There are two ways of promoting your content on Facebook, but which one is the best for you? In this blog I’ll explain the differences between boosting a Facebook post and creating a Facebook ad.
What is your objective?
For every post you do whether that’s an organic post (a post on your business page), a boosted post or an advert, you need to know your ‘why’. What do you want to get out of it?
You may want to simply raise the awareness of your brand, you might want to generate leads or you might want to influence a sale. There are many possibilities and reasons why you post content, but always know what it is you are wanting to achieve. This will become apparent as you’re reading!
Facebook ads vs boosted posts
Right, let’s take a closer look at these two options.
This is such a simple thing to do to raise awareness of your brand, an event, a specific product, a particular service or any other content which is relevant to your social media marketing strategy. All you have to do is choose an existing post which you have already posted (and is sitting on your Facebook business page) and boost it by clicking on the ‘boost’ button.
You can do this to enable the post to reach more people than it would without normally, and if you wanted to reach a different set of people.
Facebook will send this post to the people it knows are most likely to interact with it, within the target parameters you’ve set. You’ll definitely see a lot more likes and comments than usual, but it’s unlikely that the people who see it will turn into active customers. Facebook are showing it to people who are likely to interact with posts not necessarily people who are likely to buy from you.
You may think it’s done well as it’s reached a lot more people than those that like your page and you’ve had good interaction, but ask yourself did you get business from it?
Remember that a boosted post is one that already exists on your business page. Ask yourself, do the kind of adverts that you want to boost the kind that you want to fill your feed and for all of your regular followers to see? You could be in danger of your followers getting fed up of seeing constant ‘ads’ – they’ll want to see posts which add value to them too.
To run a Facebook ad you need to register with Business Manager – a fantastic Facebook marketing tool that helps you to organise and manage your long term business strategies.
Don’t worry, this is really simple to do. When you head to Business Manager, you’ll be on a different platform from Facebook itself where you will see the most amazing targeting opportunities.
Unlike boosts, your Facebook ad will never be added to your business page. So, you can sell to your heart’s content knowing that you’ll not put off any of your loyal followers who love you for your tips, advice, support, human stories and the other organic posts that you create that add value.
Ads are great for generating leads and getting sales as you can drill down and target exactly who you want to. There are many more options for targeting than you get with just a boosted post.
For example, you can create lookalike audiences. Audiences who share the same interests, demographic, traits, likes, dislikes, etc, to your web visitors or people on your email list. Imagine that – you’d pay a market researcher a fortune to do this work for you! But by simply downloading your email list onto Facebook it instantly creates a similar new audience for you, based on who’s already interacted with your brand.
When you reach out to this set off people you will know that what you are offering them will be of huge interest as they’re similar to your existing customers.
Examples of running a Facebook ad campaign
It’s always easier to explain something as an example to put it into context, so this is what I’m doing at the moment:
A product I have available all of the time is my Online Facebook Course. I have a marketing strategy for this which includes promoting the product on my website, through Facebook, through Twitter, through relevant online news features and networking. It’s most definitely a long-term strategy which is why I chose Facebook ads to be a major part of the campaign.
To influence the sale of my Online Facebook Course I have numerous ads running which encourages the download of a useful article on the mistakes to avoid when creating a Facebook post. I am testing different images, different text, different audiences and different placements to see which advert results in the most people downloading the pdf. I’ve tried about 16 different variations to three different audiences and have now narrowed it down to a couple of ads that result in really cheap conversions. All the other ads have been now been switched off.
I now have a cheap way of adding value to my potential clients to grow my audience and in return I gain an email address from a hot lead!
I then send an email encouraging them to visit my website for more valuable information and to check out the course which will massively benefit their business.
If they do head to my website, the pixel attached to my website (coding which tracks who has visited), will identify this and I can then target this exact set of people with another relevant Facebook ad that relates to the course. I know they’re interested as they’ve visited my page so I serve them with a series of other ads to remind them of the benefits. If they then go ahead and buy, my Facebook pixel removes them from the advertising campaign, therefore I’m not paying to send ads to them on a product they’ve already bought.
I can set up lots of ads to target their specific needs by tracking their activity and interest. I’m in the process of developing a social media calendar, so this will definitely become part of my ad strategy. Knowing the customer journey and what my client’s need enables me to keep my service and my brand at the front of their minds.
A great way of nudging a customer to make a purchase is to send a Facebook ad to anyone who has added something to their shopping cart but not completed the purchase.
Here I’ve summarised boosting post vs Facebook ads for you
- Boosting is limited to a one-off boost, while Facebook Ads is a long term strategy.
- Boosted posts are ones that already exist on your business page. Ads have original content which will never show on your page.
- Boosting a post has three campaign objectives for you to choose from; send people to your web site, encourage people to engage with the post or send a private message. Facebook ads has nine campaign objectives.
- You can run a Facebook ad campaign with one objective but with multiple posts that have different images and different content that go to different audiences. This allows you to discover the image and content that truly resonates with the best target audience.
- You can pause a Facebook ad and restart at a time that suits your objectives.
- There are three placement options when you boost a Facebook post. There are 17 placement options when running a Facebook ad.
- Facebook ads is more sophisticated than boosting posts. To demonstrate this, businesses can set an objective whereby someone walks past their shop, this data gets picked up from their phone and they will be sent a well targeted ad about their products.
- As you’ll get a better return on investment from a Facebook ad, you’ll get more for your money than from a boosted post.
- You can test the effectiveness of Facebook ads and continually monitor and improve them to achieve the winning formula which you can repeat.
Earlier this year I wrote a blog on why you should Think twice before boosting a Facebook post – the perfect accompaniment after learning the difference between boosting a post and Facebook advertising
Want to learn more?
If you’d like to know how know more I’m running an online Facebook Ad workshop from 17 November 2020 where I will show you how to use the Facebook ads platform for optimum results. For just an hour each day over four days we will get you set up with a range of ads all with different images and content. You’ll also learn how to test them to get the value for your money.
Bye for now,
Becs Bate, Social Media Executive
Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive
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