Challenges, and benefits, of the new paid subscription model of Facebook for Higher Education

Monday - February 20, 2023

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has recently announced a major shift in their business model with the introduction of a new subscription-based service. This new service will enable users to access a range of exclusive features and content, such as gaming, dating, and music, for a monthly fee.

The move to a subscription-based model has significant implications for businesses and advertisers, particularly in the higher education sector, where the use of social media in student recruitment is a top priority. This move seems to follow what recently Twitter has done, as well as others such as YouTube, Discord and many streaming services. In this blog, we will explore the impact of Facebook´s (Meta) new subscription model on advertising, with a focus on student recruitment.

  1. Increased competition for advertising space

With the introduction of a subscription-based service, Meta is likely to see a decrease in advertising revenue as users are paying for access to exclusive content. This decrease in advertising revenue may lead to an increase in the cost of advertising on the platform, as businesses compete for a smaller pool of advertising space.

For higher education institutions, this may mean having to allocate more budget towards advertising on the platform to achieve the same reach and engagement with potential students. However, with the increasing popularity of social media platforms for student recruitment, it is likely that institutions will continue to invest in advertising on Meta despite potential cost increases.

  1. Enhanced targeting options

One potential advantage of the new subscription model is the potential for more detailed targeting options for advertisers. With users paying for access to specific content, Meta will have a more detailed understanding of their interests and behavior, enabling advertisers to target their campaigns more effectively.

For student recruitment, this could mean targeting students who have shown an interest in a particular course, program, or institution. This more targeted approach could lead to increased engagement with potential students and ultimately result in higher application and enrollment numbers.

  1. A shift towards influencer marketing

With the new subscription-based service, users may be more inclined to follow and engage with influencers on the platform. This shift towards influencer marketing could provide an opportunity for higher education institutions to partner with influencers to promote their courses and programs to a wider audience.

By partnering with influencers who have a large following and influence in the education sector, institutions can leverage their social media presence to promote their offerings and increase brand awareness. This approach may be particularly effective for reaching younger audiences, who are increasingly turning to social media for information and advice on higher education options.

In conclusion, Meta’s new subscription model will undoubtedly have a significant impact on advertising on the platform; on one hand for marketeers in Higher Education you have to rethink your paid vs organic advertising. The latter might become more important, through SEO and Content Marketing, in order to reach your target-audience. Since paid advertising might become more expensive, due to increased competition for advertising space, there are also potential benefits in terms of enhanced targeting options and the growing popularity of influencer marketing.

All in all, we at WebinarLeads4you would recommend to adopt a very balanced approach towards Student Recruitment by diversifying the channels. As we typically get 60-70% of Students through Social Media, you might want to consider the balance of Facebook/ Instagram vs Tik Tok as well as Linkedin. Also the other 30-40% might become more key to focus on, i.e. through SEO/ Content Marketing as well as Partner websites and organic leads. If this is something you are worried about, or wonder how you could optimize it, then we invite you to reconsider your advertising strategy through a free consult and show how you could maximizing your reach and engagement with potential students that fit your programs.

(re)Consider the Marketing channels you work with

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