It’s no secret that Facebook has become a big player in advertising, accounting for 16% of the world’s digital ad spending and 23% of global mobile digital ad spend. And like any advertising giant, Facebook needs to constantly change things up, creating bigger and better innovations to stay relevant in a cutthroat industry.
Enter Facebook Canvas, the social media platform’s newest (and coolest) offering. It turns all those “meh” mobile ads into marvelous, full-screen masterpieces, giving you more flexibility and control over how to tell your brand’s story, providing an immersive and more focused experience and making your advertising dollars work harder than they’ve ever worked before.
What Is Facebook Canvas?
Think of your latest Facebook ad. It’s probably tt a picture or video, a bit of text, and a call-to-action button that links the ad to your website or landing page.
Now imagine that ad on steroids. It fills up your viewer’s mobile screen with rich graphics, photos, videos and text. Better still, it loads quickly, satisfying your audience’s need for instant gratification. Canvas is an interactive, immersive experience that looks more like a story come to life than a boring old “buy my stuff” sponsored post.
Creating Your First Canvas
You’ll find the option to create a canvas in your Ads Manager. (Some businesses may be able to create them directly from their page, but this seems to be a slow rollout, so you may not have that option quite yet.)
While you do have the option to create a custom canvas, starting with a template will help you get the hang of the process a bit faster. You’ll name your campaign, choose an objective and select settings like target audience, budget and placement.
Once you’ve taken care of all the “housekeeping” tasks, it’s time to have some fun! Select your template and play around with pictures, graphics, logos, videos, buttons, text formats and more! You’re not limited to a single page; instead, you can and should capture your audience’s attention and keep them scrolling down for more.
(You can find some of Facebook’s favorite Canvas ads here.)
Tips for Using Facebook Canvas
As exciting as Canvas can be, it’s important not to start creating ads on a whim. Like anything else in marketing, if it’s not done well, it’s not worth doing! Here are our best tips on getting started:
- Take your time. New features are exciting. But going all-in on Canvas without understanding exactly how it works will only discourage you when your campaign flops and you watch your advertising dollars fly out the window.
- Keep it super simple. With all the features Canvas offers, it’s easy to get carried away, but remember — this isn’t your website, it’s an ad. Design it like you would a landing page: with plenty of white space, lead magnets and a clear call-to-action.
- Use a singular focus. What is the purpose of your Canvas? Do you want to get more customers, sell a specific product, entice people to sign up for your emails or get them to share your content? Any one of those is a worthy goal — but trying to design one Canvas to achieve all of them at once is futile. Don’t confuse your audience. Make it clear exactly what you want them to do.
- Test, test and test some more. What works best? What doesn’t work at all? Should you open with a video or a photo? Should you put your logo at the top or at the bottom? Is it better to put your call-to-action button in the middle of the Canvas to get people to see it sooner, or should you put it at the end to make them keep scrolling? No one knows the answers to these questions, so it’s crucial that you test several versions of your Canvas to find the one that resonates best with your audience.
Static ads are boring. Facebook Canvas plops your viewer down firmly in the center of your brand’s story, allowing them to see, hear and feel the message that you’re trying to send!
Interested in trying Canvas out for yourself, but not sure how to get started? Shoot Mischa Communications an email! We’ll help you create immersive, dynamic ads that hook your audience from the moment they click!