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How Important is Ad Placement for Facebook?

Did you know that the average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month

It’s no wonder why three million businesses actively advertise on the platform.

With so many businesses competing for clicks, you’ll need to put some thought into creating the perfect ad. However, the “perfect” Facebook ad goes beyond writing clever copy, and creating eye-catching images.

The placement of your adverts is something you’ll need to think about. 

But what impact does it actually have on your campaign’s goal? 

What is an advertising placement?

Facebook placement image

A Facebook advertising placement is the slot you take on their platform.

This can be in the:

  • News Feed (desktop, mobile, or both)

  • Sidebar

  • Stories 

  • In-stream (before a video)

It’s worth noting that Facebook owns Instagram, so you’ll use the same Facebook Ads Manager to create ads for Instagram. You’d select the Instagram placements during the Ad Set stage of your creation:

Is an ad placement really that important?

Facebook’s default setting is “Automatic Placements,” which gives them the control over where your ads will be place

Facebook Ad Placement chart

d—both on Facebook and Instagram platforms.

According to Christina Hunt of Haus von Albe, you should “always go with automatic placement [because] it exists fora reason. Allow the Facebook Ad algorithm to work for you. It’ll take the demographics of the ad and put them into the most applicable and cost effective

placement for those demographics.”

However, not all Facebook ad users agree—including Cassandra Leite of New England Foundation Crack Repair. Leite says: “Placement and success will depend on factors such as the goal of the campaign (i.e. more site traffic, more conversions, engagement, etc.).”

“In order to reach your target, you have to put the information here they will likely be.”

Databox polled hundreds of marketers, and the majority agreed with Leite. Over 90% said that the ad placement is “very” or “somewhat” important to the success of their Facebook campaigns:

The top 3 advertising placements

With most marketers agreeing that the placement of your Facebook advertisements being important, we wanted to see which (if any) are the most popular.

Databox’s research shows these three placements are amongst the most effective.

1. Mobile or desktop News Feed

The News Feed is the stream of content a user sees on the home screen of their signed-in account. It’s where they see updates from their friends and family—hence why some experts think it’s one of the most effective advertising placements.

Beth Cooper of KNB Communications explains: “If you create a 1:1 image (example 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels), then it takes up a large amount of space in the newsfeed and is hard to ignore.”

“Since they are focusing more and scrolling through looking for interesting posts, newsfeed ads tend to have more engagement. Most of the time we will not show our ads in any other placement except the News Feed on both platforms.”

Omedaro Bodmek of Bodmek Digitals also adds that you can specify this even further: “In my experience running Facebook Ad, mobile placement works best because it seems most people access their Facebook account mostly via mobile especially with the advent of smartphones.”

2. In-stream ads

In-stream ads are shown beneath (or in between) organic videos posted to Facebook.

“Although users may not like having their content interrupted, their attention is focused on the video stream so you don’t need to compete with distractions and scrolling away,” says Stephanie Lane of Safe Space Hub.

“In practice, in-stream video ads offer great conversions because they offer great engagement and that’s what a good ad is all about. Nevertheless, this approach only works if the user is committed to watching the video.”

(The average watch time for a Facebook video is between 21-50%, so you’ve got a strong chance.)

3. Instagram Stories

“We find [Instagram] Stories placements to be effective for mobile app installs and lead generation / sign-ups — smaller commitments,” says Sam Lepak of Galactic Fed.

These are ads that show between Stories when a user scrolls through.

Lepak says they’re effective for smaller commitments—potentially because 60% of users learn about new products through Instagram. They’re not always ready to buy, but they might be keen on learning more about you through a sign-up or app install.

Final thoughts

Many advertising experts agree that the placement of your Facebook (or Instagram) ad is critical to its success. 

These three placements are a great starting point, but it’s worth diving into your previous reports to see which has been the most effective for your business. 

The “best” placement depends on your audience, offer, and brand. So by looking at your data, you can double-down on the placements your audience engage with.

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