One of the most frequently asked questions we receive as a marketing consultancy to small regionally based businesses is “Should I be boosting posts or using Facebook ads?”.

Our answer? Both! In ideal world, small regionally based businesses should use a mix of Facebook ads and boosted posts, depending on what their marketing objectives are.

Before deciding which Facebook Ad functionality to use though, it’s important to determine what it is you are trying to do with your content? What are your objectives?

Below, we outline the difference between the two advertising functions, when you should use them and how much you should spend.

What is the difference?

In simple terms, boosted posts can be purchased in the newsfeed and are simple to set up. The Facebook Advertising platform provides you with more advanced features and functionality and can only be accessed via the Ads Manager platform.

When you invest in a boosted post, you essentially buy more eyeballs sighting your post. They are therefore a great way to increase awareness of your Instagram or Facebook newsfeed or story content. In fact, we would even go as far to say that unless you are boosting a good portion of your Facebook newsfeed content, your organic newsfeed content will not be seen by enough people.

The Ads Manager helps you achieve other goals including, increasing video views, driving traffic to your website, collecting email addresses or driving sales.

The Ads Manager also allows you to set up customised audiences based on traffic to your website, people who view your Facebook and Instagram video content as well as people who are on your email database. This is called re-marketing. It involves adding a Facebook pixel (a small bit of code) into your website headers and this can all be arranged in the Ads Manager.

What will boosting a post do?

The reality is these days, is that organic reach is pretty abysmal for business Pages without boosting your content. If you are investing time and energy into your newsfeed or story content, you’ve also got to invest some dollars to ensure the right number of people view your content. This is measured by ‘reach’ in Facebook and Instagram.

It is important to note at this point, however, that boosting will buy you reach. It will not buy you engagement. Good content ensures engagement. If your content is not right for the people you are showing it to, your boosting will not be as effective as it could be.

We recommend that you boost a good majority of your content, particularly posts that help you achieve your marketing objectives. For example:

  • posts that outline the benefits that your product & service offers
  • posts that provide thought leadership
  • posts that help differentiate your brand
  • important updates

It’s not as important to boost quotes, memes, and aesthetic photos that aren’t directly related to achieving your marketing goals.

What will Facebook Ads do?

Facebook Ads use a sophisticated system that allows you to really customise your marketing objectives and target your audience with greater specificity.

You can run tests on the effectiveness of different ads, drive leads to collect email addresses or drive website clicks, drive app downloads and much more.

Facebook & Instagram Ad campaigns are great for specific marketing campaigns with larger budgets. For example, your business has just launched a new product. You want to drive a specific audience to click thru to your website and also test the effectiveness of two different images that you have chosen to promote the product.

How much should you be spending on Boosted posts?

One of the reasons why the Facebook advertising platform is so great is that you can optimise your ads to any budget large or small. If you are a small business that is trying to grow your community on Facebook or Instagram, we recommend spending between $20 – $50 per week on boosted posts. This can be distributed by $10 per post, or $25-30 on 2 posts.

If you are on a smaller budget, choose the post you believe will get the greatest engagement or that is most important to your business. For example, you would boost a promotion over a frivolous Friday afternoon meme post.

If you have a larger budget, you should split this between boosting content and Ads Manager so you have greater control over who you are targeting and what you’d like them to do.

When it comes to spending levels on the Facebook Ads platform, the sky is the limit. As each small business will have its own unique marketing goal objectives, the spend level will vary.

We often run singular campaigns driving people to our website for $100 each.

Some businesses will spend $10,000 or more per month. It completely depends on this business.

Go boost a post!

If you are new to Facebook ads, the easiest place to start is by boosting one of your posts or stories for $10. It will show pretty quickly the effectiveness of Facebook advertising. Just ensure you define your target audience properly.

If you want to use the Facebook Ads platform to drive specific leads for a specific campaign, you can engage with a marketing consultant to set it up with you in line with your marketing objectives.

Dragonfly Marketing is an award-winning marketing agency for small regional businesses. If you need help with defining your audience or Facebook ads, contact us. You can also sign up to our newsletter for regular marketing tips.


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