Do you want to get maximum bang for your buck when using Facebook as a marketing platform? Then using the Facebook Ad platform is way more effective than simply boosting a post.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the Facebook Ad Platform is one of the most cost-effective advertising channels that small businesses can use. It is also one of the most under-utilised.

The Facebook Ad platform is something that I will use for just about every single one of my clients. Why? Because it can help me achieve so many different marketing objectives.

If my marketing goal is to ensure a video is viewed a certain amount of times, or I need to collect email addresses, or drive traffic to a website, get people to attend an event or to drive sales, the Facebook Ad platform functionality will help me achieve all of these.

There is one main difference between boosting your post and using the Facebook Ad platform. In short, the Ad platform is infinitely more sophisticated in functionality than boosting a post.

The difference between the ad platform and boosting a post

Boosted posts are where you invest some money for more people to see your content. Over the years, Facebook has reduced the ‘organic’ visibility of your business page posts to around 1-2%. This means that if you are not investing in your posts – not many people will see them.

To help counteract that lack of free visibility, Facebook introduced the option for businesses to pay for more. By simply pushing a blue button labelled ‘Boost Post’ you could ensure that your content ‘reached’ more people both within and outside of your community.

However, getting more people to see your content is only a small fraction of what we wish to achieve with your marketing. In order to convince people to know, like and trust you enough to then buy from you, we need to take them on a journey that starts with them seeing you, then gets them to engage with you (usually quite a few times) and then ultimately gets them to buy from you.

The boosted post helps more people get to know you. While the Facebook Ad platform then gets them to like, trust and buy from you. It does this by:

Optimising your campaign functionality to suit your objective

The first thing you will need to do in your Facebook Ad campaign set up is to nominate your objective. Once specified, Facebook will then deliver the ad framework that will ensure this objective is achieved. For example; video views, lead generation, event promotion etc.

Providing sophisticated targeting and remarketing options

This is where the Facebook Ad platform comes into its own. Not only can you choose the basic demographics of your targeted consumer (age, gender and geo location), you can also target them based on interests.

However, the more sophisticated targeting options are the remarketing opportunities. By using the Facebook Ad platform, you can target people who have visited your website. You can even target people who have watched your Facebook videos. You can also upload your email database and target your subscribers with specific campaigns.

Runs intelligent, creative solutions

One of the funkiest new features to be added to the Facebook Ad platform is something called Dynamic Creative. This is where Facebook takes the guesswork out of your campaign. It takes the guesswork out of which headline, image, text and call to action combination are the most effective. You load up your options – it uses intelligence to run all the various combos, then it promotes the best performing combination.

Delivering incredibly detailed measurements

It makes sense that if you set up an ad campaign to achieve a specific objective, then you should be able to measure the success based on the goal. The Facebook Ad platform produces incredibly granular metrics. These metrics help you understand exactly how your ad has performed against its set objective. This insight helps you make good decisions for optimising future campaigns.

If you are looking to gain maximum returns for your Facebook activity, then I highly recommend that you use the Facebook Ad platform to help you to do this.

While boosting your posts will help more people see your content, this alone is not enough to drive real marketing return.

When it comes to driving more traffic to your website, collecting email addresses, getting more video views or driving sales, the Facebook Ad platform is the way to.

This article was originally contributed by Jane Hillsdon to Smallville.com.au.


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