Facebook’s Canvas: Who is it for, and why should I use it? – Part 1

A blank canvas for creative marketers

Built  for mobile, Canvas is an immersive ad experience for businesses who use Facebook to tell their brand stories and showcase their products in an exciting new way. Canvas ads look similar to Link Click ads and carousel ads but a single tap brings users to a full screen that allows them to engage with the content.

The ratio of branding and performance for campaign budgets largely depend on the brief, but typically, we expect an 80/20 split. Canvas ads boost both performance and brand awareness. They’re a combination of both business objectives. The video, carousel, text, and product feed are all immersive and focus on ROI increases.

Simplifying creative messages

Brands need to get their message across to their target audience but keep it succinct. Creative marketers often struggle to find a balance in order to capture their consumers with the right level of engaging content in their marketing strategies.

Many marketers find themselves constrained by the limitations of the ad unit such as the size of the screen when it comes to truly creative advertising. At the same time, they want to be able to capture the short attention spans of their target audiences on mobile. The key is to simplify the creative messages in a compelling way and find a method to deliver them tailored to the screen.

Facebook Ads: the past 10 years

Facebook has maintained its position as the premier social media marketing platform for brands with its 989 million daily active users on mobile alone. Over the past decade, it has continuously evolved to provide businesses with more powerful ways to reach out to a larger audience. From Lead ads to Dynamic Product ads to Carousel ads, businesses that have taken the leap in remarketing have seen impressive increases in conversions. Canvas is yet another offering that could attract these businesses.

Facebook has listed several success stories from brands who have deployed Canvas ads during its pilot period. They cited better ad recalls and engagements although not for conversion campaigns.


Canvas is a great unit for delivering a large quantity of diverse multimedia content in a way which takes full advantage of the vertical screen. Instead of being interruptive, mobile ads become interactive. They are highly visual, engaging and are most suitable for campaigns with specific brand objectives.

Canvas allows the following features:

  • Carousels
  • Text Boxes
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Buttons
  • Product Catalogs

Hello immersive advertising! You can mix and match or combine all of the above and create all that you want in a single ad unit.

Don’t include everything

There is still a risk of overloading your audience with too much information if you dump all your videos and graphics onto a single Canvas ad. Strategise and make sure you keep your marketing goals in view before getting creative. What does your business want to achieve from this and who is your main target audience? If Canvas is your main channel of communication with your consumers, what is the main message you want it to convey? Always consider these questions before you decide to combine creatives into a single ad.

In part two I’ll be showing you the results of an effective Canvas ad we created with one of our brand clients that received positive feedback and increased conversions!

Got a question about Canvas? Get in touch with us here. Alternatively you can get in touch with me directly on Linkedin.

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