Want to up your Facebook game? Facebook Canvas is a great way to do it.
Competition for user attention is stiff on Facebook, so brands needs to be using every tool in their arsenal to be standing out. Facebook Canvas is a type of interactive post (or ad) that stands out in a user’s mobile newsfeed.
These posts can pack a lot of punch, allowing brands to add in a ton of content and information into just one canvas.
Because you build them from scratch from a ton of different options, however, many brands aren’t sure where to start when creating them.
These 5 tips for creating an amazing Facebook Canvas are a good place to start.
What is Facebook Canvas?
Facebook Canvas is a tool that rolled out to businesses earlier this year, and is a type of dynamic, interactive post that can be made into an ad. They are mobile-optimized.
Canvases have different formats you can choose from, like the tap to expand format. They are also incredibly customizable, and let you add combinations of different components, which include headers, clickable buttons, text, videos, and images.
The first time I saw a Facebook Canvas as a user, I had no idea what it was, but I remember thinking how interesting it was, and I scrolled all the way through it.
Canvas is available through Power Editor, though some businesses can access it through their Pages. You can see a tutorial on how to create your first Facebook Canvas here.
1. Change it Up
Facebook Canvas lets you add in a ton of different components, including:
- Clickable buttons
You can add these components in a nearly endless number of combinations, and you can use each multiple times. Despite this potential and all these options, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen brands make is to keep all of their “slides” in a similar format, with the components exactly the same.
This video (Mr Porter Sport) showcases how keeping the format as dynamic as the Canvas itself, can keep a user interested and engaged.
The dynamic nature of Canvas is what makes it so valuable, so changing the components up keeps the user interested and wondering what they’ll see when they scroll to the next page. Page after page of text only won’t quite cut it.
This doesn’t mean there can’t be some form of symmetry; you can begin and end with a CTA and a video, for example. Utilize as many components as you can while keeping your Canvas relevant to the message and marketing goal at hand.
2. Choose your First Page Wisely
Users won’t see a preview of your entire Canvas at once; unlike Carousel ads, where users can see multiple images at once, your Canvas shows up one slide at a time. Because of this, the first page of your Canvas is hugely important, and will determine whether or not a user will continue to scroll through to see the rest of your informations.
What you don’t want: the stereotypical power point title slide, which states the title of the presentation and maybe a subtitle. While this works great for business meetings, it’s not enough to interest a user and make them want to see what’s next.
Tell your users why they should care or be interested, on the first page. Traditional tactics to capture a users’ interest apply here; you can present a problem that you tell them you can solve, feature a unique image, or use hooks that grab them quickly.
Split test different first pages or slides for your canvas to see what gets the best response from your target audience, including which results in the most clicks to your site.
3. Prioritize the Visual
Visual appeal is huge. Using a combination of high-quality images and brief, descriptive text can get your point across quickly.
Because Canvas has an emphasis on animated and visual storytelling, your images should take priority, and your text needs to be quick, clear, and concise while still being creative.
Videos can be highly effective and shouldn’t be ignored; they’ll play on autoplay as long as this feature is enabled in your region, and can deliver a ton of information in just a few seconds. Strong videos can also convey emotions and excitement more effectively than almost any copy ever could.
With social videos’ success booming right now for marketers, this is a visual aspect that increases the dynamic and interactive feel of the media being used.
Canvas’s 360 degree format is highly interactive, and is a fantastic format to get engagement while simultaneously focusing on the visual.
4. Never Forget the CTA button
You have the option of adding clickable buttons to your Canvas. These buttons are highly customizable; you can change their color, the text on them, and choose the site you’re sending users to. These can be used as clickable CTAs.
You can place your clickable CTA component on as many slides as you’d like.
At the very least, it should always be placed on your last slide; there’s no more to scroll through, and after you’ve given users all the incentive you have to click, giving them an easy way to complete the desired action is sometimes all that’s left that’s needed to get them to actually convert.
Split testing other placements or formats for your CTA button can be beneficial; some users may be willing to convert halfway but don’t want to keep scrolling through the Canvas, for example. Just as you test the first page of your canvas, run a few campaigns for CTA placement to see what works best.
5. Focus on a Single Message
While you can throw a lot of information into your Canvas, you want to make sure all those slides and components are relevant to a single message or theme. Popular uses of canvas include:
- Featuring multiple products
- Highlighting multiple use cases
- How-to tutorials for users
- Telling a story, which progresses from slide to slide
Regardless of which format you want to deliver the information in, one factor remains the same whether you’re promoting use cases for a product or telling a story about your brand: you need to focus on the singular message or theme that you’ve chosen.
Wendy’s “Take it from the Top” campaign takes you layer-by-layer through their hamburger, focusing on a singular point and executing it in an effective and mouth-watering way.
If you’re creating a canvas to appeal to a certain group of your target audience, keep all of your content and slides within your canvas niche specific. Let’s say Williams and Sonoma was creating a Canvas to promote their line of baking tools; it wouldn’t make sense to add a slide devoted to grilling pans, which have nothing to do with most baking.
Whatever message you choose, make sure that you keep all the content in your Canvas relevant, and that it all works towards encouraging users to click on your CTA.
Facebook Canvas is interesting and dynamic, and its interactive nature will automatically appeal to a large number of users. While they might take more time to create than typical posts or even carousel ads, the payoff can be worth it.
With these five tips, you can start creating high performing Facebook Canvas posts and ads today.
What do you think? Have you used Facebook Canvas? What tips have you found help create higher performing Canvas campaigns? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!