Any business owner with a Facebook Business page has seen the "boost this post" button pop up on their page. It's a button that ostensibly makes advertising on Facebook a breeze! However, it's a method that gives you far less options on audience targeting and almost no actionable analytics.
It's like trying to grow a veggie garden by buying a packet of seeds - you'll probably still get something growing, but may not be what you hoped for or planned on!
Experienced marketers buying ads on Facebook/Instagram use Ads Manager to create targeted ads campaigns, and Business Manager to organize their marketing efforts. These tools allow businesses to set up more sophisticated (read: effective!) audience targeting, more tactical options based on a businesses objectives and the ability to see all their advertising analytics in one spot. Plus; a Business Manager account allows a company to easily partner with an agency to build and manage their ads.
Advertising on Facebook using the boost button isn't throwing your money away, but it is definitely casting a very wide net which is wasteful for most businesses. One of the things Facebook can do so well is provide niche targeting, adjust creative to use the best tactic for your goal and even allow you to run A/B Test campaigns based on a variety of factors. An A/B test is when you have two nearly identical campaigns and adjust one parameter to gauge performance. For example, you may want to test if a certain image works better than another in an ad.
My entertainment clients are often running tune-in campaigns, while my retail clients are very focused on product purchases. If they both hit the boost button instead of calling me, they'd be paying for and delivering their ads to a higher amount of irrelevant recipients. Just this past week I ran an experiment to test a carousel ad format vs. a video ad format for one of my retail clients (the video won). If my client had not used a produced video to showcase his product he'd be using less effective (but still profitable) carousel ads. As a marketer this is the kind of stuff that I nerd out over.
I've spent years advertising on the Facebook platform so the capabilities of Ads Manager and Business Manager are too broad to explain in one blog post; but if you are thinking of advertising on this platform consider enlisting an expert so you can ensure your ad dollars are being used effectively. There is no catch-all solution for business because each business has individual goals. I'm always available for a consultation just drop me a line.