Which is Better for Your School? Google or Facebook Ads?
The Difference Between Pay-Per-Click Pay-Per-Impression Advertising
If you want to grow your school’s online presence, increase your enrollment and gain more students, online ads will be very helpful but you need to understand what type of ads are best for your company. Digital ads should play an important role in your marketing strategy, because when done correctly, they work for you even when you’re sleeping!
The two main types of online ads are Pay Per Click (PPC) and Pay Per Impression (PPI). Understanding the difference between PPC and PPI enables you to decide what best fits your business and your budget. Even though Google offers a PPI model for billing, in this article we will generally associate PPC marketing with Google and PPI marketing with Facebook.
How Pay Per Click (PPC) Works
With Pay Per Click ads, your school only pays every time the ad is clicked. The ad appears on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) or web partners for any visitors to see for free. Only once someone clicks on your ad are you charged. When your ad appears as a result on Google’s search engine result page, that is called an “impression.” Many people will see your ad without clicking on it. This suggests that customers can potentially purchase your product/service without ever clicking the ad, and you would not have to pay for it.
Pay Per Click ads are good for schools with a tight budget because they provide warm traffic to your website. PPC is typically the most profitable form of advertising for charter schools when optimized correctly. This is due to the fact that for you to be charged someone must:
Want to attend a charter school bad enough to perform a Google search
See your ad
Find it relevant enough to click on
Land on your website
In the case of a charter school, a parent would search for something like “charter school near me.” Your Google ad would appear above your competition placing you right in front of a new potential family. If they like your ad, they will click to go to your website and learn more. It’s important to note that you only pay if they click on your ad! All of our clients at Charter Connect find this form of advertising to be very profitable and see enrollment form submissions for as low as $15!
Pay Per Click Budgeting
Before beginning a PPC campaign, you can know the cost for each click, but you won't know how many people will actually click your ad. This depends on the volume of searches, the size of your city, the traffic to the website where your ad appears, the visual appeal of your ad and how well your ad matches the interests of the visitors to the website. There is a way to tell Google and Facebook to spend within your budget, but you still have to watch closely. This is done by setting a maximum amount of money that you want to invest in the campaign. There is a probability that visitors will see your PPC Ad and visit your website later even though they don't actually click the ad. If you want to calculate how much your cost per click is, this article can help you.
How Pay Per Impression (PPI) Works?
Pay Per Impression is similar to a billboard off the side of the highway in that it doesn’t matter whether people see your ad or engage with it; you will be charged the same amount whether you get 100 new students or none. You are simply paying for digital real estate.
Every time someone visits the webpage where your ad is displayed, it is counted as an impression. For example you can pay a set amount for your ad to appear 1,000 times on a site like Facebook. The most common form of PPI advertising is based around charging a predetermined fee for every 1,000 impressions of an ad. This is called Pay Per Mille (PPM). So, for every 1,000 times your ad appears, you will be charged regardless of whether anyone clicked the link.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook Ads
As previously stated, Facebook follows a PPI model which comes with some important advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of a PPI model is that people don’t have to search for your service to see your ad like they would for a Google search ad. This is useful in reaching parents and students that would love to enroll at your school, but simply don’t know that you exist! Or maybe they are unfamiliar with charter schools and wouldn’t even know to search for one in their area on Google. Facebook is a great way to get in front of a new audience that doesn’t know about your school yet.
The disadvantage to PPI advertising is that you are placing your ad in front of a cold audience that wasn’t expecting to find your ad in their social media newsfeed. It is likely that they will scroll past your ad and that you will be charged nonetheless. To avoid this, you may need to invest time and/or money into photos and videos that would catch the attention of parents and students.
Pay Per Impression Budgeting
The price per impression gives you better control of the budget. You'll know from the beginning what you will get out of your investment in the campaign. You will also know exactly how many times your ad appears. Once the cost per thousand impressions is established, you are able to decide how many sets of 1,000 impressions you want to buy. For example, if the ad costs you $30 per 1,000 impressions and your budget for the campaign is $300, you are able to afford 10,000 impressions.
Which Ad Type is Better?
The choice between PPC and PPI will come down to considering what you want your ad to accomplish. You should think about your long-term and short-term goals, as well as your budget and the platforms you’ll be using for advertisements like Google or Facebook.
Normally, a combination of both will be a good idea, but if you are concerned about increasing brand awareness and reaching a new audience, Facebook Ads via a Pay Per Impression model may be a smarter decision to start with. On the other hand if your school is focused on enrollments, you may want to focus on Pay Per Click. It will depend on the unique needs of your charter school.
If you have any questions in regards to which platform and payment model would be the best fit for your school and budget, reach out to our team at Charter Connect for a free marketing consultation.