A blog about Facebook marketing

Decide where to show your Facebook ads with Placements

Friday, November 9, 2012 Daniel Bromberg

Facebook advertising is developing constantly. Over the last few years we have seen the development of many different ad formats as Facebook tries to find the perfect ad to engage users and create value for advertisers, without putting off all the people using the platform. Besides developing the ad formats, the context in which they are delivered has become an area of increased attention lately.

This is especially important today since a lot of people are moving away from desktop usage, to using Facebook from their mobile devices - which only supports ads in the news feed.

You can now decide for yourself where you wish to show certain ads to users. To be more specific, where you wish to show your sponsored stories and page posts ads. This feature goes under the illustrative name “Placements”.

But before going into how this feature works, let's take a quick look at what sponsored stories and page post ads are.

Defining sponsored stories and page post ads

Generally these two ad formats are more engaging than traditional ads, and are based on different actions taken by users or brands within the Facebook ecosystem. The first type is called sponsored stories and are “action based” in the sense that they are derived from actions people take (e.g., liking a Facebook page). The sponsored story looks like an organic story, but since it is sponsored it is not affected by EdgeRank in the same way an organic story is.

Sponsored stories generally have higher engagement rates than “normal” ads. This is quite logical since they tell a story about what someone else, maybe even your best friend, is doing. This creates trust, interest and engagement - if my friends are using a certain Facebook application and I see that in my newsfeed, the chances are high I click on the ad to learn why my best friend is using this particular app.

The second type is called page post ads and are just what they sound like; they are ads derived from posts made by a Facebook page. Brands or marketers can use these to increase the likelihood of reaching everyone in their fan base, and even to reach beyond it.

This is becoming increasingly important since the competition for being seen in friends’ news feeds is getting tougher all the time. The news feed can only show so much and update so often, and it is a crowded place with increased activity by friends, pages and apps competing for news feed placements.

Working with placements

The beauty of the placement feature is that you can decide where on the Facebook platform you wish to show these two ad types. If you’re primarily looking to get the maximum reach then no need to think further - default is all placements.

However, if you are promoting your website with page post ads and you know it’s a poor user experience on mobile devices, you probably want to exclude all mobile placements. Another case would be if you’re promoting your mobile app - excluding desktop placements would probably make sense.

You can set your placement to target news feed only (on desktop, mobile or both) which generally have higher engagement rates. This will limit your reach though as you’re not using the full available inventory.

So depending on what you’re marketing and what your objectives are, you will find that working with different placements will make sense. If you’re serious about squeezing out everything from your advertising budget you would probably want to split up your ad campaigns between different placements and bid differently for each. With that level of control, you’re setting yourself up for maximum return on your ad spend for each available placement.

To start working with placements in Qwaya, go to the “Set targeting” tab and you will find the available placement options in the “New targeting” popup.

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