Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts: Here's What You Need To Know

Ah, Facebook. That lovely online space in which the public spends too much of their free time.

Which is great news for your business, and for its marketing goals.

Social media has become an important outlet for businesses to connect with their customers, both current and prospective.

Having a social media presence ensures your business is able to reach a wider audience. 

And it's a terrific way to interact with the public, too. Which, in turn, is also beneficial for reputation management and customer retention.

In fact, having your business on social media is now standard practice.

While it's encouraged that your business utilizes all available social media channels, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, one platform continues to reign supreme - Facebook.

And it reigns supreme with a borderline monopoly, actually.

With over a billion daily active users, Facebook is one of the best social media channels for spreading your message to wide, yet targeted audience.

But, that's no secret, as Facebook will be sure to tell you. After all, it's as much an advertising agency as it is a social network.

So how do you make the most of the money you're spending advertising with Facebook?

In this post, we're set to tackle the topic of Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts. 

Each is effective in their own right, but there are some differences. 

So which one is right for you?

Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts

Advertising with Facebook Business is now common practice.

If your business isn't already advertising with Facebook, you are missing out on huge advertising potential. So, if you haven't already, create your Facebook business page. Now!

But for those of you who have already set up a business page, advertising with Facebook can be frustrating, huh?

With so many different options available, like Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts, for example, it's sometimes difficult knowing where to begin. Or what the best methods are.

And the argument of Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts isn't so cut and dry either. That's why we're here to help break down what you need to know to get the most from your Facebook advertising campaign.

Let's begin by examining the differences inherent to the argument of Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts and see which one comes out on top. But be careful, the answer probably isn't what you think.

 

Facebook Ads

In regards to Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts, Facebook Ads are definitely the more complicated of the two.

Facebook Ads has, by far, the greater number of options available to advertisers. 

As such, before embarking on the Facebook Ad[venture] your marketing team should have a clearly defined goal it's shooting for. But, more on that later on. 

Facebook Ads offers services which cater to increasing likes, directing traffic to your website, encouraging the install of apps, responses to events, offers a claim buttons, and... video views, and... honestly, the list just keeps on going.

When it comes to Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts, though, Ads allows for greater accuracy when targeting your audience.

Facebook Ads appear in the user's news feed while they're scrolling. Although users aren't guaranteed to click on the ad, you can ensure that the right groups of people will at the very least scroll past it.

Facebook Ads allows you to choose your advanced targeting options. These options include demographic information such as age, gender, and location.

The system takes it a step further and allows you to customize the target audience based on hobbies and interests, too.

The sky is the limit with this option. As such, take your time when developing your Facebook Ads campaign to score more direct hits with your ad spend.

 

Boosted Posts

Now that we've got the more technical and confusing Facebook Ads out of the way, let's move on to the more basic option - Boosted Posts.

Boosted Posts will also appear in the user's news feed. Because they are "boosted," these posts will appear higher up in the content provided by their news feed.

An important note regarding the Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts debate is that Boosted Posts will be visible to your target audience until the allotted budget is met, making it a cost-effective way to get more exposure for a particular post.

 

Facebook offers the option to boost items such as statuses, photos, and videos. These posts can also appear on Instagram.

Without boosting a post, a particular piece of content may only be visible to a very small portion of your target audience. 

Because Boosted Posts are somewhat limited in their reach when compared to Facebook Ads, they are generally best suited for promoting high-quality pieces of content with the goal of improving audience engagement.

Facebook Marketing Goals

In regards to the debate over Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts, one isn't necessarily better than the other.

The key to maximizing the benefits of whatever format you choose should first come with an evaluation of your team's marketing goals.

Is your business trying to sell more of your products and/or services? Is your marketing team working to build brand awareness? Or are you focusing on narrowing the scope of your local targeted campaigns to a fine point?

Whatever the case may be, it's important you begin your Facebook advertising campaigns with clearly defined goals.

Having set goals will help develop a more coherent strategy, which will lend itself to answer the debate over Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts once and for all.

If you're trying to build your social media following by sharing great content, a strategically boosted post might be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you're trying to zero in on new customers and a specific demographic, Facebook Ads might prove to be the better option.

Whatever the case, don't be afraid to take a step back and allow for a methodical approach before throwing money at Facebook.

Facebook offers a suite of analytic tools for advertisers. These metrics offer invaluable insights into what advertising campaigns have worked and which ones haven't.

Even Facebook is well aware of the Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts battle. Use these tools to evaluate your campaigns so they may be adjusted for greater success.

Facebook Ad Formats

The Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts argument doesn't end with just the two, either.

Facebook offers a wide range of advertising formats to choose from, depending on your marketing goals.

Based on the results your marketing strategy is looking to achieve, some ad formats might be better suited to your campaign than others.

Possible Facebook ad objectives include lead generation, local awareness, page post engagement, store visits, brand awareness, app installs, and... the list keeps on going (again). 

In addition to the various objectives, there are different options for displaying your ads on mobile devices, desktop computers, Instagram, audience network, and the right-hand column.

As you may have guessed, the contest of Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts is only the tip of the iceberg.

This is why your marketing strategy should be cohesive and well-planned prior to diving into the details.

With so many options to choose from, having a well-developed marketing plan (and clearly defined goals) is crucial to the success of your ad spend campaigns.

Engaging Your Audience

Your audience doesn't care about your Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts dilemma.

Your job as a marketer is to make them want to care about what you post, or at least enough to get a click or a response to your call to action (yes, that's available as an advertising option, too).

Remember, a Boosted Post might be better suited for your needs if you're trying to promote a high-quality piece of content whose goal is to engage your audience.

Using a Facebook Ad on such a post might not be the most effective way to spend your advertising budget.

Further, using the Boosted Post feature is a cost-effective way to increase traffic and visibility of a single post. Once the allotted budget is used up, the post will start appearing in user's newsfeed just as any other post would.

Targeting and Customization

What your audience does care about, on the other hand, is not getting spammed. 

Both Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts will appear as sponsored content to the viewers. 

This is where the importance of targeting and customizing your audience comes into play. 

Rather than setting your criteria to encompass a large swath of your audience, try to narrow down your targets as much as possible.

Facebook Ads offers an entire array of tools and options to help you do just that.

Again, the importance of having a comprehensive marketing strategy is paramount. Do the research (and don't forget to use Facebook's analytics!) to ensure your money is placing your ad in front of the right people.

Which Is Right For Your Business?

Now that we've helped shed light on the Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts debate, where do you go from here?

Well, you put your hard work and methodically researched marketing strategy to work!

Facebook is a terrific way to build and engage with your audience, as well as gain local exposure.

If you're still not sure how to proceed, we can help! Contact us today to set up a strategy session with your neighborhood Facebook Advertising Scientists.