That’s right folks.

There’s a new Facebook ad placement on the block.

Just when News Feed ad load was reaching its max and we were all scrambling to figure out where our Facebook ads would go next, they’re finally here:

Search ads. 

Elaine gif

If you subscribe to our weekly Taktical Growth Hacks newsletter, you may have heard that this week Facebook rolled out these ads to all advertisers.

But, what are Facebook search ads?

And, more importantly, how can you start using them in your ad campaign right now?

Here, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of the latest Facebook ad placement.

Plus, we’ll guide you through how to set them up and optimize search ads for success.

So let’s check out why you need to start using these right now.

where facebook search ads would appear
Image source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-search-ads-are-now-available-to-select-businesses-in-north-america/282765/#close

What Exactly Are Facebook Search Ads?

Search ads on Facebook aren’t brand new.

The platform first started testing this ad placement at the end of 2018.

At the time, it was touted as Facebook’s entry into the search ad market in direct competition with Google.

However, there are some clear differences between the two.

Comparing Facebook vs. Google

The most important distinction between Facebook and Google search ads is how they’re targeted.

targeting facebook search ads

Google search ads are set up based on specific keywords or phrases.

For example, let’s say you offer a range of coffee makers and accessories.

When you set up a Google ad, you would include keywords and phrases related to “coffee maker”.

(Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool for coming up with these)

So, when someone is searching for “office coffee machine”, your ad will pop up. 

Facebook search ads, meanwhile, are shown through people-based targeting.

There is a keyword aspect, too.

However, the relevant keywords are determined by Facebook and not the advertiser themselves. 

Due to the opaque nature of what exactly goes into Facebook’s keyword selection, it’s not totally clear when a search ad would appear.

It seems to be some combination of search terms used and the visitor falling within your target audience.

What These Facebook Ads Look Like

Search ads on Facebook appear in both Facebook and Marketplace search results.

example of facebook search ads

According to Facebook:

“They look similar to News Feed ads and have the same transparency and controls, including a “Sponsored” label so it’s clearly marked as paid placement.”

In general, it seems either a square or 1.91:1 ratio is the way to go with these.

facebook search ads aspect ratio

How to Set Up a Facebook Search Advertising Campaign

Since search ads are still so new, there’s not much documentation on Facebook’s site – or anywhere, really – on how to set them up or tips for optimization. 

What we do know, though, is that they’re an option of ad placement within Ads Manager.

We also know that you need to select a compatible campaign objective in order to use them.

As of now, these include:

  • Product Sales
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
where to find facebook search ads in ads manager

If you’re selecting specific placements for your campaign, you’ll find the search option within the Placements tab.

Alternatively, you can run a campaign using Automatic Placements.

If this is the case, Facebook will automatically show your ad in the search results – as long as the objective is compatible.

Making the Most of Your Search Ads

Considering the lack of info surrounding search ads on Facebook, the best advice we can give is to include it in a part of your current strategy as an additional placement.

With that, too, optimize them like you would any other, commerce-focused ad.

e-commerce gif

What do we mean by this?

Well, first we’re talking about design: Use bright, full-color, and eye-catching imagery.

Then, optimize your campaign functionality.

This includes honing in on your targeting, running remarketing ads, and incentivizing engagement (e.g. contests or offers). 

Why You Need This for Your Facebook Advertising Right Now

We keep reiterating this phrase: “right now” when it comes to using search ads.

But why, especially if there’s still so many unanswered questions around formatting and optimizing?

Well, it comes down to competition and reaching new audiences.

advertisers on facebook
Image source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/778191/active-facebook-advertisers/

In terms of competition: As we’ve seen with every other Facebook ad placement, advertisers saturate a space quickly.

Now, with the number of Facebook advertisers exceeding 7 million, it’s harder than ever to stand out.

A new ad placement – like Facebook search ads – offers a new opportunity for showing up in a place that’s not yet overrun by other advertisers. 

And going back to reaching new audiences, the reason is pretty intuitive but worth reminding.

It’s as simple as this: Search ads on Facebook and Marketplace let you reach people you could not with other placements!

visitor using facebook search ads

Plus, showing ads across placements drives real results.

Facebook research has shown that audiences that saw ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network achieved an 8x higher conversion rate than those that were served only a single ad.

Being among the first wave of advertisers to use search ads on Facebook can drive real results while helping you get ahead of the competition.

It’s time to leverage this placement in your campaign right now.