A Simple Guide to Facebook Advertising in 2018

According to a recent Hubspot post, Facebook ads drive more traffic than any other paid channel in 2017. With over 1.8 billion active daily users it’s no wonder that brands are already reaping the benefits of advertising on the platform.

As Facebook grows, the technology for reaching highly targeted audiences is surpassing other platforms. Brands not only have the power to target based on specific demographics such as spending habits, they can now also build custom audiences. Advertising on the platform is therefore extremely powerful and done correctly, will lead to an impressive ROI.

As with all technology, Facebook is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up with trends when developing your strategy. To help, here’s a simple guide to Facebook advertising in 2017 including some trends you need to know about.


1. Storytelling with Canvas

Facebook introduced this new feature in 2016 and described it as an “immersive and expressive experience on Facebook for businesses to tell their stories and showcase their products.” As marketers know, storytelling is important and Canvas offers the perfect tool to do this. You can create stunning visuals including videos, images and panoramic views that users can really interact with.

When the user clicks the ad, it will instantly enter full screen mode providing a more immersive experience. Canvas has already garnered some impressive stats as Facebook reported that 53% of people that open an ad watch at least half, making the average view time 31 seconds. 

There are, however, some limitations with the feature. It’s only available for mobile and it doesn’t provide any lead capture data so there is still some way to go. However, it is worth a try if you’re looking for a visual way to tell your brand story.  


2. Grow your customer base with the Lookalike Audience feature

Facebook now enables you to create a ‘lookalike audience’ which is basically a crafted audience similar to the followers you already have on the platform. It can also be based on custom lists that you upload as well as website custom audiences.

This feature enables you to reach out to a very specific group of users which fall in line with those who already use your services. It’s much more advanced than selecting a few categories and hoping they work. It also takes the popular method of retargeting one step further and instead of advertising to people who have already interacted with your brand, it creates a whole new audience yet to be exposed to what you offer. Here’s a guide on how to get started.

Targeting is one of the ways that Facebook has managed to differentiate themselves from the likes of Google, there’s a fantastic guide to Facebook Ad Targeting on the Imaginaire Digital blog.


3. 360 ads

Facebook bought virtual reality heavyweights Oculus Rift in 2014 and now plans to make VR available to ‘the average user.’ This means headsets will become even more accessible than they already are. The medium is therefore only going to progress over the next few years so definitely it’s one to watch.

With the right equipment, you too can make 360 videos which will offer a much more immersive experience for your audience. Mastercard incorporated this type of video into a travel campaign and saw some impressive results. 70% of the target audience was reached (surpassing a target of 55%) and the video had 14 million views.

Felipe Molina, Regional Digital Lead at Universal McCann said this is a ‘clear example of how Facebook is able to not only provide a massive reach with strong targeting capabilities and consumer commitment but also produce a noticeable effect on our customers’ business results.’



To sum up, Facebook advertising is showing no signs of slowing down. Virtual reality along with new ways to target audiences are changing the way we interact. Consumers are no longer satisfied with average picture ads, they want to see and experience more. This means if you want to stay ahead, it’s important to acknowledge key trends and incorporate them as appropriate into your Facebook strategy.


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