It's been a number of years since organic content was sufficient to reach users who had liked your Facebook page. Like you, Facebook is also interested in making money, and in the vast majority of cases it has become necessary to throw money at your posts if you want to ensure that your followers and other users see them. Facebook offers two paid tools to help you reach beyond your current following: Boost and Advertising. But what's the difference between the two tools? We'll take a closer look in this blog post.
Boost is a feature that spends money to promote an existing listing on your timeline. If you're new to Facebook marketing, the boost feature is a good place to start, as it's clearly the easiest tool to use. This is because it has far fewer customisation features and can be launched without the use of an ad manager, which you will need to create a Facebook ad - but we'll come back to that later.
The only thing you need to decide is:
The function aims to increase the visibility and engagement of the individual post and thus create brand awareness. When you promote a post from your page, it will appear as an ad in the news feed of your followers and potential followers. Facebook will automatically seek to present it to users who may be interested in liking, commenting and sharing your post.
The Boost feature is therefore useful when your primary goal is to increase visibility and engagement on a post. For example, this could be on an important update, news item or special campaign that your company is launching. If your post is relevant, you may be lucky to convert your followers into customers - but conversions are not the primary purpose of boosting.
Increased brand awareness and engagement on your Facebook page sounds like a great payoff. It might even be tempting to boost every single post from your timeline - we don't recommend that, though. Marketing on Facebook is all about striking a fine balance between encouraging engagement and being visible without saturating your followers' news feed and making them tired of you.
Facebook ads are in many ways the better alternative to the boost feature. This tool is far more powerful and specific, and in the vast majority of cases a Facebook ad will therefore outperform a boosted post.
Facebook ads are created in Facebook Ads Manager, which you can find via Facebook Business Manager, where you have more options to customize your ads based on different objectives. For example, you may want to increase traffic to your website, generate more sales in your webshop or get more people to sign up to your newsletter. If you are interested in learning more about Facebook Business Manager and how to create an ad or campaign in it, read our guide to Facebook Business Manager.
As there is a difference between the results of boosting a listing and creating an ad, it is a good idea to set some specific objectives for your advertising before you launch it. Some objectives can be met by using the boost function, while others require the creation of an ad.
Although the boost function is easy to use, it is not always the most relevant. Boosting is mainly relevant when you are looking to create visibility and engagement among users. However, if you are looking to drive conversions, you should use Facebook advertising.
The differences between ads and boosting a listing include:
When you boost a post, you can place your post on Facebook's feed on tablet and desktop as well as on Instagram.
With Facebook Ads, you can choose to place the ad as a page ad in the Facebook feed, as a Messenger ad, on the Instagram feed or stories, and in the Audience Network.
When you boost a listing, your objectives are primarily limited to focusing on clicks to your website, interactions on your page and promotion of your business.
With Facebook advertising, you have access to the full ad system, which allows you to choose between specific objectives. For example, this could be to generate leads and sales or to promote an app.
Control over ad content
Facebook advertising, on the other hand, allows you to customise your ad specifically to your objectives. For example, you can create carousel ads, specific descriptions, or an action button that gets more of your target audience to take an action. These are all features that are not available with the boost feature.
Advanced targeting options
When boosting a listing, you can segment by interest, age and gender.
With advertising, you have access to more advanced audience types based on interests or positions in companies.
The Boost feature has a few nice features, and it's particularly relevant if you want to increase the visibility and interaction of your listing. However, it typically underperforms ads on all other metrics, which doesn't make it the better choice if you want to focus on clicks, ad budget value and ROI. Therefore, if you want to convert your leads into a sale, you should instead spend your time creating relevant and great campaigns in Facebook Ads Manager.
If you don't have the time to get to grips with the more advanced Facebook Business Manager tool, or could just do with a sparring partner in setting up campaigns on Facebook, don't hesitate to contact us. Webamp is an ambitious and data-driven digital marketing agency that specialises in creating online success. We can help with both advertising on Google, Instagram and additional SoMe marketing.
Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.
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