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Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts: A Performance Analysis

Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO at AdEspresso:

Facebook's organic reach for brands is now at an all-time low, and the platform is becoming increasingly “pay-to-play.” We ran an experiment using $600 of ad spend to determine which of Facebook's paid channels works best: Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts.


The Facebook Ad had the best click-through rate, cost per click, cost per thousand impressions, relevance score and cost per lead, but Boosted Posts outperformed on conversion rate.

Unlike Boosted Posts, Facebook Ads also make it possible to A/B test the ad creative, further reducing cost of acquisition.

Experiment setup:

  • Both campaigns sent traffic to a landing page for an eBook about Facebook Custom Audiences. We measured downloads using the Lead Facebook Pixel event.
  • Both campaigns ran to a U.S.-based 1% lookalike audience of current AdEspresso customers aged 18-65+.
  • We placed both promotions in the mobile newsfeed and excluded current customers and website visitors.


Bold statistics indicate the best-performing promotion type.

Facebook Ad

  • Click-through: 1.347%
  • Cost per click: $3.336
  • Clicks: 91
  • Impressions: 6,757
  • Conversions: 48
  • Cost per 1k impressions: $44.924
  • Cost per conversion: $6.324
  • Conversion rate: 52.747%
  • Reach: 4,870

Boosted Post

  • Click-through: 0.670%
  • Cost per click: $7.220
  • Clicks: 42
  • Impressions: 6,266
  • Conversions: 40
  • Cost per 1k impressions: $48.395
  • Cost per conversion: $7.581
  • Conversion rate: 95.238%
  • Reach: 4,653

Summarized by Reforge. Original article by Massimo Chieruzzi • CEO @ AdEspresso