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Understanding the Difference: Boosted Posts vs Facebook (Meta) Ads

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Identifying Your Advertising Goals

Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or other Meta platforms, pinpointing your advertising objectives is crucial. Depending on what you aim to achieve, you might find boosting a post sufficient, or you might need the advanced features of Meta ads.

What Exactly is a Boosted Post?

A boosted post is essentially a Facebook, Messenger, or Instagram page post that you invest money in to expand its reach. It’s the easiest method to get more eyes on your content. Unlike Meta ads, boosted posts are not crafted in the Meta Ads Manager and lack many customisation options.

When boosting a post, you’ll decide on three key aspects:

  1. Your Audience: Whom do you want to engage with?
  2. Your Budget: How much are you willing to spend?
  3. Ad Duration: How long should your ad run?

Keep in mind, even though they’re simpler, boosted posts are still ads since they’re paid promotions.

What About Meta Ads?

Meta ads are the next step up. Created through Meta Ads Manager, they offer extensive customisation options. Whether your goal is app installs, video views, or direct sales, Meta ads can be optimised for a wide array of objectives. They can be placed not just on Facebook and Instagram, but also on Messenger and the Meta Audience Network.

Capabilities of Meta Ads:

  • Diverse Ad Placements: Choose from a variety of placements like Messenger ads, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Feed side ads.
  • Specific Ad Objectives: Tailor your campaign to specific goals like lead generation, app promotion, or direct sales.
  • Creative Freedom: Create carousel ads, add detailed descriptions, and include call-to-action buttons for better engagement.
  • Advanced Targeting: Utilise tools for creating overlapping audiences, lookalike audiences, and more.

When to Use Meta Ads vs Boosted Posts

Choosing between a boosted post and a Meta ad depends on your objectives. If your goal is to increase page engagement or brand awareness, boosting a post is effective for visibility. For more intricate campaigns and ad types, turn to Ads Manager.

Feature/AspectBoosted PostsMeta Ads
Creation ProcessCreated directly from a post on your Page timeline.Created through the Meta Ads Manager.
Targeting OptionsBasic targeting options like age, gender, and interests.Advanced targeting options including detailed demographics, behaviors, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.
CustomisationLimited customisation options.Extensive customisation options including ad formats, placements, and objectives.
Ad PlacementsRestricted to Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram feeds.Wider range of placements including Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram Stories, Facebook Instant Articles, and the Meta Audience Network.
Ad ObjectivesTypically focused on engagement, like page likes, comments, and shares, or brand awareness.Broad range of objectives including leads, sales, app installs, website conversions, and more.
Budget ControlSet a total budget for the duration of the boost.More flexible budgeting options, including daily or lifetime budgets.
Analytical InsightsBasic insights like reach, likes, and shares.Detailed performance analytics and the ability to track conversions.
Ideal Use CasesBest for increasing visibility and engagement on specific posts, and for straightforward campaigns.Suitable for more strategic campaigns with specific goals like driving sales, generating leads, or promoting events.