Facebook's Four Most Popular Advertising OptionsRecent changes to Facebook's advertising options leave advertisers with four main choices. Let's take a look at the differences between the four and some suggestions for how and when to use them.

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece about the effectiveness of Facebook advertising. Since the piece got nice traction, and since Facebook made some changes to its advertising options at the end of June, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the topic.

Here’s a look at the differences between Facebook’s four main advertising options, plus suggestions for how and when to use them.

1. Marketplace Ads

Marketplace ads are the ads that most Facebook users are probably pretty familiar with -- they are the small ads that appear on the right hand side of the home screen. Marketplace ads include a headline, body copy and an image that is 100 x 72 pixels. These ads can redirect viewers to a website, Facebook Page or app.

Marketplace ads are ideal for promoting a Facebook Page or a new app. They’re simple to create, easy to track (using Facebook’s Ads Manager or Power Editor) and can be really effective for driving traffic when targeted appropriately. The key to having marketplace ads that deliver results is putting these four Facebook tips into use:

  1. In the text, include a clear action you want your audience to take
  2. Highlight any benefits, sales or similar specials that your business is offering
  3. Use a simple, eye-catching image that is related to the text
  4. If you’re advertising a website, include your business name or other key information in the headline

2. Boost Posts/Promoted Posts

Boost Posts, which used to be called Promoted Posts, allow Pages with 100 fans or more to pay to promote a status update they want more of their Facebook fans and non-Fans to see. Boosted posts, which are featured exclusively in the News Feed, help expose selected posts to a larger audience on Facebook, attracting both fans of a Page as well as all the fans’ friends (or “anyone on Facebook”).

A “Boosted” post, shows up in the News Feeds of all the people who Like a particular Page. Then, when the Page’s existing fans interact with the boosted post, either by Liking, commenting or sharing the post, the post will also show up in the fans friends’ News Feeds.

Boosted posts are another great way to promote a new Facebook app. After publishing an app, the next step is to create a Facebook post letting fans know about it. For example, if you are hosting a Facebook giveaway, create a status update with details about the giveaway and a link to your Facebook app so people can enter. The next step is to pay to boost this post so that as many of the Page’s Facebook fans as possible will know about the new Facebook app.

3. Page Post Ads

Similar to a Boosted post, a Page Post ad uses the content from a status update to create a Facebook ad. Page Post ads can be links, photos, videos, offers, events, questions or status updates.