Facebook Ads placements are a key factor in the success of social media campaigns, yet they’re often overlooked. We’ve created a fool-proof guide on Facebook Ads placements to help you optimise the reach, lead quality and conversion rates of your ads.
As a marketer or business owner, you probably have a love-hate relationship with Facebook’s advertising platform. The social media giant that incorporates other longstanding favourites such as Instagram and WhatsApp, offers by far the most targeted form of advertising that’s currently available.
Competing in the online space only with Google, who focuses on paid search as opposed to paid socials, Facebook Ads cost only a fraction of the price you’d pay for traditional forms of advertising. Helping you to find new, qualified leads, and remarket your offer to non-converters, it’s a powerful tool for small businesses and big corporations alike. What more could you wish for!?
Let’s take the guesswork out of Facebook Ads Placements
Truth be told, it is very easy to become overwhelmed with all the options for optimisation and targeting – especially for Facebook Ads newbies. When you’re starting off, it’s fairly common to have trouble setting up your first ad campaigns. We get it, the terminology and comprehensive interface can be confusing at first. It’s really frustrating when ads are rejected for no apparent reason or do not deliver the expected results.
Looking at the different placement options you might have had a similar reaction. And whilst it is completely fine to not pay any attention to ad placements – as a matter of fact, this strategy works well for many businesses, you might not be making the most of the wide network that’s right at the tip of your fingers.
To help you get the most of your online advertising efforts, we’ll discuss Facebook’s various ad placement options and how you can use them to improve the performance of your advertising campaigns.
Types of Facebook Ads Placements
When it comes to Facebook Ads placements, you have a lot of choices. Depending on your campaign objective, your ads can run on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook’s Audience Network and the Messenger.
Feed placements usually look the same across platforms, offering your audience a very similar experience. The same holds true for Facebook and Instagram stories. This makes creating the right content for each placement type a lot easier – as long as the type matches, you can often simply repurpose content across platforms.
Ads on Facebook
- Facebook News Feed
The desktop News Feed is a competitive space and highly sought after. It’s probably also the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Facebook Ads placements. Users can access the feed through different devices.
Nowadays, almost 11.94 per cent of Facebook Ads revenue comes from mobile, compared to 6 per cent from desktop users. Luckily, your ads appear on News Feeds whether users use the Facebook app or open the social media platform through a mobile browser.
- Facebook Stories
Your ads can also appear amongst people’s Stories on Facebook. This allows for a fully immersive experience. They’re highly targeted ads that are usually 15-second video ads or 5-second image ads wedged between the Stories of family members and friends.
- Facebook Marketplace
Your Facebook Marketplace ads benefit from targeting audiences with purchase intent, reaching Facebook users where they go shopping. They are being displayed on both the Marketplace homepage or Marketplace page in the mobile app.
- Facebook Instream Video Feeds
Your video ads can appear between organic videos. They’re only 5-15 seconds long, non-skippable and presented to people who are already watching Facebook videos on the Facebook app.
- Facebook Right Column
Since recent design changes, there are much less right column ads. But those few ads see up to three times more engagement compared to News Feed ads. Right column ads can not be displayed on the Facebook app or mobile browsers, they’re only displayed when browsing Facebook on a computer.
- Facebook Search Results
Facebook Search Result ads, allow you to reach people with relevant ads based on their search terms, similar to Google’s paid search results. These types of ads appear next to relevant Facebook and Marketplace search results.
- Facebook Instant Articles
Instant Articles are large, mobile-only format ads within the Facebook app. Displayed directly in the mobile news feed, they have one great benefit: Users do not have to leave the app to use an external website if they want to read the article. They add another touchpoint to the sales funnel, making them a handy remarketing tool.
Examples for Instagram Feed Ads (left) and Instagram Story Ads (right) I Source: Instagram
Ads on Instagram
- Instagram Feed
Instagram Feed ads are a well-known and established type of ad. They look very much like your standard Instagram post and appear when users scroll through their main feed on the Instagram app.
- Instagram Stories
As opposed to regular Instagrams stories, which are only visible for 24 hours, Instagram Story ads are here to stay. They’re a super-effective way to target users that have liked your social media profiles or that of a competitor, which tells you that they might be interested in your products, too.
More than 30 per cent of Instagram users watch Stories every single day, resulting in a lot of valuable direct interactions between brands and their target audience. Can you tell that we absolutely love Instagram Story ads?
- Instagram Explore
And then there are Explore ads, which appear only under Instagram’s Explore tab. They are displayed when someone clicks on a photo or video. Since users are usually in an explorative mood when they’re doing so, these types of ads present a great way to get in front of a new audience.
Messenger Sponsored Ads I Source: Wordstream
Ads in Facebook Messenger
- Messenger Inbox
As the name promises, these ads appear in the Facebook Messenger and allow you to reach users instantly. They not only help to initiate a conversation but can drive conversions and sales.
- Messenger Sponsored Messages
Sponsored Message ads appear as a purposefully crafted text message in existing conversations. They help to keep users engaged and drive actions.
- Messenger Story Ads
More stories? Yes! Similar to the previously discussed Facebook and Instagram Story ads, these ads appear amongst the user’s Stories on the Messenger.
Your ads in external apps
- Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial
Your ads can also run on sites outside the Facebook platform. Those sites are referred to as the Audience Network. They include a wide range of exclusive mobile apps and websites, allowing you to massively increase your reach.
And the best part? Audience network placements cost only a fraction of the price compared to other types of placements, including Facebook and Instagram.
Automatic and Manual Facebook Ads Placements
Now, you have two options to choose from when deciding where and how to place your ads: Automatic Ads Placements and Manual Ads Placements.
- Automatic Ads Placements
Most marketers will default to Automatic Ads Placements. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. You’re basically kicking the ball in Facebook’s court, trusting them to make the most of your budget.
They can help you maximise the performance of your ads regardless of the channel they’re being served on. Which is great, especially when you’re just starting off and do not have enough data to make an educated decision or if you are following a cross-device strategy.
There are a few useful things you can learn from letting your ads run automatically first, before customizing:
- What platforms and placements do your audiences see more often?
- What types of devices do they utilize more?
- Which placements have the most engagement?
- Which placements are the most expensive in terms of CPC, CPM, or CPA?
- Which placements have the best ROI?
Here is how to get started with Manual Ads Placements
Depending on your campaign objective, it can pay off to take the job in your own hands and choose the placement of your ads yourself. You can do so while you’re creating an ad or after it has been published, so don’t stress if you’re not sure about your preferred type of ad placement just yet.
Remember that different types of placements have different costs and audiences, as well as click-through and conversion rates. What type of ad placement serves your ads best, depends on the ad format (e.g. video or image ads), the objective (e.g. driving conversions or creating brand awareness), and of course, the budget of your campaign.
Once you have analysed the performance of each type of placement, work out which ones serve your goals best. Go to your Facebook Ads Manager and turn off those that are not working well. You could now also customise your existing and any future ads for each placement to make them even more effective.
Make sure you preview each ad in each placement to see how it looks and fits. There is a brand safety guide for the Facebook Ads manager that can help you with perfecting the format of your ads for each type of placement.
But keep in mind: It’s not one and done. Ensure you are constantly monitoring and if necessary, updating your placement options. Review your strategy every few weeks and don’t be afraid to make tweaks once your campaign is up and running.
Some placements may appear to be working better than others at first, but truth be told, there is no one ad placement that is best for every situation. Each Facebook, Messenger and Instagram ad position has different benefits and disadvantages you should consider with your overall social media marketing goals in mind.
Common mistakes to watch out for
- Not customising your ad placements. Select the best performing ad positions on the platforms that serve your campaign and overall digital marketing goals most.
- Being too restrictive. Limiting your placements to a few options can mean losing out on your budget and reducing your reach. Be smart and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Do you need help figuring out what types of ad placements are the best for you? Get in touch with the Social Media Marketing gurus at Anchor Digital. We would love to hear from you and support you on your way to more clicks and conversions.
Anchor Digital, your partners in climb.