Remember last week when we looked at the available ad formats in Snapchat and Facebook?

We mentioned that although there are many ad formats to choose from, your choice may be dictated by the placement of the ad*, or vice versa.

This is what we're focusing on this week. What ad placement options Snapchat and Facebook offer.

*Available placements in turn can be impacted by the ad's objective, but we'll touch on that next week.

What is an ad placement?

There's no doubt you know this already - but just in case - it's literally where your ad will appear online.

This is whether it appears on or outside a specific platform, e.g. Instagram or Audience Network for Facebook. It's also where within an app or web page the ad appears, e.g. in a user's feed, story or within a third party article.

What ad placements are available on Facebook?

There are 15 ad placements available across the four platforms you can reach with Facebook ads:

In a hurry? You can jump to a specific section using the links below.

Facebook Placements

Instagram Placements

Audience Network Placements

Messenger Placements

What ad placements are available on Snapchat?

There are roughly 3 available ad placements on Snapchat. We say roughly because placements on Snapchat don't work in the same way as they do on Facebook.

Facebook ads run across 3 separate platforms and the audience network - as well as on desktop and mobile. Across multiple platforms and locations, different requirements need to be met.

Snapchat of course runs ads on Snapchat alone. Snapchat is a mobile only app, so placements are also always on a mobile.

As they all share the same platform location, Snapchat's placements revolve around the main user navigation areas - Friends, Camera and Discover. Your ads will either appear in camera, or in content.

In a hurry? You can jump to a specific section using the links below.

Snapchat ad placements

Can I control where my ads appear using placements on Facebook?

To an extent.

By default, your campaign will be set with the setting Automatic Placements (Recommended).

You can however choose to Edit Placements where you can then untick or tick the placement(s) you do or don't want your ads to appear on.

Facebook's Edit Placements Option

Remember!
Certain placements will be restricted based on your objective. Whichever placement you then choose may in turn restrict your ad format options.

Can I control where my ads appear using placements on Snapchat?

Yes, also to an extent..

As discussed above, there are only really three locations within Snapchat that your content can appear. Either in the Friends, Discover, or Camera sections.

Your placements are almost entirely dictated entirely by the ad format you have chosen. If you choose a Story Ad, AR Lens or Filter, your placement choice is non-negotiable.

If you're running a Snap Ad or Collection Ad, you can decide on your placement, sort of.

You can choose All Snapchat, which means your content will appear within both User Stories and Publisher stories. You can also choose to Edit Placements.

This allows you to restrict whether your Snap or Collection ads appear within certain content categories. It also allows you to choose to run your ads only in User Stories, or only in Publisher and Snapchat Stories/Shows.

Snapchat's Edit Placements Option

Ad Placements on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network and Snapchat

Okay, let's take a look at the placements in a little more detail.

Facebook Feeds Placement

Here, your ad will appear directly in your audience’s desktop or mobile newsfeed. i.e. where content from their friends and family also appears.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook Feed Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook feeds placement?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow
  • Collection
  • Playables

When should I use the Facebook feeds placement?

Want to hit Facebook users in the place they spend the most time, i.e. scrolling through their feed? This is the place to do it.

It's this placement that made Facebook advertising what it is today. Delivering ads in a way that fits seamlessly into a user's experience.

Just bear in mind that these same reasons make it an incredibly competitive space.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook Instant Articles Placement

Your ad will appear within instant articles in the Facebook mobile app or on Messenger.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook Instant Article Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook instant articles placement?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Facebook instant articles placement?

This is in some respects a way to branch out of Facebook content, without actually leaving Facebook.

These will be similar to the way your ad might appear on the Audience Network (i.e. on publisher websites). It will appear within a publisher's article - but instead the content is hosted within Facebook.

You might want to use this as a way to test the waters. Does your ad work better when it's within a user's social feed, or within third-party content?

Instant articles load faster than traditional page links, so that's worth considering. As is the knowledge that your ads might end up within trending stories that are getting a lot of traffic...

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook In Stream Videos Placement

Ads will appear as short videos (5-15 seconds). There are in live or on demand videos that your audience are watching on on Facebook.

It’s essentially like an ad break on television. Your ad appears during another organisation’s video content.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook In-Stream Video Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook in-stream videos placement?

  • Video
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Facebook in-stream videos placement?

First things first - you're going to need a video ad. This can be an actual video or a slideshow (but this isn't the best place for those).

This one is great because of the fact it works like an ad break. Users have to watch your video to continue watching what they want.

This makes it a great placement for Reach and Brand Awareness campaigns, but not for others.

Users are only watching your ad to get to the rest of the content they want to watch. They're not prime for luring away to take your desired action.

Make sure your content is high quality here. Because these work like TV ads, and will probably appear between TV level content (e.g. on Facebook Watch) TV ad quality will be expected.

In-stream videos are perfect placements for getting your desired Facebook audience to find out who you are - in 15 seconds or less.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook Right Column Placement

Your ads will appear - you guessed it! - in the right side column on Facebook when users are browsing from a desktop computer.

Example ads delivered in the Facebook Right Column Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook right column placement?

  • Photo
  • Carousel

When should I use the Facebook right column placement?

These ads appear where people generally expect to see ads on a website. As they scroll down the page, your ad will follow them, so right-column placements are perfect for retargeting campaigns.

This location is ideal for luring back customers with a product they viewed or initiated checkout on.

This is also a great place for driving traffic to your website, whether B2B or B2C.  If people are willing to click away from their beloved Facebook to visit your site, they'll land red hot.

Just make sure your landing page has the goods to drive them further into the consideration or conversion stages.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook Suggested Videos Placement

When users click on a video in their mobile news feed, it will open up in a player of ‘suggested videos’. Your video ad will be displayed as a sponsored video between these videos.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook Suggested Videos Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook suggested videos placement?

  • Video
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Facebook suggested videos placement?

When you have a video that is ridiculously eye-catching.

Unlike the in-stream videos placement, users have no requirement to watch any of your video to get something they want. You just appear with all of the other organic videos in their feed.

Yes, you can just keep this one ticked as well as the other available placements for video if you want. But if you're not getting a good watch rate then you'll need to consider your video, your targeting, and whether this placement works for you.

You're likely to have the most success with this placement if your video is extremely short and if you have captions. This way a good chunk of it will play as the user scrolls - which they'll likely be doing with their sound off.

It's also a great one for the app-installs objective. You can just pop an animated screen video that shows off a bit of your app - have the 'install now' CTA, et voila!

Unlike the in-stream videos placement, users here aren't necessarily watching something in particular. If they come across your exciting video, they're more likely to transfer their procrastination time to you. Whether this be testing out your app or products.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook Marketplace Placement

You ad will appear when a user is browsing Marketplace in the Facebook App on their phone.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook Marketplace Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook marketplace placement?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Facebook marketplace placement?

This one has quite a broad variety of objectives available and for B2C marketers, its one well worth keeping ticked.

People are looking for things to buy in the marketplace, right? They're in the spending mood.

Use this as an opportunity to catch their eye with your latest product offering. Or you could entice them to quickly sign up to your mailing list for exclusive offers.

Yes they might be looking for something very specific and yes your ad might just be dismissed. But get your targeting right and you could generate some excellent traffic and conversions here.

Ads in the marketplace occur quite frequently as you scroll down. This would likely serve brand awareness and reach campaigns well too.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Facebook Stories Placement

Your ad will appear in other people’s stories in Facebook.

Example ad delivered in the Facebook Stories Placement

What ad formats are available for the Facebook stories placement?

  • Stories

When should I use the Facebook stories placement?

If you're using this placement - work the format - stand out with strong vertical content.

Objectives wise, reach and brand awareness will work well here given that you occupy the user's full screen (even for a moment). It's also a great place to drive website visits and lead generation.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Instagram Feed Placement

Your ads will appear like a post in a user's main Instagram feed.

Example ad delivered in Instagram Feed Placement

What ad formats are available for the Instagram feed placement?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Collection
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Instagram feed placement?

The same applies here as the Facebook feeds placement. You can't really go wrong with the majority of objectives delivered in Instagram.  

Just like in the Facebook feed, your ads are appearing natively and (almost) seamlessly as part of a users experience. It's always a relatively soft approach that is unlikely to do you harm.

If you plan on delivering your ads to Instagram alone, make sure to work with the format and the audience you'll find there.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Instagram Stories Placement

Your ads will appear between people’s stories on Instagram.

Example ad delivered in Instagram Stories Placement

What ad formats are available for the Instagram stories placement?

  • Stories

When should I use the Instagram stories placement?

Work the format - because it's a great one - and definitely one worth using for brand awareness, reach and conversion campaigns.

As long as your visuals or videos are vertical, clear of too much text and short - you could do very well.

Lead gen and app install campaigns should also work well here. Users can easily send you their details without leaving the app or jump straight to their app store.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial Placement

Your ads will appear on apps or websites in the audience network.

  • Native ads are designed to ‘match the look, feel or experience of your app or website’. They will appear within or between content.
Example ad delivered in Audience Network Native Placement
  • Banner ads will appear at the top or bottom of a mobile app or website.
Example ad delivered in Audience Network Banner Placement
  • Interstitial ads are full screen ads that appear between transitions within a mobile app. e.g. when users complete a level and move onto the next.
Example ad delivered in Audience Network Interstitial Placement

What ad formats are available for the Audience Network native, banner and interstitial placements?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Audience Network native, banner and interstitial placement?

Now this is a tricky one.

Facebook loves to tell you just how much cheaper your results will be using automatic placements. Automatic placements will, where your objective allows, include Audience Network placements.

Whilst your results might be cheaper, are they the results you want? We've seen many a marketer highlight the poor quality of their traffic via the Audience network.

This is often blamed on fat fingers and poorly timed clicks. Always check your bounce rate.

In our view, the audience network in general is a pretty good opportunity for reach campaigns, video views* and retargeting.

*Short, captioned videos only.

Don't forget - the audience network includes a huge number of apps and websites. If your ads would be particularly damaged by appearing next to sensitive content, make sure to use the Exclude Categories option.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Audience Network In Stream Videos Placement

Your ads will appear as short (10-30 second) videos that can’t be skipped. These are delivered before, during or after video content in an audience network website video player.

Example ad delivered in the Audience Network In-Stream Video Placement

What ad formats are available for the Audience Network in-stream videos placement?

  • Video
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Audience Network in-stream videos placement?

Similar to the Facebook in-stream placement, this one is pretty nifty. In order to get what they want (to watch the video they've clicked on) users will have to watch your ad.

That is of course, unless they get so bored that they click elsewhere.

This placement is likely to work well for the reach objective. Delivering videos across the audience network allows you to reach users off Facebook.

Whether it works particularly well for brand awareness, that's a difficult one to know - how often do you recall in-stream videos on your mobile?

One for testing though, definitely, and - as is the case with conversion campaigns. The ability to re-target users 'off-facebook' is certainly tempting. It's just likely to serve already established brands far better.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Audience Network Rewarded Videos Placement

Your ads will appear as videos that users can watch in order to gain in-app rewards (e.g. extra lives)

Example ad delivered in Audience Network Rewarded Video Placement

What ad formats are available for the Audience Network rewarded videos placement?

  • Video
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Audience Network rewarded videos placement?

You'll need a video (that's a given) and will be wanting to either encourage app installs (in which case you'll need an app) or to generate conversions.

You'll likely have better luck with a conversion campaign here rather than app installs. After all, is a user going to ditch the app they're already in to download yours?

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Messenger Inbox Placement

Your ads will appear on the ‘Home’ tab within the messenger app.

Example ad delivered in Messenger Inbox Placement

What ad formats are available for the Messenger inbox placement?

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow

When should I use the Messenger inbox placement?

Whilst you may be somewhat limited in your objectives here (we'll get to that next week) it's a placement well worth considering. Especially given the literal positioning of your ad within a user's messenger homepage.

Yes it might stick out more than an ad within Facebook or Instagram's main feed... But if you're targeting well, users are unlikely to hate you for it.

In fact most objectives are pretty well aligned with this placement.

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Messenger Stories Placement

Your ads appear within Stories on Messenger.

Example ad delivered in Messenger Stories Placement

What ad formats are available for the Messenger stories placement?

  • Stories

When should I use the Messenger stories placement?

As with Instagram and Facebook Stories, you'll need to work the format with strong vertical content.

As ads within Messenger Stories are near brand new, this placement is new territory of sorts.

Messenger is of course a different, more personal platform. You can't assume you'll get the same results you receive with Instagram and Facebook Story ads. You'll need to ensure you test this one!

Messenger Sponsored Messages Placement

Your ads are delivered directly to a user's* messenger inbox.

*Only users who have previously had conversations with your page in Messenger.

Example ad delivered in the Messenger Sponsored Messages Placement

What ad formats are available for the Messenger sponsored messages placement?

  • Photo

When should I use the Messenger sponsored messages placement?

You can only use the sponsored messages placement if you're running a sponsored messages campaign. You literally have no choice...

Get more information on this placement - and when to avoid it - here.

Snapchat Stories Ad Placement

Your ad will be delivered between content in the Friends and Discover sections. This includes user stories and publisher stories or shows.

Example ads delivered in Snapchat Stories Placements

What ad formats are available for the Snapchat stories ad placement?

  • Snap Ads
  • Collection Ads

When should I use the Snapchat stories ad placement?

Well, if you're using Snap Ads or Collection Ads, you're automatically using this placement.

It's likely the first placement you'll experience when using Snapchat, as Snap Ads are the most common choice of format.

As you're appearing within other user's content, make sure to stand out and get your point across quickly. Within 3-5 seconds...

Find out more about best practice for Snap Ads here and Collection Ads here.

Don't forget! If your ads would be particularly damaged by appearing next to certain types of content, make sure to use the Edit Placements and Run Everywhere, except... options to exclude specific categories.

Snapchat Discover Screen Ad Placement

Your ad will be delivered via a dedicated sponsored tile in the Discover screen.

Example ad delivered in Snapchat Discover Screen Placement

What ad formats are available for the Snapchat discover ad placement?

  • Story Ads

When should I use the Snapchat discover ad placement?

Again, you'll be using this by default if you're using Story Ads.

If you have a longer visual story to tell, this is your only real option - but it's a great one. Rather than your ad appearing between other content, users actively choose to watch your story by clicking on your tile.

You've got to have a story worth telling to use this format. Don't forget to make the effort not just with the Story content but with the tile - as this is the only way users will be exposed to your story itself.

Find out more about best practice for Story Ads here.

Snapchat Camera Ad Placement

Your ad will appear to users when using the Camera in Snapchat.This will either be:

  • When scrolling through lenses to take a photo/video
  • When scrolling through filters after taking a photo/video
Example ads delivered in Snapchat Camera Placement

What ad formats are available for the Snapchat camera ad placement?

Only AR Lenses and Filter ads are visible in the Camera.

When should I use the Snapchat camera placement?

When you're running an AR Lens or Filter ad, for starters.

These ads are of course less ads, and more sponsored versions of Snapchat major features. Features that users enjoy.

This isn't the place to sell, it's the place to provide value and entertainment to your audience. That being said, the aim is of course the aim is to do this via excellent branding, so users are educated at the same time about who you are and what you do.

Find out more about best practice for AR Lenses here and Filters here.

Snapchat Vs. Facebook Ad Placement Comparison

With 15 dedicated, controllable ad placements, Facebook offers far more than Snapchat here.

This is of course to be expected, with Facebook Ads covering mobile and desktop - as well as two further platforms and the audience network.

For advertisers that need this flexibility, e.g. those that still want to run video in landscape, or hit desktop users, Facebook will be their go to. This is the same for those who purely want to target one of Facebook's platforms alone, e.g. Instagram.

This isn't to say that Snapchat is somehow under-offering when it comes to placements though. It's simply a less complex platform, with fewer places for ads to appear. Placement and ad format choice are essentially one and the same.

Both platforms do allow you to edit placements - to an extent. Advertisers who enjoy detailed analysis will welcome this additional control. The option on both platforms to edit placements provides that extra level of data to test and optimise.

The two are very different platforms, so like for like comparison is difficult. Snapchat just doesn't currently have the online real estate that Facebook has, so Facebook has the advantage of allowing you to hit multiple platforms/locations at once.

Summary

Facebook wins in the number of placements, control and sheer reach it offers to advertisers.

The question we do have to ask ourselves is: should this stop us from advertising on Snapchat?

The answer is of course, no. At the end of the day, it will be the objective, ad format and audience that matter most.

For the majority of advertisers, placements will not be that important. They only come into their own for large, smart, co-ordinated campaigns across multiple networks.

Otherwise? Placements are always worth bearing in mind - just not losing your mind over.

Ready to place your ads across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network and Snapchat?

Do it right with campaign automation - grab your free 7 day trial of TrustAds here!

References:

  1. TrustAds Blog: What are Facebook Ad Placements?
  2. Snapchat for Business: Advertising
  3. Facebook Business - Available ad placements for marketing objectives
  4. Facebook Business - About the delivery system: placements

Further Reading:

  1. TrustAds Blog: Snapchat Vs. Facebook Ad Formats
  2. Wordstream - The ultimate guide to Facebook ad placement optimization
  3. TrustAds Blog: Snapchat Vs. Facebook Audiences