When it comes to gaining traction on Facebook it’s easy to feel like you’re not making any progress, even when you’re regularly posting updates. Almost 1.6 billion people log into Facebook each day, according to the platform itself, meaning it can be difficult to make your brand and your message stand out.

To help with this, Facebook offers two different paid-for methods to enhance your presence: boosted posts and Facebook ads. The questions is, what does each method offer and which is best for you?

Facebook Boosted Posts

Let’s start with boosted posts. These look very much like a regular post but if you pay to boost it means that Facebook will share your post higher up in the newsfeed of your existing audience as well as putting it in front of similar users who aren’t yet following you.

With Facebook’s recent move to show more content from friends rather than brands – something it acknowledges has led to a decline in a post’s organic reach – this can be a useful way to avoid being left behind.

Not only that, but boosting a post is a good way to reach a specific wider audience as you can set the parameters to identify your key target market. This can include specifying geographical location, age range, gender and numerous other demographics.

Other advantages of boosted posts are that they are simple to set up, requiring a single click, so if you have a piece of content that’s performing well you can capitalise on this quickly by hitting the ‘boost post’ button. Similarly, if a boosted post isn’t having the effect you’d like, you can cut that run short or choose another post to boost.

All of this will be easy to track thanks to Facebook Insights, which will give you a detailed breakdown of posts.

Boosted posts can also be cost effective, starting from $1 per day. Of course, the more you pay, the wider your reach but you can give Facebook your budget level and target audience to receive a full pricing estimate before you commit. This makes it a good option if you’re just starting out with paid-for social media.

The role of boosted posts should be seen as driving engagement and placing yourself front and centre with your existing audience, whereas Facebook Ads should be used to drive leads to your website with the ultimate aim of converting these in to customers.

Facebook Ads

So, what are Facebook Ads and when should they be used? Facebook Ads appear in users’ newsfeeds or in the right-hand column depending on the device they’re using.

The ultimate aim of Facebook Ads is to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions and therefore revenue. Ads should be seen as part of a wider commercial campaign and they tend to be more effective when you have a specific product or service to promote.

While boosted posts offer you analytics on their performance, Facebook Ads provide you with much more granular control over the ad both in terms of target demographic and content of the ad itself. You can also customise elements such as content, headline and call to action, create different content for different audiences, or even run A-B testing to see how various ads are performing.

If you know exactly who you want to get your ad in front of, Facebook Ads is the way to go.

One key feature of Facebook Ads that’s missing with boosted posts is the ability to retarget. Retargeting brings back website visitors who haven’t converted on their first visit to an online store, through the use of cookies. For example, Facebook dynamic retargeting ads automatically show products people have previously viewed in their timeline, making the ads highly targeted and therefore more effective. You could even offer discounts or other special offers to tempt them to complete the sale or direct them to Facebook Messenger support if they need more information.

It’s this level of targeting and the amount of data that can be generated and analysed that makes Facebook Ads a great tool for marketers, offering clear ROI and control of every aspect of a campaign.

Decision time

Boosted posts can be a great way to dip your toe in the world of paid-for social media content. These quick, cheap and easy boosts will help you remain engaged with your audience, encouraging interactions and helping you share your story and build your authority. Facebook Ads on the other hand should be part of a longer-term strategy designed to drive leads to your website and ultimately increase revenue and conversions.

Both methods have their role to play in a content marketing strategy, and they don’t have to be implemented exclusively. To find out more and to discuss your specific needs, contact us here.


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