Facebook’s Automatic Placements: Take the Guesswork Out of Finding Your Audience

November 7, 2019

Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out Automatic Placements, a setting that ensures that your ads will serve on Facebook, Audience Network or Instagram, to achieve your most desired result based on the bidding objective you choose.

Similar to Google, Facebook wants advertisers to entrust its machine learning to place ads in the most effective way possible, with the intention of creating the best user experience and serving the right ad at the right time. Facebook uses advanced algorithms to determine which placement type performs the best and is the most effective for your brand. The algorithms then attempt to serve more ads in those winning bids.

facebook automatic placements

This setting is designed to get your ad the lowest average cost for the event you optimize your campaign for (e.g., link clicks, landing page views, video views). This takes the guesswork out of where your audience is. The Automatic Placements feature also reduces the time it takes to manually optimize placements, since Facebook does it for you, and extends your ads’ reach by enabling placement on more platforms and multiple placements within these platforms.

By choosing Automatic Placement, you tell Facebook to find the most relevant people across all of the eligible placements at the cheapest overall average cost available.

What are the Different Types of Facebook Placements?

There are 14 placements to run ads within the Facebook Network. We anticipate that number will grow as Facebook expands to more of their network of apps. (We expect to see WhatsApp appear as a placement soon, as well as the Instagram Explore Feed.)

Facebook News Feed

When it comes to serving social media ads, the Facebook News Feed placement is the one that sparked the movement. It’s important to remember that people don’t like being disturbed from their online activities, including Facebook browsing. Placing your ad on the desktop News Feed reduces the intrusiveness of your ads since they appear with the posts of your audience’s Facebook friends and pages they like.

Instagram Feed

Not only do over one billion people use Instagram every month, but engagement numbers for the app are higher than both Facebook and Twitter. For advertisers with highly visual products or services, Instagram ads are a must. As you might have guessed, you only have the capability to target mobile users on Instagram.

Facebook Marketplace Feed

Marketplace is Facebook’s equivalent to eBay and Craigslist. The major advantage it has over the competition is the existing Facebook user base.

Facebook Suggested Video and Facebook Watch Feed

When clicking a video in your mobile News Feed, a “Suggested Video” feed that takes up the entire phone screen can come up. Scroll down on the pop-up and you’ll see additional video suggestions. These are chosen by an algorithm and related by topic or publisher.

Facebook Right Column Sponsored

Right column ads will appear on the right rail or right-hand column of the Facebook screen. This placement is only available to show to consumers on laptop or desktop computers. Right column ads typically have less expensive clicks and conversions, and they also appear smaller and look more like a traditional ad.

Messenger Inbox Feed

This is ideal for companies who want to explain their offer, directly communicate with their audiences, convince them to try another product, or remind them to revisit your store.

Stories Feed Placement for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger

The Stories platform provides a great space for brands to maximize reach, build brand loyalty, and generate new customers. Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, there’s a lot of opportunity to be experimental, spontaneous, and transparent.

Facebook In-Stream Videos

This ad placement allows advertisers to deliver 5-15 second, non-skippable, mid-roll video ads to people who are already watching Facebook videos on a mobile device. Since these ads don’t appear until at least 60 seconds into the main video content, people are actively engaged in “lean-back” watching mode, and the ad is just like a commercial break for the actual video.

Messenger Sponsored Messages

These are ads directed to target users you’ve already had a past conversation with. They’re messages sent to followers that include relevant promotions. They’re an effective way to re-engage the people who currently have an open chat with your Facebook Page and to nurture those relationships by providing relevant content, promotions, and updates.

Facebook Instant Articles

Unlike the audience network, ads on instant articles are displayed on articles that can be easily loaded on Facebook. Ads are usually sandwiched between paragraphs of the article. This is ideal if you’re targeting audiences who frequently read longer content not available on the News Feed.

Facebook Audience Network

The audience network is a group of Facebook’s affiliate apps and websites that can be accessed through mobile. Placing ads on the network extends the reach of advertisers to 16% more people (1 billion) than advertising on Facebook alone. The network includes some of the biggest publishers like Washington Post, Univision, and the Daily Mirror. You can you can exclude specific categories of apps and websites from the targeting, reducing the amount of wasted ad spend.

Right Placement, Right Time

Facebook has established automatic placements in an effort to help advertisers get the best results across all default placements. This allows Facebook to choose results from the broadest range possible, which implies that automatic placements are typically the most efficient use of an advertiser’s budget because they help control costs.

Marin is a certified Facebook Marketing Partner and fully supports Automatic Placements in the MarinOne platform. Schedule a demo today to learn more!

Farah Shalwani

Marin Software
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