Paid Ads vs Promoted Posts: Which is Best for My Brand?

Paid Ads vs Promoted Posts: Which is Best for My Brand? Preview Image
Are promoted posts better than social ads or vice versa? It entirely depends on your budget and campaign objectives.

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Are promoted posts better than social ads or vice versa? It entirely depends on your budget and campaign objectives.

The term “Paid Media” encompasses a wide range of strategies and initiatives. In the simplest terms, paid media is any sort of online or digital advertising involving a paid placement. The most common forms of digital paid media are paid social media ads, paid search ads, and display ads. There are many different types of paid media campaigns, and different placements work better for different brands. When thinking about launching paid media for your brand, there are many factors to consider. If you’re running paid search, you need to decide if it makes more sense to focus on branded keywords, non-branded, or both! If you’ve determined it is best for your brand to have a paid social presence, you need to decide if ads or promoted posts will be more effective. In this blog, we’ll focus on the differentiation of social media ads and promoted posts.  

When you post on your business page (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), it shows up to those who have “liked” and are following your page. In general, paid media helps make sure those following you do see your content when they look through their social feeds and also helps you get your content to those outside of that audience. Paid media is a tactic that helps increase brand visibility or drive action, there is more to paid media strategies than meets the eye. Let’s dive into defining the types of paid social media and when to use each.  

Promoted Posts  

A promoted post is a type of paid media tactic that essentially pushes a piece of content to an audience. Typically this is content already posted on a brand’s organic social media channel and promoted to gain more traction. Promoted posts are a great way to push content using smaller amounts of spend to reach very specific audiences. On Facebook, it is highly recommended to promote a post through Facebook Ads Manager instead of “boosting” the post because while boosted posts are similar, they are much less strategic. Promoting a post allows advertisers to choose an objective and customize target features. Promoted posts are best used to give specific messages (often things like upcoming events or sales and promotions) an extra “push”. These typically will run alongside an evergreen ad campaign and be used as a portion of a holistic online content strategy.  

Paid Social Ads  

While we do recommend promoted posts for some clients, at BuzzShift, we primarily focus on a full-funnel paid media strategy to create sustainable growth for our clients. This strategy frequently involves paid social advertising with evergreen campaigns or shorter campaigns that can be pulsed on and off. Different than Promoted posts, content is developed specifically for the ads and not posted organically. These creative assets are developed with specific objectives in mind, considering the stage of the customer journey each will be used for. Evergreen ads provide an opportunity to create timeless content, like telling your brand story or showcasing product details. Running evergreen or “always on” campaigns are great to create brand awareness and also retarget users and encourage them down the sales funnel. These ads can run for longer periods of time without the constraint of seasonality and are able to reach a larger audience. Seasonal ads may be beneficial for brands with upcoming or recent project launches or holiday promotions. Evergreen ads don’t need to be refreshed as often as seasonal campaigns, but it’s important to always monitor your content performance and refresh as needed to make sure your content is as effective as possible. 

Are promoted posts better than social ads or vice versa? It entirely depends on your budget and campaign objectives. In an ideal scenario, we would recommend every brand have at least one active evergreen campaign that highlights the overarching brand position in the market. Paid social ad campaigns can require a significant investment taking into account the various factors that go into development: content creation, strategy, audience research, campaign setup, ongoing management and optimizations, reporting, and insights. Paid Social Ads are best for more established brands, ready and able to take on the investment level, and looking to see significant results. However, promoted posts can deliver substantial results as well, with a lighter input. These often work best for brands with lower paid media budgets and those in specific industries that are limited by paid ads.  

This isn’t the end-all-be-all guide to paid social. Every brand is in a unique spot and requires a unique strategy. Paid ads, promoted posts, and boosted posts all have their time and place, and the key is to understand when to use each to get the best bang for your buck. If after reading this blog, you still aren’t sure how to spend your paid media budget, we would love to learn more about your goals so we can guide you in the right direction! You can reach out to us by filling out our contact form here! 


About BuzzShift

BuzzShift is a digital growth strategy agency with a focus on mid-market, scaling, purpose-driven DTC Brands. By combining the ideologies of branding, performance marketing, and retention agency, we are able to create memorable experiences with measurable results, and build long-term success for our clients with scalable, sustainable growth. Learn more about BuzzShift.

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