The Differences between Facebook Ad Campaigns & Facebook Boosts

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You’ve seen notifications just like this from Facebook, encouraging you to click the blue Boost button that sits in the bottom right corner of the posts that are published on your Page. When you’ve previously seen notifications like this, you may have accepted Facebook’s recommendation and given the boost a try a few times, or you may have been hesitant to act.

Facebook boost notification

If you’ve given the Boost button a try, you likely saw a mix of results. What I hear most often from clients who have dipped their toes in the water of Facebook ads is that they “gave Facebook ads a try and they didn’t work”. Of course, there are lots of reasons why you may not have had success with your initial attempts to advertise on Facebook – from targeting to image to ad copy – but what’s likely the first issue with your Facebook ad performance is that you used the Boost button instead of building an ad inside Facebook’s Ads Manager.

The Differences between Facebook Ad Campaigns & Facebook Boosts

The Differences between Facebook Ad Campaigns & Facebook Boosts

So what’s the difference between setting up an ad campaign inside Facebook’s Ad Manager and using the blue Boost button?

A lot.

A Boost is part of Facebook’s advertising capabilities offered to business owners and reporting for your Boosts will show up in your Ads Manager dashboard, but using it as your only form of advertising significantly limits you.

  • Ads Manager gives you several types of ads Facebook knows a LOT about user behavior. It knows which users tend to click like or leave a comment, which users like to watch videos on Facebook, which users click links that take them off Facebook, and which users do things like download an app or complete a purchase or opt-in off Facebook, after clicking on an ad. By using Ads Manager, you get to select from the full range of ad objectives as the first step in your campaign build process. This same set of objectives is not available through a Boost.
  • Ads Manager gives you nearly-endless targeting capabilities Yes it is possible to use saved audiences when you click on the blue Boost button, but you would have to build those audiences inside Ads Manager first. And if you don’t have any already-created audiences, you are pretty limited in audience targeting available through the Boost button.
  • Create your Pixel inside Ads Manager The Facebook pixel is a free line of code that you add to your website and provides you a way to track and compile visitors to your website, to later advertise to. Advertising to a warm audience – people who already have some awareness and understanding of you – is going to mean lower costs and higher conversion rates compared to a cold audience. Once your pixel is created, it is “attached” to your ads account and can be used in your Boosts, but you would need to create your pixel inside Ads Manager as well as use Ads Manager to create custom website audiences populated by your pixel traffic.
  • Ads Manager means control over your ad schedule If you’ve ever boosted a post, you know that your Boost starts from the moment you click submit and then ends exactly at 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, etc., after. By comparison, when you create ad campaigns inside Ads Manager, you can select a future start time or start time, down to the minute. No need to start an ad in real time when using Ads Manager! You can easily extend your ad’s run or up your budget, too, when you aren’t using the Boost button.

To sum up…using Ads Manager to run your ads provides you with so many more opportunities for ad objectives, targeting, and control as compared to the Boost button. The Boost button can be useful in certain circumstances, but your Boosts are also made more effective after putting in some work in your Ads Manager to create your pixel, custom audiences, and saved audiences. So, if you’ve never dared to log into your Ads Manager, you’re definitely missing out.



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