What is a Facebook Instant Experience (or Canvas Ads)?
The Instant Experience (formerly called Canvas Ads) is an advertising format proposed by Facebook, readable only on mobile phones.
The concept is simple: when the user clicks on your ad, a full-screen experience is triggered, plunging her/him into a universe of image, video, carousel, text, product catalog you will create!
The experience should tell a story to the user. It should invite the user to interact with your content.
The result can be beautiful! Here is an example:
It is really a great tool to work on your brand image.
To make it easier for you Facebook provides a very intuitive tool with pre-designed Instant Experiences templates.
With these pre-built templates, you can just: insert texts, videos, photos, carousels, add calls to action, encourage the user to interact with your content through movements (e.g. swiping to the right, etc.), identify your products…
And your Facebook Instant Experience will be ready.
All that without any technical work to do.
How to Create A Facebook Instant Experience
Where can I create a Facebook Instant Experience?
You have two ways to create a Facebook Instant Experience :
– Starting from scratch
– Using a Facebook template
If it’s the first time you do it, you should definitely use a template. It will be much easier.
If you’re using a template, go to your “Ad Manager” and create a new ad within a campaign.
In the Format section, you’ll see the box “Add an Instant Experience”.
Check it that box and then click on “Choose a template”.
You have 3 templates to choose from:
1. Customer Acquisition
3. Sell products (without catalog)
The 3 templates are great. Choose the one accordingly depending on your campaign objectives. Template #3 is interesting if you sell products through an e-commerce shop and especially if you haven’t linked your shop’s catalog to your Business Manager yet.
Creating Your Facebook Instant Experience
When using a Facebook template, you cannot add additional elements. You will have to use those provided in the template.
The template we have chosen is #3: Sell Products.
It is composed of :
– A cover image or video [Recommended: Image width of 1,080 pixels]
– One teaser text and a second subtitle text
– A product module that allows you to add up to 8 different products (4 minimum)
– And finally a button with a link to your destination page.
There is nothing very complicated here.
You can just fill in the information and add your images, links, and products.
Once you are done, click on “Done” at the bottom right.
Tip: The cover image (or video) of your Instant Experience will automatically be the image of your ad. If you want to change that, you can do it by clicking on “Add a media” below.
Finish Setting Up Your Ad
Once you have finished designing the Instant Experience, you will be setting up your ad.
You should add a text and a title to your ad.
Note: if you have a very long text, know that only the first 3 lines will be displayed. To see the rest, people will need to tap on “More”. My advice is to keep the text short! You want people to enjoy the experience not read too much text.
Check the Pixel Tracking and add your UTM settings.
Test the ad on your smartphone by clicking on the arrow in the top right corner, then click on “Send Notification to Facebook” in “Device Preview”.
Remember that Instant Articles ads are only visible on mobile phones).
Congrats! You are done you can now publish the ad! 🥳
If you want to create an ad with a custom template
You can start from scratch when launching your Facebook Instant Experience. No need to use the pre-built templates.
There is one advantage, of course, you are free to add the components you want in the order you want. If you are doing e-commerce you can also directly show the products in your Facebook catalog. 😎
You can go to the “Format” section in the Ad creation menu and click on “Build a custom Instant Experience”. Here👇:
You will get to a menu that looks like this one below:
First, start by giving a name to your Instant Experience.
Keep in mind that you need to use the “Save” button in the top right corner when you are done. ⚠️
If you want to modify the background color. You can click on the little arrow next to “Settings”, and choose the color you want.
Now, let’s talk about the components.
There are 7 of them: Button, Photo, Text block, Carrousel, Video, Header, Products list.
You can move the components by clicking on the 6 small dots on the left and dragging the component.
Name the components to make it easier to find your way around.
Access the “Advanced Settings” for each component by clicking on the three dots to the right of the name.
With those settings, you can add space above and below the component (called “Component Padding). You can also change the background color for some components.
You can link your Facebook Instant Experience with a Website, an App Store or another Instant Experience. 🤯
Yes, you can send users from one Instant Experience to another! Insane right?!
The “Header” component can only be added once. And you cannot move it (by definition). It will always be placed at the top of the Instant Experience and you cannot modify the padding in the advanced settings. If you want to add a space between your Header and the next component, you will have to add it on the other component.
The product list component allows you to show a product catalog previously connected to your Business Manager.
In the advanced settings, you can choose the information you want to be displayed below the product images.
⚠️ IMPORTANT: To use your Facebook Instant Experience, you must save it, then click “Finish”. HOWEVER, once you have clicked finish you cannot edit the Instant Experience anymore! ⚠️
So until you are definitely sure you won’t be modifying it, just save it by clicking “Save”.
Retargeting Ads with Facebook Instant Experience
What if I told you you can retarget users who have interacted with your Instant experience?
You can create a “create custom audience” and in the menu “Facebook Sources” you select “Instant Experience”.
You can select the people who opened the Instant Experience and the people who have clicked a link in the Instant Experience
If you want to know everything about retargeting with Facebook. You should check out this guide we wrote.
An Instant Experience is almost like a little website on its own. So the user who engaged with it could be an interesting target for your business.
Facebook Instant Experiences Ads can be immersive yes, but will they guarantee a higher conversion rate? Not necessarily!
Like everything in Facebook marketing: it depends! The only way to make sure it works for you is to test!
So if you want to test and keep in mind these best practices:
#1 Use the pre-built templates available to you. You can customize them. And if it’s the first time you are trying Instant Experience there is no point in building a custom one – you don’t know if it’s going to work!
#2 Use short videos, 10 seconds or less. You can help draw people in with a short punchy video.
#3 Don’t forget to repeat your CTA regularly. If you only place your CTA at the end of the experience, know that most users won’t get there. If they don’t see the CTA when they are ready to convert, you will lose them.
#4 Focus on a single message. Don’t confuse the visitor with different CTAs, different information… You should have one ask only.
Most of the advice you will find about building great landing pages can be applied here.
By the way, we wrote the ultimate guide about Facebook landing pages. You can find it here, read it and tell us what you think!