It sometimes seems like there’s a lot of jargon in the digital marketing space. Everything has a snappy name, and a special set of uses, when all you want is to boost your ROI and get your message across to the right audience. And the Facebook marketing stable has exploded in recent years, adding to the bewilderment. As always, the Zebra 360 Online marketing team is here to part the fog of confusion these similar post types generate, and help you make the very best decision for your company.

Starting at the beginning: the Facebook Ad

While (technically speaking) all of the ad types we’re looking at today are ‘Facebook ads’, what you think of when you hear the word is actually the original advertising type on the platform. It’s a ‘proper advert’: a very formal advertisement you create through the Facebook platform. You have a nice range of adjustable settings to help you properly target your Facebook ad, including target demographics and even a target geographical area. You can also ‘optimise’ your campaign to target certain goals- app installs, website conversions, views, impressions, and much more.

You also get to decide if your advert is going to show on mobile or just normal PCs. You can add Instagram to the bundle, and even decide if you want your advert to display in Facebook Messenger, as a side add or newsfeed ad, ‘instant article’, or Instagram Story.

With a wide range of tailoring options, and a formal feel, this is the digital marketing equivalent of a paid, placed advert. You have great creative control and versatility, and can create anything from full-text adds to picture carousels. You also have a lot of say over who has the potential to see this style of Facebook advert.

What does a ‘boosted post’ get me, then?

Boosted posts are much less formal. Here, you create a post on your Business Facebook page, and pay to have it ‘boosted’ to a set audience. It’s no surprise that Facebook’s organic reach has plummeted in recent years- and this is their revenue-generating way to help you overcome this. Next to the complexities of Facebook Ads, this is an achingly simple format to use to boost your visibility on the platform. While you can choose a target audience, you have nowhere near the customisation of a formal Facebook ad. Your ‘boosted post’ will keep all the look and characteristics of a ‘proper’ Facebook post, in fact. It will also appear ‘organically’ within their feed, rather than in the sidebar or separate display.  You can choose to boost any existing post…for example, a blog post on an important topic… or create a post specifically for the boost.

That sounds a little like a promoted post, doesn’t it?

You aren’t wrong! Promoted posts can, in fact, be thought of as a middle ground between the other two post types. They keep the look and feel of a post in the News Feed (like boosted posts) but offer you a lot of the audience- tailoring features of a full Facebook ad.

How do I know which post type to use on Facebook?

Now you better understand what each advert type offers you, it’s time to get down to specifics. Which post type should you use when? How will each help boost your ROI?

In all honesty, a smart Facebook advertiser uses all three advert types. Each has a role to play in a diverse, smart advertising campaign. What will affect the type you choose is the aim of this particular part of your campaign. Do you want to engage your existing fans, or focus on brand awareness? Then a boosted post offers an economical, yet attractive, way to get your name out there. Did you create a particularly compelling post that builds your brand image and voice you feel needs more attention? Again, you can boost it to fresh eyes. Think engagement when you think of boosted posts.

Promoted posts and Facebook ads offer you a lot more diversity, however. You can adapt them to a wide range of goals- from sales to traffic and more. You can target new demographics, and easily link between your advertising activities on Facebook and off of it. For goals aside from engagement, as well as ‘formal’ advertising pushes or reaching new audiences, they both have immense value.

Facebook offers three powerful tools to help make your brand pop and push your ROI into the stratosphere. From the super-simplistic boosted post, to the infinitely customisable and targetable Facebook Ad, you have access to a suite of hard-hitting advertising options that can holistically help you shape the perfect advertising campaign. If you’re still not sure how best to harness this power to your brand, why not let the digital whizz-kids of Zebra 360 Online Marketing help you hit exactly the right note with your audience today?