Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts

Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts


When asking a business if they utilize Facebook advertising, majority will say yes. Unfortunately, most of them have only utilized the Facebook boost option, which pales in comparison to Facebooks Ads within the ad manager. Because of how extensive the ad manager within Facebook can be, many businesses choose to simply boost their posts without knowing the full capability that Facebook ads present to their business because of the convenience. Which brings up the question, what is the difference between Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts when it comes to advertising your business on Facebook?

What is a Boosted Post?


A boosted post is an organic post that is already on your timeline, that you decide to “boost”, to reach and attain more people and engagement on your post. As you can see below, it is conveniently located in the bottom right hand corner of your post so that you can advertise at a click of a button on Facebook.

Boosted Post Example Facebook

The objective of a boosted post is to maximize the visibility of that particular post so that users can take certain actions such as liking, sharing, and commenting on that particular boosted post. Due to a recent update, you can now utilize the “website visit” objective to show your boosted post to an audience that is more likely to visit your website. In order to utilize this objective, your post needs to contain a link.

Boosted Post Targeting Facebook Ads

Along with the two options of objective targeting, you can also choose from an audience based off of their association to your page, interests, and location. The other customization options at your disposal with boosted posts are scaling the budget and deciding your placement on whether you want your post in Facebook messenger or Instagram.

(Insert full targeting for boosted post)

What are Facebook Ads?


Facebook ads are a more extensive and advanced way to advertise on Facebook and will require you to set-up a Business Manager account. As we will later discuss in further detail, Facebook ads offer a greater number of options for businesses advertising on Facebook than boosted posts. These options include: multiple objectives, ability to use custom audiences, add call to actions to your posts, additional targeting and placement options, as well as comprehensive reporting. These added advantages not only help you narrow your audience down to your ideal customer, present your business in a manner that resonates with your customers, but also determine the ROI of your ad campaigns.

Here are the 8 reasons why you should choose Facebooks ads over boosted posts:


1. Facebook Ads Offer More Objectives than Boosted Posts


Within the Facebook ads manager, there are 11 objectives that you can choose from opposed to the 2 objectives that the boost post option provides you.

Facebook Ad Objectives vs Boosted Post Objectives-min

The reason why you want to have more objectives at your disposal when advertising on Facebook is because you are defining what actions you want audiences to take when they see your ad. You can also follow your buyer’s journey directly, to better optimize your campaigns towards your audience’s specific needs. By choosing certain objectives you are spending your advertising dollars more efficiently at an audience that is likely to convert into a lead or an eventual sale.

Here are the 11 Facebook ad objectives and what they cater to:

Brand Awareness – Increases the of awareness of your brand by reaching more people who are more likely to be interested in your brand and pay attention to your ads.

Reach – Show your ad to the maximum amount of people as possible.

Traffic – Optimize your ads to lead your potential customers to a destination on or off Facebook such as your website, messenger conversion, or app.

Engagement – Can get mistaken for the boost post option. This objective gets more people to engage with your page or your post. The reason why this objective is more impactful than the regular boosted post is because you can target more engagement to not only specific posts but also events, offers, and page likes.

App Install – Get more people to download your app by sending them to the app store where they can download your app.

Video Views – Promote your videos to get more people to view your video content such as product launches, brand stories, and behind the scenes footage.

Lead Generation – Drive and capture more lead information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers from people interested in your business.

Messages – Entice people to send you messages or have conversations with your business on messenger to answer questions and offer customer support.

Conversion – Have more people take valuable actions on your website, app, or messenger such as adding payment info or making a purchase. You can also add a Facebook pixel to track these actions.

Catalog Sales – Create tailored ads that show items from your catalog or e-commerce store based on your targeted audience.

Store Visits – Promote multi-location brick and mortar businesses that drive more traffic to your locations.


2. You Can Create and Target Custom Audiences with Facebook Ads


With Facebook Ads, you have more customization when it comes to creating and nurturing your audiences. As you can see below, you have three options when creating audiences on Facebook’s ad manager: create a custom audience, look-alike audience, and saved audience.

Audiences Facebook Ads

Custom Audience – With the “create a custom audience” option you have the ability to create an audience with people who have already shown an interest in your business based off of five options which include: uploading a customer file, your website traffic, app and off-line activity, as well as engagement. This allows your business the ability to re-target a warm audience and cultivate cold audiences to create an audience that has a higher probability to convert into a sale.

Create a Custom Audience Facebook Ads

Look-Alike Audience – This option allows you to reach new people that resemble audiences that you care about and are interested in your business. You can create look-alike audiences based off of who likes your page, conversion pixels, or custom audiences you already created. The look-alike audience feature allows your business the ability to target your advertising efforts to a different audience that shares the same characteristics as your current audiences while also eliminating ad fatigue so that you can increase the scope of your marketing influence.

Create a Look A Like Audience Facebook Ads


Saved Audience – Saved audiences allows you to save frequently used targeting options which allows for autonomy and makes creating future campaigns faster and easier.


3. You Have More Placement Options and Customization with Facebook Ads


Facebook Ads allow you to have numerous choices when it comes to the placement of your ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Unfortunately, when using the Boosted Post option, you do not have the ability to customize where your ads are placed on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger as seen below:

Boosted Post Placement Options:

Boosted Post Placements


Facebook Ad Placement Options: 

Facebook Ad Placements



By having complete customization of where your Facebook Ads are placed, you are giving yourself the ability to only serve your ads where they are most effective. For example, if you were running a conversion campaign ad on Facebook, you would want to exclude the “Audience Network” placement. The reason being is the “Audience Network” placement is on mobile apps and websites off of Facebook. When serving your ads on mobile apps and off-line websites, you may have a high volume of clicks but those rarely convert. Facebook doesn’t care about your conversions they care about where your ad is “performing” the best.

As you can see below, the “Audience Network” took most of the ad budget and ONLY $3.18 was spent on Facebook Placement out of $102.77. That’s why choosing your placement is imperative!

Facebook Automatic Placements

Source: https://www.andreavahl.com/facebook-advertising/facebook-ads-choosing-the-right-placement.php


4. Boosted Posts Have Limited Creative Options While Facebook Ads Have More


In order for your Facebook Ads to stand out and entice users to take action, your creative has to catch their attention. Unfortunately, with the Boost Post option you are only relegated to single image and video ads. Facebook Ads not only allow you to use single image and videos ads, but they also allow you to use an additional three types of formats, depending on the objective you choose. For example, if you were using the conversion objective you can choose the carousel, slideshow, and collection format for your ad creative, in addition to the single image and video ad format as seen below.

Facebook Ad Formats

Here are the descriptions of the Carousel, Slide-show, and Collection ad formats:


Carousel Ads – This format allows you to show up to 10 videos or images within one single ad. Each video or image within that ad can have their own link. With more creative capability, you are able to easily showcase new products, services, or promotions and even go into detail about one particular product, service, or promotion. See examples of carousel ads here on Facebook.


Slide Show Ads – What makes this format so effective is that you can create video-like ads that are simple to create without investing a lot of resources. You can either create slide show ads with an existing video or even stock images. The slide show format can be displayed on both mobile and desktop and loads exceptionally well on both. You can get the power of video without even having to have a video. To view examples of slide show ads visit here on Facebook.


Collection Ads – The collection format allows you to show multiple products within a single ad in an engrossing and visual way for mobile. You would use this format if you wanted to encourage people to shop on your site. This ad is formatted in a way where you have one “Hero Image” or video and four products below that video or image. When users click on that ad they are taken into a visually appealing instant experience formerly known as a Canvas ad, where they can scroll to view your products, watch your video, and click on the link you have provided to visit your website. To see examples of a collection ad visit here on Facebook.


5. You Can Add Call to Actions on Your Facebook Ads


Adding a Call to action on your ads serves as the transition in the buyer’s journey. It makes it easier for your potential customers to take the next action or step. Nothing is worse than having a potential customer confused or disappointed because they don’t know the next step or action to take. Because of this, not having a call to action on your ads will kill your conversions. So why choose the Boosted Post option when you can utilize Facebook Ads because of the ability to add a call to action? As you can see below there are various call to actions you can add to your ads, 16 to be exact.

Call to Actions Facebook Ads

When you couple your ad with the correct objective and add a call to action, you are increasing your chances of converting and increasing the ROI your Facebook Ad may bring you.


6. You Have Endless Testing Capabilities with Facebook Ads


Marketing is a game of trial and error. That is why it is important to have the capability to be able to test what is working in your marketing efforts and what isn’t working. With Facebook Ads you have the ability to create different ad sets and also A/B split those ad sets so that you know who and where to maximize your Facebook advertising dollars to.

Facebook Ads Allow You to Split Test:

  • Audiences
  • Creative
  • Placements
  • Delivery Optimization Strategies



Split Testing Options Facebook Ads


By having these split testing options available to you the possibility of continuously losing money with your marketing efforts on Facebook is lowered. For example, if I were split testing my audiences, I could test two different sets of locations and targeting options to see which audiences I need to invest my advertising dollars into.


Split Test Audience Facebook Ads


The “boost” post option doesn’t allow the same testing capability as your post is already on your timeline organically. So if you “boost” your post but your creative, audiences, placements, and delivery strategies were off, you just wasted money on that particular post with nothing to gain from it.


 7. You Can Control Your Budget and Schedule When They are Most Optimal with Facebook Ads


If you are using boosted posts, you have two options when it comes to your budget and schedule; you can set your life time budget and the duration of days.

With Facebook Ads you can set a lifetime and daily budget as well as scheduling your ads on a particular schedule.

For example, if was running Facebook Ads for restaurants and was running a lunch offer, I might want to schedule my ads to only show during the mornings and lunch time or in other words between 7am and 10am. The reason being, most people would be aware of that offering in the morning and redeem it during their lunch time.

Facebook Ad Scheduling


If I set a daily budget I do not have to set a duration for the period of time I would like to run the ad. This is optimal because once an ad no longer performs like I want it to, I can stop the ad. Plus Facebook will optimize how I spend that daily budget according to how well an ad is performing. If I have a daily ad budget of $20.00 some days I may spend $25.00 and others I may spend less, but it will all equal out to $20.00 per day over a given period of time.

Facebook Ad daily budget


Having control of your budget and schedule allows you to maximize your advertising dollars so that you can get the biggest ROI on your ads.


8. Language Targeting is Available with Facebook Ads unlike Boosted Posts


With Facebook Ads you can target certain audiences based off of their language.

If you are an international brand such as McDonalds, you may want to target your Facebook Ads to people all over the world. In order to do so, they would have to understand the details of your ad. As you can see below, not only do you see Facebook Ads for McDonalds in English, but they also cater their ads to countries whose primary language is Arabic as well.

McDonalds Facebook Ad


Should I Ever Use Boosted Posts?


The easy answer to this question would be an emphatic NO. But if you are desperate and are intimidated by Facebook Ads, boosted posts work fairly well whenever you need a quick boost to promote an event or make an announcement to fans. Unfortunately, the majority of people who will see your boosted post are going to be people who already like your page. The reason for this is that with Facebook’s algorithm your posts only have a reach of %2 to your organic fans. That means when you boost a post, you are likely increasing the reach that you will have with your organic fans, instead of creating new ones who haven’t liked your page yet. If you need a quick reference on the features of each option, please take a look below.


Facebook Ads Vs Boosted Posts

Final Thoughts


Boosted posts create vanity metrics, as they only increase the engagement of a post. In the end will likes, shares, and comments lead into sales and conversions? Probably not, which is why you want to utilize Facebook Ads so that you have a calculated objective every time post an ad for the Facebook world to see.


If Facebook Ads seem too daunting for you to run or your digital marketing needs a boost, instead of your posts, you can contact Better Bistro Media, as we are a premiere Georgia SEO Agency. We have worked with the likes of plumbers, roofers, and restaurants just to name a few niches, and have increased the presence of many businesses online.

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