An Introduction to Advertising on Facebook Marketplace

By Mike Matta | @MattaMike | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

Facebook Marketplace has been a placement option for advertisers since the beginning of the year and it seems to have flown a bit under the radar. Depending on the business, the hyper-local focus of marketplace doesn’t jive with many companies and professional product photos really stand out amongst the grainy, cellphone pictures that are pervasive throughout. The lure of potentially cheaper CPCs and reaching an audience looking to buy seem to be well worth testing this out in your accounts.

Right now, advertising is only on the mobile version of Marketplace but I’m guessing that will change in the future.

Marketplace Example
One of these things is not like the other!

What is Facebook Marketplace?

If you’ve never heard of or have limited experience in Marketplace, think of it as Facebook’s version of Craiglist. Facebook bills it as, “an easy, convenient way to buy and sell in your area. You can look through listings or search for items near you to find great things to buy.”

The best part about Marketplace is that people are going there with some intent of buying something, unlike when scrolling through their newsfeed. Just make sure that your targeting is good and you’re one step closer to reaching the right person at the right time.

How to Advertise in Marketplace

To use Marketplace, there are a couple of small details you’ll need to ensure but it’s pretty easy overall. When creating a new campaign (or opting into the placement from a current one), your campaign objective must either be traffic, conversions, or catalog sales.

From there, you’ll need to choose your placements rather than letting Facebook automatically choose for you. One note, if you’re running Marketplace, you’ll need to opt into Feeds. Marketplace is not a standalone placement at the time of writing this blog.

Where to Select Marketplace

You will want to monitor performance as you would with other placements. With it being relatively new, performance can vary quite a bit. Just because something works (or doesn’t work) immediately doesn’t mean that is a long-term trend, especially for a newish placement. As marketers learn more about the placement and how their audience interacts with it, you are likely to experience those affects on your ads.

Some Guiding Principles

My number one recommendation for Marketplace is to match intent. People are there to browse items for purchase. While running basic branding ads may result in lower CPMs, this is really the spot that something like catalog sales would work wonderfully. Really enhance that targeting with remarketing and you’re going to have a strong ad to drive purchases.  Let’s take a look at some ads I saw while browsing through Marketplace.

Ad Missing the Intent

Here is an example of a potential mismatch in the marketplace. While I enjoy go-karting, I don’t know how much this ad would resonate if I was browsing for some cheap furniture. A bit of a price mismatch there! It seems like an expensive branding exercise.

Apartment Ads

If your top-level targeting is spot on, this is the type of ad that could work well in Marketplace. By reaching people actively looking for their next apartment, you can draw those users to your website.

Car Dealership Ad

Once again, a great match for Marketplace here. A local car dealership advertising in a local marketplace. Remarketing ads would be highly effective here as someone may be continuing their research journey and looking at local cars.

Personally, I think local businesses also have a bit of an advantage when advertising in Marketplace. That’s really the whole point of Marketplace at the end of the day! While national brands will still likely see some value, I picture places like auto dealerships, rental properties, furniture stores, and small businesses being able to fine-tune their messages to local users better. This could be a great way to capture market share and flex a competitive advantage in competitive spaces. As an example, Wayfair may be able to advertise all types of furniture but you’ll be able to draw that person into a showroom and have them speak with someone.

Final Thoughts

One thing I’m hoping comes in the future is the ability to remarket to users based on engagement with one’s own Marketplace listings. The ability to retarget users who have interacted with your own brand’s marketplace listings could be a great way to try and bring those users back to your website.

With all new things, be sure to test and retest. If it doesn’t work immediately, it may not be worth writing off forever. Each vertical will likely perform a little different too.

This continues to the slow onslaught of Facebook allowing marketing across most of their assets and will likely continue across portions of the site not monetized. If you’re looking for more information on Facebook’s other placements, I recommend checking out Facebook Ad Placement Best Practices.