Market Trends

Ads in Facebook Marketplace: a guide to keeping it contextual

Written by
5 Nov, 2018

The development of Facebook Marketplace over the last year or so has been impressive. The social giant has thrown itself head-long into the online commerce space, by building a tool to further facilitate what had already become one of the major uses of Facebook around the world: buying and selling.

MakeMeReach demoIn fact, back in 2016 (at the time of the 'relaunch' of Facebook Marketplace), Facebook noted there were 450 million "buying and selling groups" on Facebook and that "about a quarter of people who visit Facebook use it as a way of trading things".

Ads in Facebook Marketplace are now available as a placement in MakeMeReach. To see our platform in action, and discover the power of online advertising through MakeMeReach, book a free demo today.

Launch (and Relaunch) of Facebook Marketplace

'Version 1' of Marketplace was launched way back in 2007 but, since it was not widely adopted, it was eventually binned by Facebook in 2014. Late 2016 saw a new version for Marketplace launch, and it has been much more successful.

At the 2018 edition of Facebook's annual developer conference - F8 - Mark Zuckerberg noted that Marketplace was used in 70 countries by 800 million people each month. Additionally, he mentioned that one in three people in the US use Facebook Marketplace.

MMR_Instagram_1080x1080_FB-MARKETPLACEAfter the initial relaunch, the first half of 2017 saw a 77% growth in the number of conversations between potential buyers and sellers on Facebook. This statistic shows that, beyond the transactional commerce side of Marketplace, the feature has helped Facebook in its mission to encourage connection and interaction between people. It seems Marketplace truly has become a “convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community", as Facebook saw it.

Now, thanks to inventory listing partners like Shopify, Big Commerce and more, e-commerce businesses can connect their product feeds to Facebook Marketplace. While only available in the US at this stage, this integration allows savvy e-commerce businesses to be present where over 800 million Facebook users are looking to buy.

Ads in Facebook Marketplace

Ads in Facebook MarketplaceBut Facebook Marketplace is not just for e-commerce businesses. Ads in Facebook Marketplace have been open to all advertisers since June 2018, and they are now available for campaigns created in the MakeMeReach platform.

To run an ad in Facebook Marketplace, you'll also need to show it in the News Feed. It's impossible at this stage to run an ad only in Marketplace - the ad will always appear in News Feed as well.

Looking beyond this limitation, Marketplace provides Facebook advertisers with a whole new context for their messages. What's different about ads in Marketplace is that the typical visitor has purchase intent. They are going into the Marketplace section of the Facebook app for a reason - and that is to research and buy things. That's significant, and it stands in contrast to a Facebook user who is simply scrolling their feed.

With this in mind, here are three things to think about if you're testing ads in Facebook Marketplace:

1. Make sure your offer is relevant

An offer to download an eBook and get a free consultation may not be quite as relevant in Marketplace as a click-to-purchase type ad. Think about the user's intent and why they are scrolling through Marketplace - they are likely to want to buy in the short-term. Even if the offer in your ad is not for the user to 'buy now', ensure you make your message, creative and ad headline relevant for the Marketplace context.

2. Think about your objective

Currently, the following objectives are available for ads in Marketplace:

  • Traffic: allows you to choose where you want to drive traffic (to your website, app or Messenger).Choose your objective
  • Conversions: promote a website and make use of the Facebook pixel for retargeting and enriching your campaigns.
  • Catalog sales: automatically show items from your catalog based on your target audience.
  • The Reach objective lets you maximise the number of people who see your ads and how frequently they can be seen.
  • The Video Views objective shows an ad to the right audience to get the most video views of ten or more seconds at the lowest cost.

With these options in mind, think carefully about the action you want to drive. Do you want users to actually purchase your products? If so, conversion is probably the objective to choose. Do you want to simply get your message in front of the biggest audience possible? If so, then Traffic, Reach or Video Views are probably best, depending on your message and creative.

3. Keep in mind that Marketplace ads will show in News Feed too

Since, at this stage, Marketplace ads will always show in the News Feed too, you'll need to strike a balance between being too context-specific and not enough. Ensure your ads make sense in both placements. 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday are just around the corner!

All-in-all, ads in Facebook Marketplace provide an interesting option for advertisers to drive action from users where purchase intent is high. The upcoming holiday sales season could be your opportunity to give this placement a try!

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About Joe Sweeney Content Marketing Manager here at MakeMeReach, Joe is a words guy. Joe's a digital marketer who believes in the power of quality content to start great conversations between consumers and brands. He also hosts our weekly Facebook Live social media updates and our podcast!

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