Facebook Ad Placements Guide

Marketing Meathead’s Official Guide to Facebook Ad Placements

Facebook has quickly become one of the most effective platforms for creating and posting ads.

Facebook Ad Placement Guide

Businesses have the option of allowing Facebook to show their ads in places where they are most likely to perform, or they can manually choose where to show their ads.

While there’s no doubt that Facebook ads are useful, their placements can be challenging and almost impossible to keep up them all, especially the ones that are off Facebook.

In this post, I will go over everything you need to know about the Facebook ad placements, they pros and cons of each and what it means, the different options, and how to choose the best fit for your business.

Options for Facebook Ad Placements


Your Facebook ad placement determines where your ad will show up. The format of the ad and how much text you have are also considerations as these affect the ad’s appearance and cost.

While there are many options, placements can affect costs by up to $0.90 and the fact that different ad placements can be more effective than others just muddies the water even more.

AdPlacements_Chart(Image Credit Ad Expresso)


Not all placements are available on both desktop and mobile. Some are available through the desktop site, while others can be shown on the app.


They include:

Feeds: Feeds are seen most often on desktop and mobile feeds in a standard ad format with headlines, ad texts, and media like image or video.  They will also have a call to action(CTA).  Users are able to like, comment, and share these posts. When clicked, users are taken to a landing page or website selected by the advertiser.


Instant Articles: Instant articles aim to get users to read your content. When clicked, the user will be brought to your article where an ad waits.


In-Stream Videos: When watching videos, users may be interrupted with an ad in the form of a brief video. Users will often watch the ad as they wait for their video to return.


Right Column: This type of classic ad appears as a small campaign with minimal text and a single image.


Suggested Videos: After a user is finished watching a video, they will see a list of more “suggested videos.” You can choose to have your video appear as one of these suggested videos.  A Video ad can also appear in the “Video Feed” like below.  Advantage if the user clicks, their interest is already piqued.


Marketplace: Ads can be posted in the Facebook Marketplace, an online storefront where users go to buy items. If you have items to sell, this is a great place to showcase your goods.  This is a great way to sell to people looking to buy, but there is a bit of “lack of data” here to talk much about it.  It’s worth a test with strong targeting.


Stories: As users watch feeds from their Stories, 15-second video ads are often implemented on mobile devices. Stories are excellent for brand awareness and result in fairly high engagement rates.



Instagram offers one of the highest costing ad placement options.  Facebook acquired Instagram on 2012 and has been a huge edition to the user base.  A smart move for the tech giant.  Instagram boast some where in the neighborhood of 800 million monthly active users.

However, the results can be worth the cost if you get the placements right. Instagram offers two different placements for ads to show up: feeds and stories.

Feeds: Ads may show up in a user’s feeds and may contain videos, images, or carousel ads. If the user chooses to hover over the ad, a call to action will appear that encourages the user to click. Feed placements are generally more costly than other options but they are the only clickable links available in feed content.


Stories: When a story is posted, there is the option to swipe up to see more. As stories last just 15 seconds, it is important to get your message across quickly. When used properly, stories result in excellent ad recall and engagement for brands.


This is the same chart I showed earlier and you can see the Instagram feeds and stories were some of the most expensive in 2017 for a single cost per click(CPC).


Still Instagram has been a solid traffic source for us.  We have seen some solid results with e-commerce products and some affiliate offers. You will have to test, test, test, and break out your tests between the Instagram feed and stories.

Audience Network

Facebook’s audience network consists of apps and websites that allow your ad to appear on their site. This allows your ad to reach your target audience while the publisher and Facebook earn a profit.

There are several types of placements available, including:

Banner, Native, and Interstitial: These types of ads may show up in various locations with other mobile sites and apps.


I am guessing some of you reading this are thinking I have a “Professional Business” and might not my ad showing up on a “Dating Site” like Tinder.  Tinder is “Swiping site” with a sea of singles in Las Vegas the site is littered with prostitution.   Well, you are in luck.  The advertiser has the ability to to exclude specific categories of apps and websites from the audience network.  This will aid in reducing wasted clicks.

More good news for advertisers, these categories and block lists also apply to in-stream video placements and instant article placements as well.


In-Stream Videos: In-stream videos are similar to other feeds but appear off of Facebook.

Rewarded Videos: This type of ad works exclusively for gaming apps with active games. Users are able to test out the ad before downloading the game.


Messenger ads are relatively new in the world of Facebook ads. However, they have seen great success when used correctly. Your options include:

Inbox: Your ad may appear in a user’s Messenger inbox where it will often stand out due to the uncluttered theme.Inbox_Messenger

Stories: Stories on Messenger work in the same manner as Instagram and other options.

Sponsored Messages: With Sponsored Messages, users are able to message you directly after the ad shows up in their inbox. When users see the message, they can open it and see a call to action.   Currently only available with the “messages” objective.


Messenger ads are fairly new to Facebook, we have tested and not had much luck with affiliate offers. I will follow up with some case studies in 2019.

Selecting Placements

Placements are generally enabled immediately when running ad campaigns.

You have the option of running just a few placements or running all of them.

If you are focusing primarily on engagement for visible social proof, you may want to consider disabling Messenger campaigns or audience network.

If your campaigns are centered on Stories, you may want to only have Stories placement enabled.

It is important to keep an eye on your campaigns to see which placements are giving you the best results.

When you see clicks and conversions, also take note of how much they are costing you.

Some Pro Tips:

You will need to take a “trail and error” approach to ad placements. One process I use is running a campaign with a conversions objective. Use a set period with automatic placements. After the data is collected take a look in the performance ads manager.  Select the ad set or target audience that you tested and open the performance tab on the right hand side.

Click on that and select the placements tab in the middle:


In the example above the placements were set to automatic and the Facebook Algorithm learned and optimized the placements the that yielded the most results for the lowest cost.

In Conclusion

Understanding Facebook ad placements can be a little confusing at first.

However, in time you’ll find that they work exceptionally well to help you reach your marketing goals.

To help ensure success, you need know when to use each type of placement and when to use a combination of placements without cost getting in the way.

When you are able to find the ideal balance of reaching as many users as possible at a fair price point, you can use Facebook ad placement to your advantage.

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