Love it or hate it, Facebook is a platform all education marketers should be using to their advantage when recruiting more students to their institution.

Why? Well, over 1.5 billion people log into Facebook every month (yeah, it’s a big deal), the level of targeting is highly effective, you can create customised lookalike audiences, based on your previous campaign data, as well as remarket to prospective students - who perhaps need a little more nurturing before submitting an application.

Facebook has put together a new guide, aimed at education marketers, which provides new insights, specifically for colleges and universities. One of the perks of having a close relationship with Facebook is that we get first dibs on their sector-specific research and guidance. We don’t want to keep it all to ourselves, thought' we do a handy roundup. 

Without further adieu, here are the juicy bits from Facebook’s Education Marketers Guide.  

Video and storytelling

‘Shape your story and leverage the power of mobile video to differentiate, inspire and drive consideration.’

The way people communicate with each other, and brands, has changed. Since the move from desktop to mobile screens, the majority of the way people engage with content, via their mobile or tablet device, is through video. The report outlines that 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day. Education marketers need to be aware of student’s behaviours on mobile devices when creating mobile video content:

  • Move fast, be clear and drive action to show your key message within 15 seconds.
  • Tell your story through visuals. The video should be able to get your message across without sound; prospective students are engaging with content everywhere, and rarely have their mobile’s sound turned on.
  • The majority of people hold their phone vertically. Institutions should make sure their videos are in this format, which results in a better user experience and in turn, a higher conversion rate.

Consider creating vertical-first assets. It's a greater technical challenge but the impact of platform-specific creative will have a greater visual impact than re-editing or cropping visuals that you've adapted from standard creative.

 Lead Generation

‘Generating quantity and quality leads with long-term potential.’

Make sure you are targeting the right group of people, who are most likely to apply to your institution. Research and maximise your first party data, to get an idea of who will be interacting with your Facebook adverts. Define exactly who your audience is, this will ensure that the leads you gather are worthwhile. Look to use the following audiences, when creating your own:

  • Create an audience based off steps you track through your CRM.
  • Use the Facebook Pixel on your site to build the audience. You can then track and optimise your website’s conversions back to your Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • Collect the lead data from people interested in your institution from filling out a form. This will give you an audience of active users. Building up a Facebook engagement audience this way, let’s you nurture leads who may have not hit your on-site pixel.

Facebook Messenger

‘Using the new means of communication to connect with students.’

70% of students who are thinking about returning to education said they would use Messenger to contact an institution if they had questions while applying. The messenger service provides a less intrusive method of communication, compared to a phone call. Messenger can be used as an excellent lead generation tool. You are able to acquire the relevant information to qualify a lead and pass them down your conversion funnel. Click-to-messenger ads allow education marketers to target custom audiences; so, those who have perhaps submitted leads but not filled out an application. You can drive people straight to your messenger conversations, with adverts on the Newsfeed, Messenger Home or even Instagram. Download our guide from Student Hut for more information on how youth markets engage with brands on social media.

Gagging for more?

Please get in touch with our team of experts if you want to hear further insight from Facebook’s Education Marketing Guide.

Our industry expertise and campaign performance on the platform is recognised by Facebook and we are regularly by invited to test their latest BETA products, attend special insights events and we welcome them to our own events, providing you with direct access to the experts. This means we are at the forefront when it comes to the latest innovative advances on the platform and the universities and colleges we work with globally get opportunities to try new targeting and ad types before they are released to other advertisers.

Article by


Matt Payne

Senior Marketing Executive