Facebook Search Ads: New Targeting Options Expand Availability

Advertisers and marketers can now place Facebook ads in both Marketplace search and in its general search (i.e. Facebook News Feed).

With millions of interactions taking place on a daily basis, Facebook Marketplace has become a convenient destination for users to discover, buy, and sell items. The social media giant had already offered sellers a way to advertise in Marketplace with sponsored ads, but it had not yet taken the plunge with general search.

team meeting about transitioning feeds

Image source: Facebook

Facebook’s new search ads feature enables merchants to place an ad within the search results for a specific search query. How does Facebook’s search ads work? Whether or not an ad appears is based on an advertiser’s target audience including demographics, interests, and behaviors, as well as relevant search term keywords that are determined by Facebook.

Simply put, if a user searches for something that falls into a category that a specific advertiser is trying to target, then that advertiser’s ad will surface in the search results.

Up until recently, Facebook limited access to its search ad feature to a selected few during its beta testing phase. Facebook is now ready to roll out the search ad placement feature to all advertisers.

Automatic Placements

According to Facebook, “All new ad campaigns using Automatic Placements will automatically include the Facebook Search Results placement. You can also manually select the placement when setting up your campaign [in Ads Manager].”

Advertisers that do not want their ads to appear in Facebook’s general search results, and/or Marketplace, simply need to deselect “Automatic Placements,” Facebook Search Results and/or Marketplace placements.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

This expanded availability will offer marketers the opportunity to target more users who are actively searching for their products or services on the platform.

According to an internal Facebook study, brands that advertised across the Facebook ecosystem (Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network) had “8x higher conversion rates than audiences only exposed to a single ad on Facebook.” Further research shows that “opting-in to Facebook News Feed and Marketplace generally results in a lower cost per incremental lift for mid-funnel brand metrics than News Feed alone.”

The bottom line: Ad campaigns using Automatic Placements could potentially be a game-changer for brands that want to broaden their reach and increase conversion rates.