If you’re planning to run ads on Facebook or if you’ve already started, you’re probably scratching your head wondering which placement will be most profitable. In this article, we’ll show you how to allocate your budget for maximum effect.
Facebook is changing and with the announcement of Meta, it looks like the social media leviathan has a lot in store over the coming years. This will no doubt mean some big changes for advertising. However, for now, Facebook’s Ads Manager looks relatively unchanged, apart from the odd minor tweak.
Therefore, at least for now, it’s going to remain fairly easy to market across Facebook and Instagram from the Facebook Ad Manager.
If you want to understand which platform is right for you, then it’s important to understand that, while they may both be reachable from one space, they are different entities, and will therefore require different strategies.
Knowing when you should target on Facebook, Instagram or both isn’t easy, however, here are some things to consider when making a decision.
Test the Algorithm
If you are just starting out and have no idea about whether or not your campaigns will work better on Facebook or Instagram, then it’s best to use automated placements. This will show your campaigns across all of the advertising platforms which Facebook/Meta currently has to offer.
When using automatic placements, you’ll be able to break your campaign results down by placement to see which platform is bringing you the most results.
One thing to note at this stage is that, if you are running a CBO campaign, Facebook’s algorithm will automatically allocate your budget to the areas where it thinks it will see the best results. The algorithm is very good at this, but it isn’t perfect and sometimes it will follow low CPCs on placements that don’t drive conversions.
If you run an initial CBO campaign, you should get a clearer picture of where your best chance of hooking an audience is. If you want to really test though, it might be worth trying some ABO (Adset Budget Optimisation) campaigns.
Doing this will allow you to allocate your budget to specific placements, ensuring that an equal amount of your budget is spent in each.
Each Platform has Unique Ad Formats
Instagram and Facebook are evolving ecommspheres with new ad formats and features popping up. Therefore, it’s worth treating both as separate entities, but ones which are ultimately connected. For example, imagine you wanted to advertise your Facebook page on Instagram or your Instagram page on Facebook. Would you use the same techniques and creatives for both? Or are there some things you would do differently depending on the platform?
Generally speaking, Instagram is less focused on getting people to click links and instead favours engagements. You’ve probably noticed that non-sponsored posts are unable to contain links in either the images or the description. This prevents people from spamming links in images and using the native UI to trick people into diverting away from the Instagram feed.
Facebook is different. The Facebook news feed allows users to share links and have links in their images. This makes taking actions much simpler. Although you should also note that when you click links on Facebook to third-party sites, you don’t actually leave Facebook. To do so, you’d have to specifically say that you want to open the linked page in another browser.
As a result, while it might seem like you constantly divert away from the platform, you are actually still connected.
The two important factors to note then are that Instagram is great for getting images into people’s minds, but not so great when it comes to generating actionable events.
The Facebook news feed on the other hand is great for getting people to click on links and take action, but not so great when it comes to images. Therefore, you might want to look at brand marketing on Instagram and Direct marketing on Facebook.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to deciding which platform to use for your campaigns, it’s always best to run some initial tests. Running CBO or ABO campaigns and checking out your breakdowns can reveal traffic sources that you hadn’t previously considered.
As a general rule, Instagram is better for brand awareness and top of funnel marketing, and the Facebook news feed is better for actionable conversion events. However, you should always test and optimize so that you can find a flow that works for you.