A Guide to Facebook’s Automated Ad System

A Guide to Facebook’s Automated Ad System

Trapica Content Team

Marketing Guides
5 min read
January 13, 2021

For those who have advertised on Facebook, you’ll know the frustration that comes when trying to get your ad noticed. Thankfully, Facebook has also recognized this problem and launched Automated Ads as a direct result. In this guide, we’re going to explain how Automated Ads works, how it compares with boosted posts, and more. 

What Are Automated Ads? 

Automated Ads learn your audience and then provide the best ad possible. Using advanced algorithms, the system learns what ads perform best before then offering suggestions and recommendations to users. The tool is designed to work with all campaign goals, so it doesn’t matter if you want to generate leads or send people over to your website. 

There are four main features to the service: 

Recommended Budget 

Facebook will consider your goal and then recommend a budget to achieve this goal. If you have a budget in mind, select this, and check the results that Facebook expects from it. This makes it possible to manage our budgets more effectively and reduce inefficiencies in the marketing department. 

Several Ad Versions 

Automated Ads encourages marketers to create multiple variations of their ad. With this feature, you’ll have the option to create six different ads. Using your Page information, the platform will suggest creative, CTAs, and text. Over time, Facebook gathers data on the six variations and should be able to tell you which is most effective. 


How are your ads performing? Are they achieving the desired results? How can you improve? These are all things that Facebook attempts to address with notifications. Depending on the situation, you may be notified that an ad is improving the number of leads it generates or it may suggest an adjustment that will improve results. 

Audience Recommendations 

Facebook uses information from your Page to generate audience improvements. They also go beyond the information on your Page to see audience insights which come from your business location (and the people nearby) and those with interests similar to your service. 

The main idea is for businesses to generate a custom advertising plan which continually improves without as much attention from the account holder as previously required. 

Using Automated Ads 

If you’re interested in testing Automated Ads, the first thing you’ll need to do is answer a handful of questions about your objectives and business. In the Business Manager, those with Automated Ads available will see a ‘Get started with Automated Ads’ button under where you normally create a post. After answering questions, you’ll need to write some ad copy, choose some assets, and then set your ad spend. As soon as this is done, the ad goes live, and you should see it next to all your other ads.

For those with little experience with Facebook Ads, Automated Ad offers help when creating an ad. For instance, you’ll see recommended character limits when writing text and headlines. If you don’t want a ‘See more’ option on the post, stick to the limit and all text will fit inside the initial space. This is highly recommended for those targeting mobile devices. 

Comparing Automated Ads and Boosted Posts 

We know that some people reading this use Boosted Posts and may have a few questions about the similarities between this and Automated Ads. If you haven’t seen this feature on Facebook, users click the ‘Boost Post’ button, and this creates an ad using the post as a foundation. Once created, it will appear around Facebook and you can choose an audience depending on who you wish to see the new ad. While you can’t guarantee that your audience sees a general post, you can increase the likelihood of your audience seeing an ad based on this post. 

With Boosted Posts, we can now optimize for website visits and other goals. However, Boosted Posts main goal is to increase the number of people engaging with a post. Plenty of people have seen a stark increase in likes, comments, and shares after hitting the magical boost button. 

The problem? Many people boost their posts without realizing they actually desire something else. If you’re happy with post engagement, we would never steer you away from the Boosted Posts feature. Yet, we find that most people actually want to generate leads, sales, and website visits. Despite the improvements for this in Boosted Posts, it still isn’t the main intention with the feature.

After investing in Boosted Posts, it’s natural to feel like a social media marketing expert when lots of people start commenting and liking. But the real test of its success is when you check the website visitor numbers. Of all the new likes and comments, how many visited your website or took another desired action?

One problem with determining the success of Boosted Posts is that the analytics are mixed in with all other Facebook analytics. How do you know which clicks came from Boosted Posts and which came organically? 

There is a difference between Automated Ads and Boosted Posts, and it’s an important one. If you have a specific action in mind, Automated Ads work harder to find those likely to take this action. Also, they last much longer than a Boosted Post, rather than running for a short time and then ending. Automated Ads also learn over time and continually improve performance. 

Automated Ads and Targeting - Does the Feature Work? 

For this feature to work properly, content needs to go to the right people, and this is something Facebook has tested extensively in order for the feature to appeal to marketers. If ads are sent to the wrong place, nobody will click through and all the investment is wasted. To prevent this, Facebook aims to find website visitors and all those with similarities to website visitors. 

When creating your first campaign, you’ll see that the recommended setting is ‘Website visitors and Lookalike Audiences’. According to Facebook, this should identify people with an interest in your business. 

Recently, we saw an example of a test using Automated Ads. To keep things fair, they kept all the settings on the recommended options and only changed the CTA to suit the audience. With a small budget, they ran the campaign for 10 days, and the results were interesting. 

Perhaps most importantly, by the end of the test period, the conversion rate was higher than most other campaigns they already had running on Facebook. At nearly 6%, Automated Ads showed itself as a potential lifesaver for businesses lacking experience with Facebook Ads. Considering it takes between 10 and 20 minutes to get started, the campaign seemed to learn the audience and send the ad to the appropriate people. 

Of course, the deciding factor on whether or not you’ll use Automated Ads comes down to your experience and knowledge. Some people have spent every day for the past 10 years creating online ads, and these people could probably generate stronger results by doing everything manually. On the other hand, some businesses are forced into paid ads without really understanding how it all works. Real value is found when using this Facebook feature, and we commend the social media giant for helping beginners in this way.

Automated Ads vs AI Tools 

Some people will ask whether Facebook has taken away from professional marketers, and the answer is that it probably hasn’t changed much. Marketers might now suggest Automated Ads to beginners as an introduction and a way to learn how it all works. However, marketers all have their favorite tools which essentially do everything Automated Ads can do. 

There are a lot of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that monitor the performance of ads and make changes automatically when they’re needed. For us, these AI tools still lead the way when it comes to campaign management and optimization. Why? Because they have more features and more flexibility for businesses. 

One of the downsides of Automated Ads is that it’s only available for the Facebook ads we create through this feature. Although this sounds obvious, it doesn’t optimize other ads and it doesn’t help with ad campaigns on other platforms. With a tool like ours, marketers have the same optimization features and more. Additionally, we can manage ad campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, and various other social platforms. 

There’s nothing wrong with playing around with Automated Ads, and they may even save you some time. However, keep in mind that experienced marketers will achieve stronger performance with manual ads or an AI tool.

Marketing Guides
5 min read
January 13, 2021
Trapica Content Team

The Trapica Content Team aims to share relevant industry news, marketing tips, and company updates to make sure our readers have the best info about digital marketing.