Facebook advertising is a large and growing business. Businesses spent more than $9 billion on Facebook ads in the second quarter of 2017 alone, according to Facebook's Q2 earnings report. That's an increase of 47 percent from 2016!
But for small and medium businesses that are just getting started, Facebook advertising can be very confusing. So, before jumping in, you should understand the two major types of advertising on Facebook — news feed ads and boosted posts — to help you determine which is best for meeting your business goals.
Boosted Posts: A Good Place to Start
Boosted Facebook posts are the simplest type of Facebook ad, and if you're a Facebook page admin, you're likely familiar with this ad type, even if you've never used it. Essentially, this ad type takes a post that already exists and allows you to serve it to a specific audience. You can boost posts to your page fans, fans of a specific competitor or even to people in specific locations or demographics.
Facebook gives you the option to boost status updates, photos, videos, and offers directly from your post or you can also select to boost a post from Facebook's Ad Manager, which offers more robust targeting and campaign capabilities.
Though these types of ads are easy to make, there are key differences between boosted posts and news feed ads.
News Feed Ads: Advanced Options for Experienced Marketers
Like boosted posts, Facebook news feed ads allow businesses to run targeted campaigns that appear as posts in Facebook and Instagram news feeds. However, news feed ads are much more customizeable, and allow you to create campaigns around specific goals, such as increased website traffic, app installations or lead generation.
Marketers can accomplish these goals by using advanced targeting tools, specific buttons that encourage users to take action, a variety of creative options and many more capabilities. These types of ads allow page administrators to test different text, images and even offers to see how simple changes affect overall ad effectiveness.
Different Strategies for Different Goals
As you might expect, advertising on Facebook should reflect your business goals. For instance, a boosted post is great for capitalizing on the success of a post that's already doing well among your established audience and bringing it to a larger group. On the other hand, a news feed ad might be better for an experienced marketer looking to test a new video among a new demographic.
Of course, these two ad types aren't mutually exclusive and can be used together for great results. For instance, businesses could run a boosted posted promoting a new product or service they will be offering soon and then when the product is available create a news feed lead generation ad for people to sign up for the new offering.
Though boosted posts are a simple place to start for small budgets, marketers who need more customization for targeting, tracking, and formatting should use the advanced options afforded by news feed ads.
Refer to the below graphic to better understand the key differences between these facebook ad types: