Facebook announced on 17 October 2019 the platform’s expansion of the Search Ads feature. All business profiles on Facebook can finally have access to Search Ads and additionally have the option of automatic or manual placement of their ads on the search results. This new update is in line with Facebook’s goal to maximize advertising potential for the social media platform.
Search Ads are featured paid advertisements that appear on the search results when users use the search function in Facebook whether in general or in the marketplace. They can be identified by the “Sponsored” label. As with SEO, businesses pay to have their ad placed for certain search terms.
To further help businesses with Search Ads, brand may choose to set the Automatic Placement feature. This feature automatically arranges the placement of search ads depending on the settings of the business. This is a simple way to set up a Search Ads campaign especially if the brand has little experience in SEO. Businesses may opt-out of the Automatic placement if they prefer not to have search ads or if they want to manually customize the search terms for a campaign.
As there is limited space available for ads in News Feeds, Facebook has been looking for other potential ad space, without overwhelming users with too many ads. Facebook’s use of the spaces on Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp has been successful in this regard. With the expanded feature of search ads, users and businesses should expect more opportunities for ad placements in the social media platform. Future developments are also on the way such as ad placement in the Groups tab feed.
Implications for Brand Marketers
According to a Facebook’s IQ study, users who find similar ads in multiple platforms and spaces across Facebook’s social media sites had 8 times higher conversion rates than users only exposed to a single ad.1 With this information and the recent expansions and updates done by the social media company on many platforms it handles. Marketers should look into maximizing the opportunities for placing meaningful and responsive ads that have a clear and connected brand message. This means not just to make sure to place ads in all possible placements but also to make sure the story of the ads resonates with the target audience. Creativity and knowledge of the target audience are key.