Automatic Placement Ads: What? Why? Where?


While preparing a Meta ad, the first thing that usually comes to the mind of advertisers is identifying the marketing message, design direction, visual headlines, and captions needed. While these steps are crucial for creating a solid ad that grabs the attention of the right people, two other factors are at many times overlooked, especially among those of us who have a mind bursting with creativity and would rather not think of the strategic approach of distributing these ads. These two factors are: being where the right people are and being there at the same time that they are. 

These two factors (time & space) used to be identified using tedious processes led by digital strategists and supported by performance specialists. However, and as our good friends at Meta have pointed out many times, automation aims to shift these processes from tedious to smart. With Google, we currently see the rise of the Performance Max campaign after the success of automation in the Discovery Ad placements. With Meta; however, it is the automatic placement that takes the lead in automation.


What Are Automatic Placements? 

Meta gives you two placement options for you to choose from upon setting up your campaign: Manual & Automatic. 

What you will directly notice is that the automatic placement is selected as default and is highly recommended by Facebook (it’s among their Power 5 recommendations for better ad performance). By selecting the automatic placement option, you are enabling Facebook’s delivery system to allocate your ad set’s budget across multiple placements based on where they’re likely to perform best.

Why Use Automatic Placement? 

We don’t always have to agree with Meta and their recommendations, but when it comes to manual vs. automatic placements, we definitely side with the ad channel. 

When selecting manual placement, many advertisers fall for the common mistake of choosing a few placements thus not allowing the Meta algorithm to play its role in identifying the time & space where our audience exists. However, upon selecting automatic placements, we allow the algorithm to choose the ad placements needed for us to achieve optimal results. Thus, if there is a volume of ‘the right people’ on Audience Network In-Stream Videos, the algorithm will assign a larger volume of the ad set budget to that placement.

Automatic placement takes the creatives and copies we give Meta and showcases them depending on the space & time our audience exists in, saving the poor digital strategists so much tedious work and allowing the creatives of our field to keep their minds bursting with ideas. 

Where Will Your Ads Show? 

As we previously established, the automatic placement is preferred due to the algorithm’s ability to utilize all of Meta’s channels and spend the most on the ones that will lead to optimal results. However, this variety of channels presents the creatives of the industry with a unique challenge: adapting their visuals and copies to the many channels available by Meta. 

But worry not! Below is a simple and easy guide to creating creatives for automatic placement that ensures you have a creative that appears exactly how you want it to be on each channel. 

For the Visuals 

  • If you are working on a carousel, prepare the following sizes: 1080×1080 and 1080×1920
  • If you are working on an image, prepare the following sizes: 1080×1080, 1080×1920, 1920×1080, 1080×1350, and 1200×628
  • If you are working on a video, prepare the following sizes: 1080×1080, 1080×1920, 1920×1080, 1080×1350, and 1200×628

Note: for the story size, prepare according to the reel safe zone. 

For the Copies

  • Headline: Up to 20 Characters
  • Description: Up to 30 Characters
  • Caption: Unlimited, best practice is under 125 characters


According to data from a variety of marketing agencies in the United States, marketers who have shifted from manual placement to automatic placement witnessed a sharp rise in results and a significant decline in cost/result. This comes as no surprise as Meta has explicitly announced its plan for an automated future, one where we can submit to the algorithm’s capabilities at always identifying the time and space to reach ‘the right people’ – thus, changing how we have been doing marketing for decades. 

By Adham Al Saabi


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