Facebook is often releasing new formats for adverts. Its variety of tools is what makes it one of the more popular and – if we’re honest – really powerful ways of advertising online. One of Facebook’s more recent styles of adverts is called Canvas Adverts, so we thought we’d show you a little more detail to see if they’re right for your business. (The short answer is: probably yes. But stay with us.)
What is a Facebook Canvas advert?
Canvas ads are a new form of mobile-only paid advertisement through Facebook. They essentially bring together visual information such as text, photos and auto-playing videos.
But the thing is, they’re not passive ads: users physically get involved, interacting with the add by scrolling down to see more. They can also further interact with the carousel and pan-to-view features offered within the canvas.
And that’s really important: this isn’t a billboard someone is walking past and ignoring – they’re switched on and are interacting with your advert. There is also the opportunity for product based brands to create a ‘product set’. This creates direct links to the products on their website, leading to more exposure to the company or brand.
The best way to describe canvas ads is to think of them as an interactive visual blog. So, if you’re a visual company and have lots of assets, you’re in luck.
How can your brand benefit from Canvas ads?
Canvas ads are particularly good for mobile shopping. You can showcase products and then link to external products or sites in order to sell stuff.
Additionally, because this type of advert is so interactive, it makes it easy to see whether people are interested in what you are advertising in the first place.
And the time each person spends on the advert can show further if they are interested as it suggests how much time they are spending interacting with the advertisement.
Furthermore, the amount of content that can be put into one of these adverts will mean that whoever is looking at it is learning more about the products or company that you’re promoting. With the cliff-hanger being the final detail, it encourages people to visit your site, but even if they don’t, the process of educating in detail has begun.
What type of businesses will benefit from Canvas ads?
In theory, anyone can use a Canvas ad, but product-based brands may have a better outcome due to the ‘product set’ feature (this allows you to show a list of products you want to promote more heavily). People can then click on the product and view it on your online store. Not only has this been shown to increase purchases of those particular products, it increases the amount of people viewing your site and possibly purchasing other items. (And the beauty of Facebook’s pixel means even if they didn’t buy, you know they came to your site – so you can promote to them at a later date, knowing they’re an engaged customer.)
However, because of the diversity of canvas adverts, no matter what type of company you have, they will get you some outcome in the form of custom. You get more brand awareness. More traffic to your site. And some really in-depth, high-quality engagement with your brand.
Basics of setting up a Canvas ad
Facebook offers a simple template for business pages to use to create a simple Canvas advert. You’ll need to include:
- Header (with logo)
- Full-screen image/photo
- Text block
- Button for off-site links
- Image carousel
- Auto-play video
- Full-screen tilt-to-pan
- Product set
You can only have a total of 500 characters in the text block, so when creating a canvas advert for your brand, keep it short, sweet and to the point. However, if you can’t fit everything you want to talk about there, you may want to include it in the image carousel or talk about it in the video.
But to create something that wows your audience, it’s great to have a bank of content assets: captivating images, and engaging video. Don’t just load them up with any old content: make things shine.
Why choose Canvas ads over other Facebook ad types?
Due to Canvas adverts combining all the different elements in online paid advertising, it means there is something for everyone, increasing interactivity and reach. The tilt-to-pan feature is also something no other type of advert use, making people want to get more of an insight on what the feature does, making the experience more fun. Additionally, because there is so much content in different formats, people can scroll around for something that interests them. This way they won’t think the advert is annoying and enjoy it more than get irritated by it.
Although there’s a large benefit to Canvas adverts, they are only shown on Facebook, and mobile too. So a multi-channel campaign would be needed if you wanted an even larger outcome from online advertising.
So, there’s a quick intro to Canvas ads. Don’t forget that this is just one tool at your disposal. Facebook is an incredibly powerful platform and there’s tons of stuff you can do. You just need to know when to use the right tool for the right outcome. (And we can help you with everything in the online ad tool box.)