What is the difference between Facebook Ads and Boosted posts?

Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts are important tools to reach and connect with your audience. It’s growing more challenging each day to reach the right audience with just organic content due to Facebook and Instagram frequently updating their algorithms. As we discussed in previous articles, for your social media marketing strategy to work efficiently, you must have a well-structured organic strategy combined with a paid strategy. Facebook Ads and Boosted posts are components that make up the paid side of your overall strategy. 

While Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts are both considered ads, there are key differences when setting them up. You should be familiar with the differences before deciding which one to incorporate into your business social media strategy.

How to Set up an Effective Facebook Ad

Facebook Ads are created in Facebook Ads Manager and you have the option to promote it on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Networks, or all three. You can also place your ads on different sections of the platforms like the newsfeed, stories, or messenger.

Before creating your Facebook Ad, you must define your campaign’s marketing objective. Facebook Ads Manager will help you with the decision. Their options are divided into 3 categories: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Within each category, you will find subcategories, adding up to 11 options in total. This step is really important for the success of your Facebook Ads. Think carefully about what you really want this campaign to accomplish before selecting your objective. While conversions are always an important goal, not every campaign should have a conversion objective. 

Once you have your objectives identified, you’ll have to define your targeting. Before getting into targeting details, you should have Facebook Pixel installed on your business website. Facebook Pixel will help you refine your audience and make the targeting process easier. Keep in mind the privacy laws around data collection and cookies in the regions you are targeting. These are getting more and more stringent as more states are putting laws in place to protect the data of their residents. Apple’s iOS 14 updates are also going to have a huge impact on the data you can collect from users who are visiting you from an iOS 14 device. Therefore, it is important to outline secondary strategies for iOS 14 and data privacy beyond relying on traffic and conversion data from a website pixel. 

Facebook Ads have advanced options for your targeting besides demographics. These options allow you to build a custom audience based on your website traffic (see notes above), your Facebook page, post engagement, your Instagram traffic, and your email list. By gathering this information, your Facebook Ads reach a larger number of customers and prospective ones. 

Well-defined marketing objectives and custom targeting are key when creating an ad. 

How to Set up an effective Boosted Post

Boosted Posts are often created from a well-performing organic post. Only the native platform will display your boosted post, which means that you won’t have the option to promote it on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, however, the benefit here is that engagements and comments will compile under the post and remain visible on your timeline. Unlike Facebook Ads, a Boosted Post doesn’t offer the option to choose a marketing objective. Instead, the general goal for Boosting a post is to increase engagement and brand awareness. So, you should only boost a post that can generate interactions related to engagement: likes, comments, and shares. The primary appeal of this type of ad is the targeting option. You can decide to boost a post by choosing one of the 2 options: your fans and friends of fans or targeting age, location, gender, and interests. Boosted posts have limited options regarding audience targeting compared to Facebook Ads, but nonetheless, they can deliver impressive outcomes if set up well. (There are tricky ways around this if you’re ready for advanced Facebook and Instagram marketing tactics, however, we will need to cover that in another article. Reach out if you have questions on this now.)

When to use Facebook Ad vs. Boosted Post

As always, it’s important to know your ad’s goals before making the decision, as well as how much time and money you have to spend on your ads. Boosting a post might be less time consuming since the content is already crafted and posted to your feed. With just a few taps, you can begin running your ad. 

Facebook Ads provide more control to the advertiser due to the targeting options, campaign objectives, type of content, and ad placement. Facebook Ads can be intimidating for newbies, and they will demand additional time to set up your new campaign within the Facebook Ads Manager platform.

Although Facebook Ads deliver great results to businesses that seek visibility, boosting a post can be an alternative for businesses searching for a more user-friendly option. Boosted Posts offer an excellent opportunity to maximize your business’s visibility and grow your fanbase by increasing your page’s engagement. Facebook Ads suit more specific goals like lead generation, website traffic, conversions, app installation and allows you to target a custom audience. 

Regarding budget, Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts offer rates as low as $1 per day, and you can stop the campaign anytime you need. Choosing an appropriate budget for your ads is dependent on your overall marketing strategy, budget, and business goals. Again, this is a conversation for another article, but we’re happy to chat through if you’d like more information. 
Whichever you choose for your business,  Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts are essential to achieve the best results from your social media marketing strategy. If you have any questions, please reach out to us, and we will be happy to help your business goals.