Auction Vs Reach And Frequency: Which Is The Best?

Wondering which buying type you should use for your Facebook ad campaign?

This post will help you decide that! I’ll give you a rundown of the ins and outs of the two major buying methods in Facebook advertising – auction, and reach and frequency.

I’ll go over how different auction vs reach and frequency are from each other, the pros and cons of both, and which method will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Buying Methods For Facebook Ads

There are two ways you can go about buying Facebook ads, namely Auction and Reach and Frequency. Let’s take a quick look at them:

Also Read: Facebook Ads Active But Not Spending

Understanding Facebook Auction

Auction default option to pay for Facebook ad campaigns and that is how most people pay.

In Auction, you bid for an opportunity to advertise to a certain crowd of Facebook users against other advertisers who target the same audience. Whoever pays the highest gets to advertise in the end.

In other words, opportunities to advertise are on auction, and you need to bid against other advertisers and win for your ads to be visible to your target crowd.

It is more complicated than that, but that’s just the meat of it.

Auction is good for conversion and leads. When you use Auction, you are targeting a smaller group of people who are potentially interested in what you are promoting. So, you are more likely to convert more of them into buyers or turn them into leads.

So, Auction is the way to go if you aim to make more sales or generate leads.

But you can not have a Facebook ad campaign at a pre-determined price if you opt for auction, and this can be a bummer.

Understanding Facebook Reach and Frequency

Reach and frequency is the option to use if you want to advertise to a larger, wider audience.

You will be paying a fixed price to reach more people. Even though how much you will pay for your campaign is estimated by Facebook, you can know exactly how much, and it’s beneficial as it helps you to plan your expenses.

Also Read: Facebook Link Clicks Vs Landing Page Views Vs Conversion

If your goal is to make more people aware of your brand, reach, and frequency is the option you should use to pay for your Facebook ad campaign.

The main drawback of this buying method is that it would not be good at getting sales or generating leads, as your audience is more broad than specific.

Differences Between Facebook Auction Vs Reach And Frequency

The major differences between Facebook auctions and reach and frequency lie in:


When you use Auction, how many people your ads reach is an estimated range while using Reach and Frequency allows you to know exactly how many will be reached.


How often your ads will be shown to your audience, a.k.a Frequency depends on your budget and how big your audience is if you choose to auction.

Targeting a large audience with a lower budget will reduce the frequency and trying to reach a smaller audience with a larger budget will increase the frequency.

Opting for reach and frequency allows you to fix the frequency beforehand.


You can not predict how much money you will have to pay for your campaign if you choose Auction, as it is the auction that sets the price. You can set a limit to the amount you are willing to spend by choosing the manual bidding option though.

Reach and frequency, however, allows you to know exactly how much you will have to pay, estimated by Facebook of course.

Which is Better, Auction Or Reach and Frequency?

Well, none of the two is better than the other. You must find out what’s best for the two of you by considering your budget and your goals for the ad campaign.

Also Read: Pinterest Ads Vs Facebook Ads

So, about the budget. You know exactly what you are going to pay for your Facebook ads if you choose Reach and Frequency, but in Auction, it is decided by the auction itself.

So, you should consider which buying type suits how much money you can spend and how you would like to spend it.

If the purpose of your Facebook ad campaign is to make sales or generate leads, auction might just be the thing for you.

Reach and Frequency will be the way to go if you plan to do something like:

  • Reach a big audience, say, 200000 people
  • Reach an audience over a whole country instead of a local area
  • Be able to predict the outcome of your campaign
  • Have more control over frequency
  • Promote brand awareness
  • Have your campaign planned and booked in advance.

Quick Recap

You have two buying methods to choose from to pay for your Facebook ad campaigns, auction and reach and frequency.

In Auction, you bid for your ads to be shown to a small, specific, audience against other advertisers who target the same audience. In Reach And Frequency you pay a predetermined amount to reach a much bigger audience.

The key differences between the two are in pricing, reach, and frequency.

You need to consider your budget and your goals for your Facebook ad campaign to determine which buying type suits you best.

About Author

Lito James is the founder of He is an entrepreneur and marketing specialist who helps businesses to get more leads, subscribers, and customers. Massive Peak has been featured on G2, Cloudways, Sujanpatel, GetResponse, Renderforest, and many more. Follow on LinkedIn | Twitter

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