Facebook Advertising vs. Boosted Posts
Updated: Mar 8
On the surface, boosting content on Facebook seems like a pretty straight forward transaction. The more dollars you spend, the more eyes see your message. While that’s certainly true, to get the most value out of your dollar, it’s worth knowing the basic nuances of how boosting content on Facebook works. Truth be told, Facebook’s Advertiser Help Center rarely provides the answers you’re after when it comes to Facebook paid advertising, and true to form, it doesn’t provide a lot of guidance on the differences between boosting posts vs. boosting ads either.
So, in this article we’ll cover the differences between the types of sponsored ads on Facebook — a Facebook boost and a Facebook newsfeed ad—and which we recommend as the best option for your business, depending on your needs.
What are Facebook sponsored posts?
Facebook sponsored posts are promoted posts that receive additional paid reach. Simply put, your business has the option of boosting a post or creating an ad: boosting increases the chances your post will be seen by followers (increasing loyalty), while newsfeed ads target users based on select criteria, external from followers (potential new customers).
Wait, why sponsor ads on Facebook when you can post for free?
The reality is that organic posts don’t go very far in today’s Facebook world. Unless you have a huge network of fans (50,000+), achieving favorable outcomes through organic content in a 1.6 billion user world is futile. Based on Facebook’s current algorithms, organic reach has plummeted over recent years to the point where 50 million businesses are posting 1.5 times per day, reaching an average of 2% of their audience. That is what we call “tough sledding."
Should we be surprised though? As the world’s largest social network, it was simply clockwork until Facebook turned to a pay-to-play model, resulting in paid advertising on the social network giant. But, before you start shouting big corporate obscenities, it’s still our opinion that Facebook provides the best advertising platform on the web or anywhere else in the business world. It just takes a little practice (and patience) to get the hang of it.
Advertising on Facebook requires a solid strategy
Like anything, you will need a strategy when tackling Facebook paid advertising. Depending on what your goals are, our quick advice is to put money on posts that have measurable ROI, like lead capture, promotions, contests, and content meant to capture new customers.
Another fundamental rule is to always promote your own content. Even if it’s great material and related to your business, never pay to send traffic to someone else’s website. Now, with all that said, let’s figure out which Facebook paid advertising delivery method works best…Facebook boosts or Facebook ads.
What are Facebook boosted posts?
Facebook boosted posts are promoted posts that appear higher on newsfeeds, giving a post a higher chance that friends and followers will see it. While boosted posts can be targeted by location, interest, age, and gender, more advanced targeting options are reserved for ads on Facebook. And that’s really the downfall with sponsored posts for your business. While it’s easier to create them, you are limited in refining the post to get the most out of your “boost juice” dollars.
What are Facebook newsfeed ads?
Facebook newsfeed ads are sponsored ads that appear directly in the readers' newsfeed. Newsfeed ads say “sponsored” directly beneath the company’s name on the post so users know that the content could be coming from a source they haven’t “liked” yet.
Newsfeed ads are created in Facebook Ads Manager (or Power Editor). Creating a newsfeed ad on Facebook is more involved than boosting posts, but are often more effective. What can we say? More work often leads to more reward.
With newsfeed ads, you can set a specific objective for your ad that directly aligns with your business goals. You can choose from 12 objectives in three different categories: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
Notice how these three categories represent different areas of the sales and marketing funnel:
Awareness: for boosting posts, promoting a Facebook page, targeting people near the business’ location, and increasing brand awareness.
Consideration: for sending people to a website, getting app installs, increasing event attendance, getting views on videos, and collecting business leads.
Conversion: for increasing website conversions, engaging with an app, or claiming an offer.
Facebook paid advertising showdown: who is the winner?
So, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that Facebook newsfeed ads have a lot more power behind them and are more geared toward ROI than boosted posts—especially seeing how there’s no price difference between the two formats.
Boosted posts do have a place—if your business is looking for a quick and convenient way to create awareness and drive profile traffic, then we say go for it, especially if you want to hit existing fans/customers. It takes all of five minutes to start raking in thousands of impressions for as little as $5.
If you are looking to achieve tangible marketing results, like capturing leads and driving revenue, our money is on newsfeed ads. If you want to really capture leads through Facebook paid advertising, however, look into using Facebook lead ads.
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