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Have you ever been curious about those ‘sponsored’ posts you see while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and wanted to use them for your business? Read on my sponsored-post loving friends.
When it comes to Facebook advertising there are two main types – boosted posts and those set up via Facebook Ads Manager.
Since the world of Facebook advertising is a complex creature, and social media is ever-changing, we’ve simplified things to explain the difference between boosted posts and Facebook ads and provided our recommendation on what’s most likely to get you the results you want.
Why do you need to advertise on social media in the first place?
Back in the glory days of social media, you could post as you pleased, throw down a couple of hashtags and reach thousands of potential followers.
However, since the ‘algorithm’ was established, social media has become a pay-to-play game, determining who sees your posts and when.
Of course, there are many ways you can improve the reach of your organic content (find ideas over here), but according to Hootsuite, only one in 19 followers will be exposed to your organic content – and we don’t like those odds!
So, if you’re looking to get faster results, it’s time to invest in paid social media advertising.
The question therefore remains, to boost or run paid ads?
You may have noticed the little ‘boost post’ button on the bottom right of your Facebook and Instagram posts.
Boosting a post allows you to easily apply a budget and expand the reach of any existing post, setting the objective to increase engagement, messages, video views, website views, and leads.
In contrast, Facebook ads are created in Facebook Ads Manager which is an all-in-one tool that creates ads, manages when and where they’ll run, and tracks campaign performance.
Facebook ads can help with campaign objectives like increasing brand awareness, reach, traffic, lead generation, engagement, video views, and conversions.
In addition to this, you can also target audiences anywhere across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger (including the Facebook news feed side column).
So which do you choose?
Let us weigh up both for you.
✔️ Boosting posts can be done easily and quickly
✔️ You can choose your target audience based on age, gender, location, and demographics
✔️ You can create an ad for as little as $1
✔️ Boosted posts can only run for a limited amount of time
✔️ Audience targeting is less sophisticated
✔️ You’re promoting a current post, so there’s little you can do creativity-wise to change or structure the posts based on your marketing goals
✔️ You get what you pay for – $1 of ad spend will yield $1 of results
✔️ Facebook ads are manually created so you can be as creative as you like with the structure of the content – meaning you can create custom CTA (call to action) buttons
✔️ Facebook ads allow you to link out to event pages, websites, and blogs so that you can direct traffic wherever you want it to go
✔️ Facebook ads have an advanced audience targeting selection – so you can be as targeted or as broad as you like when selecting your audience
✔️ You can run retargeting campaigns to highly qualified audiences that have already interacted with your brand
✔️ Facebook ads require a certain level of skill and knowledge to create them successfully
✔️Can be more expensive to make them work effectively
Boosted posts vs Facebook ads – The ultimate showdown
At the end of the day, our recommendation comes down to the time, money, and resources you want to throw at your paid media activity.
If you’re serious about results, we recommend Facebook ads all the way.
However, if you’re on a budget and want to dip your toes into social media advertising at home, we suggest boosting as a low-cost alternative that doesn’t require specialist skills to set up.
Prefer to have an agency on the job?
We’re well versed in the differences between these two forms of paid promotion because we run Facebook ad campaigns day in, day out.
Got a social media paid campaign coming up? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your campaign objectives and leave the hard work to us.
If you prefer to DYO social media advertising (or would like to upskill in this field), book into our 1:1 training to learn the ins and outs of Facebook advertising for yourself.
You’ll learn how to set up a campaign, define your audience, community manage your ads, create retargeting audiences and monitor performance.
If this is something you’re interested in, shoot us an email and learn more.
By Luke Crowley
Luke loves managing content just as much as he loves getting on the sporting field. He has been able to apply his business studies from the University of Queensland to the workplace originally as an intern, and now as a team member at Media Mortar. Growing up in a large family, Luke is well practiced at organisation. He enjoys employing creativity in content planning, researching and delving into the relationship between a person’s actions and a well-formed marketing campaign. Luke is a big fan of ‘market research’ and you will often find him chasing an authentic experience of the destinations and experiences he promotes.