You’ve got to hand it to Facebook — the social media giant knows how to keep business booming. The launch in late February 2016 of its scintillating new mobile ad format, Canvas, has the marketing world buzzing. At the forefront of social media integration services for businesses, even we have got to admit that, at Point and Stare, we were like giddy schoolgirls when we learnt just how much can be done with this exciting new ad format.

What’s so great about Canvas?
Described by Facebook as a “full-screen ad experience built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile”, Canvas has two main aims: to allow businesses to create sleek, compelling mobile adverts, and to get users to perceive Facebook adverts as entertaining rather than annoying.

A ‘Canvas’ (as the Canvas adverts are referred to by Facebook) is a fully customisable digital space on which businesses can build bolder, more creative, and more interactive multimedia stories. Advertisers can now use any number of tools – vertical full-screen videos, carousels of images, panoramic shots, zoom capability, and call-to-action buttons – to engage their audience and deliver rich, visually captivating experiences.

As a nod to the impatience of today’s Internet users, Facebook has also ensured that Canvas videos and images load almost instantaneously and 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. That’s rather impressive, to say the least!

How Canvas works
Canvases are ‘post-click adverts’, so they appear in the News Feed like a normal sponsored post, and the immersive experience begins once the user clicks on the post. After clicking, users are taken to the interactive full-screen Canvas, where they can delve into a brand’s digital story without being directed to a third-party website or ever leaving Facebook.

What’s the catch?
There’s no denying that Facebook has created a downright thrilling advertising product with Canvas. However, there are a few things that businesses should bear in mind when considering advertising with this new mobile format.

Firstly, Canvases require a lot of bandwidth to run, which may deter users from viewing them. So consider your target audience carefully before investing in a Canvas ad campaign.

In terms of cost, the fact that Canvases are fully customisable means they aren’t cheap to produce, so you’ll need a sizeable marketing budget if you want to promote your brand this way.

The higher production cost means Canvases are best suited to either big businesses, or products and events aiming to build major hype as a one-off. As glossy and attention-grabbing as they are, Canvases are definitely not worthwhile for businesses selling low-involvement commodities.

Make Canvas work for your business
There you have it: the full lowdown of Facebook’s new frontier of mobile advertising. To learn more on how you can use Canvas and other social media ad formats to promote your business, contact us at Point and Stare today.