Facebook Boost Post vs. Ads Manager: Which do you think performs better and costs the least?
The other day I was asked this same question. Which is better?
This came about because I was trying to convince my customer to run some Facebook ads to get new customers.
He said I am already running ads.
But what he was running were Boosted Posts, and I am going to try to explain here the difference.
Boosting your Facebook posts is a quick and easy way to get more reach. But is it more expensive than using the Facebook Ads Manager in terms of performance? In this experiment, we find out.
This case study was performed by one of Biteable Company staff, and I thought to share it with you.
They were boosting posts for a long time and thought that they were getting the same results as if we’d used Ads Manager. Then Ken joined their team.
Ken came with a lot of Facebook marketing experience for big brands. In his experience, Ads Manager always outperformed boosted posts. What? We needed to know more.
Ken explained his theory: Ads Manager lets you choose your audience, objective, and placement. Boosting lets you choose, well, nothing. Except for the duration of your ad spend. More control always means better results when it comes to Facebook.
Was Ken, right? To find out we had to spend some money
The test: boosting vs Ads Manager
We designed a simple experiment to test Ken’s theory. We created a video and ran it twice.
Once as a boosted post and once as an Ads Manager campaign with the objective of video views.
We chose video views because it’s the most similar counterpart to boosting in Ads Manager. We put the princely sum of $75 behind each post and let them loose.
This video starred in both the boosted post and the Ads Manager post.
What we found
So, how’d it go?
The boosted post cost less
Per 1,000 views, the boosted post only cost $2.63 compared to the Ads Manager post, which cost $7.72. That means that the Ads Manager post cost 193% more, but thankfully for Ken, it’s not a real indicator of success.
Sure, the boosted post may have been significantly cheaper, but how did it deliver in terms of ROI?
Ads Manager got more clicks (for less money)
In terms of results, the Ads Manager post dominated the boosted post.
The Ads Manager post got 76 clicks, whereas the boosted post only got 23. That’s 230% more clicks for the Ads Manager post.
This meant the cost per click also came out much lower. Each click cost $1.04 for the ad. The boosted post cost $3.09. That’s $197% more expensive per click, negating the lower cost of the boost.
Ads were watched for longer
The ‘watch’ metrics for the Ads Manager post were better too. It scored almost twice as many 3-second views (9166 vs. 5158), a higher percentage of the video was watched (85% vs. 64%), the average watch time was longer (5 seconds vs. 2 seconds), and, most importantly, almost twice as many people watched the Ads Manager post through to completion (7097 compared to 3647).
Engagement, reactions, and shares
In terms of engagement, the ad stomped the boosted post with almost twice as many interactions – 9242 vs. 5223.
What might surprise you, though, was that the boosted post did far better in terms of reactions – 41 vs. 0. It also got one share, whereas the ad had none.
This is probably due to how boosted posts are treated more like organic content by users, while ad content is treated more like, well, an ad. And who shares ads?
Boosts look for a certain kind of person
As these results illustrate, Ads Manager will help you achieve more with the same video content.
Boosted posts appear to default toward finding people who’ll react to and share your content. Unfortunately, these people are less likely to buy.
Hope this case study, explains the difference and the extra power that comes with Facebook Ads.
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