When Facebook unveiled its new ‘Canvas’ ad feature earlier this year, it was viewed as an advancement in engagement and immersion that would usher in a new age of digital advertising. And now, 10 months later, we thought we’d take a look at Facebook Canvas and see if it actually delivered us to this new era of Social Media Marketing.
Visibility of Facebook Canvas
When Canvas was first introduced, a number of companies were given early access to the new marketing tool to create interesting, engaging ads. The purpose of this was two fold. First, Facebook wanted to see if the new features available in Canvas were useful to marketers, and second, marketers wanted to know if the tool would actually be useful towards their efforts.
Companies like Carnival Cruise, Wendy’s, and Netflix all created ads to show off the capabilities of Canvas. But once the new feature was introduced, it was hardly visible inside news feeds.
“At first, I was hardly seeing any Canvas ads in my feed,” says Tiffany Gabaldon, Senior Art Director at AMG. “It was mostly other local agencies trying out this new feature.”
But, as time went on and more advertisers are starting to become aware of the feature, more Canvases are popping up.
“At first it was kind of slow, but now I’m seeing Canvas ads popping up all over the place. After I looked at a new MacBook Pro on the Apple website, a sponsored Canvas ad popped up in my feed,” she said.
So it’s clear that after a lull in sponsored Canvas posts, more and more agencies and companies are starting to embrace this new feature.
Features of Facebook Canvas
Facebook Canvas not only offered a new, interesting way to engage consumers, but also pushed the boundaries of what could be done with Facebook ads. Canvas allows for carousel images, video, tilt to pan, and interesting interactive components all in one advertisement. And now that Canvas is no longer in its infancy, marketers are finding new ways to use the features.
“The Apple Canvas I saw actually had a video inside the screen of a MacBook. When I would move my phone, the video on the screen in the ad moved with it. I just sat there and said ‘What? How on Earth do you do that?!’” said Tiffany.
Wayne McWilliams, Senior Web Developer for AMG, also noticed some interesting techniques in Canvas ads that he’d seen. “GoPro was actually using animated GIFs in their Canvas. It was really interesting to see what I thought was video playing with some text underneath, but it just kind of looped the GIF continuously on the ad.”
Needless to say, Facebook Canvas clearly has some tricks up its sleeve, and it’s only a matter of time before marketers come up with more clever ways to use this new tool.
Reach of Facebook Canvas
As we mentioned before, Facebook Canvas is just starting to get off the ground, so there still isn’t much data out there on how well Canvas campaigns perform.
Even though Canvas has been out for a little less than a year, a successful campaign—and one that allows you to measure adequate data—should run for quite a while before you judge whether it’s working or not. But AMG is interested to see how our Facebook Canvas campaigns work out in the end, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how our campaigns perform.
The Future of Facebook Canvas
Although a relatively new feature, Facebook Canvas shows a promising future. With a variety of features and tricks at your disposal, Canvas is proving to be a fun, interactive way to engage your audience. But, it’s still undecided whether or not this feature has more advantages than regular Facebook advertising.
Here at AMG, we’re glad we got in on the ground floor of Canvas ads. We’ve produced Canvas ads for a number of clients, and even have a Canvas ad of our own. Check out the intro video below.
“I can see this being a great feature for not only large companies, but small businesses as well,” Wayne said. “Even though it’s mostly large companies using it now, smaller, local businesses shouldn’t discount the power of using Facebook Canvas.”
Have you seen a Canvas ad and want one of your own, but aren’t sure where to start? We’re here to help. Click the button below to contact us and we’ll help you create a Canvas ad that will engage consumers and ensure you get the most out of your Facebook advertising.