and music can be used to complement and enhance the message.

Videos make a customer 1.81 times more likely to buy your product or service.

Because they are part of your ad, the Facebook video should bridge a gap between you and your customers. Identify why a customer wants to use your product or service, and show their problem being pleasantly solved in the video.

If you can, make it quick – under ten seconds. Get your point across and then put an opt-in in front of the customer.

When a longer ad is necessary, stack the most pertinent information at the front. Then, tell yours in an additional 20 seconds. Think of it like an ad spot on TV – commercials typically don’t run longer than 30 seconds. Attention spans are short. They’re even shorter when the viewer is being asked to take action.

Hint: make the video enjoyable and actionable even without sound. Facebook doesn’t enable sound unless a user clicks on the video. Therefore, most viewers won’t hear the video’s music or sounds. Make sure they’re still getting your message!

Facebook Ad Best Practices: Photos

Perhaps a video isn’t right for your ad. That’s OK – sometimes meaning is better conveyed through the perfect photo and accompanying copy. The first thing to note here is that your photo should convey an emotion. This is best done by having one or more people (or animals, depending on your business) in the photo.

There should be something in the photo that viewers can relate to. Let’s look at our example scenario of a company offering Spanish lessons. For them, that could be the desired feeling of satisfaction conveyed by a person chatting with a server in a restaurant with Barcelona’s skyline in the background.

Avoid stock shots of images unrelated to what you are offering. Bright colors are best for scenery, while a dark background best highlights a person if he or she is the focal point. Make it easy for the viewer to grasp the message you wish to convey.

Facebook Ad Best Practices: Text

While photo and video are huge when it comes to catching eyes and increasing impressions, strong text is what closes deals. The goal with your copy should be to identify the customer’s problem and present your product or service as the solution.

In that light, words like Because, Free, Trial, and anything that represents progress or completion are highly effective.

Facebook ads, there are three areas of text:

  • Headline: located above the main text copy (below the photo or video), and ideally what the viewer sees first. A study done by AdEspresso found that headlines containing 5 words were the most effective. Long headlines deter viewers and steer attention away from the ad. Make the headline quick and to the point, using active tense and strong verbs. Show the customer what they will get out of your offer. For example:
    • Speak Spanish In 3 Months
  • Post text: Post text refers to the copy underneath your page title at the top of the text. This copy should contain 10-15 words – the same AdEspresso study concluded that 14 words is most effective. Again, it’s important to be brief and punchy. It helps to do a quick overview of a scenario that your product or service is going to solve. For instance:
    • Sign up. Download eBook and audio. Work one-on-one with a professional tutor. Speak Spanish.
  • Link description: Here is where you provide even more information, not going over 20 words. Maybe work in some fine-print stuff:
    • Weekly calls with certified instructors walk you through comprehensive exercises. Speak basic level in 3 months or your money back.

Link to a landing page

Simply put – your customers may not trust you enough to buy your product or service after simply viewing an ad. If you can, convince them to opt-in to an email sales funnel. Alternatively, direct them to a website where more information case studies are available and have them opt-in there.

It is typically ineffective to just link to a sales page and ask for credit card information right away. People need to warm up to a product. You’ve got to fully convince them that they need your service. A sales funnel is the most effective method for doing this.

Convey a sense of urgency

As is the case with most advertising, the idea of a Facebook ad is to convince the user to take action. For online teachers, this can be done by offering a special intro rate such as a free lesson or 10% off the first month. A free downloadable eBook is great (see our sales funnel article linked above).

The big picture

Facebook advertising takes time. If you aren’t seeing any click-throughs after the first couple days, that’s typically a good indication that your ad needs work. A great thing to do is design two ads and run them both simultaneously for a week. Then, choose the one that performs better and boost it for another two weeks.

Ads tend to get worn out at about the three-week mark. Often, it takes just a slight adjustment to keep it effective for another round. Pay attention to the response you get on the ad. What seems to catch people’s eye? What are they discussing in the comments?

By following these Facebook ad best practices, you’ll start to see your ads reach more people. Hopefully, this generates more money in your pocket!

Ray is the founder and creator of Teacher Indie. He is an award-winning entrepreneur who has created online education businesses that have appeared in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Boston Globe and many others. His goal is to help teachers from around the world get online and gain the financial independence they deserve.

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