Facebook is one of the biggest and most effective advertising platforms on the planet, but it’s not an easy channel to master. Without a clear Facebook ad strategy, you can quickly blow your budget on ads with no reach, clicks, or ROI.
Making matters more complicated are the different ways to advertise on Facebook. Only some of them will be effective for your business goals, and understanding how each one works is critical to running a successful campaign.
In this post, we’ll break down two of the most popular ways to advertise on Facebook: Boosted Posts and Paid Ads. Then, we’ll tackle the differences between Facebook posts V Facebook Ads manager, their pros and cons, and how to use each for maximum results.
Let’s get started!
A Facebook boosted post is a regular post that you’ve published on your business page that you’ve chosen to “boost” with paid advertising.
Let’s say you have a post about a new product you’re launching. You notice that it’s been doing well – it’s receiving tons of likes, comments, and shares from your current audience. So, to reach an even wider audience, you decide to boost the post for a small fee to Facebook.
Boosting a post transforms a regular Facebook post from your brand’s Facebook page into an ad.
You can choose how long you want the ad to run, your target audience, your budget, and more. Facebook will then show your post to more people who fit your target audience.
The thing about Facebook boosted posts is that you don’t have to go into your Ads Manager dashboard to create one. Instead, you can simply boost any post right from your Facebook business page by clicking the “Boost Post” button.
On the other hand, think of Facebook Ads as a more “formal” way of advertising on Facebook. Instead of simply boosting the audience and reach of an existing post, it allows you to create an ad from scratch.
This means you have more control over the creative, copy, call to action, and overall look and feel of your ad. On top of that, you can also choose from a variety of ad types, such as video ads, carousel ads, lead generation ads, and more.
To create a Facebook ad, you’ll need to go into your Ads Manager dashboard. This is where you’ll create your ad, set your budget and target audience, and determine how long you want your ad to run.
Facebook boosted posts can be an excellent complement to your Facebook ad strategy. But like any marketing tool, it has its unique set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them closely:
Boosting posts on Facebook doesn’t require technical skills or knowledge of the Ads Manager dashboard. If you can post on your business page, you can boost a post.
This is great for small businesses without the budget for a dedicated Facebook Ads specialist or for businesses that are new to advertising on Facebook.
Compared to other types of online advertising, Facebook boosted posts are very affordable. You can set your budget as low as $5 per day, which makes them a great way to test the waters of paid social media marketing.
If you have a post that’s already performing well with your audience, boosting it can help you reach an even wider audience.
This is a great way to get more mileage out of content that’s already resonating with your target market.
Boosting a post enables you to add a call-to-action button that links directly to your website. You can use this to direct people to your website, a landing page, or even to message you directly on Facebook messenger.
When you boost a post on Facebook, you gain access to valuable performance insights that can help you fine-tune your ad strategy. For example, you can see how many people saw your ad and even from where.
So for something that’s way cheaper than most other types of advertising, you get a ton of data that can be used to improve your marketing campaigns.
In case you didn’t know, Facebook has acquired Instagram. Because of this, advertisers can now simultaneously market on both platforms. When you boost a post on Facebook, you now have the option to also show it as an ad on Instagram.
This is amazing news for businesses because it allows you to reach people where they’re already spending time – and all from one platform.
One of the downsides of Facebook boosted posts is that you have limited options when it comes to targeting your audience. You can only use basic targeting tools, such as by location, age, gender, language, and connections.
When a post is boosted on Facebook, it’s clearly marked as an ad. This means that people will know that you’ve paid to promote your post.
This may defeat the organic feel that you’re going for, and some people may be turned off by the fact that you’ve paid to promote your content.
While you can apply targeting options to your boosted post, you have no control over where your ad will appear. It could show up in the middle of someone’s feed, or it could be placed in the right-hand column. You just don’t know.
This can make it difficult to control your message and ensure that your ad is seen by your target market.
Sure, anyone can boost a post, but in order for it to be effective, you need a keen sense of your target audience, business objectives, and marketing strategy.
Without this, you could end up wasting a lot of money on boosting posts that go nowhere. It takes skill to get results despite the limitations of Facebook boosted posts.
While Facebook Ads offer more powerful features than Facebook boosted posts, it also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them:
With Facebook Ads, you have more control over where your ad appears. You can choose to show your ad in the News Feed, Instagram, Messenger, or the right-hand column.
This flexibility allows you to better control your message and ensure that your ad reaches your target market.
Another major advantage of paid ads on Facebook is that you can design your campaigns around specific business objectives.
For example, if you’re trying to increase brand awareness, you can design an ad campaign focused on visibility. To do this, you can go on Ad Manager and create an ad set with the optimization for the ad delivery option set to “Reach.”
Or, maybe you want to drive sign-ups for your email newsletter. In this case, you can create an ad campaign that’s optimized for clicks to your website. In addition, paid ads lets you go granular in terms of your goals, which makes it easier to tailor your campaigns for maximum impact.
In addition to having more control over ad placements, Facebook Ads also offer powerful audience targeting capabilities.
Aside from the basics like location, age, gender, and language, you can also target people based on what’s on their Facebook profile, and even exclude certain criteria from your target market.
Unlike Facebook boosted posts, which can only be seen by people who are already on Facebook, paid ads can reach a wider audience.
For example, you can use Facebook’s Audience Network to place your ad on websites and apps outside of the Facebook ecosystem.
Facebook’s ads manager platform is one of the most sophisticated and user-friendly platforms out there. With its intuitive design, detailed insights, and reporting features, you can easily track your ad campaigns and make changes on the fly.
On top of that, there’s also a ton of support in terms of ad design, creative, and recommendations.
Another advantage of Facebook Ads is that you can control your ad spend. For example, you can set a daily, monthly, or lifetime budget for your ad campaigns, and you can also choose to manually bid for your ad placements, or let Facebook optimize your bids for you.
This flexibility gives you a lot of control over how much you’re spending on Facebook ads, which is important for businesses of all sizes.
One of the main disadvantages of Facebook Ads is how complicated it can be to create effective Facebook Ads. Unlike boosted posts, where you can simply select posts you already have, Facebook Ads require you to create your ad from the ground up.
This includes the ad copy, creatives (e.g., images and videos), and making sure they all meet Facebook’s ad guidelines. Then, you also need to consider elements like your target audience, budget, and ad objectives. So, it’s definitely a more involved process.
Facebook’s powerful Ads Manager platform comes at a price – it can be complicated to use, especially for beginners. There are a lot of features and options, such as different ad types, campaign objectives, bidding options, and targeting options.
It can be overwhelming for those who are not familiar with how Facebook advertising works. As a result, trying to DIY can lead to wasted ad spend and subpar results.
Since you have no idea how your ads will perform before you launch them, audience insights matter more with Facebook advertising. If you don’t have a deep understanding of who your target audience is and what they’re interested in, chances are your ads will fail.
In terms of ad spend, there are so many pitfalls when it comes to paid ads on Facebook. For example, if your ad isn’t well-optimized, you could be paying more per click than you need to. Also, without understanding concepts like CPC, CPM, and CTR, it’s easy to overspend on your Facebook ad campaigns without understanding concepts like CPC, CPM, and CTR.
Additionally, the Facebook algorithm can also drive up ad costs. If your ads are getting a lot of engagement (e.g., likes, comments, and shares), Facebook will show your ads more often, which means you’ll be paying more per impression.
So, while you can control your ad spend to some extent, there are still a lot of factors that can impact how much you’re paying for your Facebook Ads.
Finally, it’s important to note that your results with Facebook advertising may vary. Just because one of your friends or competitors is having success with their ads doesn’t mean you will too.
It all comes down to your specific business, target audience, ad copy, creatives, and so forth. So, while Facebook advertising can be a great way to grow your business, there’s no guarantee that it will work for everyone.
Facebook boosted posts and Facebook paid ads both have a place in a strong Facebook advertising strategy. The key is understanding their pros and cons, then leveraging each tool to achieve specific business objectives.
According to Facebook, boosted posts are great for developing brand awareness and enhancing engagement on your page. On the other hand, Facebook Ads are better for more complex campaigns, such as promoting a specific offer, rebranding, launching a new product, and so on.
To determine which tool is right for your business, start by identifying your advertising goals. From there, you can match those objectives to the strengths of each tool. In general, however, we recommend using a mix of both boosted posts and ads to get the most out of your Facebook advertising efforts.
Below is a quick guide to jumpstart your Facebook Ads strategy.
Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll want to stay away from these common mistakes when it comes to Facebook advertising:
And speaking of best practices, keep the following in mind as you create and manage your Facebook Ads:
Learn how to read and apply analytics data: In order to improve your campaigns, you need to understand how to interpret your analytics data. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell what’s working and what isn’t.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to use Facebook boosted posts or ads comes down to what you want to achieve. And having intuitive yet feature-packed reporting and analytics tools at your disposal is essential to understanding which Facebook ad tool will deliver the most ROI.
If you want to save time on report creation and analysis, we recommend trying out Reporting Ninja. With our Facebook Reporting Services, it only takes a few clicks to extract insights, organize data into beautiful reports, and schedule automatic delivery straight to your (or your client’s) inbox. Those are just some of the features you’re about to enjoy – sign up for a free trial today!
Not sure whether to use Facebook or Instagram to build your brand? Read this guide to get the low down on which social media might be best for you.