Facebook can be an amazing tool for online retailers, especially as we enter the busiest shopping quarter of the year. The platform is constantly iterating on its Ads Manager tools and features, and it’s important to stay on top of it all.
To keep your business ahead of the curve, we’ve gathered 10 recent updates to Facebook ads that you need to know about.
2018 Facebook Updates For Your Business:
1. Facebook Attribution tool released to all advertisers
October 19th, 2018
Facebook has just released a new reporting tool that can track campaign and ad performance across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.
Based on a data-driven attribution model, Facebook Attribution uses the Facebook Pixel to track customer conversion paths across multiple channels and devices to give marketers a more “holistic” view of their advertising performance.
By understanding key insights, such as which ad sources played a role in a conversion, advertisers can make more informed decisions about their marketing strategy.
You can learn more from the official Facebook Attribution support page.
2. Redesigned pages on mobile
Mobile commerce is huge during holiday shopping season, especially for digital brands. Facebook recently redesigned mobile Business pages to create a better user experience. The new pages allow businesses to make sure that their most important information is front and center.
While this update was intended to benefit local businesses, the redesign can also be beneficial for digital brands: Larger call-to-action buttons make it easier for potential customers to browse your store, and a better experience means more users will interact with brands they care about on Facebook.
3. Instant Experiences
In September, Facebook rebranded its Canvas ads to Instant Experiences. These Instant Experience ads offer a more immersive mobile shopping experience on the Facebook app than their Canvas predecessors. Instant Experience ads allow you to include images, videos, product carousels, form fill-outs, and tagged products in five different templates.
Instant Experiences load up to 15x faster than mobile web pages. The fast load time combined with the immersive content can help businesses keep customers engaged.
“We’re excited for Instant Experiences because mobile shoppers are drawn to experiences that are media-rich, easy to navigate, and optimized for speed.”
-Brent Villiott, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy
4. Augmented Reality ads
Facebook’s new Augmented Reality ads let shoppers “try on” different products right from their News Feeds. These ads will appear with a “Tap to try it on” option. This uses the Facebook camera to show users a digital version of the product superimposed on their own image. Users can then tap through to purchase the item.
For digital brands, giving shoppers the opportunity to try on online-only products before buying can build trust and increase conversions.
“Facebook is betting heavily that Oculus and AR are going to be big in the next 3-5 years. In this keynote, there was a shoe drop, where shoppers could interact and buy the shoe through Messenger AR. It’s a next-gen shopping experience. I still see adoption as a major challenge, so time will tell if this becomes more mainstream.”
– Nii Ahene, Cofounder and COO, CPC Strategy
5. Facebook Stories ads
Piggybacking off the success of Instagram Stories, As of September, brands can now advertise via Facebook Stories. Instagram Stories have proven hugely successful as native, full-screen creative that fits seamlessly into users’ natural browsing activities.
A new ad format doesn’t mean starting from scratch, however; all of Facebook’s Ads Manager measurement and targeting capabilities are also available for Stories ads. Stories ads also support the same objectives as their Instagram counterparts, including reach, brand awareness, views, app installs, conversions, traffic, and lead generation — so your brand can consistently track your KPIs.
6. Links in Stories
Speaking of Stories, Facebook announced in August that it plans to allow users and marketers alike to add links to their Stories. With over 150 million daily users on Stories, this new feature can have a huge impact on word-of-mouth and paid advertising alike.
It’s worth noting that using links sparingly will help keep Stories from feeling spammy — an issue that Instagram solved by limiting the ability to add links in Stories to only those users with at least 10,000 followers.
7. First-party cookies
One of the most recent Facebook updates is also one of the most exciting for online marketers: As of October 24, Facebook will start offering a first party cookie option. This addition to the Facebook tracking pixel will allow businesses to leverage retargeting and measure campaigns without needing to rely on third party cookies.
Browsers like Safari have cracked down on third party cookies recently, so this helps advertisers stay competitive and compliant. While you aren’t required to enable the new first party cookies, doing so will ensure that you continue receiving granular reporting on your campaigns.
“We are happy to see that Facebook is taking steps to ensure that advertisers have minimal disruption their retargeting and measurement efforts by shifting toward first-party cookies.”
-Nii A. Ahene, Cofounder and COO, CPC Strategy
8. Video ad metrics
Video is king when it comes to online ads, especially on video-forward platforms like the Facebook app. That’s why Facebook has upgraded its video ad metrics to more accurately reflect engagement, measure video consumption, and optimize creative.
As an added bonus, Facebook Ads Manager now also allows you to set a custom thumbnail for your video ads, helping you make the most of each impression on the News Feed.
9. Video creation kit
Speaking of video, Facebook now offers a Video Creation Kit. This kit helps you turn photos into videos that are optimized for mobile News Feeds. This can be a huge asset for brands who don’t have time to ramp up video strategy before the upcoming peak season. The Video Creation Kit templates are easy for online marketers to leverage and track, and can include both photos and text.
10. New standard tracking events
Getting back to tracking: Facebook also added additional standard tracking events.
These events are tracked via pixel and on the app, allowing you to gather more info on how users interact with your business. These new events include Contact, Customize Product, Donate, Find Location, Schedule, Start Trial, Submit Application and Subscribe.
Not every event applies to a digital brand driving ecommerce traffic. That said, these updates show that Facebook Ads Manager is becoming more and more flexible to understand and support different types of businesses with different goals.
11. Value-based lookalike audiences
If you have any experience with Facebook ad targeting, you’re probably familiar with Lookalike Audiences. Facebook’s new value-based targeting option allows you to create a Lookalike Audience that is most similar to your higher value customers not only based on their Facebook activity but based on all pixel-tracked activities. You can then assign value to each of these existing customers, and Facebook will build out a Lookalike Audience based on the highest value customers.
As I mentioned above, Facebook updates its advertising tools and marketing platform monthly. These updates can often be leveraged to help you stay up to date with an ever-changing social ad landscape.
Keep an eye on our blog to learn more about these updates as they’re released, as well as other helpful tips and tricks for social advertising and beyond for your ecommerce brand.
For more information on Facebook updates, email email@example.com