For quite some time, businesses have seen a dramatic decline in reach for organic posts on their Facebook page. In fact, within the past year, organic reach has dropped from about 49% down to 6%. This major decline has ultimately pushed marketers to allocate more of their budget towards other avenues: Facebook advertising and boosting posts.
There are two different ways marketers can advertise their company on Facebook: Boosting a post and creating advertisements. Deciphering between the two can be tricky, and understanding when it’s most advantageous to use each option is extremely important.
With this marketing activity on the rise, businesses are hoping to stay on top of competitors by widening their reach and brand awareness in the social media world. So what is the difference between a Facebook ad and a boosted post? When is it appropriate to use them? What things should you consider when building a successful campaign? Let's start with boosted posts.
Boosting a post is easy to do and available for any post on your page’s timeline. When you click “Boost Post” in the lower right corner of the post, you are prompted to choose between either pushing the post towards “People who like your page”, “People who like your page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting”. From there, you are able to set your budget and time duration of the campaign, and add in other filtering layers such as geographical area, demographic information, and 4-10 personal interests relating to the audience. Once the “Boost” button is active, the post will be shown with a “sponsored” message to the target audience selected.
Creating a Successful Boosted Post
Boosting a post serves one main purpose; to get more people to see specific content you are posting in hopes of increased engagement (comment, like, share). From there, the boosted post can show up on other friends’ feeds of the person who interacted with your post.
Targeting People Who Like Your Page and Friends
If you are planning on targeting your audience and their friends, it is important to understand what content is most interesting to them. Hint? Take a look at your Facebook page insights. Here you can gain a pretty clear picture of what types of posts your followers tend to engage with most and what information is most useful to them.
Targeting People You Choose Through Filtering
Thinking of boosting the post to an audience that does not currently follow your page? Due to a lack of information to gauge what kind of posts this audience would respond to, it may be a bit of a guessing game at first. Keeping in mind the targeted interests, demographics, and geographical location you have chosen, at the very least the post needs to be relevant and interesting to the audience, prompting them to read further.
Promoting your business Page or creating an ad is very similar to boosting a post, except that instead of pushing out an organic post from your page, ads are more customizable in their own design and call to action. A few examples of ads include local awareness, event response, offer claim, slideshow, and mobile app ads. Like a boosted post, marketers can set the budget and time duration of the campaign, as well as select the geographical area, demographics, and personal interests of the targeted audience. Once the ad is published, like a boosted post, there will be a “sponsored” message at the top of the ad.
When boosting an organic post, marketers have the option to display the post on the desktop or mobile feed. Facebook advertisements on the other hand can be placed on the desktop news feed, mobile news feed, or the right column.
The Right Column Ad
Being the first form of advertising Facebook ever had, these ads appear on the right side of a user’s News Feed. Although News Feed ads are more likely to receive higher engagement metrics due to their more prominent features, right column ads shouldn’t be overlooked. Facebook recently made some major changes reducing the number of slots from 7 down to 3, as well as increasing the ad size to similar proportions of News Feed ads. Since these changes took place, CTR (click through rate) has improved, but CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPC (cost per click) will slightly increase. However not as much as News Feed ads.
The News Feed Ad
There are two main types of News Feed ads: desktop and mobile. Desktop ads typically have a higher CTR (click through rate), but CPC (cost per conversion) tends to be more expensive than mobile. On the other hand, CPM (cost per thousand impressions) on mobile is usually more expensive than desktop, however the CPC (cost per click) will often be half that of desktop.
Creating a Successful Advertisement
All ads should capture the attention of your targeted audience through careful targeting and value proposition. No matter what kind of ad it is, it needs to be relevant to your targeted audience, have a value proposition, a strong visual, and a clear call to action.
Which Ad Option is Best?
Should you go with a News feed ad or right column ad? It all really depends on the purpose of your campaign. The right column is a great way to drive users directly to your website, as opposed to fishing for likes, comments or shares. If your goal is to persuade the audience to shop, claim an offer, or visit your website, a desktop News Feed ad would be optimal. For example, shopping on a desktop yields a much better user experience than mobile from a navigation and accessibility standpoint, especially if your website is not mobile responsive. Wanting to drive your audience to like or share your Facebook page? It’s probably best to lean on either mobile or desktop News Feed ads. To optimize News Feed ad spend, it makes sense to split targeting into separate desktop and mobile campaigns, instead of creating one campaign for both devices. By having a mix of ads, you have the ability to analyze the performance levels of each, and see what’s working and what isn’t.
There is a lot that goes into Facebook advertising and it can be tricky to understand what best works for your business. Have and questions? We would love to help!