Paid Facebook advertising is rapidly growing in popularity. When you’re marketing your business on Facebook, you may not know which options are best for your brand. If you’re unfamiliar with Facebook marketing, it can be difficult to make critical decisions when it comes to the different types of ads Facebook offers. One instance we see so often is Facebook ads vs. boosted posts. In this article, we’ll help you understand the difference between the two, and teach you when to use one vs. the other.
Facebook ads look very similar to regular posts. They both appear in the News Feed amongst posts from the user’s friends. Because of this, many users find it hard to tell the difference between an ad and a regular post. A Facebook ad will always have a “Sponsored” note underneath the company name. This is a key indicator that its an ad, and not a traditional post.
The most significant difference between Facebook ads and regular posts is what goes on behind the scenes. Facebook ads come with an array of analytic options. Businesses can track the different ad engagements to define their overall ad campaign goals. With Facebook ads, you can also choose precise targets, giving you the option to target users by location, interest, age, income and more.
Facebook ads also allow for more formatting options. You can choose between video ads, slideshow ads, carousel ads and more. Some formats are more appropriate for certain campaign objectives than others and let you decide if you want to send users to your website, promote products, collect leads, etc. Most importantly, an ad will always have a call-to-action button. A CTA is a vital part of an ad, as you are asking the consumer to take action.
The majority of business owners that have ran paid Facebook ads, have just boosted a post. Boosted posts are less complex and much easier to wrap your head around. A boosted post is merely a regular Facebook post that you pay to reach a bigger audience. Users do this to ensure that a broader audience sees a specific post or that the post is seen more often by those who are likely to engage.
Companies spend many hours researching the target audience for a Facebook ad, but targeting with a boosted post is a lot easier because Facebook does the audience research for you! Most companies will boost their post after they already have their audience data, that way they can optimize specific posts that they know are performing well. Boosting a post is also a great option if you have one piece of content that is doing particularly well. Many companies will boost a great piece of content so that it continues to be seen by many.
Choosing an ad vs. a boosted post
Your choice of running a Facebook ad or boosting a post should largely depend on your social media marketing goals. Each ad format is specifically designed to encourage different outcomes.
Facebook ads usually have a much more significant impact right off the bat, which can translate directly to the campaign goals like sales, app downloads, page likes, etc. Boosted posts, however, are an excellent way to improve your company’s social media presence and engagement metrics.
Another critical thing to consider when deciding between the two is your short-term vs. long-term outcome. Ads will help you turn your company’s image into tangible conversions and results while boosted posts will allow you to build your audience and fan base. Using them together can also be a powerful way to turn engaged users into customers.