Whether you’re a university or an online educational resource, chances are, you face fierce marketplace competition, which makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially on social media.  

If you’re looking for a marketing ace in the hole, a well-planned and executed paid social strategy could be what it takes to differentiate your educational offerings from those of your competitors. 

Here’s how to execute that mission. 

Step 1: Create a Paid Social Strategy

There’s no doubt you should be investing and patiently building your organic social channels and followings. 

Paid social advertising, or buying sponsored advertising space on third-party social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram, can help your business target your desired audience—whether that’s high school students looking for a university or a graduate professor in need of data-backed courseware. 

That being said, paid social can jumpstart your social media efforts, providing the following benefits:

  • Paid ads give you guaranteed reach, ensuring that your campaigns get seen.
  • Social ad platforms allow you to get granular with your consumer demographic targeting, helping you reach the people most likely to be interested in your educational product or service.
  • Over time, paid social lets you gather troves of consumer data and analytics that you can then use to inform your future social strategies.   

Educational companies and institutions can leverage social for all types of campaigns, including sales outreach, promotional materials, customer reviews, student testimonials, and branding efforts. 

Step 2: Create a Paid Social Strategy that Delivers

So, how do you execute a paid social campaign? Consider these tips: 

  1. Set clear goals – What do you hope to achieve through your paid social campaign? Would you like to drive sales, increase enrollment, or improve branding and visibility? Narrow down your desired outcomes and then design your campaign around those pillars. Doing so will help you track the right KPIs and better gauge the success of your efforts.
  2. Select the right platform(s) – To create an impactful campaign, you need to know who your target audience is and where they’re most likely to be on social media. For instance, a university will very likely experience better results advertising on TikTok than they would on LinkedIn. But where you devote your social advertising budget largely depends on your organization and target consumer. You may want to use several channels or only one. So, consider the following factors as you decide which platforms are best for your goals:
    • Potential audience reach
    • Cost of paid ads
    • Potential for driving traffic
    • Potential for lead generation
    • Demographic makeup of users
    • Ad features 
    • Targeting abilities
  3. Focus on local ads – Particularly for schools and universities, a significant portion of your target audience will very likely live close by. In fact, more than 55% of all first-year college students attend a college within 100 miles of their hometown. And with paid social, you can set geo-tags that ensure the campaign only reaches people within your set local parameters.   
  4. Leverage influencers – For millennials and younger demographics, word-of-mouth is the key driver in their purchasing and commitment decisions. Instead of a standard ad, they’d much prefer to have a trusted internet figure—an influencer—promote an educational product or service. That said, it can’t just be any celebrity. It needs to be the right public figure—one who aligns with your educational mission and audience. 

Semgeeks: Higher Educational Digital Marketing 

With careful planning and strategic execution, paid social can be the tool that educational companies need to excel within a hyper-saturated market. For that, start by focusing on the platforms that align with your mission, setting quantifiable goals, conducting local social advertising, and leveraging the voice of influencers.

But what if you’ve done all that and your paid social campaigns still fail to stand out?

Then it may be time to partner with a higher education digital marketing firm like Semgeeks. We offer custom content creation and campaign management for both organic and paid social that you can use to get ahead. 

Ready to augment your paid social strategies? Contact our team today. 


Econofact. Going Away to College? School Distance as a Barrier to Higher Education. https://econofact.org/going-away-to-college-school-distance-as-a-barrier-to-higher-education

Chicago Tribune. How GenZ is Influenced by Word of Mouth Marketing. https://www.chicagotribunemediagroup.com/blog/how-genz-is-influenced-by-word-of-mouth-marketing/