Small businesses such as residential contractors, especially those that have a local presence can garner massive benefits from marketing on Facebook and Instagram, as opposed to Google Ad words. They can reach a much more targeted audience, within very close proximity to their location, while only spending a fraction of the cost of larger Search engine ads. The two most popular and useful platforms for social media advertising currently are Facebook and Instagram.
It should be noted that Facebook owns Instagram and as such, when advertising with one of these platforms, your marketing can be seen on both platforms with one campaign, letting you double dip on your advertising investment. When advertising on the Facebook platform, where there are two primary ways to go about this. You can boost a page post, or you can set up a Facebook ad through your Ad Manager.
A boosted post is the simplest form of advertising you can do on Facebook. It is essentially a post you have created on your business page that you want to share with more people than just those that have liked and followed your contractor page, and target people who live within a geographic area, by gender or age. You simply pay a small fee to promote your message, just as it was seen on your page, except for adding a button such as “Learn More” or “contact us”. Without adding a budget to promote your post, it is likely only going to be seen by 3 – 5% of people who like or follow your page, which is of course a limited segment of your current audience. Naturally, there are things you can do to increase the chances of your audience sharing your post, but some type of paid promotion will make a very big difference. Boosted posts are used to achieve audience engagement such as clicks to your website or get people to like or share your content.
A Facebook Ad allows you to incorporate much more targeted demographics and utilize more graphic and video options than a simple boosted post. Facebook News Feed ads allow a home renovation contractor to market a targeted campaign to meet a specific goal where you can choose what type of user sees your post, including desktop vs. mobile user, and whether it is displayed on Instagram. This is not an option with boosted posts. You also can select more specific conversion goals. In addition to audience engagement, you can also target potential customers, who are more likely to fill out a form, purchase a product, like a new stove online, install your app, RSVP to a webinar you will put on, and other similar goals. You also can use a Facebook ad to incorporate your Facebook pixel to create custom audiences for your ads including look alike audiences, where Facebook finds people who are similar in their likes and behaviors to those people who have previously clicked on your ads or visited your website. You can also retarget those who have already been to your website and did not fill out a request for contact form. Another benefit of using a News Feed Ad is that you can enhance the look of the post by adding headlines, link description, and the display website URL. Finally, you can do a split A/B test with 2 ads running simultaneously with different target audiences, or the same audience but change one thing in your creative, say the headline, or the image to find the perfect ad for your business.
Which is better:
If you have no real knowledge of how to use the Facebook Ad Manager, then a boosted post is much simpler and easier to set up, especially, if all you are trying to do is target people in your geographic area. If, however, you want to use advanced targeting, or advanced marketing functionality such as adding in Headlines, News Feed Link Description, Display URL, split A/B testing then News Feed ads are the way to go.