Should you pay for Facebook ads? (Answer: yes)

It’s an interesting time for Facebook. On the one hand, organic reach is really low, with only a fraction of your followers seeing your posts (ouch). On the other hand, Facebook advertising continues to flourish, with this still being one of the most effective (and economical!) forms of marketing.

Now, you can be all cynical about this, and say HARRUMPH, why should I give Facebook my hard-earned dollars when Facebook won’t distribute my beautifully crafted posts? Or – as we do – you can say that it’s best to fish where the fish are, and that Facebook is still the best and most affordable platform for digital marketing. It is what it is!

(Which is not to say, of course, that you shouldn’t still spend time crafting great posts. Organic, engaging and shareable posts still rule on Facebook, and should be your priority!)

But, if you have an important message to send, an event to promote, or a product to sell, then you’ll need to part with a few dollars.

So: boosted or ads? Which one’s best? Yes, boosted posts are simpler to create (like, one-button “boost post” simple). On the other hand, ads take a bit more time to create, but they can be much more targeted and effective.

Here’s my take on it: if you have a post that’s got a really great message and is already getting fabulous reach and engagement – that’s the one you should boost. There’s simply no point boosting a post that’s already bombed – putting a few dollars behind it won’t change the fact that people aren’t engaging with it.

Boosted posts can also work well if you have a message that you specifically want to send out to your audience – for instance, if you’ve created a post that you know will be of interest to the followers on your page, but needs a bit of push in the right direction.

Setting up an ad on Facebook can be a little overwhelming, but is well worth the effort. The type of ad you choose will depend on what the goal of your campaign is: whether that be likes, clicks to website, app installs, app engagement, website conversions, event responses, offer claims, video views and local awareness.

You can also decide whether to run your ad on the Facebook news feed (desktop and/or mobile), in the display network and/or on Instagram.

Another benefit to running ads over boosted posts is the ability to add an optional call-to-action button promoting actions such as ‘shop now’, ‘sign up’, ‘download’ and ‘contact us’.

I hope this helps clear the murky waters of Facebook advertising! Remember, we’ve got an online Facebook community called Change the World, where you’re always welcome to share your struggles and successes, or – if you’re in Sydney – come along to our free Change the World event on May 29!

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