Case Study: Social Styled Ads for Student Outreach



Utilization of Unique Ad Units as an Alternative to Paid Social.

Custom Built Digital Ads Designed To Replicate Social Posts and Encourage Engagement, Conversions and Online Enrollments.


Many universities and colleges are looking for new and innovative ways to reach prospective students with digital advertising. Facebook is becoming increasingly difficult to work with, having limited targeting capabilities, a noted drop in user engagement and a content feed that is increasingly full of product and competitor advertisements. Manicz Media developed innovative digital ad placements that look and feel like social posts while having the ability to hyper target prospective students, parents and adult learners across the broader web.


Advertisements are everywhere. From ads on social media, to commercials on TV streaming apps like Netflix or Hulu. Advertisements are a part of every 18-24 year old's minute-by-minute experience. Attention spans are also waning and everyone keeps scrolling. This means you will only have a user’s attention for a few seconds. Standing out with unique and innovative ad placements is key.

Advertising Goals:

  • Reach prospective students with digital ad messaging to increase awareness and drive requests for info and online enrollments on the university website.

  • Utilize new and emerging digital solutions to help the school standout amongst the competition in the marketplace.


Manicz Media Approach:

To achieve these goals, Manicz Media built out comprehensive ad campaigns with multiple ad channels and tactics including our custom built Programmatic Social Ads.


The "Social-Like" ad units were custom built utilizing provided images, logo, copy, and backgrounds. They have a rotating carrousel style that looks and interacts similarly to a Facebook post. These placements were served on relevant education, news, lifestyle, sports and entertainment websites.


Example Programmatic Social Ad Creatives for University and College campaigns:

Campaign Results:

Programmatic Social Ads perform on average 200% better than standard display ads. The interactive nature of the placements allow for more ways for users to engage with the ads, view multiple creative images, and click through to related landing pages. Additionally, with remarketing deployed, messaging frequency can ramp up and prospective students can be reached 12-15 times to encourage engagement and conversions. Manicz Media tracks conversions through transitional pixels and also has the ability to measure audience interactions through IP address based tracking.


Creative Recommendations:

  • Keep your message simple and concise. This will help students understand it more quickly. The ad text should not exceed 90 characters, or one or two sentences.

  • Avoid general text. It is important that the text is relevant to what the campaign is attempting to promote. Boost your ads' impact by emphasizing an eye-catching point in the text.

  • Designing images or selecting photos with bright colors. As students scroll through social media, sharp color contrast or bright colors are more likely to catch their attention and result in higher engagement.

  • Avoiding generic or commercial content. Make content with a personal touch. Social media creatives should contain relevant, helpful content that will help students visualize the institution or program. Content such as campus views, classroom moments, and a fun student lifestyle are most engaging.


When looking for unique ways to reach desired audiences, Manicz Media combines its robust audience databases and custom targeting solutions with unique styled ad units to help cut through the white noise and clutter of the crowded digital advertising ecosystem. Reaching the most relevant audiences with ad messaging that better engages them will always lead to a more successful campaign.


Contact Manicz Media today to learn more about our unique audience targeting methods and engagement focused campaigns.