It's okay. It's NOT a dumb question. Everyone wants to know. Everybody asks it. The answer is not clear to many who are not true practitioners, but all marketing directors, marketing managers, small business owners and sometimes even CMOs and CEOs really want to know.

There are philosophical differences between the two, like when the data tells you to use them, or when your gut tells you makes sense to use them, and those are legitimate. Here's a look at that overview from a high level:

But there are also technical differences between Facebook Ads and Facebook Boosted posts that should inform you when to use one vs. the other.

So check this out digital marketers, here is the true difference between Facebook Ads and Facebook Boosted Posts is the following:

Only in running Facebook Ads, will Facebook Use it's Algorithm to show your ad to people likely to perform your chosen objective.

Kwaaaaaaa? Check it.

While target audiences are amazing, the true magic behind making a Facebook Ads strategy work is finding the right type of Objective to use.

Both Facebook Boosted Posts and Ads can do the following:

However, Only Facebook Ads can Do the Following...

They can run your ad / content to people LIKELY to do the following:

  • See your ad
  • Click on a link to your website.
  • Engage with your content
  • Fill out a lead generation form
  • Download your app
  • View your video
  • Message you via Facebook Messenger

But that's not all. Facebook Ads can be run to people LIKELY to:

  • Convert on your eCommerce website
  • Buy a product via your Product Ad
  • And my personal favorite - VISIT YOUR STORE / PHYSICAL LOCATION

So while it's totally true that the philosophical differences between Boosts and Ads are:

  • Boosts are "easier"
  • Boosts have shorter run times
  • Boosts are more "what's relevant this week"
  • Boosts are "cheaper"
  • You can also target and use custom audiences in boosts

... you should definitely NOT overlook Ads, due to the face that Facebook uses it's data to run your ad to the audience that is MOST LIKELY TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR OBJECTIVE.

There are a bazillion different ways we can help you with your Facebook Ads Strategy regardless of your budget.

For tons more amazing FREE Facebook Ads Content, please check out Data Driven Academy.

Hit me up with any questions on Facebook Ads and Digital Marketing at

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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