You make a post to Facebook or Instagram. You wait for the Likes to roll in. That "Boost" button stares back at you, just wanting to be pushed, but you're not sure if it's a good use of money.
We're going to walk you through exactly how to use Boosting so that you get the most bang for your buck. (Like, in the case of one of our clients, $2 million in real estate sales off a $545 ad spend.)
First of all, let's explain one distinction between types of Facebook ads: Boosting is advertising, yes, but it's not the only way to do advertising on Facebook. For a more robust approach, you can manually create a campaign by setting an objective (like traffic, Page Likes, engagement, etc.), defining an audience, and then putting together some sort of creative (like a video, photo, carousel...) that'll reach the customer.
There's a little more to this approach. It takes a bit longer, there's more flexibility (you can run variations of audience and creative, for example), and it's a good choice for larger, extended campaigns.
If, on the other hand, you basically just want a little more "juice" behind your Facebook or Instagram posts (and that's a good idea, by the way, considering organic reach - i.e. the percentage of your followers who actually see your posts - is only about 3-5% on Facebook) then Boosting is a great, quick way to go.
Let's take a look at how to Boost a post on Facebook and Instagram:
Start off by making a post on Facebook or Instagram, and then hitting the "Boost" button below the post. (Note -- throughout this article, we'll include screenshots of both Instagram and Facebook. Instagram will be on the left, and Facebook will be on the right.)
After clicking Boost, on Facebook, you'll get dropped on this screen. Select "Change."
This will let you see the different kinds of objectives you can choose from:
When you're building any sort of ad on Facebook or Instagram, including Boosted posts, the first thing you do is pick an objective. It's a way to tell Facebook what you're hoping to achieve from this ad. It's not simply for their records, though - it affects how your ad is shown, and to whom. An ad that is optimizing for "More Profile Visits" will look different from an ad whose objective is to "Get more leads."
For many people, the goal is to "Get More Website Visits." So if you're unsure of how to go, it's probably a safe bet to either leave it "Automatic" so Facebook decides for you, or pick "Get More Website Visits."
Now that you've picked your objective, you can define your audience.
"Automatic" will let Facebook or Instagram work their magic and target people who they deem to be similar to your existing followers. But maybe you don't have that many followers, or don't want to be limited to the sort of people who are already following you. In that case, you can hit "Create New" on Facebook, or "Create Your Own" on Instagram. This will guide you through building an audience that you want to target.
As you can see, on both platforms, you can select the locations you want to reach, the age and gender (as long as you're not in a Special Ad Category - if you are, the options are slimmed down), and any interests that the audience may have. There are a few more things you can target by on Facebook as opposed to Instagram, like Behaviors and Demographics, which can really come in handy for the right product or service.
You're just about there! You have your creative (it's the post you originally made), you picked your objective, and then you chose your audience. Now, it's time to decide how long you want this ad to run, and how much you'd like to spend.
At this stage, on both platforms, you'll be shown an estimate of how many people you'll reach, depending on whatever you choose to spend. This allows you to toggle different options and see the potential outcomes in real-time, so you can pick just the right amount to spend and the right time to keep the ad running for.
After putting in your payment method (if you hadn't already), you're good to go! From this point, you can monitor the results right from your Facebook page, and increase the ad spend if you're so inclined.
If you're spending time creating Facebook or Instagram posts regularly (especially Facebook posts, with how low organic reach has fallen), then it makes sense to invest in Boosting. Think about it like this: if it takes you a good 20 minutes to create a well thought-out, beautifully designed post, why wouldn't you put $5 or $10 behind that post via a Boost, to make sure that your time was well spent?
Put another way, would you rather get 7 views (by spending 20 minutes and $0), or, let's say, 324 views (by spending 20 minutes and $5?) Which sounds like the better deal to you?
What's interesting about a full campaign (as opposed to a one-off Boosted post) is that you can test audiences and creatives against one another more easily. So, if you're not sure if this audience or that audience will perform better, you can watch them compete. Similarly, if you have a few photo options, there's no need to pick just one — test them all out against one another.
You can also do all sorts of cool variations with ad placements, so that the ad looks just right in every spot a person may see it (an Instagram Story versus a Facebook news article, for example.)
If all this seems like a little much — or, if you totally get it, but just don't have the time — we'd be glad to help! At O'Kane Marketing, we'll work backwards from your business goals to craft a campaign to help you achieve whatever objectives you had in mind. Reach out to get started today.