It’s 2AM and you’ve been lying in bed for hours, aimlessly scrolling through your newsfeed. At this point, you have undoubtedly been served more ads than you can count, but you eventually come across something new that you haven’t seen before. A full screen experience that – wait for it – is actually kind of fun. Welcome to Facebook’s new canvas ads.
Facebook Canvas, in their own words, is a “new space for big ideas”. Almost like a mini, in-app website, brands now have a more practical place to share branded content, serving as a stylish pit stop between social media and a brand’s website.
Apart from the quick load times (similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles), seamless navigation and customizable interface, canvas ads are also incredibly easy to build out. Instead of budgeting for coding and web design brands can focus primarily on content.
So what is the big fuss? Facebook rolls out new features all the time. Why is this such a potential game changer? The introduction of Canvas has created an appealing channel for brands to finally tell their full story (or at least most of it) with measurable results.
What’s The Catch? (At Least For Now)
While canvas ads are surely more engaging than traditional Facebook ads, will this new user experience ultimately lead to achieving your brand goals? To be honest, it’s a little too early to tell. Brands looking to engage their customers could see their goals exceeded while those in search of conversions may be left high and dry. Sure, you can add call-to-action buttons, add links to images, and even include a product feed, but there just isn’t enough data right now to measure success.
It’s also definitely worth noting that a canvas ad that fails to convey its message in an engaging way could be a waste of time and money. It takes a lot more time and effort to create a canvas ad. It’s vital your content not only looks good but keeps viewers interested throughout.
Not to mention, with our attention spans rivaling those of a goldfish, it’s very possible users will skip your post entirely, not even clicking into the canvas ad.
Bottom line: canvas ads are good for social media advertising. They are going to force your brand (and us as advertisers) to tell great stories with even better content to back it up, even when you aren’t using canvas ads. Moreover, you can expect other social media platforms to scramble to mimic or best this new, storytelling-centric ad format.
The bar has definitely been raised. Brands are already hoping on canvas ads and seem to be getting great feedback. Facebook boasts 12- and 18-second engagement rates in pilots conducted with Asus and Coca-Cola (remember when we talked about attention span?). With great content and an even better story to tell, canvas ads can be an incredible tool for your brand that will have people like Michael saying…