Auto Targeting Scope vs. Manual Targeting


When setting up targeted advertising, you need to take into account many factors, from target selection to texts and creatives for ads. Another setting that also impacts the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is the placement of ads.

For example, if you work with Facebook, your ad placements can occur on News Feed, Instagram, Stories, Instant Articles, Audience Network, Messenger, etc. How does one decide whether to trust the platform or set up ad placements manually? Let us figure it out in the article using Facebook as an example, and if you wish to delve into this question deeply, read more and find the best ways for targeting.

How do automatic and manual placements work?

When choosing automatic placement, Facebook decides how to distribute the budget between sites and where to show ads more often. This is because Facebook itself learns during the display of ads. Targeting works the same across all placements, so by using more placements, you can reach a wider audience.

When choosing placements manually, we decide on which social network to show ads on and in what format.

What to choose for your targeting?

Facebook recommends using automatic placement as it allows the ecosystem to achieve the maximum result in the form of more impressions and clicks.

There are opinions that automatic selection is an extra waste of the budget, but in reality, this is not always the case. Many agencies often use this placement format, and here is why:

  • Facebook algorithms in the first days after the launch of advertising are trained and look for the best bundles of creative and audience and placement.
  • Autoplacements allow you to find the target audience on those sites where it definitely exists.
  • For example, some users often watch the Instagram feed but perform the main actions in the Facebook feed. Algorithms know this and will find these users.
  • When the system completes the work, you can review the Facebook report and finally choose where it is more profitable for the client to be placed.

As for the manual placement format, it can be used when a client needs followers on Instagram. Then, it is advisable to limit the display places and look for subscribers on the same social network.

One can also use this format after testing sites. For example, if you know that Instagram Stories have a higher conversion rate and high-quality leads coming from there, you limit the number of sites and leave only high-converting ones.

After testing platforms through automatic placements, it is possible to find out whether the Instagram platform is more effective than Facebook in terms of reach and results or not.

Tips and advice for perfect targeting

There are no specific pros and cons to manual and automatic placement. The choice of format depends on the initial tasks and data and on whether there is preliminary analytics on the effectiveness of the sites.

However, in the beginning, you can follow some professional advice to achieve the planned results of the advertising campaign:

  • Make sure your campaign and ad set audiences do not target the same audience or compete for the same user.
  • Make sure that your campaign goals are set up correctly; then, there will be no problems with optimization.
  • Check if the advertising budget is correctly distributed in the campaign.
  • Do not narrow your audience too much so that campaigns can get out of the learning phase.
  • At the start of the campaign, set the automatic selection of placements. Switch to manual control only when you have collected enough data on the effectiveness of the sites.
  • Set up campaigns so that each of them takes users from one level of the sales funnel to another.
  • Change creatives in an advertising campaign. Use the Ads Library, Facebook Ads Inspiration, Pinterest, and photo stocks to find new ideas.

If initially, you have no restrictions on sites, use auto-placement. Therefore, Facebook algorithms will be able to find the maximum of your target audience even where you would not think to look for it. The main thing is that after training the campaign, do not forget to analyze the platform report and leave placement only on the most effective social network.



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