It’s different from Facebook’s other ad units because brands can create immersive, full-screen experiences specifically for mobile devices. Canvas officially launched February 25, 2016, though there is still a waiting list in place for brands wanting to get started.
What’s different about Canvas?
Canvas ads look and function like an interactive, long-scrolling page that incorporates images, a carousel, video, buttons and text to promote brands and their products. What sets Canvas apart from other ad platforms is that it’s optimized for delivering a lightning-fast mobile experience.
The best part? Canvas ads won’t cost any more than normal Facebook ads. According to Facebook, “you choose how much you want to spend and what you’re charged for.” The only added expense will be the development of new digital assets and, of course, an excellent story — originality will be key when leveraging this new platform.
According to Carnival Cruise Line, which ran a limited test with the new platform, “the average time spent with the ad was between 135 seconds and 174 seconds, longer than the ad’s running time of two minutes.”
Get ready for Canvas
Until you get your coveted invitation from Facebook, here are some ways you can begin preparing for Canvas in the meantime:
- Brainstorm a story arch. Use Canvas’ custom template to leverage a variety of content arrangements. You, as the brand, have the freedom to create something unique and the opportunity to connect with your target audiences. Seize this opportunity with a big interactive photo or video.
- Create meaningful visuals, video and animations so you can win the day. Stock art and video may not be enough. In Facebook’s examples, the best ads use images and videos as essential storytelling vehicles. Like a world-class automobile ad, the visuals and copywriting work hand in hand to craft a story. Canvas is visual storytelling within a mobile advertisement.
- Turn a (small) phrase. Canvas is an extremely visual platform, as demonstrated by Facebook’s restriction of text to 20 percent of the creative. Be sure to engage your audience with a painstakingly clear and creative message.
- Provide a compelling call to action. Strive to create a value or benefit that will compel action from your audience. Canvas provides buttons to link out to websites and product pages. Nevertheless, your messaging and visuals should inspire your audience to take action automatically. Remember, good stories showcase a character with a need or problem, and a plan of action. Empower your audience by providing solution-oriented messaging.
Social media is a critical piece of any brand’s marketing mix, and this latest offering from Facebook will only serve to place more importance on a strong social presence. Our team can help you create a comprehensive, thoughtfully crafted social strategy that better connects you with your audience and boosts meaningful engagement.
Need help painting your canvas?
Ethology’s goal is to optimize every part of the digital experience to drive measurable results. Our team can help you create a customer experience that drives the right traffic to the right places, maximizing conversions and impacting your bottom line.