Facebook ads Vs. Boosted Posts

How to Choose The Right Facebook Advertising Strategy to Grow Your Leads Fast

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How to Choose The Right Facebook Advertising Strategy to Grow Your Leads Fast

Facebook advertising is powerful. And it works!

Here are some amazing results:

Kayak Pools generated 7,820 leads and $3.1 million in revenue with Facebook ads. SamCart generated $14,114  in revenue after running a Facebook ad campaign.

We have also generated millions of revenue and hundreds of thousands of leads from Facebook ads and boosted posts. You can see more credible success stories here.

If you’re reading this post, you already know that Facebook advertisement is vital for your business. And it makes sense.

After all, more than 2.32 billion people use Facebook every month. Considering that you’re trying to woo other businesses to pay for your service or buy your product, this is one of the best platforms to achieve that.

As a B2B company, the decision makers and business executives you’re trying to reach with your marketing message are on Facebook. How do you convince them that your product or service is the best for their business?

Before you engage in Facebook advertising, you already have a Facebook page where you post content on a regular basis to your followers. But over the years, organic reach for Facebook pages have utterly reduced.

What this means for your business is that you have to pay to reach your ideal customers and clients on Facebook.

Now, how do you spend your money on Facebook? One common cause of confusion is which option to choose between Facebook boosted posts and Facebook ads.

Facebook Boosted Posts

Boosted Posts is a featured on Facebook that allows businesses to push their content in front of targeted users. You do this by first publishing the post on your Facebook page, then boost it on the platform.

Image result for boost post on facebook

To reach your page followers on Facebook, you’ll have to post regular updates on your Facebook page. Through this, you can build a relationship with your followers through interactions on social media or even taking them to your website where you can convert them.

Some common content types you can share on your Facebook page are:

  • Text updates

  • Images

  • Videos

  • Links to a website page

Generally, these types of updates will have an engagement rate of 10% or lower. In simple terms, no matter how great what you post is, only a few of your followers will see it.

To reach more people, Facebook gives you an option to boost your post. Under your Facebook page posts, you’ll always see the “Boost Post” option to ensure more people see your update.

You’ll see various amounts you can spend and the number of people you can reach. Sometimes, it’s necessary to boost some important posts that you think more of your followers and other users should see.

In some other cases, you may have a post with high organic engagement.

If a post has been able to gain a high engagement rate without promotion, it means it could attract even more of your followers.

While boosting your post, Facebook gives you 2 goals to target:

  • Increase brand engagement with likes, comments, and more page likes.

  • Increase website visit through a shared link.

Facebook Ads

To create a Facebook ad, you’ll have to create a Facebook business account. Facebook Ads is a much bigger option than a boosted post. Because it provides many more options for your advertisement.

Apart from having so many options, Facebook Ads allow you to advertise with so many goals to target. As a result of this, Facebook Ads is more complex to set up than boosted posts.

When advertising on Facebook Ads, you can create different content types for your advertisement like:

  • Images

  • Videos

  • Carousel ads

  • Slideshows

Apart from that, you can have different placements for your ads. Some possible placements for your Facebook Ads are:

  • Newsfeed

  • Mobile

  • Instagram feed

There are also many campaign goals you can select when you’re using Facebook ads. Some of these campaign goals are:

  • Engagement

  • Leads

  • App installs

  • Store visit

  • Video views

  • Traffic

To create a Facebook ad, you’ll first have to create a campaign. After doing this, then you’ll create ad groups in your campaign. And the last stage is to create ads in your ad group.

Differences Between Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads

Even though, both boosted posts and ads are technically classified as Facebook advertisements, what are the differences between the two options?

1. Boosted posts are simpler to set up

Because there are a few steps to set up your boosted post, you can set up one in a few minutes. Even for someone who has no experience of Facebook advertising, you can set up boosted posts without assistance.

2. Boosted posts are faster to set up

Due to their simplicity, you can set up your boosted post in a short period of time. Since you have your post on your page already, you’ve done a major bulk of the work.

However, for ads, you’ll have to set up your campaign, ad group, design your ads, and other tasks before you can run your ad. This will take a lot of time and you need to understand the process before you set it up.

You’ll have to get your image or video ready and your ad copy. Simply, setting up an ad requires at least a bit of preparation before you set it up. You’ll go through some tasks before you get on Facebook to set your ad up.

3. Boosted posts targeting options are restricted

For your boosted posts, you can target people who like your page and their friends. Also, you can select an audience based on targeting options. However, there’s a limit to the audience you can target with a boosted post.

With Facebook ads, the targeting options are limitless. And after creating an audience, you can also create a lookalike audience where Facebook will target similar people to your target audience.

4. Boosted posts goals are limited

You can boost your post with 2 main goals in mind and nothing else. For ads, there are many goals you can have as your reason for advertising.

5. You need a business account to set up ads

To be eligible to set up ads on Facebook, you’ll have to set up a business account. For boosted post, anybody can do it so far you have a Facebook account and you run a page.

6. You can run A/B tests with ads

One way of improving conversions is to test various elements of your ads to see the ones your audience are engaging better with. For Facebook ads, you can do this at the ad group level or the campaign level. There’s no option for this with your Boosted post.

7. You can boost the post with as little as $1

If you need to boost your post and you have little money, you can still achieve something substantial. However, you’ll need to spend at least $5 for your ads and $10 in some locations to be able to run it.

8. How to create Facebook Boosted Posts

To boost a post on Facebook, go to your page. As the page admin, you’ll see a “Boost Post” button below your post. Click on this button.

After doing this, you can now define your audience. This could be people who like your page, people who like your page and their friends and people you choose through targeting.

If you’re looking to get more traffic to your website, then targeting an audience could be your best option. Here, you can select the gender, age range, location, and other targeting options. You’ll see your potential reach as you specify your targeting options.

After that, you’ll need to set your budget. You can spend as low as $1 to reach the people you want to reach. For the amount you want to spend, you’ll see an estimated reach.

When you’re through with your budget, you can now specify the duration to run the boosted post. The default choices are a day, 7, or 14 days. You can also run the ad until a specific date.

After this, you can preview your post to ensure that the copy, link, visual elements, and other parts of your post are in order. When you’re sure of this, the next step is to select your payment options.

You can pay through your credit or debit card, PayPal, or online banking details. When you’re through with this, click on “Continue.”

If you’re looking to increase website visit through boosted posts, make sure it’s a link to your website and not to another website. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting money.

After setting up your boosted posts, you can see its performance on your Facebook page. Navigate to your Facebook page and click on “Insights.”

After doing this, select the “Post” option on the left-hand side of your page.

On the next page, you’ll see all your posts and details like reach, engagement, and an option to boost the post if you’ve not done so.

If you hover on the reach, you’ll see the number of organic and paid views. However, if you want more details on a particular post that you boosted, you can click on the post to see more details about the number of likes, comments, and shares.

How to Create Facebook Ads

To create your Facebook ads, go to Facebook Business Manager on Facebook and click on “Ads Manager.”

On the next page, you’ll have to create a campaign and fill in your details. Here, you’ll set up your campaign, your ad set, and your ad.

First of all, enter your campaign name. Then you can select your buying type and campaign objective.

You can see here that Facebook ad provides many objectives for your advertisement compared to the boosted posts. There are various reasons you can use Facebook ads that will be impossible with boosted posts.

For instance, the lead generation objective helps you to generate leads directly from Facebook. More so, you can transfer these leads to customer relationship management (CRM) software where you can process the leads. Let’s say you select the lead generation option, you’ll see the page below:

You can enter your campaign name here and then click on “Create Ad account.” You can also select the “Create Split Test” option if you’re looking to carry out A/B tests on your ads.

When you’re through with this step, enter other pieces of information like your ad set and your ad name. After doing this, click on “Save to Draft.”

If you’re advertising on a budget, you may need to set a limit to ensure that you don’t spend beyond your budget for a particular campaign. To do this, click on “Set a Limit” in front of Campaign Spending Limit.

Another option you have is to switch on budget optimization. When you switch it on, Facebook will look for your best performing ads and direct more of your funds to those ads.

It’s important to note though that you can’t switch budget optimization off once you switch it on. After this, you can now set up your ad set.

Click on “Ad set” at the right sidebar to begin. You can select the Facebook page you want to use for your advertisements here. After that, set a daily or lifetime budget depending on how you want to advertise.

Then, you can set a schedule for the length of time your ad will run. For instance, if you want to advertise a promotion, you can set your ad to run during the period of this promotion.

If you already have an audience you want to target, you can enter in the “Include” box. You can also exclude an audience you don’t want to see your ad.

For instance, if you’re trying to sell your B2B product, there’s no point showing your ad to people who are already customers. If you have no audience, you can create a new custom audience or lookalike audience.

After this, you can enter the location, age, gender, and language you want to target.

If your product is only applicable to businesses in a particular location, then you should only target business decision makers in that place.

Age can also be an important factor. What is the age range for an executive that will make the decision to buy your product?

For B2B brand, you may need to target your product’s potential users too with another campaign. Because these are the people who can convince the decision makers.

Gender is also an important factor. For some businesses, any of the genders could be an executive.

In other businesses, it could be predominantly male or female. You need to carry out your research and pick the right options.

You can enter other details that define your audience. As you define your audience, you’ll see the estimated reach and leads you can capture.

Below that, you can set up detailed targeting for your ad. This is where you can be specific with the people you want to target.

For instance, if you’re targeting decision makers of other businesses, then you need to use their demographics, interests, or behaviors to target them. People’s interests on Facebook could tell you about what they can spend their money on.

For example, someone who has an interest in social media marketing will be more likely to consider your social media management software for their business.

Likewise, their behaviors could give you an insight into what they’re likely to buy. Have they exhibited some behaviors in the past or taken an action?

When you’re through with targeting, you can now click on “Save this audience.” The next step is to select your placements. You can either select “Automatic placements” or “Edit placements.”

If you select automatic placements, Facebook will display your ads where it will perform best. However, if you’ve noticed better performance at some specific locations, you can edit placements to show your ads in those locations.

When you’re through with that, you can set your optimization and delivery options.

For your bid strategy, you can go for either the lowest cost or target cost option. If you selected the lowest cost option, you’ll also have to select a bid cap to set a limit to the amount you can spend.

After this, you can select your method of delivery. This could be either standard or accelerated delivery.

If you want your budget to be spread out throughout your schedule, then a standard delivery will do that. However, if you want your results in a short period of time, you can use accelerated delivery which would spend your budget quickly.

After this, you can now move on to create your ad. To do this, click “Ad” at the right sidebar.

The next step is to select the format you want your ad to be. You can select any of the 4 options which are:

  • Carousel

  • Single Image

  • Single Video

  • Slideshow

It’s vital that whatever media you’re using, whether an image or video, it should have a professional touch as you’re trying to attract businesses.

Your image or video is what will attract them to click your ad. If it looks poor, they might just scroll past your ad.

After that, you can add text, headline, and other details to your ad. You’ll see a preview of how your ad will look like based on the details you’ve entered.

Since you’re creating a lead ad, you’ll have to create a lead form.

On the next page, select “New Form” and click on “Next.”

For your form type, you’ll pick between “More Volume” and “Higher Intent.” The difference between the 2 is that picking the higher intent option will show a review where your potential leads can confirm their details before they submit.

As a B2B company, you should go for higher intent as you can capture better quality leads this way.

When you select the “Higher Intent” option, a review screen will be added to your setup.

After selecting your form type, you can write your introduction. This is optional and you can switch it off if you wish.

In the next step, you can select the information you want to ask for ranging from their name to job title. As a B2B company, you need to ask for information that relates to their work.

If you need a piece of information that’s absent among Facebook’s options, you can add a custom question. Your form preview will review these changes as you make them.

Another feature you can add to your ad in the context card. This shows more details about your offer to convince a user to drop their information.

You can skip this step if you don’t need the context card. You’ll also have to add a text and URL that leads to your privacy policy page. This is compulsory before you can display your ads.

After doing this, you can configure your thank you screen. After a Facebook user submits their details, they’ll see this page. You can also add your website link through which leads can visit your website.

After setting up these details, click on the finish button to complete your setup.

After this, check all the information in your setup for accuracy. If it looks good, you can now click on the “Publish” button to make your ad live.

This is an example of creating a Facebook lead ad. If you select another campaign objective, you’ll go through a similar process even though there’ll be some differences.

Facebook Ads Examples

Most businesses today advertise on Facebook. And you’ll find so many excellent examples that you can study and use to inform your own ad strategy.

Let’s look at some excellent Facebook ads examples by B2B businesses.

Facebook Blueprint

A piece of evidence that Facebook has total confidence in their service is that they also use it. Look at this ad shown below:

This ad advertises a webinar where businesses can learn how to use their ads to gain more shoppers and consequently, revenue. When you click on the call to action button “Sign up,” you’ll see the page shown below:

You’ll see that the details required here apart from the name are work email, company name, and job title. These details required alone has shown that its a B2B ad. As a B2B company, the details you need from your leads might be different from what a B2C company needs.

When you fill in your details and click on “Submit,” you’ll see the thank you page. On the thank you page, there are 2 options to either close or view the website.

With this ad, apart from gaining leads, you can also gain more visitors to your website. If you click on the “View Website” button, you’ll land on the Facebook Blueprint website.

Here, you’ll find more details about the webinars.

1. Microsoft Dynamics

To capture leads on Facebook, you might need to use a lead magnet. And that’s exactly what Microsoft Dynamics has done. In this ad, they’re using a free eBook to attract human relations managers.

Of course, every company want their employees to be more engaged and will look for ways to achieve that. More so, the cost of disengaged employees will make any executive pay attention.

2. HubSpot

This is a popular company that offers customer relationship management (CRM) software. Look at its ad creative shown below:

Although for some companies, offering a free service might make people skeptical. They might doubt the quality of the service.

But coming from a popular company that has served many people in the past? This is an offer that many business owners will pay attention to.

Facebook Boosted Posts Examples

Although boosted posts are not as popular as ads, you’ll still find examples from B2B businesses. Let’s look at some of these examples below:

1. Marketo

Businesses use Marketo as a customer relationship management solution. In this boosted post, Marketo is increasing exposure for its lead generation guide.

Apart from increasing the post engagement, people who see this post can click-through to Marketo’s website through the link in the post. On the website, they can be converted to leads.

2. AdEspresso

This is another example where the social media company boosts a post that contains a link to an eBook.

Through this boost, more people will see the post. Those interested in the offer will click-through to the website where they can download the guide and become leads.

These 2 examples show that going for brand awareness may not be enough. Even for boosted posts. You should promote posts that can take people to your website where you can convert them to leads.

Factors to Consider Before Making a choice

To determine whether you’ll go for the boosted post or ad option, you need to consider some of these factors:

i). Budget

If you have a large budget for Facebook advertisement, then it’s better to go for ads as you’ll be able to use the detailed options that Facebook provides.

However, if you’re on a low budget or just want to test possible results you can get, you can use the boost post option with a little amount of money.

ii). Goal

What are you trying to achieve with your Facebook advertisement? For boosted posts, the possible goals are straightforward.

You can increase engagement on your Facebook page or gain more traffic to your website.

If you want more likes and comments on your Facebook page, or simply want your page fans to see the important message you’re trying to pass across, boosted post is enough to achieve that.

However, if you have goals like increasing the number of your app installs or capture leads or get more visitors to your sales page, running ads is your best bet.

It provides you all the targeting option and tools you need to pursue bigger and more complex targets.

iii). Ease

In some cases, ease might be one of your main considerations in selecting an option. For instance, if you’re in charge of all the marketing tasks in your company, you’ll have a lot on your plate.

You need to consider marketing on many platforms. Facebook boosted posts gives you the opportunity to carry out advertising in a short period of time.

If you don’t mind a platform that’s a more complex, Facebook ads will be the better option.

Facebook Advertisement Strategy

For every business, there should be a marketing and advertising strategy. The truth is that trying to use all the marketing platforms out there will only waste your money and lead to little returns.

For businesses with effective marketing, they focus on a few marketing platforms that can get them the best results possible.

The marketing platforms you go for will be largely determined by where your potential customers go to. When you identify these platforms, you can focus on them to reach your potential customers.

If you focus on other marketing platforms rather than Facebook, then you may decide to use boosted posts just to create brand awareness on Facebook.

However, if Facebook is one of your major marketing platforms, then you should invest your time and money to have the best chance possible to gain more customers from Facebook.

Which One is Right for Your B2B Business?

After all these analyses, you may still be asking: which one should I focus on? Well, it’s not an either-or situation. Based on their characteristics stated above, you can pick any of the 2 that suits your business.

Likewise, you can use both and track their performances. The key is to find the channel that works for your business and audience. Any of these 2 may be right for your business depending on your situation and needs.

To find an answer to this question, AdEspresso ran an experiment by spending $300 each on advertising through boosted post and ads. This is for the same offer but with little differences based on how the two works.

After the experiment, they found that the ad had a better click-through rate, cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand impressions, and cost per lead. However, the boosted post had a higher conversion rate.

This doesn’t mean that this result will be consistent every time. You can try both and see what works for your business.

Conclusion

If you’re marketing your business on social media, then Facebook is a platform that should be in your strategy. Because it has so many users that you’ll always find your audience on this platform.

We’ve gone through the features of boosted post and ads. And the choice depends on your needs and preferences.

Do you need an easy and fast option to increase your page’s popularity? Then boosted posts will serve you well.

Do you need to attain more complex goals and need more detailed targeting? Then Facebook ads are your best option.

All in all, use both Facebook ads and Boosted posts to drive engagement to your content, attract leads to your business, and increase your revenue.


Written By Solomon Thimothy

Solomon Thimothy is co-founder of OneIMS. He began his career in marketing over ten years ago with a focus on helping businesses grow their online presence and thrive in a digital world. Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/sthimothy