Facebook Canvas: The What, Why, and Who Cares?

Are you that person who spends over 4 hours a day on your mobile phone? Some studies show that the U.S. users are spending up to 5 hours every day on their mobile devices. Considering the aforementioned, it is obvious that advertisers are interested in reaching mobile users.

Facebook created an interactive post format called Canvas because of poor user experience with websites on mobile devices, e.g. slow page load and often non-optimized pages. The social network decided to solve the problem by empowering brands to promote their products on mobile devices.

Canvas is a full-screen publication, which looks like an ordinary post in the news feed but when you click on it, it opens in fullscreen. This format is intended only for users of mobile devices and tablets. The main features of Canvas are interactivity and quick load. This allows users to interact with brands directly on the Facebook platform.

By combining video, photos, text blocks, and call-to-action buttons, Canvas acts as an analog of a landing page. Here is one of our favorite examples:

Canvas Options

When working with Canvas, you need to develop a concept of interaction and formulate a clear idea of what you want to offer your users. Then, choose one of the Facebook advertising tools, such as Power Editor and Ads Manager.

You can create Canvas by either using ready-made templates or from scratch. Whatever purpose of advertising you choose, Facebook intends to help you achieve it. You can find new customers, promote your company, increase the number of purchases from mobile devices and/or increase brand awareness.

You can choose among these three types of templates:

  1. 1. Attraction of new clients. Canvas is used as a landing page to demonstrate characteristics and benefits of products and services.
  2. 2. Showcasing your company. This is how you increase brand awareness and talk about your brand to engage the audience.
  3. 3. Sale of products. This template shows characteristics and benefits of goods and/or services to encourage people to make orders from mobile devices.

 

The main details to consider when creating Canvas are a sequence, brevity, asset base (photo, video), and high-quality text. Depending on your goals, you can place and combine multimedia elements to provide users with all the necessary information about the brand, product, or service.

To go to the site or, if necessary, to perform the targeted action, it is possible to add call-to-action buttons.

A header with your logo promotes and strengthens your brand, and photos attract the attention of users, so pick visual content carefully. Keep in mind all the details, e.g. select background, a color of buttons, and the main fonts according to your corporate style. Consider adding a video which helps you tell a story of your product or service and demonstrate new offers to your customers and potentials by uploading a set of products.

It is worth mentioning that Canvas can be created not only as an advertisement but also as a free publication.

To monitor the effectiveness of the achieved results, all links from Facebook to the external resource should have UTM tags and be analyzed using Google Analytics.

Facebook allows you to measure the following metrics along with other typical ad metrics:

  • • Average duration of Canvas viewed, seconds,
  • • Average percent of Canvas viewed, %,
  • • A number of clicks on the links to perform actions or visit other Facebook pages or third-party websites,
  • • Percent of duration of Canvas components, % of time spent browsing each component.

Canvas Features

Facebook allows you to automatically develop Canvas using templates.

Developers have access to Canvas API. Such an approach greatly simplifies the work and saves time because specialists in charge use programs instead of creating each element from scratch. Different blocks are automatically assembled into ads without going through the Facebook interface, and also link a few Canvas so that users can move from one to another Canvas similarly to pages of a mobile site.

Another interesting feature of such publications is the ability to use a gyroscope of your device when viewing an image or turning the video to 360 degrees.

Here is one of the latest examples by IKEA, which demonstrates most of the Canvas functions. The company has implemented an interactive catalog.

Also soon, all advertisers will be able to try the “Collection” format of advertising on Facebook, which allows users to find, browse, and purchase goods from mobile devices in the most convenient and natural way.

When users touch such an ad, right in the Facebook application a window opens where they can view other products and/or learn about their advantages. And now advertising in the “Collection” format can be created on Canvas.

Good news is that Instagram integrated Stories with Facebook Canvas. This is another reason to study this format and learn how to use it properly, as this instrument is getting better over time.

Conclusions

By combining all available advertising formats in Canvas and optimizing it for mobile devices, Facebook provides an excellent opportunity to tell the story of your brand by engaging the entire user screen. High results of attracting user attention are achieved thanks to the page load speed of Canvas ads and ability to engage viewers thereby turning them into a participant of your story.

As for the cost of such ads, it does not differ from other formats, but in turn, this is not just an ad in the newsfeed; rather, a page that unfolds fullscreen. The only drawback so far is the lack of ability to make purchases directly in the application itself, so depending on the purpose of your campaign, you can redirect the interested audience to the optimized landing page of the site, for example, to confirm and pay for the order.

Canvas opens a world of opportunities for advertisers who will be able to target the audience that uses mobile devices, and only you decide how to benefit from them. Our team has some impressive results on using Canvas. Check this case study for more details.

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