My $5 Experience with Facebook Boost

Social media has been a great democratizing factor in today’s Internet, because everyone can have a voice and everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Without spending a penny, you can theoretically reach thousands, millions or even billions of people around the world… except you sort of can’t. Ever since Facebook destroyed the organic reach of business pages, it’s become much more of a pay-to-play kind of scenario.

And that’s the thing. As tough a pill as that may be to swallow, Facebook has every right to do pretty well whatever it wants and you really can’t blame Mark Zuckerberg and his team for wanting to get in on their own action. And if you want to use the “free” service of Facebook, you have to be willing to play by the rules of the game.

With Just Five Bucks in My Pocket

Up until now, I’ve largely relied on organic and “natural” traffic from Facebook for my blog and other web properties. Even so, I wanted to learn first hand what this whole “boost” situation was all about, so I decided to conduct a very modest $5 experiment on one of my blog posts.

fb-boost

With some simple targeting and ad admittedly small budget, I promoted one of my recent blog posts that looked like it was already getting a little bit of traction. I decided to spend the five dollars over a period of about three days one weekend to see what sort of return I would get.

Paid Reach with Facebook

The original estimate for the paid reach I would receive with five bucks, based on the targeting I selected, was somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 to 1200 views. The final result fit right into that range with a total paid reach of 785. From those 785 views, 10 people clicked through to read the actual blog post and 5 people “liked” it on Facebook. The assumption is that the people who “liked” it also read it, but that’s not necessarily the case.

What does this mean in terms of actual metrics and ROI? With 10 clicks, that’s an effective click-thru rate of just over 1%. It also means that, in effect, I paid 50 cents for each visitor to my blog. Is that good value? Is that worth it? That’s up to debate, but I’d say that’s within the expected range for these sorts of paid advertising.

The thing is that I didn’t have a clear call-to-action on that blog post, since I was only doing this as an experiment. I’m reasonably certain that the $5 spent didn’t result in an extra $5 in revenue, but it could have been worth more if I did have a call-to-action worth at least that much. Maybe I could have sold more books or attracted more freelance writing clients.

Demographics, Metrics and Insights

Another worthwhile upside to spending money on a Facebook boost is that you gain some insight into the demographics that would be interested in your content. I targeted both men and women of roughly parenting age to see if the demographic would lean one way or the other. It didn’t.

fb-boost-people

There were roughly an equal number of clicks from both genders and the distribution across age groups was also well spread out. In my particular example, not too much can really be gleaned, because I didn’t learn that I should be targeting younger moms or older dads or whatever other demographic.

Maybe I did learn that my content has broader appeal. Maybe a trend would emerge if I spent more money on the boost over a longer time frame. If nothing else, this demonstrates that further experimentation may be warranted.

It also demonstrates that no matter how hard you work to maximize your branding on Facebook, no matter how hard you work to extend your organic reach, it has likely become the new reality that paid reach through Boost is the biggest way you’ll get your content in front of new eyeballs.

What has your experience been with Boost? Has it worked for you? What would you do differently?

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10 thoughts on “My $5 Experience with Facebook Boost”

  1. Matt says:

    Hey Michael,

    I have tested Facebook myself and the best results I have had is when I create an absolutely almighty awesome piece of content that talks about, or includes something controversial about other leaders in my field, such as an open conversation which either requests their input or feeds their ego in some imaginative way.

    Then your targeting can be set to show to people who have liked the leaders in your field who you have wrote about within the article. This gets much more attention and traction, which ultimately gets far better results when boosting the post.

    Having an article crafted this way, but that also leads the reader into taking a specific action, whether this be a webinar registration or a free guide/gift/video ect related to the original content, you can not only lead the paid traffic to taking specific action that ends in revenue, but track the results that come out the other end, whether this be subscribers or sales throughout your funnel (so you can justify ongoing paid boosts for that particular content).

    Once you understand your ROI after a month or so for that particular piece of content, you can then automate the marketing of that post and move on to the next one, and build it out for as long as you wish.

    Hope that makes sense!

    1. DNN says:

      Matt,

      Excellent job on your blog comment. You went really in on commenting with quality and DNN respects you highly for doing so. What kind of affiliate marketing are you currently into at this time?

      1. Matt says:

        Hey DNN, many thanks for your kind words, it’s highly appreciated. I’m into high ticket affiliate marketing, within the internet marketing & make money online niche like John Chow.

  2. DNN says:

    It’s always those small learning experiences that help aspiring entrepreneurs make better choices in PPC advertising and content marketing efforts.

  3. Anunt says:

    Which will make you more money.
    Google ads or Facebook ads?

    1. DNN says:

      Facebook ads!

  4. Johnathan says:

    I’ve ran 2 boosts at $20 each, both with similar results as yours. Also, similar to you I didn’t have the blog post setup very well to convert although it was intended to be a post to promote something. I just failed at it, I think it was mostly due to the audience targeted.

    My Audience was very broad. I am planning on running more. I am using the analytics from a couple of my youtube videos that fit the niche for my next campaign to adjust my audience. I hope that will help. I probably just gave away a tip I should have put in a PDF, huh? lol

  5. Hey Michael,

    With FB paid marketing I have always preferred boosting posts rather than boosting page likes. It works in the much better way and the traction is great plus you get likes along with the post engagement too. In my case, the results were huge like over 60 clicks to website and reach was over 700.

    Thanks
    Harsh

  6. Tom says:

    Great tips thank you. I’m using facebook ads quite often.

  7. MotorBeam says:

    Completely worth it, right?

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