Advertising Placements
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Facebook Advertising for Beginners

Placement Options

Facebook placements are where your ads are shown within and outside of Facebook’s platforms.

Placements can be broken up into two groups:

  • Device Type
  • Platform

Facebook recommends using Automatic Placements for all ads. We’ll discuss later why this is a bad idea.

facebook placement type

Device Type

Device type is broken up into two different groups – desktop and mobile.

These are self-explanatory, so we won’t discuss these that much. Suffice to say that costs and results can vary depending on the device type your choose.

For example, choosing desktop means you can’t target by Instagram or Audience Network, since they are both mobile platforms.

facebook desktop ads

If you select Mobile, you can also chose the operating system and phone you want to target, and if ads should be served over cellular or wifi only.

facebook mobile ads

If you select Messenger, you can’t target anyone in other platforms.

facebook messenger ads

Advanced Mobile Placement Options

When selecting Mobile placement, you have the option to get even more granular when targeting users. For example, maybe your ad analysis shows that iOS users purchase 90% of your products. Wouldn’t it make sense to target only them?

You can do this with Advanced Options for mobile targeting.

facebook advanced options

This option is found underneath the placements section. Select Specific Mobile Devices and Operating Systems and then choose your preferred OS.

facebook mobile software

You can also select to target people only when they’re connected to Wifi.

Why might you want to use Advanced Mobile Placement?

  • Your product is only available on a specific platform
  • Users must download a large file – they would prefer to use Wifi
  • Certain software users are more lucrative than others.


Facebook isn’t just a single social network – it is made up (as of writing this course) 4 different platforms that you can target with advertising:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network
  • Messenger

facebook platform


Facebook is your standard ad serving location. This is usually where advertisers spend the majority of their money.You can choose between in-feed ads or right-hand column.

Facebook recommends using the Facebook placement for the following objectives:

  • Conversions
  • Website traffic
  • View videos
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Product catalogues
  • App installs
Tip – Right hand column may be harder to read or understand. Make sure your creative is legible and understandable.



Instagram ads will be placed within the Instagram ad network. These only work on mobile devices, not desktop.

Facebook recommends using the Instagram placement for the following objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Video views
  • App installs

Audience Network

The Audience Network let’s advertisers reach Facebook users on mobile apps outside of Facebook. It users the same audience targeting capabilities as Facebook, including custom audiences.

audience network example

Facebook recommends using the Audience Network placement for the following objectives:

  • Video views
  • App installs
  • Product catalogue
  • Conversions
  • Website traffic


Facebook’s newest placement let’s you target ads to Facebook Messenger. Unfortunately, this is limited to only those who have “an open,  existing conversion with” a brand. Ads can only contain one link and one photo, and they cannot run on other placements – only within messenger.

Tip – Facebook recommend selecting all platforms, and then they will optimize for the best results. We recommend breaking out Instagram, because the creative should look different than a normal Facebook ad.


Other Placements

Did you know there’s other placements that aren’t currently targetable, but where your ad is still served? Here’s a couple examples:

  • Facebook Instant Articles Desktop
  • Facebook Instant Articles Desktop
  • Facebook Suggested Video Desktop
  • Facebook Suggested Video Mobile

Exclusion Lists

As discussed, Audience Platforms provide less control to advertisers, since the ads are not technically within the Facebook ecosystem. With less control over ad placement, your ad could appear within the wrong subject matter, or on websites you know are ineffective, or problematic.

To fix this, Facebook has created two options for advertisers:

Exclude Categories: Exclude your ads from appearing on certain topic categories, like gambling.

facebook exclusion categories

Block List: Exclude ads from appearing on specific websites.

facebook block list

You can create block lists in Business Manager, or by clicking the button. Then follow the instructions to create a block list.

facebook block list settings

Platform and Placement Analysis

Prices can vary drastically between different platforms.

Here’s a snapshot of our ad account. We’ve included only CPM costs so you can see how it varies between placements and platforms.

facebook ad placement costs

You can see how different placements have dramatically different costs. Why is this?

As we mentioned earlier in the course, prices are influenced by many different factors. In this case, we believe there are two reasons why prices are so variable – competition and quality of placement.

Mobile devices generally cost more because more people spend time on mobile, and there’s less ad placement opportunities. For example, desktop has two placements – right-hand side and in-feed.

Right-hand side is usually cheaper because it’s a poorer quality ad location. Less advertisers compete for that placement because it’s less effective and harder to see. And right-hand side ads can appear more often than in-feed placements.

These are just a few reasons why some placement costs are higher.

Why You Should be Wary of Automatic Placements

Let’s take a look at a campaign we ran for our Instagram eBook.

After spending almost $5, we had 242 website link clicks at $.02 per link click, with a $0.59 CPM cost. Pretty awesome right?

Wrong. After all those clicks, we had 0 conversions.

facebook audience network results

We had never seen results like this before. So we dug deeper into the data. Can you figure out the issue?

mobile audience network placement

We discovered that all the clicks were coming from the Audience Network. But not one of those clicks converted.

We re-ran the campaign, focusing on the Facebook placement. The result? Much better.

instagram ad results

Here’s a few reasons why this might’ve happened:

  • The Audience Network is outside of Facebook, and therefore drives lower quality clicks
  • Ads look different within the Audience Network. The creative could’ve implied something different than the landing page
  • The placement was in a poor location, and users accidentally clicked the ad.

We don’t know for certain, but those are just a couple theories.

Tip – Be wary of audience network by monitoring your placement results.

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