Have you ever heard of a dark post?
I tried putting a dark post on Facebook and failed miserably.
Are you ready to learn what a dark post is and the advantages of putting a dark post on Facebook?
In recent years, on social media sites organic (unpaid) reach has been way down. This includes Facebook. One of the disadvantages of Facebook in recent years is the decline in organic reach.
Facebook users complain their friends and family don’t see their social media content. Considering these struggles, marketers have a nearly impossible time of growing their visibility organically, without paying to boost their content.
The solution: a dark post which is a paid Facebook ad.
In addition to learning the definition of a dark post, by reading this article, you will learn about my disappointing experience paying for a dark post on Facebook. You also learn the solution so that your experience with paid Facebook ads turns out better than mine. Finally, this guide shares the advantages of paying for a dark post and different kinds of Facebook ads.
Let’s get started learning about the advantages of a dark post and the different types of Facebook ads you can choose to purchase.
Which Types of Facebook Ads Should You Consider Using?
It’s pretty much a given that all businesses should have a presence on social media, and most will have a Facebook account. One of the major advantages of social media is that it’s a free and easy way to instantly interact with customers, and it offers a platform to advertise your business.
The trouble: Organic posting will only take you so far. If you really want to reap the rewards of Facebook advertising, you really need to put some money behind your content and utilize Facebook ads.
Here’s all you need to know about the social platform’s main advertising options.
What is a Dark Post?
A dark post is a paid ad. The advertiser purchases a dark post for various reasons.
The advantages of a Facebook dark post:
- You can target the population you want to see the ad.
- Run a CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization) Campaign which manages your campaign budget to give you the best overall results. See your expenditures in real-time.
- Choose the advertising budget that works for you.
- Consumers use a Facebook ad finder that allows them to collect paid ads.
- The Facebook Business Manager gives you insightful analytics.
- Facebook has additional helpful tools that guide you.
- MailChimp integrates with Facebook, so you also have access to MailChimp’s tools if you are a MailChimp user.
- You have the world’s largest captive audience since Facebook has the largest user base of any social media site.
- Your Facebook friends don’t see the ad because the ad doesn’t appear on your timeline.
- The ad doesn’t appear on your Business Page.
Due to fact that the ad isn’t visible to people on Facebook that you know, the ad is considered “dark.”
A dark post is the opposite of organic content that you don’t pay to post.
Note: A dark post is labelled “sponsored content.”
Why You Need a Facebook Dark Post
Blog vs Facebook
When you have a website, you should advertise. For instance, your sidebar is considered “prime real estate.” If you look in my right sidebar, you see an advertisement for my Blogging Academy.
However, the reach on my blog is narrower than Facebook’s reach. Facebook has three billion users. Millions of people see Facebook ads daily.
Why pay for a dark post?
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits that businesses see a decrease in visibility:
“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.
You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”
Facebook ads have a strong reputation in the social media marketing industry.
A discussion on LinkedIn confirmed buying Facebook ads is a smart move:
“I find Facebook is the best source to get leads as it has the right demography. Based on the filters you apply for your audience, Facebook makes sure that it leads to the right people.”
According to MailChimp,
“Facebook Ad Campaigns are a smart way to sell more stuff and reach new audiences in just a few steps.”
What does this mean in real numbers? What is the effectiveness of paying for a dark post?
When you buy an ad, you want it to convert to customers for you. According to data, between 9 and 10% of people who see your dark post turn into customers (Source).
Dark Post Case Study
Considering the strong reputation of the effectiveness of Facebook ads, I eagerly tried purchasing a dark post in 2019. My dark post took the form of a video.
Related Reading: 13+ Inspiring Ideas to Make Videos People Actually Watch
I introduced myself and my services, and I chose the target demographic I wanted to see the ad.
I set aside a budget of $100. I figured I’d make the money back when people paid for my blog consultations. I quickly lost $50 and stopped the ad.
What did I do wrong?
The more narrowly you target your dark post, the more effective the results will be. However, I had the opposite mentality. I wrongly figured the broader my demographic, the larger the number of people that see the dark post.
What would I do differently next time?
I would make sure I narrowly targeted my ideal demographic.
If you don’t know your target demographic, check Google Analytics/Audience/Demographics
What Types of Ads Are on Facebook?
There are six different types of Facebook ads such as:
- Dynamic Product Ads
- Lead Form Ads
The only way to truly work out which is best for your business is to test them all and see which ones land most successfully with your customers.
The thing we’ll concentrate on here is finding the right type of objectives for your Facebook ads.
What are the different types of Facebook ad objectives?
There are three different types of Facebook ad objectives to choose from, and you need to decide which is the best fit for what you need for your business at any given time:
- Awareness ads
Facebook awareness ads are used to get your brand name out there, and eyeballs are the key metric here.
There are three types of awareness ads you can use, they are:
- Brand Awareness – Targets a broad range of users to encourage more people to see your brand
- Local Awareness – Targets a smaller base of users, based on location, to encourage discovery of your local business
- Reach – Target the broadest range of people possible (albeit with a limited availability) to get your ad to as many people as possible
Infographics, short videos (15-seconds or less), how-to guides, did-you-know segments, memes, and photos are all good examples of awareness ads.
2. Consideration ads
These are for people who may already be aware of your business and might be in the market to convert to a sale. Consideration ads can be used to:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Drive engagement in terms of page likes, post views and reactions, and event responses
- Lead generation to drive form fills and actions direct from Facebook
- Generate video views or app installs
- Send ads directly into customers’ Facebook Messenger account
Amplifying existing content that has already been performing well on the platform or advertising special offers or events are good ways to use consideration ads.
3. Conversion ads
As the name suggests, conversion ads are designed with a specific conversion goal in mind, whether to purchase a product or service or carry out another specific action.
There are three types of conversion ads on Facebook, they are:
- Conversions – Designed to drive an action on your website
- Product Catalog Sales – Designed to drive product sales
- Store Visits – A more limited ad designed to physically drive customers to a store
Conversion ads are used alongside your Facebook pixel, which is a snippet of code that follows users around the web. This helps you to track customer behavior and target customers accordingly.
How to Purchase a Dark Post
Create a Facebook Business Page. On the left side of the screen, you see the tools and resources you need.
Click Ad Center.
Go through the prompts under Tools. Use the prompts as your Facebook ad checklist.
Do you recall I regretted not narrowly focusing my target audience? Choose the demographic you want to see your ad under “Audiences.”
When you are ready to create your ad, click “Create Ad.”
Dark Post: FAQ
A dark post is a paid ad. None of your social media followers see your paid ads which is why they are called “dark posts.” This is in contrast to an organic post that is unpaid.
Wrapping Up: Which Type of Dark Post is Best for Your Business?
Ultimately, this comes down to what you want to get from the platform and the demographic you’re targeting. In reality, a successful Facebook ad campaign should utilize all three types of objectives to engage customers at each stage of the funnel.
In conclusion, this guide to Facebook dark posts shared
- the definition of a dark post
- advantages of dark posts
- a case study sharing my experiences buying a dark post
- different types of Facebook ads
- how to buy a dark post that leads to conversions
Readers, please share so social media marketers contemplating buying a dark post learn the pros and cons of purchasing a dark post and the types of ads available to them.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Have you ever purchased a Facebook ad? How did it turn out? Would you recommend social media marketers purchase Facebook ads?
Authors: A contributing author and Janice Wald
This post was made possible with the support of our readers.
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2021 and 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.