In today’s education market, Meta advertising campaigns are key for successfully reaching prospects. However, running ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram alone won’t yield results if your school does not regularly analyze key performance indicators and metrics. To measure campaign success and make data-driven decisions, schools need to understand the many metrics offered by Meta and decipher which of all the metrics available are relevant to their goals.
If your school is running Meta campaigns, chances are that you have asked yourself, “What are the key metrics for Facebook Ads?” Though each school should evaluate different metrics based on their campaign objectives, conversion rate, CPA, CPM, and ROI remain among the most critical metrics. Continue reading to learn more about these metrics and what your school should be doing to measure campaign performance.
Setting the Right Campaign Objectives
Before diving into the most important metrics, it is necessary to understand the importance of establishing the right Facebook campaign objectives that align with your school’s overall goals and social media strategy–as the objectives will determine the metrics each school should be looking at. To begin with, you could ask yourself what your school wanted to achieve with your ad campaigns and how that would contribute to your overall marketing efforts.
For instance, if your school is trying to increase the number of people that follow your Facebook and Instagram pages, your campaign objective should be awareness. To get an overview of your current audience, visit your Meta Business Suite’s ‘Insights’ section. If your audience is not aligned with your personas, you could also make it an objective to get more followers within your persona’s age group and demographics. For this, you must understand the process of targeting students using Facebook Ads.
Meta offers six campaign objective choices that you could choose to reach your social media goals. These objectives allow Meta to promote your content better as it guides its advertising efforts.
- Awareness: This objective can help schools gain brand awareness and reach many people.
- Traffic: This objective is great for schools looking to increase traffic to their website or a designated landing page.
- Engagement: By choosing this objective, schools are more likely to find people to engage with their page or posts by liking, sharing, following, commenting, or messaging.
- Leads: This objective is perfect for schools looking to get more leads and their contact information.
- App Promotion: This might not be a prevalent objective within the education industry, as its primary purpose is to get people to download and install an app.
- Sales: This objective is meant to drive online sales. Schools can benefit from it by promoting enrollment in programs or courses.
If you are still determining which campaign objectives to choose, Meta can help you figure out what each is best for, as seen in the images below.
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What Conversion Rate Could Tell You About Your Meta Campaigns
Now it is time to dive into Facebook ad metrics. Your conversion rate is an excellent place to start. This metric measures the percentage of users who completed a desired action, such as signing up, following a link, or subscribing to a service after clicking on a Meta ad. It tells schools how successful their meta ads are in achieving their intended goals.
To calculate your campaign’s conversion rate, divide conversions from a Meta ad by the number of clicks it received and multiply it by 100. For instance, when prospects run into the following Yorkville University ad and click the ‘learn more’ button, they are redirected to the university’s website.
Clicking the link won’t necessarily end in a conversion, that’s why to calculate the conversion rate from this ad, the university might need to check how many of the prospects who clicked on the link ended up enrolling in the promoted degree.
Pro tip: Instead of using the same ad repeatedly, your school can test different types of ads to see what resonates more with your audience. A/B testing on Meta allows you to use different copy, landing pages, visuals, and call-to-action buttons.
The estimated average click-through rate for Facebook ads is between 9-10%. A low conversion rate may indicate that the ad or landing page needs optimization to engage better and convert prospects. In the education industry, the conversion rate is often measured alongside other ad KPIs, like average click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC), which we will discuss in more detail. Tracking conversion rate is necessary to decide which ads are working and which are not and to create more cost-effective campaigns. Schools can optimize their campaigns by reallocating budgets and resources to the most effective ads.
The conversion rate is also essential to understand whether schools target the right audience. For instance, if a particular audience segment shows a significantly higher or lower conversion rate, schools can take action and adjust their targeting strategy accordingly. When resources are limited, measuring conversion rates can help schools better allocate their budgets, ensuring that campaigns are maximized for the best results.
Get Familiar With Your Cost per Action (CPA) And Cost per Mille (CPM)
Together, your Cost Per Action (CPA) and Cost Per Mille (CPM) metrics will provide a holistic view of the performance and efficiency of your school’s ad campaigns.
Cost Per Action
Cost per action (CPA) is the average cost of acquiring a new lead through Meta campaigns. This is an essential metric for schools looking to get leads directly from Meta campaigns. CPA helps evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness in reaching prospective students and initiating them in the enrollment funnel.
The average cost per lead or action for the education industry oscillates between $8 and $18.36. However, though it is essential to look at industry benchmarks, tracking CPA allows schools to set their benchmarks for future campaigns and establish realistic goals.
Cost Per Mille
Cost Per Mille (CPM) refers to the cost per 1000 impressions. An impression is when the ad is loaded on a user’s screen, regardless of whether the user interacts with the ad or not. CPM is easily calculated by dividing the total cost or amount spent on the campaign by the number of impressions and multiplying that by 1,000. For instance, in the following example, to calculate the CPM, we would need to divide $17.12 between 10,114, which equals 0.00169, and then multiply that by 1,000. The resulting CPM is $1.69, which is competitive when compared with the average CPM in the education industry ($5.31).
Though this can be calculated manually, Meta also offers this metric, all your school needs to do is select the ‘Performance and clicks’ view, and then the CPM column will appear next to the impressions column.
This metric is often looked at when schools are trying to gauge brand awareness. In addition, tracking impressions helps schools assess how visible their ad is and the potential size of their audience.
Understand What Your Click-Through Rate (Ctr) Says About Your Ads
Another metric to help you understand if your ads effectively reach your target audience is your Click-Through Rate (CTR). This metric refers to the percentage of users who click on your Meta ads when presented with them. To calculate your CTR, divide the number of ad clicks by the number of ad impressions and multiply that by 100.
The average click-through rate for Facebook ads across all industries is 0.90%. A good CTR for Facebook Ads should always be above the industry average. For instance, the average click-through rate for the education industry is 0.73%, so schools should be looking for a similar or higher CTR. This will vary from school to school, but benchmarking your ad performance is a great way to quantify your success.
As the example above shows, a higher CTR indicates that your ad resonates with your prospects and that its copy and visuals are compelling enough to drive them to take action. It confirms that your ad’s content, visuals, and targeting are well-optimized to capture the audience’s attention and interest.
Example: This Adler University (Vancouver Campus) ad uses compelling copy and visuals to ensure prospects follow their CTA.
If your school is experiencing lower CTR, this can be due to factors such as not targeting the right audience, not having an attractive ad hook, using visuals that do not appeal to your prospects or ad fatigue.
Your school should analyze ad performance to improve CTR and experiment with elements such as ad content, targeting, visuals, and CTAs. Regular A/B testing can also help identify what content and visuals resonate best with your prospects.
Measure Your Success by Looking at the Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment (ROI) is among the most important Facebook metrics. This metric will help your school understand the ratio of the revenue generated from the meta ad campaign compared to the cost of running the campaign. In simple words, ROI tells you how profitable your meta campaigns are.
While a positive ROI indicates that your campaign is working and your school has understood the fundamentals of Facebook advertising, a negative ROI should alert your marketing team about potential issues and inefficiencies that must be addressed soon.
In addition to measuring campaign success, ROI is essential for schools to make data-driven decisions, optimize their strategies, and allocate resources to maximize their return on investment. ROI also helps schools plan long-term by showing them what content and ads resonate with their audiences.
How to Calculate ROI on Facebook Ads?
A primary way to calculate your campaign’s ROI is to
- Establish your campaign objectives and goals.
- Calculate your campaign’s net revenue.
- Calculate the total cost of your campaign.
- Subtract the total cost of the ad campaign from the total revenue generated (net profit).
- Calculate your campaign’s ROI by dividing the net profit by the total cost and multiplying it by 100 (ROI % = (Net Profit / Total Cost) x 100).
- Determine if the investment was worth it.
You can use several metrics to calculate your campaign’s ROI, such as reach, engagement, website traffic, sign-ups, and lead generation. Therefore, it is essential to understand that your school’s ROI formula might involve some extra steps, depending on your goals. For instance, you might have to create trackable links or use additional tools like Google Analytics to understand your campaign’s performance better.
Final Tips to Improve Ad Performance on Meta
If schools need help with below-benchmark metrics, they should ask themselves if the ads they are creating are keeping their target personas in mind. Checking the metrics mentioned regularly can help schools pinpoint areas needing improvement and refine ad content to align with the audience’s preferences.
When creating ad campaigns, schools should ensure that they are creating visual content and messaging that is appealing and that speaks to their persona’s interests. For instance, in the following story ad, King’s College London uses colours and copy that help the story stand out. By mentioning its “leading faculty,” the university is already trying to capture the effects and attention of prospective students.
Schools should consider that social media users prefer short and to-the-point messaging when writing copy. While you want your copy to be thorough and highlight your school’s key selling points, you don’t want to bore your audience with extremely long paragraphs. Remember that it is all about turning their attention into action.
An equally important tip is to use a strong CTA. Generally, a good CTA gives the audience a clear and direct message about what action they should take next. With a clear call-to-action, prospective students may know how to proceed or postpone taking action.
The goal is to create a CTA that creates a sense of urgency or excitement. For example, saying, “Learn more about our program,” is not the same as saying, “Develop Skills for Social Change.” The second option is more active, making prospects imagine themselves in your program and after graduation.
Finally, when creating ads, make sure that you choose the correct placement. Although Meta allows you to place your ads in several different places, ads for the education industry don’t perform well everywhere. For example, an ad for a university on a Facebook Market page is likely to go unnoticed, but the same ad placed on Instagram and Facebook stories is likely to get more clicks and engagement.