It is projected that next year ads on social media, apps, and websites will take 54% of the total advertising market. Digital advertising is on the rise, as more and more brands compete for their customers’ attention on social media. The best way to win this competition is to use innovative ways of reaching your audience and using a format that many people overlook due to their supposed complexity – Facebook Instant Experience ads.
What are Facebook Instant Experience ads?
Instant Experience ads (previously known as Canvas) are, in a nutshell, a way to build an email collection form, landing page or even a mini-version of your store and embed it into your clients’ newsfeed. The ad itself will show up on mobile devices looking like a regular sponsored post.
When tapped on, it will unfold into an immersive, full-screen experience that lets any social media user check out your products and buy from you without leaving Facebook or Instagram app. Instant Experience ads have proven successful for many companies like Scanmarker and LC Waikiki. They can help your online store sell more, too.
Why do I need to run Instant Experience ads?
Facebook Instant Experience is a constructor that lets you build a custom landing page for a variety of purposes. For your convenience, Facebook offers the following templates depending on the campaign objective you select:
- Instant Form for quick info collection (only for Lead Generation objective) – Instant Forms help you offer an easy way for people to share their contact information if they are interested in learning more about your business or products that you offer.
- Instant Storytelling for better brand awareness – Instant Storytelling is a tool that gives people an engaging way to explore your brand, product or service.
- Instant Customer Acquisition for … well, customer acquisition 🙂 With Instant Customer Acquisition, you can drive conversions with a mobile landing page that encourages action.
- Instant Lookbook for showcasing lifestyle pictures – Just like a regular lookbook, Instant Lookbook allows people to explore your products in action as they are featured in photos.
- Instant Storefront for sales right from Facebook and Instagram – Instant Storefront lets you showcase products in a grid layout so people can browse more of your products in one place.
You can also build a custom Instant Experience based on the unique needs of your business.
How do I make an Instant Experience ad?
1. Make sure you have all you need
To get started with Facebook Instant Experience ads, you will need:
- an active Facebook profile
- a published Facebook page for your business
- an active Ad Account where you have the role of Advertiser or Admin
- (optional) Facebook Product catalog with an up-to-date product feed
- (optional) Facebook Pixel installed on your online store
You may also need the help of a basic design tool like Canva to edit your product images and create custom design elements for an Instant Experience ad.
2. Learn about media requirements
- Images (you can use up to 20) should be in JPG or PNG format and be 1920px x 1080px in size
- Videos should be in MOV or MP4 format filmed in portrait (i.e. like 8, not like ∞) with at least 720p quality and, preferably, no captions. The total duration of all videos inside Instant Experience should not exceed 2 minutes
- Text can be included in multiple blocks, but not more than 500 words per block. You can apply basic formatting (bold/italic) to the whole block and align it to the left, center, or right
A complete list of requirements and recommendations can be found here.
3. Start creating a new campaign
Below are the steps you need to make to create a campaign with Instant Experience from scratch using Guided Creation. Note that this is the list of minimum required actions, so you are free to experiment with additional features and settings.
- Go to your Ads Manager and make sure that you are inside the right Ad Account
- Click on a green “Create” button
- Under “Campaign”, choose ad objective and click “Continue”
- Under “Ad set”, set the audience and daily budget. Do not change the placement settings and click “Continue”
*Instant Experience is not available for campaigns with “Messages” objective.
4. Create Instant Experience
At this point, you will start shaping the look of your future Instant Experience ad.
- Under “Identity”, choose a Facebook page – your ads will feature a link to it and, in some cases, the page profile picture. Pick the Instagram account in the same section.
If you don’t have an Instagram account, go for “Use selected page” option under “Instagram account” – this way you will advertise on Instagram on behalf of your Facebook page. Note that, in this case, the link to your page will not be clickable.
- In “Format” section, pick between Carousel, Single Image, and Collection. This will determine the way your sponsored post looks before it’s tapped on.
- (Optional) You will now see a banner that offers you to add Instant Experience. Tick the box to proceed.
- You now have a choice of either using one of the templates created by Facebook or creating a brand new Instant Experience from scratch.
*If you decide to try a template, there’s a way to make it pre-filled with your store info. All you need to do is add at least one cover image in “Media” section and add Primary text and Display Link in “Text and links” before you click “Use Template”.
5. Customize Instant Experience
Regardless of whether you choose to use a template or build a custom Instant Experience ad, you will see a window with Instant Experience Builder. There, you can add new components and edit the current ones:
- Click the blue “+” icon on the top or “+ Add component” link to add a block
- Start with a Header. The Header will always stay on top of the Instant Experience ad. You can either write a text or upload a banner with your store logo. If you opt for a banner, note that an optimal size for it is 882px x 66px:
- Add Photo (or a Video if you have one). You can start with your store logo or add a lifestyle image of one of your bestsellers:
- Add Text. Block of text can help you share your brand philosophy or urge your potential customer to keep scrolling the ad:
- Add a Carousel. A carousel can feature your products – or even whole categories. This is a perfect opportunity to share your products with people who have never been to your store:
- Add a Button. Depending on the objective of your ad, you can urge your customer to either just go to your store or check out a specific product or a collection:
- To move a block up or down, click on a six-dot icon next to a block name and drag it to a needed position
- To delete a block, click on three horizontal dots next to the block name and choose “Delete”
- Once you add all the components you need, click “Save” and “Finish” on the top of the Builder. Confirm your choice:
6. (Optional) Add an Instant Form
If you picked Lead Generation objective, you can quickly set up a contact info collection form that will unfold once someone taps on your ad:
- Go to “Instant Form” section under “Ad” and click on “Create Form”
- Pick between “More volume” and “Higher intent” form type depending on how much info you need from your leads
- Under “Intro”, write a short headline and a paragraph encouraging people to sign up to your store mailing list. If you don’t want to include an Intro, click on the toggle on “Intro” line
- Review the “Questions” section. If you need any other info, add a question about it.
- Review the “Thank you” screen and customize it if necessary.
- Once you are done, click “Finish” in the top right corner.
7. Finish ad creation
- Under “Ad creative”, add Primary Text, Headline and News Feed Link Description. Use these tips if necessary
- Check the Tracking info
- Click the green “Confirm” button
The ad will now undergo review by Facebook and, once approved, it will go live. Yay!
Instant Experience gives you almost infinite possibilities to experiment with different types of creative. If you don’t feel confident creating real Instant Experience ads, you can experiment with this format in Creative Hub, a sandbox made by Facebook that lets you make ad mock-ups and preview them on different devices.
Once you learn how to properly track the performance fullscreen ads, you can run A/B tests, scale budgets for best-performing ads and, of course, sell more to customers who are now better aware of your brand – all thanks to the magic of Instant Experience. Check it out today and may the sales be with you 💚
This post was contributed by Alex Yemets, the Content Manager at RetargetApp . He gladly shares his Facebook ads experience with online store managers and loves making complicated things look simple. RetargetApp is a web app that automatically creates and optimizes ads – including Instant Experience – for e-commerce stores powered by Shopify and BigCommerce. RetargetApp analyses website visitors’ behavior, and, based on it, runs a range of fully automated advertising campaigns aimed at boosting sales.