Facebook News Feed Ads vs. Boosted Posts: What’s the Difference?

Facebook News Feed Ads and Boosted Facebook Posts

Have you ever wondered about the difference between boosting a post on Facebook and running a News Feed ad? Is boosting your post the same as a News Feed ad on Facebook? Is a boosted post part of Facebook advertising?

It can be confusing to understand how these types of Facebook ads work, so let us walk through some key differences between Facebook News Feed ads and boosted Facebook posts to help you determine which is best for meeting your marketing goals.

Facebook Ad Formats

First, it’s important to understand that Facebook offers a variety of ad formats and solutions today, from right-rail ads to desktop and mobile News Feed ads. And, there can be a lot of variations to these ad formats and capabilities depending on how you set up each campaign. Now, let’s take a deeper look at Facebook News Feed Ads and what are often called “Boosted” or “Promoted Posts.”

Facebook News Feed Ads

Facebook News Feed ads allow you to run a targeted campaign to meet a specific goal with ads that show up in the desktop and/or mobile News Feed of targeted users, depending on your goals. Goals can include:

  • Page Post Engagement
  • Page Likes
  • Website Clicks
  • Website Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Event Responses
  • Video Views
  • And More

Once you choose your goal, you can begin setting up your campaign, which includes selecting advanced targeting options like age, gender, hobbies, location, and more. After determining your audience, you add your budget, creative (the image or video you want people to see), and messaging. With certain campaign types, you can entice users to take action directly from your ad by including a call to action button. Depending on your goals, there are different call to action buttons to choose from, like Get Directions, Book Now, and more.

Facebook News Feed ads can take on many formats depending on the goal and campaign type, but they have in common the fact that these ads show up in the Facebook News Feed and are identified as sponsored content.

Boosted Facebook Posts

Boosted Facebook posts are a type of Facebook News Feed ad that takes content in the form of a Facebook page post and amplifies it to a specific audience via Facebook’s News Feed advertising platform in order to target or increase visibility and boost post engagement.

Facebook gives you the option to boost status updates, photos, videos, and offers from your business page, so they will appear higher in the News Feed of your target audience, which helps more people see your post until your budget runs out. Boosted posts appear as “Sponsored” posts in the News Feed and can appear on Instagram.

Many Facebook page owners are familiar with this type of advertising because they are often prompted to boost well-performing content by Facebook while they are logged in as a user. You can select to boost a post directly from your page on posts that have the blue “Boost” button, and you can also select to boost a post from Facebook’s Ad Manager, which offers some deeper targeting and campaign capabilities.

Reaching Your Online Marketing Goals

So, which tactic is better for your online marketing?

Boosting a post is a great way to ensure your posts are shown to more users, and it can be used to effectively grow brand awareness and even to drive page likes, since boosted posts also show your page’s like button to users in their News Feed. Boosted posts are optimized to drive more engagement (like likes, comments, and shares) on your content, so if that’s an important part of your Facebook strategy, they can be a great fit. However, boosted posts don’t offer advanced call to action capabilities such as showing a map of your business or getting a user to fill out a form.

So, other types of Facebook News Feed ads are a great option if you have specific goals outside of post engagement that you want your advertising to accomplish.

Other types of Facebook News Feed ads provide specific and customizable calls to action, and campaigns are optimized and tailored to help you reach specific marketing goals.

For many businesses, using a combination of Facebook News Feed ads and boosted posts can be a good way to get the best of both worlds: more visibility and engagement on their Facebook content as well as driving users to take important actions to drive traffic and sales to their website and stores. With Facebook’s robust advertising capabilities, you can harness the power of this popular social media site, and you can even run multiple campaigns simultaneously to help you reach a range of online marketing goals.

If you need help running your Facebook advertising program, ReachLocal can help. Contact us to speak with one of our Blueprint-certified marketing experts, and visit our website to learn more about Facebook advertising from ReachLocal.

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Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Communications & Content Manager at ReachLocal. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys eating pizza and watching too much TV with her husband and her dogs.

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