Facebook Sponsored Story Ad Placements Update
Facebook announced on June 6th a new placement functionality for Sponsored Stories. The benefit of this update is it allows Advertisers more control over Sponsored Story placements. Previously, Advertisers were unable to control the placement of the Sponsored Story, now they are able to choose not only from desktop vs. mobile, but also from News Feed vs. Right Hand Side, while bidding separately on each selection. The new placement options are only available for Marketplace Sponsored Stories.
How it Works
By using the Facebook Power Editor or compatible third party API tool, Advertisers can choose between serving Sponsored Stories on all available placements, Desktop Only, or News Feed Only, with the additional option of Mobile, Desktop, or both. Additionally, since the placement option is set at the ad level, Advertisers will be able to set bids for each placement option they select. The images below outline the updated user experience in the Facebook Power Editor.
The placement targeting update adds another level of granularity to the available targeting options, providing the Advertiser with greater control and transparency of their campaigns. This new option presents four key benefits to Advertisers:
1) Increased Performance and Efficiency
- Advertisers can now test the performance of Sponsored Stories by placement in order to better manage and optimize performance to achieve better results.
2) Greater Flexibility to Tailor Campaigns to Mobile or Desktop
- Advertisers now have the ability to promote a product that is specific only to a desktop/laptop or mobile environment, such as a mobile application or a desktop program.
3) Increased Transparency
- The previous limitations of Facebook placement targeting kept Advertisers from gaining a deeper level of insight into their Sponsored Story’s performance. Advertisers will now be able to see how Sponsored Stories perform on each device and each placement location.
4) Greater Control of Investment
- Advertisers can now invest funds where they get the most bang for their buck by testing and measuring engagement/conversion rates of each placement. This includes bidding higher or lower depending on performance of each placement.
While Facebook has siginificantly expanded its targeting abilities by offering more visibility and discretion into where Sponsored Stories are served, the update does limit users from targeting the Right Hand Side only. Facebook has provided data showing that Sponsored Stories in the News Feed receive up to 22X engagement compared to Right Hand Side placements, which is an enticing figure for Advertisers. In turn, this data point will most likely lead to increased prices for Advertisers targeting this placement as bids will be more competitive. This concept is similar to that in the Search Engine Marketing space, where higher CPCs are often paid to secure the top position on the Search Engine Results Page. However, often times paying a premium CPC for this placement may not align with campaign goals. While more engagement is important, the potential number of total interactions could eventually be limited. If the option becomes available, one strategy Advertisers may consider is testing the Right Hand Side placements, because it will likely cost less and receive more impressions and clicks.
Facebook’s June 6th announcement adds a deeper level of targeting, allowing Advertisers to decide where and on what device Sponsored Stories will serve. This enables Advertisers to gather more actionable insights that will help drive more intelligent campaign strategies. The change is beneficial to Advertisers because it improves both the user experience and allows advertisers to more effectively target their consumer.