Facebook Ads: How to Perfect Your Placement Strategy

When we strategize for Facebook Ads, there is a topic that is often overlooked: the ad placement. And yet this aspect has a great influence on the outcome of the campaigns.

You may still remember when the only options for placing your ads on Facebook were the Latest News section and the left column. Today, the landscape is much more complex, but it also offers us a lot of possibilities. Let’s see what locations you can use for your Facebook Ads and how to get more out of them.

What are the advertising locations on Facebook?

The Facebook ad network spans multiple locations, but the option that appears by default when configuring our campaigns is to use the automatic locations. In principle, Facebook recommends using this option to get more out of your budget, but on many occasions we may be interested in having more control over where our ads are displayed.

In order to edit your locations, you have to click on Manual locations and check or uncheck the different boxes in the drop-down list below. These are the options available at the end of May 2020:

  • News section
    • Facebook news section
    • Instagram news
    • Facebook Marketplace
    • Facebook video sections
    • Right column of Facebook
    • “Explore” section of Instagram
    • Messenger inbox
    • Facebook group news
  • stories
  • In-stream
  • Look for
  • Posts
  • In articles
  • Apps and websites
    • Audience Network native, banner and interstitial
    • Audience Network Award Winning Videos
    • Vídeos in-stream de Audience Network
  • Messenger inbox


To better see how each location works, you can check the preview that appears when you hover over each option. Please note that some locations may not be available for certain objectives and others are still in the testing phase or available for automatic locations.

How to manage your ad placements on Facebook

Let’s see some options from some ideas that we have collected based on our experience and other experts.

Mistakes to avoid

Typically, marketers using Facebook Ads tend to fall into one of two extremes: o they never customize locations (and they just rely on automatic Facebook placements) or they are too restrictive and they are limited to one or two options.

Always showing ads in all locations and not optimizing to focus on those that give the best results means losing effectiveness, since it is most likely that there are advertising placements on Facebook that give us better results and others that are not profitable.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, holding on to one or two locations and discarding the others can also cause us to miss out on opportunities.

Typically, marketers who choose their locations focus on the news section, as it is the one that generates the most visibility. But in return, it is also one of the most expensive.

Therefore, being too restrictive with placements on Facebook Ads can limit our reach and increase customer acquisition costs.

How to optimize the placement of your Facebook ads step by step

To avoid these mistakes, focus on the Facebook Ads placements that work best for your account and not miss opportunities, we recommend that you follow this strategy in three steps.


Step 1: start with all locations

To get an idea of ​​what works and what doesn’t for your brand, you have to try it first! Therefore, the first step of this strategy is launch your ad in all available placements for your target. Thus, you will achieve the maximum scope for your campaign and you will be able to collect as much information as possible on these matters:

  • What are the platforms and locations that your audience sees most often? (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger …)
  • What devices do they use the most? Note that some locations work better on some devices than others.
  • Which locations generate the most interactions?
  • What locations are more expensive? Don’t just focus on cost per click: cost per thousand and per acquisition can also be very important, depending on your goals.
  • Which locations have the best return on investment?

Step 2: review the results

Once your campaign has been active in the different locations for a reasonable amount of time, it is time to review your results. To do this, you can consult different breakdowns in the ads manager:




  • Location and device– Shows the breakdown of results for each location where the ad was shown and the devices people were using when they viewed it. This breakdown is very helpful in understanding which locations work well for a particular device and which ones don’t.


Based on the analysis of these results, we can optimize our campaign by deactivating the least effective placements, creating new ads for the best-performing placements, or customizing ads based on location to improve performance.

Step 3: test and repeat

As in any other element of our digital marketing, continuous improvement and optimization are essential for the performance of Facebook ad placements.

Not only can we fine-tune our settings more and more, but the situation evolves over time and what works today may be out of date the day after tomorrow. Therefore, the recommendation is always to review our results periodically and continue testing. Depending on your budget and the traffic of your campaigns, it is advisable to review the placements of your ads on Facebook between every two weeks and every quarter.

Alternative strategy: customize Facebook locations before launching the campaign

The strategy we just explained is suitable for quickly optimizing your ad placements on Facebook, but sometimes it may be more convenient for us. restrict some locations before launching the campaign. Let’s see what they are.

If you already have experience in Facebook Ads and your budget is limited

One drawback to the strategy we’ve discussed is that testing all locations at once requires a certain level of budget, and may occasionally we need to limit investment in Facebook Ads.

In that case, if you’ve done Facebook ad campaigns before, you can filter the results by location to see which ones are less efficient and remove them from the list before you start, saving time and budget from the start.

If creativity doesn’t fit

Before launching a campaign, it is highly recommended to review what our creativity looks like in each and every one of the locations where we want to publish our ads.

When doing this we may find that some locations do not fit with the images we have selected, since each one of them has its own technical specifications. If any of them interest us a lot, we can adapt the creativity, but if it is one of the least profitable, the quickest thing is to eliminate it.


If you want to protect your brand

One of the problems with running ads in many placements is that we lose control of where they are displayed. And for certain brands, it is very important to control the context and prevent your ads from showing on certain pages.

In the case of Facebook, this issue mostly affects the Audience Network, as this location includes third-party apps and pages.

To better control where your advertising will appear, you have two options: use inventory filters or block lists.

The inventory filters they allow us to choose between three levels:

  • Complete inventory– Offers the broadest reach, including all content that meets monetization requirements.
  • Standard inventory: is the default preselected option. Here the reach is balanced with the exclusion of moderate content.
  • Limited inventory– Excludes all sensitive and moderate content, making it the safest option for the brand. In return, it reduces the scope and can drive costs higher.

The block lists They allow even more precise control, since you can create a list of URLs in which your ad will not show. To create your own custom block list, you must create a document in .CSV or .TXT format with all the URLs you want to remove and then upload it to your Facebook Ads manager. Please note that the list cannot contain more than 10,000 lines, but you can upload multiple files to your account.

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