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If you’ve had the opportunity to create ads in Meta Ads in the past and in your ad set you’ve chosen manual placements, you’ve surely noticed an interesting item there, which is Audience Network. However, what exactly is it and in what places can our ads still display? You will find out in today’s article.
Audience Network – what is it?
Audience Network is nothing more than a Meta advertising network. This feature extends our ability to reach audiences outside of Facebook, Messenger or Instagram with our ads. This allows us to display ourselves even to those who have never used Meta’s social media platforms.
The Audience Network consists of various websites and mobile apps that work with Meta (Facebook). You can find the exact “List of Publishers” in the Company Manager under the “Security and Brand Alignment” tab. This list contains places where our ads can be displayed. They are continuously updated and sorted by placement type: in-stream video on Facebook, Audience Network, Profile News on Instagram, and ads in Facebook Rolls.
You can download such a list of publishers for yourself in a .csv file, so that you can then use it, for example, to create blocked lists – this is a list of blocked publishers where you do not want to display with your ads for some reason.
As of July 6, 2023, the list of publishers for Audience Network has almost 105,000 items. Among the most popular brands that work with Meta, we can include, for example, Tinder or Duolingo. On the other hand, from Polish companies we can find on this list olx.pl.
Where were your ads displayed in Audience Network?
Meta also provides us with the ability to see exactly where in the Audience Network our ads have been displayed. This list can also be found in the Company Manager under the “Security and Brand Match” tab. It can be seen there under the name “Display Reports”. All reports show the last 30 days by default, but you can change the date range and display data from even the last 90 days.
In addition to the listed Audience Network placements, we also have there information about the approximate number of impressions in a given placement. Using this data, you can then perform a display audit, as well as update the lists of blocked publishers.
The data can then be used to check the number of impressions on the site, as well as to update the lists of blocked publishers.
How does advertising look like in Audience Network?
The Audience Network ad, just like other advertisements on the Meta platform, is created directly in the Ad Manager. We can select the Audience Network option, or exclude it from the campaign at the ad set level in Manual Placements.
When selecting Audience Network placement, you will find 3 different options for displaying your ad. These include:
- native, banner and full-screen advertising — these are ads in the form of images and videos in native or full-screen format and ads in the form of images in banner format,
- in-stream video — video ads that appear before or during video footage (an advertising interlude),
- reward video — video ads where users who use a game app receive a reward in that game for watching the video.
For these placements, no additional resources need to be created or uploaded — as the same ad materials are used as on Facebook. Audience Network supports ads in the form of: single image, single video, carousel (with images only) and directory Advantage+ Keep in mind, however, that the ad placement depends not only on the ad material used in the ad, but also on the selected campaign objective.
It is also worth bearing in mind that not every type of ad is designed for all devices:
- Mobile applications — available: banners, full-screen graphics, reward video, in-stream video,
- Mobile websites — available: banners, full-screen graphics, in-stream video,
- Mobile websites — available: banners, in-stream video,
User after clicking on our advertisement on Audience Network can
- open the link in a new browser window,
- display information about the possibility of installing the application,
- run the application already installed on the mobile device.
Specification of Audience Network ads
I’ve already mentioned that for Audience Network ads, we don’t need to upload any additional resources. However, Meta has recommendations for the specification of the formats of our creatives.
Native, banner and full-screen ads
- Format for native and full-screen ads: single video, single image, carousel with images (carousel video ads are not supported)
- Format for banner ads: single image (videos are not supported)
- Ratio: 9:16, 16:9, 1:1
- Video duration: 5-120 seconds
- Possibility to skip video: After 3 or 6 seconds, depending on the publisher
- Sound in video: recommended
- Format: single video (carousel video ads are not supported)
- Ratio: 16:9 (recommended) or 1:1
- Duration: 5-120 seconds with Meta’s Advantage+ placements, up to 30 seconds for in-stream ads only.
- Passable: ads up to 30 seconds cannot be skipped. Ads longer than 30 seconds can be skipped after 10 seconds.
- Sound: required
- Format: single video (carousel video ads are not supported)
- Ratio: 9:16 – 16:9
- Length: 3-60 seconds
- Passable: you cannot skip such an ad
- Sound: recommended
Audience Network Advantages
One of the biggest advantages of using Audience Network in one’s advertising campaigns is precisely that we can reach with our ads both people who are users of Meta platforms and those who have never used them. According to information Facebook itself has given us, Audience Network ads reach 1 billion users per month worldwide. What this means for us is that we can significantly increase the reach of our campaigns, which is extremely helpful, especially if our main goal is to increase brand recognition or awareness.
Facebook itself also emphasizes that in addition to significantly increased reach, we can also get a lower cost per thousand impressions (CPM), per click (CPC), or to reach 1,000 unique users in our campaigns. Thus, advertising on Audience Network is undoubtedly a very good tool for generating greater reach for our advertising campaigns.
Disadvantages of Audience Network
Surely, the low CPM may tempt many advertisers to use this type of placement, but it is worth bearing in mind that Audience Network ads are often characterized by low effectiveness. Users typically skip this type of ads, so their click-through rate or conversion rate is relatively low. Therefore, if you care about audience engagement, you should think carefully about whether Audience Network advertising is right for you.
It is also worth bearing in mind that there are relatively few publishers from Poland who have partnered with Meta. Therefore, the number of ad impressions in this placement is often quite low with our ads.
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How to become an Audience Network publisher?
Probably many of you are unlikely to be interested in this opportunity, but it is worth mentioning at the very end as a curiosity.
The opportunity to become an Audience Network publisher is definitely not an option available to everyone. Meta notes that larger companies that offer high-quality, authentic and original content, have an established brand in the market, have a relevant audience, and follow community rules, content monetization rules or payment regulations, etc., can apply.
The opportunity to become an Audience Network publisher is definitely not available to everyone.
A company that wants to be listed as a publisher must have a Company Manager, and then register with the Meta system. When applying, you will need to provide relevant information about your company such as brand name, company type, address, contact information, tax ID, tax ID type, or banking information. Your company must then also go through a verification process, which is outlined here If you are accepted, you will need to add the Audience Network code to your application. It’s worth remembering that every publisher who establishes a partnership with Meta receives funds straight to their bank account every month.
You’re probably wondering now whether it’s worth using Audience Network for Meta Ads campaigns. The answer, unfortunately, is not clear-cut, as it all depends on your goal. If you want to generate as much reach as possible, at the lowest possible cost, then this type of ad placement will probably be a good step.
However, if you want to reach a quality, engaged audience with your campaigns, then definitely consider excluding Audience Network ads. This is especially important for lead (contact) acquisition and sales ads, which are optimized for a specific conversion on your website.
Remember that there is no golden, one-size-fits-all rule for using Audience Network. If you want to find out if this type of placement is for you, you need to conduct tests.You may find that your target audience will react completely differently to such content than in my case, so don’t stick rigidly to my suggestions 🙂
She has been involved in internet marketing for two years, but despite her relatively short presence in the industry, she has already conducted advertising campaigns for small and large companies, both on the Polish and foreign markets. He treats digital marketing not only as a job, but also as a passion, which is why he tries to expand his knowledge and skills every day. She joined Up&More in January 2023, where she manages projects in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Apple Search Ads.