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Keeping Up With Facebook: What Are Facebook Search Ads?

Facebook Advertising continues to create new areas of opportunity for advertisers to expand their visibility. The platform now lets e-commerce advertisers promote ads in its many placements, including the News Feed and Marketplaces. Beginning in October 2019, all advertisers are able to use this expanded advertising feature across Facebook.

Facebook users that search for pages, people, and retail-related products using the search capability now see sponsored ads in their findings. Search results are based on previous interactions and searched keywords on Facebook. Ads are displayed based on relevancy to the search. Currently ads displaying from Facebook search results only appear on mobile.

In this installment of Keeping Up With Facebook—a series that highlights the latest news and updates across Facebook Advertising—we look at Facebook search ads, where they display, and what they mean for retailers’ business.

Release Date:

Facebook rolled out Facebook search ads for all advertisers in October 2019.

Which Channels:

Facebook ads appear in a user’s newsfeed, relevant Facebook searches, and Marketplace searches.

What It Does:

According to Facebook, search ads are another feature that help advertisers further promote their brand and products under the wide-ranging Facebook Advertising umbrella. These ads are designed to target the discovery-driven Facebook user and push them closer to a purchase. “Search” shows up as a placement option when creating ad campaigns on Facebook.


Source: Facebook

Search ads will display to users that search specific keywords related to an advertiser’s business. Unlike Google Ads, Facebook determines which keywords to use for specific searches. Search ad targeting is based on keywords and audiences. Facebook determines which ads display based on several categories, including ad text, product, title, and description.

What This Means for Your Business:

By adding search ads into the already-massive placement selection, Facebook allows advertisers to expand retailers’ brand visibility even further. This has also created a new targeting feature that was not previously available. With “Search” now added into the placement mix, advertisers can now connect specific products to specific keywords searched on Facebook. However, Facebook controls keyword management rather than advertisers.

Facebook offers an “Automatic Placement” option when creating ad sets. Opting in to this will automatically include ads on search result pages like general search and Marketplace search. No additional targeting is necessary with Automatic Placement; it will use the same audience targeting the advertiser creates for his or her campaigns. Choosing the “Facebook Search Results” option will display ads solely within search results.

When advertisers opt-in for the “Search” placement, this will help Facebook expand the previous momentum created while also testing and bringing in new users. These ads will be placed on General Search and Marketplace Search areas and visually look and feel like News Feed ads so there is no extra designing needed.

Search ads are a new way for advertisers to stick out and build their brand using an ad placement that is not yet saturated by competition. These ads give advertisers direct contact with users searching for their brand and products and ultimately move them closer to making a purchase.

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