Boost or Not to Boost: That is the Marketing Question

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But with all good questions–context (and content) is king when it comes to accurate answering. Boosting can be a strategic solution if you have invested time, energy and brainpower into the post at hand. If the post is strategic then boosting may be the answer, if not, you will likely be contributing to a marketing cash barbeque. In today’s article, we answer one of our most frequently asked questions from clients and will dive into the billion-dollar question of boosting on social media.

In the world of digital marketing, we all know that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are pay-to-play arenas. Organic reach on these platforms, specifically for business pages, is declining and becoming more and more unattainable. 

If you are a business that hasn’t invested in boosting content and has focused on the organic reach you may have found your metrics decline in the past few years. This is because Facebook’s primary goal is profits– and they are making a sh*t ton of money doing it, so it’s stuck.  Facebook is an advertising platform that’s disguised as a community space to share and connect with friends and family. The program was first rolled out to get viral adoption, once that was achieved, it transitioned to a money-making machine powered by algorithms designed to push content that’s making them the most money.

Take away: you need to throw some cash their way to get your brand noticed.

This is why Facebook gave users the ability to “boost” posts. Boosting essentially involves paying Facebook to push your post out to users who wouldn’t organically see it. The catch is that we help contribute to the cycle of paying for reach by participating in boosting making paid content feel organic because without the pay to play we wouldn’t see it.

So, when boosting a post, are you just contributing to Mark Zuckerberg’s next luxury vacation? Kinda–but not exactly.

Boosting can be a controversial topic in the digital marketing world. Some people see it as a complete waste of money that only produces “fake” engagement and vanity metrics. But business owners and marketers need to understand that, as with everything, utilizing boosting effectively takes strategy, understanding, and patience. 

If your goal is to boost a post to get followers or lead conversions, you’ll likely be greatly disappointed — unless you have something interesting to say.

Boosting posts should be seen as one of the very first stages of your marketing funnel.

Boosted posts increase your reach and engagement, which ultimately brings value through brand awareness. This is the moment where you’re catching a user’s attention and, hopefully, imprinting your brand into their memory. This is so that the NEXT time they see or hear of your brand, whether that be through organic reach, word of mouth, or paid advertising, they are already familiar and interested.

Remember: boosting your post will not immediately lead to conversions.

Essentially, boosting is a tool that should be used to bring people into your sales funnel. While this idea seems simple enough, there are a few key things you need to do to ensure you’re following the most effective boosting practices.

Narrow Your Targeting

Boosting isn’t about casting the broadest net possible & seeing if anyone bites; it’s about exposing your brand to people who will care.

As a business owner, you should know a lot about your audience, like their age, location, lifestyle, habits, interests, passions, etc. (Read our blog on Target Market Personas for more on the importance of knowing your audience.) These are all options for creating a custom audience for your boosted posts, and you should use them all. 

Take the knowledge you have of your audience and put it to use. Choose attributes that really matter to your business and your target demographic.

Suppose you’re a real estate agent trying to target potential sellers. In that case, you’ll likely want to target homeowners interested in real estate, who are older and are ready to transition into another home. You can even go as far as targeting separated or divorced people who may be selling their marital homes. 

If you’re a boutique fitness club, you’ll likely want to target people interested in larger fitness clubs like Goodlife, Equinox, Cross Fit, etc. That way, you can showcase your differentiating factors to people who already prioritize fitness but are potentially unhappy or unsatisfied with their current gym membership.

Pro Tip: make separate boosting audiences for Facebook & Instagram. Your audience demographics likely differ between the two platforms (Facebook usually skews older), so you want to ensure you’re targeting the right audience for the right platform.

Always Set an end Date

Setting an end date for your campaign is crucial for getting the most out of your budget and monitoring effectiveness.

Facebook typically recommends a 5-7 day run for boosted posts. Anything longer than that will have users wondering why they’re being served up a post from 2 weeks ago.

It’s also essential to understand how your budget gets distributed by Facebook. When you choose a lifetime budget, Facebook will allocate it at a pace that is most effective. This is a great tool and is much more effective than setting a daily budget. With a daily budget, Facebook will serve up your post even when it’s not the most suitable time just so that it meets your spending requirements.

When working with lifetime budgets, it’s important to understand the breakdown of your money spent over time. If you have a lifetime budget of $20 and run your campaign for 5 days, that’s an average spend of about $4 per day. With this budget and timeline, you won’t see too much action. You’d be better off running your $20 campaign for only a couple of days and seeing a more immediate return.

Our rule of thumb is to pace out your campaign to spend a minimum of $10 per day. Remember, Facebook may not spend exactly that amount in a day, but it will be enough to keep the campaign strong throughout its run time.

Monitor & Pivot

Boosting practices will involve a lot of trial and error; If your boosted post didn’t meet your expectations, you can tweak your audience, budget, run time, or even the post itself. You want to approach boosting like a science experiment. Keep trying things out and see what works the best.

Remember that the marketing world is constantly evolving, which means your practices and habits have to change too. Don’t set an audience and budget for all boosted posts and expect outstanding results.

Push yourself to develop new strategies, broaden your understanding of the platform you’re working with and its abilities, and be patient.

Thank you for reading this article! I hope it is helpful––at the end of the day, we recommend leaving the strategy and the spending to the experts. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out directly. 

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