Facebook Marketing: Boosted Posts vs. Ads

By Matt Hall on July, 22 2019
Matt Hall

Matt is the resident SEO / SEM Specialist at BrandMinded™ who loves crunching numbers and Excel spreadsheets. While he’s originally from Washington, D.C. he now spends his free time at the Florida beaches or the Colorado mountains snowboarding. As a new father he has a new outlook on life and is always up to date on the latest techy gadgets and inventions.

Facebook is a useful tool when it comes to marketing for a small company, but it can be confusing to those who don't have a lot of experience using it for business purposes.  At BrandMinded™, we employ a number of paid ad strategies for our clients, because the benefits of growing a business online can be magnified through social ads.

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, it comes down to two main ad formats: boosted posts or ads. While Facebook uses different names for these two formats, they are actually quite similar. It’s important to make an informed decision with your Facebook advertising. To help, we've outlined the differences between the two below.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are a simpler choice than ads since there are not quite as many options to set. Still, they can be a great way to get your businesses’ message out to a new, potential customer.

A business can create a post like anyone normally would, and then select a budget afterwards to “boost” that post to new audiences. One of the main benefits of a boosted post is that you are able to get free audience research before spending your money.  If a particular post is performing better than normal, Facebook has a couple different banners that they may place below your post when you view it in your post feed.

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While this is only Facebook’s recommendation (and obviously they want you to spend money 😝 ) it is important to remember that only 2-6% of your following will see your content on average if you do not use money to promote that content. This means all the hard work you and your content team have put into the social strategy and calendar may not be seen by a vast majority of your followers if the posts are not boosted or advertised.

After selecting to boost a post, you can choose a few different options such as the goal for your boost, whether you would like a button (shop now, learn more, etc.), the audience you would like to target, and where you would like the ad placed.  Finally, you set the number of days you would like the boost to run and the total budget that you want to spend. Facebook will give you an estimated number of people that will be reached per day and inform you of what your daily ad spend.

If your content is extremely relevant and high quality, you may get a message like this from Facebook:

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Boosted posts can be very effective if your goals are to increase your social media presence or improve your brand's social media engagement metrics. Posts of this nature tend to attract high engagement, provided it incorporates high quality content.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads can appear the same as a boosted post in a person's news feed, but they can also display in many other formats and positions across Facebook. The main difference, Facebook ads are created through Facebook’s Ads Manager tool and are much more customizable than a boosted post. There are quite a few more business goals that you can optimize for in Ads Manager. These include app installs, website conversions, Facebook leads, shop orders, and more compared to the page likes, comments, and shares that are available for boosted posts.

Within the Ads Manager you also have the option to use additional placements across Facebook’s network. These include creating placements on Instagram along with placements on the desktop or mobile news feed. Other placements available are News Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, Facebook stories, instant articles, and the audience network.

Ads Manager also allows a bit more creative control with the types of ads you produce. For example, you can create carousel ads that rotate products / services or use some of their AI technology to create responsive video ads or dynamically create videos from images and content that you had previously created.

Finally, the audience targeting options are more robust within Ads Manager. There are more advanced tools that let you hyper-focus your audience. Among these tools are lookalike audiences and overlapping audience types.

Which Should You Choose?

If you only have the budget for one form of marketing, choose the one that aligns best with your goals; however, they work great in combination with each other. Many companies use boosted posts to gain brand recognition or increase the reach of posts that are highly relevant or performing well. Once they are ready to dive deeper into Facebook’s advertising, they can begin to test different ad formats and engagement goals. Using these two together skillfully can quickly enhance a business’s reach on Facebook.

If you're struggling to create a Facebook marketing strategy for your company, consider hiring professionals. BrandMinded™ is a digital marketing agency with an expert team who specializes in evaluating businesses and designing personalized marketing campaigns. Reach out today to get started!

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