The Difference Between a Facebook Boosted Post and a Facebook Ad
I have a series of blog posts planned about questions I am asked nearly every day and have been saving up the content for this new website, but which to publish first?
Well, there’s one that comes up so often it has to be top of the list!
What I am talking about is this little devil that appears on your Facebook Business Page posts:
Oooh, it’s so tempting, so enticing – click the button, throw in a few bucks and magic will happen!
Unskippable Task Alert:
Just for a moment, I’m asking you to think of a song that you will think of whenever you see this button – my favourite is Iron Maidens ‘Run for the Hills’, but you may find MC Hammers ‘Can’t Touch This’ or some other appropriate tune works for you. Think of it and look at the button, look at the button and sing the song in your head.
Done, that? Good, more about that later.
This button is GOOD FOR ONE THING ONLY. This ONE THING is sending money to Facebook. If you are feeling charitable and wish to contribute to the Facebook coffers – go ahead – click that button and send them some money. It really should be relabelled ‘Donate Now’.
Here is a non-digital business marketing problem example to explain why:
Imagine that you have a stall at a music festival market. You sell Vegan cakes and drinks. They are good products but sales are poor – you need to act fast!
You have 1000 leaflets to distribute but you don’t want to leave your stall.
An enterprising person who has noticed all the stall holders need help with their sales, pops up and says ‘hey dude I can hand those flyers out to random people for you. They probably won’t read them, they may or may not be Vegan, they will probably drop them on the floor and make a mess and probably won’t show anyone else but I can do it for £50’. You think: Hmm well that’s better than nobody getting the flyers, the people are at least here, and people will at least SEE my offer and MAY come to me and £50 is pretty cheap to reach so many people. So, you’re really tempted to take up the offer.
A few minutes later another person pops by and says ‘Hey dude, I can help you sell more of this by handing out some of your leaflets. I know a Vegan camp of 2000 people in a field over the fence and most of them are really hungry and thirsty. I can go over there now and hand out your leaflets. It doesn’t matter that there are not enough to go around as they are very likely to share them and tell their friends. As an extra bonus I will tell them exactly where your stall is and bring them to you and if you have two different flyers I can ask them which one they like the most and tell you.’
Wow you think, that’s amazing but it’s going to be expensive right, much easier to go with the random offer.
‘Well, (says the person with all the contacts and moves), I can do that for 500 flyers for the same £50 but for just £15 extra I can do all 1000, plus most of the other stall holders are going with the cheap random offer so I think we’ll make a good return in sales’.
Which offer do you choose?
Is the 500 for £50 likely to make you more sales than the random 1000 for £50?
And that, is the difference between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts.
Essentially Boosted Posts are not ads. They have no strategy and the content is structured differently. A post is not an ad before you boost it so it does not magically turn into one when you click that naughty (donate now) button.
When you choose to create an Ad rather than boosting a post you are going to get a lot more value from your spend. You can properly target your offer, signpost potential clients to get it or find out more. Facebook can help you find the right people – installing a Facebook Pixel on your website will allow Facebook advertising to do some very clever things for you AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. Such smart things as matching previous shoppers and visitors to new potential ones in their database (Lookalike audiences), reminding people who have visited your website about what they were looking at when they are back on Facebook (Remarketing), and randomly showing 2 versions of an ad so you can see which one gets the best response and makes the most money (A/B Testing).
Yes, it takes a little longer to do, and to learn, but a simple ad is not difficult to do. Infact, the simplest ads usually work the best so don’t overthink it.
There is a sea of people and organisations out there who will offer to train you or do your ads for you (most of them running ads on Facebook unsurprisingly) so pick carefully.
My recommendation is to work with someone who is interested in taking the time to understand your business and not some self-appointed guru or over-promising programme. For self-training, Facebooks own Free BluePrint Training for Business resource is available online and a very good place to start. (https://www.facebook.com/business/learn)
I have worked with several clients who were addicted to the boost button and who now understand the value of using Facebook Ads instead. We devised some repeatable, standardised ad formats, ad copy structures, audiences and placements so they can recreate continually fruitful and consistent ads without it taking lots of time, or indeed money.
If you’d like to find out more about doing that for your business, please do contact me. If you would like someone to run your ads for you with a keen eye on return on investment, I engage with some truly trustworthy professionals who won’t just throw your precious marketing budget into a big agency spend spread and will give you the attention your business deserves.
In the meantime – what is this and what song are you singing?
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