Facebook Ads vs. Boosted Posts: Which Are Better?

By Dream Local Digital | Aug 03, 2017

As the social media landscape evolves, so too do best practices for reaching your target audience.

Organic reach was once a viable strategy on Facebook, but it has been vastly outperformed by ads and boosted posts in recent years. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of these two forms of advertising, and how and when to use them, are key to making the most of your ad budget.

Facebook Ads

Ads on Facebook appear in a user’s newsfeed amidst posts from their friends and liked pages. While they might not look any different from a regular post, they are identified as an ad by a note that says “Sponsored Content.” Under the surface, however, there’s a world of differences. Facebook ads come with a suite of analytics options to help track engagement, as well as targeting options that let you select who sees your ads based on demographic data.

Another difference from a regular Facebook post is that ads give you far more formatting options, including slideshows, carousel ads, canvas ads and more. Additionally, you can choose different ad formats for specific objectives, such as collecting leads, generating website clicks, or presenting your full product line with a dynamic ad.

Boosted Posts

Less complicated than a Facebook ad, boosted posts are just a normal Facebook post for which you pay to be exposed to a larger audience. There are no tracking features or advanced formatting options; only the standard Facebook post options are available. You can boost any post on your page when you first publish it or at any time thereafter.

Waiting a bit is usually the best practice. After you do an un-boosted post, watch it for a few hours or days to gather preliminary engagement data from your existing audience in the form of likes, shares and comments. High-performing posts that have already proven their engagement value are the ones to consider boosting.

How do you choose between these two forms of Facebook advertising? What advantage does an ad have over a boosted post, and vice-versa? The answer depends on your goals. If you want to see instant results, especially in the form of website clicks, inquiries, purchases, or other definite actions directed at the sales funnel, an ad is the way to go. If you want to build brand awareness, boosting a post is the usual choice.

If your marketing objectives include both brand awareness and sales or lead generation (and whose doesn’t?), the ideal Facebook marketing strategy will include a healthy balance of ads and boosted posts.

Want more insight or advice on social media advertising or a dedicated team of digital marketing specialists to create and manage your ad campaigns? Contact Dream Local Digital today and start improving the ROI on your digital ad spend.

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