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The Most Noteworthy Facebook Ad Updates for 2019

It’s officially 2019, which means it’s time to finally start talking about new capabilities, tactics, and strategies. One of the digital channels that saw the most growth and success this last year has been paid social advertising, which is why we’ve decided to start with the most noteworthy Facebook ad updates for 2019 - the ones you should already be using, and the ones that demonstrate the sheer power of the platform, even if they’re not likely to become your go-to tool quite yet.

Dynamic Ads

Facebook continues to become more and more user-friendly and efficient for E-commerce businesses. Dynamic Ads are nothing new, but if you have a robust product catalog, you’re struggling to gain traction on Facebook, and you haven’t been using a product feeds to generate Dynamic Ads, then you’re officially behind the times.

Facebook, through numerous platform integrations and API capabilities, is able to house catalogs consisting of thousands of products. With Dynamic Ads, you’re able to serve ads featuring specific products to specific users based on interests or based on previous behaviors.

At Bonsai, we had an E-commerce client with whom we set up dynamic product ads for retargeting. Users would hit a specific product page on the site, and if they didn’t buy, they’d get hit with an ad featuring that product and price. The ROAS (return on ad spend) for that particular ad set was around 3.5x.

Instagram and Facebook Story Ads

Another ad format that isn’t new but is certain to continue gaining traction in 2019 is story based ads. Ephemeral content saw a huge leap in 2018, with more and more people posting stories to both Instagram and Facebook. Traffic via these placements is certainly ramping up.

Not only are users more willing to engage with ads that appear in their stories as opposed to their feeds, but stories ads are adding additional functionality that enables product tagging - including additional product information, pricing, and direct links to buy products.

At Bonsai, we’ve seen huge success with story-based ads for the purpose of lead generation. It’s both a great way to drive qualified traffic to landing pages and stories have proven to be massively effective for generating engagement via messenger. In fact, there is almost a direct correlation between our use of stories ads and the number of inbound messages we receive via Instagram in particular. It’s a bit of a longer funnel, but if you can get users to message on Facebook or Instagram, you have a direct opportunity to nurture that prospect in any way you see fit - even if that’s encouraging them towards the same landing page as the ad.

Creative Compass

A new creative planning tool for Facebook Marketing Parners, Creative Compass, is making a buzz around the blogosphere for the hottest new Facebook advertising tool forthcoming this year.

Measuring the effectiveness of an ad beyond the most common data points (CTRs, conversions, etc.) has always been a challenge. While relevance score has been the go-to for measuring the potential of a creative piece on the platform, the new Facebook Creative Compass is a robust diagnostic tool that will help Facebook Marketing Partners understand how well an ad is likely to perform to an unprecedented degree.

Currently, the tool is only available to certified Facebook Marketing Partner, and our team at Bonsai has been working on getting our certification in both the technology and creative platforms. So, as you can imagine, we can’t wait to get our hands on this new tool.

Playable Ads

It might sound like science fiction, but it’s true. Facebook added playable ads for game apps not too long ago. These ads essentially allow users to try a game before they buy and install it. Playable Ads can also help PPC providers uncover new insights from people who have experimented with the game and are thus more likely to play after installation.

Playable ads are now available for everyone using the app install objective for ads in Facebook news feed. And there’s a ton of certified Facebook developers who can assist in the implementation of playable ads, if that’s your interest.

It might be a bit outside the realm of our current clients, but nevertheless, it’s an impressive display of Facebook’s advertising capabilities.

Augmented Reality Ads

AR seems to be on everyone’s minds this year across every channel. Facebook is now dipping their toes into the Augmented Reality ad game, enabling brands to build deeper, more engaging on-screen experiences that potential customers can interact with.

The ads allow users to quickly test out products and experiences with a ‘tap to try’ CTA that accesses the users camera and provides an onscreen filter that serves as an ad. It sounds impressive, but the reality is that these ads are just riding Snapchat’s coattails. The AR ads that Facebook is rolling out definitely resemble filter-based ads that have helped Snapchat differentiate itself from the Facebook/Instagram paradigm.

Nevertheless, much like playable ads, while AR ads may not be top of the list for your ad arsenal right now, it’s a 2019 Facebook ad update worth noting because it illustrates the ever evolving capabilities of Facebook as an advertising platform.


These 2019 Facebook ad updates are just the start - if 2018 is any indication, there are sure to be plenty more changes, both good and bad, to the platform in the coming months. Whether it’s targeting, creative capabilities, or placements - at Bonsai, we understand the true power of Facebook advertising for delivering valuable high-intent traffic to your site.

If you’re interested in harnessing the power of the world’s most widely utilized social media platform, get in touch with Bonsai today.

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