We get asked all the time – “Why is making ads better than just boosting posts?” It’s a great question and one that merits a little examination.
If your business is posting on Facebook, you’re getting a regular popup: “This post is performing x% better than similar posts. Would you like to boost it?”
That’s Facebook’s way of getting you into its advertising environment. The thing is, you can get stuck just boosting posts, and miss out on all the benefits of all the things the full suite of Facebook Ads let you do.
Here’s a list of 10 of those benefits …
1. Choosing Objectives. Facebook’s Ads Manager tool allows you to not only pay to get your posts in front of your audience, but also allows you to choose what you want the audience to do. For example, having people click over to your site is great, but what if you just want them to watch a video? Facebook charges much less for ads that keep people inside Facebook, so you come out way ahead when you optimize by objective.
2. Saved Audiences. We all know that Facebook’s audience targeting is great. But if you have to choose your audience time and again for each post, you can waste valuable time going down the targeting rabbit hole. With saved audiences, you can create, edit, duplicate, and change audiences across ads again and again.
3. Time Management. On boosted posts, Facebook does allow you to set a per diem and adjust a daily timeframe. Ads Manager goes a step further, giving you the option of daily or lifetime budgets, setting or removing end dates, and even dayparting ads that only need to run at certain times of day.
4. Budget Control. The budget on boosted posts is added automatically by Facebook as a suggestion when you click the boost button. When you create your ads, however, you get the option of placing an account-wide and/or a campaign-wide budget cap as a safety valve to keep your ads from overspending.
5. Testing Creative. Although Facebook has recently rolled out the option of adding a video to your boosted post, the ads manager contains multiple ways to test image and video creative against each other that simply aren’t available through a boost. Bonus: there’s an integrated, free-to-use stock image gallery inside Facebook Ads Manager.
6. Custom Tracked Audiences. Facebook’s custom audience tools are growing so fast they’re almost impossible to keep up with, and although some custom audience options are now available through boosting posts (pixel integration being the most advanced), making ads in Ads Manager allows you to create “And-Modified” audiences. For example, you can make an audience of people who went to your form fill page and didn’t get to your thank you page, so you can remarket to them using a “conversions” objective.
7. Deeper Reporting. Your business’s bottom line depends on much more than Likes and Comments, so your reports should show you exactly what effect your ads are having on your audience. Although you can create custom reports with boosted posts, you get a clearer picture of everything ads are doing when you create them in the Campaign structure within Ads Manager.
8. Placement Management. Facebook recommends using automatic placements when creating ads, and boosted posts will automatically go to all placements available for that post. But if you’re looking for one placement (say the FB newsfeed) and not another (instagram), you’re out of luck.
9. Beta Programs. Most of the cool tools and features listed above came about through testing within Facebook Ads Manager. There are dozens of tests rolling through Facebook ads every day, and the only way to access them as an advertiser is to use ads instead of boosted posts.
10. Custom Email List Audiences. Maybe the best audience tool Facebook allows businesses to use within Ads Manager is the ability to create custom audiences from emails lists you’ve grown outside of Facebook. Because Facebook is one website, it removes the burden of double opt-in list creation and spam law compliance by simply hashing the data used in your uploaded lists. That way, audiences and advertisers are both protected, while allowing you to connect Facebook ads to your most valuable leads and customers.