Jun 30

Effective Facebook Marketing: Newsfeed Ads, Promoted Posts or Boosted Posts?


Facebook has changed a lot over the last ten years or so. Some of the new features, like pages, events or groups, have been great for businesses, allowing them to get to know their audiences and to reach them in new and exciting ways.


Unfortunately, it has also become harder and harder to organically reach and grow your audience on Face. With Facebook’s algorithm choosing which posts are relevant to which followers, many of your page’s posts barely see the light of day.


This is why it’s possible for a page with over 20,000 followers to barely get a post reach of 1,000. And engagement levels are even lower than that. It can be mildly annoying to downright aggravating to have carefully built this following, only to be unable to reach them.


This all seems to be part of Facebook’s plan, however. Sure, you can reach more of your followers, but you’ll have to shell out some cash to make it happen.


When you’ve resigned yourself to paying Facebook, you’ll have three options: creating a Facebook ad, promoting a post or boosting a post. Which one is the most cost effective? Let’s take a look at their differences and the results that you might expect.


The Difference Between Each Method


Let’s get the terminology clarified and out of the way first and foremost.


A newsfeed ad allows you to target potential followers and will appear in their newsfeeds as a “suggested post.” The newsfeed ad won’t appear as a post on your Facebook page. There will be a “like page” button incorporated into the ad as a convenience. It’s a good way to pull in new followers. Newsfeed ads can be created in the Power Editor.


A boosted post originates from a post on your page. By boosting a post, you can have it show up in more followers’ newsfeeds and choose a few variables to target the post as well.


A promoted post also originates from a post on your page, but you can choose more variables to reach a target audience. It will appear in the newsfeeds of followers and friends of followers as a “sponsored post.” A “like page” button will also appear as part of the post when seen by friends of followers.


Which Is Right for You?


Choosing whether to promote or boost a post or to create a newsfeed ad largely depends on who you want to reach. If you want to draw in new followers, a newsfeed ad is the best idea. To increase engagement among existing followers, a boosted post is best. For a sweet spot in the middle of the road that attracts new followers and engages with existing ones, go for a promoted post.


As of May 2016, the distinction between boosted and promoted posts has been blurred by Facebook. You can now choose a wider audience for a boosted post, which makes promoted posts rather redundant. Generally speaking, the more targeted you can make a post, the better your results, especially considering the cost associated with Facebook newsfeed ads or boosted/promoted posts.


You can target people based on their location (as vague as a country or as specific as a zip code), the language they speak, their age and their interests. Interests can be a particularly valuable way to hone in on your target audience. For example, if your products are aimed at people who play sports, you can narrow down your target audience to people who have listed this as an interest on Facebook. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.


Relative Cost of Reaching People Via Each Method


All in all, newsfeed ads are the most expensive option, but based on your goals, it could be the most effective too.


Boosted posts are the cheapest way to reach a lot more people, but just because your post was seen by more people doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed any kind of engagement or interaction.


The best thing to do is to run your own A/B tests in which you run the same content under the same conditions (or as close as possible to the same conditions) as a newsfeed ad, a promoted post and a boosted post. Track stats like the number of people reached, the cost per 1,000 people reached, the click through rate, the cost per click, etc. Run tests on different types of content too, from sales pages to informative content to sweepstakes or giveaways. You might be surprised by the results!
Once you understand how much you can target ads toward people (and potentially hundreds of millions of people at that) thanks to information they’ve willingly shared with Facebook, it becomes clear that Facebook is still a marketer’s goldmine. Yes, the game has changed a little, but if you know how to play it, you can enjoy some great results.


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