In spite of speculation in 2016, Facebook is proving that its allure isn’t fading among millennials. Members of that age group are still on the platform and engaging with ads.

According to a survey cited in eMarketer.com in January 2017, “65 percent of teens said they used Facebook daily, up from 59 percent in November 2014. And despite concerns that teens are abandoning Facebook for other social networks, daily usage among teens remains higher for Facebook than for any other social network, including Snapchat and Instagram.”

What Sets Facebook Apart
Facebook provides the opportunity to deliver audience-inspired ads in formats that can be more engaging than those on other types of platforms. Advertisers can also focus on niche audiences and run several campaigns simultaneously, each aimed at different demographics or personality types. Furthermore, ads on platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram are frequently skipped over and often lack clear calls to action, making them less effective platforms for marketers.

Still, gaining interest and attention from your target audience on Facebook requires purpose and effort. Competition on Facebook is high and, during certain seasons, it is almost impossible to engage viewers.

Inquiries Up 233 Percent for Midwestern College
But there are ways to increase the chance that your ads will be noticed. Recently, Collegis Education enabled a Midwestern college to experience a quarter-over-quarter boost of 233 percent in inquiries attributed to Facebook advertising while decreasing cost per inquiry (CPI) by 51 percent compared to the previous quarter. Throughout the testing period, applications grew in conjunction with inquiries. The school’s current enrollment is approximately 14,000.

Collegis and its partner institution applied a continuous testing methodology to Facebook ads in order to compare images and messaging to see which performed best. In fact, the team even created a process to rapidly test new creative executions in response to the fact that advertising fatigue can be an issue with Facebook audiences.

The advertising team that worked alongside our partner credited this approach for their success. Ads in rotation were edited, or new ads created, to harness ad-performance insights. For example, if two ads ran simultaneously with the same messaging for the same audience but with different images, then the higher-performing image would be integrated into future ads. These insights also helped inform messaging for other channels.

Other levers advertisers can manipulate to test and monitor ad performance include audience size, budget and the number of ads in a rotation. Additionally, it’s important to avoid the “sea of sameness,” in which ads become so visually similar and indistinguishable from one another that they fail to capture the attention of viewers.

Bottom Line
Facebook advertising can provide a strong return on investment, but it requires a unified strategy that involves media buying, creative execution and analytics. Advanced experience in Facebook advertising may be required in order to achieve similar results.