Taking Advantage Of Facebook Placements

Posted on December 26, 2012


Facebook is constantly rolling out new products and capabilities for advertisers. This makes the platform extremely dynamic, but it can also be hard to keep up with all the changes!

One of the most major announcements in recent months is the introduction of placement targeting. Previously, marketplace ads were only shown in the right rail. Now, advertisers can choose to serve their ads to specific placements, like Desktop and Mobile Newsfeed.

Obviously, this allows advertisers to collect a great deal more data, and, more importantly, permits campaign-specific placement targeting.

That is, you can stipulate specific placements for specific ad types to best align with campaign goals. As with all other Facebook targeting options, certain placements are best suited to certain types of ads.

What Placements & Ad Types Are Available?

In total, advertisers now have five options to choose from: 1) desktop, or right-hand rail and Newsfeed; 2) feed, or Newsfeed on mobile and desktop; 3) desktop feed, or desktop Newsfeed only; 4) mobile, or mobile Newsfeed only; and 5) home, or right-hand rail only (limited to premium). You can also chose to target all placements; but, keep in mind that you won’t receive any data on specific placement performance.

The two central targeting options are now desktop and mobile. Desktop means the traditional, computer-based browser experience with the full site at a user’s disposal.

Mobile includes users browsing from a mobile browser as well as via any Facebook-specific mobile applications. Within the Desktop placement are additional options distinguishing between the right rail and the Newsfeed.

Unfortunately, not all ad types are eligible for placement targeting. At this time, only Sponsored Story ads have placement options. That means Sponsored Like ads and Page Posts.

Mobile Vs. Desktop

Mobile ads are the biggest game-changer. Part of the appeal of mobile ads is the fact that they feature a seamless integration into the mobile Newsfeed. Unlike mobile banner ads, mobile ads on Facebook are as unobtrusive as possible; they look and feel like a native part of the user experience.

Not as much has changed with the desktop placement. Obviously, mobile ads are brand new, whereas ads have always been shown on the desktop. However, now advertisers can decide on what part of the desktop to serve their ads, the biggest difference being that the Newsfeed is now open for targeting.

Initial results have shown mobile ads to have significantly higher click-through rates than ads targeted to the desktop. However, they have shown significantly lower engagement rates as well.

Desktop feed-targeted ads show the exact opposite. It seems as though users are apt to click on the ads but less likely to like, comment, or share the content within them. That makes sense when you think about it; it’s much easier to engage on desktop with a larger screen, keyboard, and full complement of options.

What Does This Mean For Advertisers?

You should be tailoring your placement targeting to your campaign goals and ad types. This shouldn’t be a surprise. From our other conversations, you should know that Facebook advertising is what you make of it. It’s only as successful as you want it to be. And, whenever there are things that you could be doing to make your ads reach an even better audience, you should certainly be doing them.

As we said, eligible ad types are limited. But if you’re running a campaign with either Sponsored Like ads or Posts, definitely test out the different placements. Not only will you have a much greater depth of data about ad performance, but you now have the opportunity to make those ads even more effective with a custom ad placement.

Page Post campaigns will benefit significantly from desktop Newsfeed targeting. Instead of serving your ads to all placements, limit your Page Post ads to this specific one in order to increase the rate of engagement. As we said before, users are much more likely to like, comment, or share your content while on a computer. Although they may click from their phones, those clicks will be less cost-effective with regard to engagement. Ultimately, with a Page Post-focused campaign, the goal should be getting people to interact with the post, and using desktop Newsfeed targeting serves this end quite well.

Likewise, a Sponsored Like fan campaign will be at a disadvantage without the use of placement targeting. Although you will theoretically reach users in every placement with “null” targeting, you want to be able to isolate and drive more impressions to the placements that are driving the lowest-cost fans. Preliminary data has shown a marked difference in cost between placements. For a well-known recognizable brand, mobile may be the way to go because of the instant recognition. Lesser-known brands will benefit from the expanded ads in the desktop Newsfeed.

Again, the introduction of placement targeting on Facebook is just one more way to tailor your ads to the right audience. Take advantage of this opportunity and your campaigns are sure to be even more successful!

Repost from Dec 6, 2012 at 2:12pm ET by

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land or NetLinked Solutions.