Marketing 10 MIN READ

How to Run Facebook Ad Campaigns for Online Courses Successfully

Running Facebook Ads, is now essential for every business that wants to see growth coming.

Doing it the right way is crucial. Otherwise you might find yourself losing money while struggling to make an impact through Facebook or Instagram.

In this article, you will learn step-by-step how to create your first Facebook Campaign. Make sure you hold a pen and paper to write down the important stuff.

Or, if you prefer, you can watch our webinar that Tetiana Stuzhna – our data-driven digital marketing strategist – recently ran.

P.S. Also, check out Facebook Remarketing ebook to learn more about marketing on Facebook.

Having a Facebook Campaign in place to convert lost visitors to customers/students makes total sense. Generally speaking, a campaign can be used in your online school to:

Here are three successful ads we are using to promote our LearnWorlds Academy and also work as lead magnets.

Before you begin a Facebook campaign, what should you be doing? Here are the key actions you will need to do first:

Before you start a campaign, you have to know your audience well and try to be as useful as possible.

What comes along with getting to know your audience is an active Facebook page. Βefore you do your first campaign, you need to have a Facebook or Instagram page done.

Creating Facebook and Instagram pages is not that mandatory for running a campaign, but it will give you more placements to gain conversions.

When creating a Facebook page, you also need to have a specific content plan in mind and do at least one or two posts per week.

Why?

People who click on your ads or consider you to buy a course from, will go and see what you have shared on your Facebook page and how other people react to it.

Also, make sure to have a Facebook ad account. Each ad account can consist of many campaigns, that is different advertising objectives, as we will explain later.

Facebook/Instagram Pages: Basic Rules

The funnel that Facebook supports and recommends for a Facebook Campaign consists of three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion stage.

Your Facebook Ad Account comes with specific marketing Objectives/Options you can use in any of those stages: “Brand Awareness,” “Reach,”“Traffic,”“Purchase,”“Engagement,”“App Installs,”“Video Views,” and more.

You can choose whatever objective you believe is more suitable for each of the stages. (e.g., it’s not the best idea to choose “Brand awareness” Objective when your budget is not huge).

Knowing what objective to use and what to do in each stage is crucial. No need to mention that, on each stage, you will inevitably lose some people. And of course, not everybody will convert.

1Awareness

Your objective in this stage: Let people know your product and offers. Build engagement.

Recommended Facebook Objective to use: “Engagement” or “Traffic”

Let’s say you have an audience, and you want it to be aware of your business and your expertise.

On the awareness stage, you have to give your audience some useful content. You need to convince people that they will get the best information out of you.

If you see that people click on your ads or engage with your ad, you will know that they are interested in your content.

There is a little trick here: If you have a relevant audience and your product is not very expensive, you can try and push purchase campaigns (with Purchase Objective). It works sometimes.

2Consideration

Objective: Engage people into considering buying your course to solve their problems

Recommended Facebook Objective to use: “Conversions”

In this stage, you must first map those who engaged with your ads on the awareness stage. Then, you may show content that describes your product a bit more in detail.

It would be an excellent idea to do a free webinar, so people can get in touch with you, learn about your approaches, and what you have to share with them.

In the consideration stage, you must gain as many leads as possible.

Once people give you their email, you can target them further via Facebook or even communicate your offer via email marketing or other strategies.

3Conversion (purchase)

Your objective in this stage: Make people purchase

Recommended Facebook Objective to use for course creators with small to medium budgets: “Reach”

It sounds simple: Ok, people visited my free webinar (or downloaded my checklist), so they are ready actually to convert and buy something.

But you know, it’s not that simple on the internet because people get distracted so easily.

Your audience’s visits on several pages might not make us buy in the first place, but a well-timed offer may persuade us.

This is where retargeting takes place. It is a marketing technique that adds a small code snippet in your site, usually referred as a “cookie” or in Facebook’s case “Conversion Pixel”, which anonymously follows your visitors around the Web.

What happens is this: When you target those who registered for the webinar or downloaded your lead magnet on the Consideration stage, you then serve them more ads while they scroll down to their Facebook or Instagram account.

This way, you can re-engage “missed opportunities” to sell your courses when your site’s visitors are ready. And their algorithm knows when that is!

You can use specific tactics in this stage: You can offer limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency to purchase and use testimonials to show how other students benefited from you and persuade people to make a purchase.

If you select the Purchase objective, Facebook will decide who is more likely to convert and show your ad only to these people.

Thus, we recommend that you use the “Reach” objective for course creators at this stage as you already have a very relevant audience; you don’t need Facebook to decide who will see your ad. You can show your ad to all selected audiences at this stage.

So let’s say you are planning to do your Facebook ad for your online School.

What are the questions you should do to yourself in each stage? The table below shows an example of a Facebook Campaign.

The “who” answers to the target audience and the “what” answers to the necessary steps you need to take in each stage:

And here are the four essential steps you must follow for a successful Campaign:

Creating the first Facebook Campaign

And before you start creating a Campaign, you need to set up the conversion Pixel, using Facebook Pixel.

When you install Facebook Pixel, it will track the actions taken on your website by the visitors.

For example, it will record which pages on your site they visit.

Having such data enables us to bring back visitors who didn’t buy. It’s a lot better to serve ads based on behaviors for more targeted advertisements and better results.

Here is how to setup Facebook Pixel:

Installing the Facebook Pixel on LearnWorlds

Let’s see how you can install Facebook Pixel on LearnWorlds in a few minutes.

Facebook shows you how you can install Facebook Pixel. Click on email instructions to see the pixel ID. Make sure to copy it somewhere.

Then, you can add your details to receive the instructions by email.

Once you log into LearnWorlds, you will see on “Settings” then “Integrations” selection and then “Analytics” and “Facebook Pixel”.

There you need to paste the code pixel ID. That’s it! Facebook Pixel is now successfully installed. Don’t forget to click “save”.

You can also track interactions with your links.

When people click on a button, let’s say to download a file, you can immediately track them, and this can be done without any coding, using the event set up tool.

From the Events Manager, you go to “settings,” and then you open “events,” which is where you paste your landing page URL where you want to track this button.

After deciding upon the four key actions for your customer journey (see diagram above) and having set up Facebook Pixel, you can move to a first Campaign creation.

Here, Tetiana Stuzhna – our data-driven digital marketing strategist – shows us in the webinar also some other basic settings you must know:

1Define your audience: Ads Manager->Ad Set -> Audience

Custom audiences are people that have already interacted with your business. You can also select a Lookalike audience, which are audiences similar to the customers that interacted with your business.

You can also select location and age, gender, and move to detailed targeting.

Move to “Detailed targeting”. You can target somebody, and you can also exclude an audience from your targeting as well.

2Select placements: Ads Manager->Ad Set -> Placements

Tetiana recommends going with automatic placements, and she trusts Facebook algorithms on this.

3Ads Manager->Ad Set -> Budget and Schedule

Another relevant section is the Optimization for ad delivery. Thus, if you select “Landing page views” , Facebook will give you as many landing pages views as possible within your budget.

You can also optimize for link clicks, impressions, unique daily reach, etc.

You don’t have to worry that Facebook will overspend your money. You just set up your daily budget or lifetime campaign budget:

4Ads Manager-> Ad -> Format

It’s perfect to have ads in different formats. People react differently to videos, images, or carousel ads. Therefore, it’s better to have different ads.

Let’s say we select the image format; you have several great options to customize your image. For example, stories need a portrait layout, and the feed needs square photos. This is why Facebook gives us the opportunity to adjust the picture.

The first myth that Tetiana sees all over the internet is that you have to split placements per separate ad sets.

It’s not the best idea to have a different ad set for your story and then another ad set for your newsfeed.

What you can do is customize the image for story and for the newsfeed in one ad set, as shown before.

Facebook and Instagram have one ID for each user. So, if someone converts better on Instagram, Facebook will show them ads on Instagram, and you don’t have to spend money on them on Facebook. Algorithms know that it’s the same person.

According to Tetiana, the second myth is that when you have shown your ads two times to each person, it’s time to change your commercial to avoid having an ad fatigue issue.

The thing is, there are no golden rules. You have to look at your stats to realize what the numbers of cumulative frequency are.

In a high competition country, for example, like the United States, you might want to show your ad a bit more because people won’t notice it within two times.

Many people believe that duplicating Campaigns or ad sets will help them get the results after they run into audience satiety (lower engagement, as your audience got used to the ad). But the proper way to react to this situation is to try one of the following:

Regardless of whether you have used Facebook before, or if this is the first time, don’t be intimidated, Facebook has lots and lots of wizards, and they are very good at getting our money, but also of delivering results.

Using the techniques described above, you will be able to find more people to target. Undoubtedly, the most important thing here is the customer journey. Understanding where people are and what they want to see is essential for success.

If you still aren’t selling online courses, you are missing out. LearnWorlds is the best course platform to create, market and sell online courses, and includes a direct integration with Facebook to make tracking and retargeting easier.

You can get a 30-day free trial of LearnWorlds from here!

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Tetiana Stuzhna
PPC Manager at

Tetiana is LearnWorlds' PPC Expert. With a degree in Mathematics, she is taking the data-driven approach in running a paid advertising campaign for the maximum impact.

She has more than 14 years of experience in online marketing and especially Facebook and Adwords paid ads. All along running workshops & lectures for PPC experts to improve their skills, she understands the challenges of course creators and is ready to share her best practices on attracting the right audience for your course.

Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.