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Facebook Ads: Automatic vs Manual Placements

Nina De Winter

Now that we are in our advertising era, it is time for the next topic on the agenda: advertisement placements.

Let’s talk about what ad placements are, which types of placements there are, and what they have to offer in terms of benefits.

After reading this article, you’re able to distinguish the different kinds of placement ads, and choose the one that suits your needs as an advertiser best.

What are Facebook ad placements?

An ad placement refers to the places where your advertisements are presented to consumers. 

It is either Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or the Audience Network. More specifically, your ads can be displayed on news feeds, articles, in-stream videos, stories, and more.

Every time you launch an advertising campaign in Facebook’s Ad Manager, you have to make a choice in the ad set level about how and where your advertisements show up. Meta provides brand promoters with two different options, being manual and automatic ad placements. 

Are you asking yourself right now what the differences are between these alternatives? You’re in luck then, because we’ll touch upon that immediately. 

We leave it up to you to decide which choice has your preference, but Casa Media gladly gives you a hand in uncovering the theory behind ad placements. 

Both manual and auto placement advertisements have its benefits and inefficiencies, so there’s no right or wrong in this story. It all depends on your advertising goals and which audience you aim to target. To be continued…

What are auto placement ads?

Before we dive right into the world of automatic placement ads, you should know that they go under the name of Advantage+ in the Facebook Ads Manager. 

Essentially, this type of placements allows Facebook’s algorithm to help you out by placing your advertisements where it thinks they will perform well. 

At the same time, your ad campaign’s budget is automatically located across multiple placements on Meta’s advertising platforms.

Apart from Meta, advertising is possible on other social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Since we know the importance of integrating various marketing channels in your marketing mix, Casa happily provides you with a guide to advertising on LinkedIn.

What are the benefits of automatic placements?

In short, the automated way of placing ads saves you a lot of time and energy. However, there are also other advantages linked to this type of advertising:

Broader reach across various platforms

Firstly, automatic placements are a catalyst to reaching a wider audience with the least effort. 

By letting the Facebook algorithm work for you, your advertisements will be placed in the most relevant places where they can be seen by the greatest number of people.

In other words, you no longer have to worry about metrics such as visibility and reach – Facebook will take care of that for you.

Higher degree of efficiency in advertising

As mentioned before, placing advertisements automatically helps you to save time and costs.

By automatically distributing your budget across various advertising platforms, your budget is used more efficiently and your costs might be reduced. 

Additionally, the algorithm uses machine learning and data analysis to target audiences more effectively. In this way, there’s higher chances to reach your ideal customers.

Higher degree of brand exposure

Sometimes advantages come with additional benefits. In this case, having an increased visibility can lead to a higher degree of brand exposure.

As Facebook exhibits your business’ ads to a variety of audiences, more people become aware of who you are and what you sell. 

If you’re in need of that extra touch of promotion, you should consider automatic placements. 

How to develop automatic placement ads

When setting up your advertising campaign on Facebook, one of the first steps you are confronted with is the placement settings.

Although we mentioned earlier on that we don’t have any preference, you’ll see that Facebook recommends Advantage+ placements. 

If you opt for auto placement ads, all you really have to do is tick the box. As expected, Meta will do the rest of the work for you. Short and sweet.

Under that box, you can change some settings if you wish. These include the inventory filter, block lists, and content type exclusions.

What are manual placement ads?

By choosing manual ad placements, you keep control in the advertising game. You manually select the places your ads run on, and have the freedom to handle as you wish. 

The more placements you choose, the more chances you have of reaching your target audience and boosting sales. 

If you decide to limit the amount of placements, you’re complicating things. Not only will the algorithm be more restricted, but it will also be more of a struggle to make the most out of your budget.

The main risk in manual placements lies in not knowing your audience’s behavior. Let’s say that you only use Facebook ad placements. 

If your customers use Instagram more frequently, you have a problem: there are no advertisements targeting your ideal clients. On top of that, it is likely that your placements will eat up your budget: you’re investing in the wrong placements.

On the other hand, manual placements can also be a synonym of success. The requirement that has to be fulfilled is an excellent knowledge of your customers. 

That’s right, the secret ingredient to success is knowing your target group and their behavior. The latter includes their online searches and the platforms they are active on.

Once you have this, you can start segmenting your audiences to target as specifically as you want it to be.

What are the benefits of manual ad placements?

Through manual ad placements, advertisers  can optimize their ad campaigns in several ways. 

Ideally, businesses with experience in advertising choose this option. Here is a quick summary of the most important benefits.

You remain in control of budget

The big difference with auto placements is that with manual ad placements, you remain in control of how your budget is split. 

It is not Facebook that allocates your budget across various platforms. Instead, you make your own decisions and you are in charge.

Allows for more specific targeting

Thanks to manual ad placements, businesses can target specific audiences and customize advertisements to their interests.

The consequence of doing this? Easy, you can target niche groups, and reach the right people with the right message. Consequently, your ad performance can be boosted.

When you choose your audience, always make sure that it is large enough. An audience that is too small may influence the performance of your advertisements.

Which type of ad placements should I choose?

Before we round up this article, there’s one question we can’t leave unanswered. The morale of the story: which type of placements should you choose?

As mentioned before, Casa Media has no personal preference. There is no standard rule that marks one category as superior, and it certainly isn’t a matter where there’s only black and white.

The best option for you at the moment may not be the same choice you make in one year. It depends on your goals, your advertising experience, and resources.

If you know your target audience well and have sufficient insights into their consumer behavior, you could go for manual advertising placements. 

When doing so, you’re able to keep full control over your budget allocation and ad placement, and you can target very specifically.

On the other hand, auto placements are your go-to if advertising campaigns are relatively new to you and you want to reach a wide audience. 

What you should remember about placement ads

Well done – you made it all the way here, and placement ads are no longer strangers to you. Here’s a small recap from what you learned today.

Firstly, we looked at what ad placements are. We found that they are the locations where a business’ advertisements are shown to their ideal clients. There are two ways of choosing the places of your ads: either automatically or manually.

The difference between these manners is obvious. In the case of auto ad placements, the Facebook algorithm takes your advertisements and allocates the budget among various platforms. It saves you time and effort. You can use his method of placing when you want to reach a wider audience and still want your budget to be useful.

Manual placements, however, are aimed at targeting specific groups of consumers. With this option, you keep full control over your advertising campaign and you choose where your advertisements are shown. This form of advertising is usually only recommended for businesses with experience and who know their ideal clients very well. 

Interested in exploring the subject of advertising on a deeper level? No problem! We recommend that you start with our blog post about display advertising.

Are you in doubt, or do you need some assistance with your business’ advertising? Look no more, you can count on our team of professionals at Casa Media.


29 September 2023


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