Everyone has scrolled through Facebook on a smartphone and seen, in the “Most Recent” feed, an ad for a brand, website or product. Ad integration has simply become a part of the mobile social experience to the point of near-immunity. Very rarely does a user pause on an ad anymore. Ads have become such an obvious part of the social landscape, it’s easy to scroll past and pay no attention.
To improve this for both marketers and its 655 million mobile-exclusive monthly users, Facebook launched Facebook Canvas, a full-screen ad experience built for bringing brands and products to life. The idea is to give users the option and companies the “canvas” for fully-immersive, interactive and visually exciting advertising. This platform provides an obvious outlet for creativity, engaging with customers in unique ways and increasing Facebook reach.
However, if brands are solely relying on the new Facebook Canvas feature to carry their mobile marketing strategies, they will find they are missing opportunities to completely optimize marketing across all mobile channels.
Exploring Facebook Canvas
Facebook touts Canvas as a customizable digital space to tell multimedia stories. Blending photography, animation, videos, text and advertising in a variety of formats, Facebook Canvas allows a company to create any narrative that might be appealing to users. The idea for the full-screen aspect sprouted from the terrible experience that so many users went through after clicking an ad to find the mobile site was slow to load and react, or was totally nonexistent.
Now, after clicking an enticing ad, users will be taken to the full-screen format where they can explore a brand’s story through panoramic images, up-down-right-left movements and quick snippets of text. Coca-Cola’s Canvas experience takes viewers from an artistic GIF to photos of the new aluminum bottle in everyday life to a time-lapse video of an artist painting the iconic red and white bottle. The company reached nearly 16 million people with an average view of 18 seconds.
While Coke’s approach was simplistic to signify its trademark image into the brain of customers, beauty product company L’Occitane chose to use its holiday campaign Canvas to tell the story of its products from natural source to pretty gift set. The campaign resulted in an 11% increase in ad recall compared to link ads alone.
Creating a Canvas is built into the Facebook business account interface and is simple to begin. Brands who have only dabbled in Facebook advertising can now delve into developing these experiences. With such a wide appeal of features and possibilities, marketers might lean on the Canvas tool to become their only foray into mobile advertising. But missing all the other channels, such as Twitter, Instagram and in-app ads, leaves a gap between a brand’s Facebook audience and the rest of the mobile experience.
Inspired by Facebook Canvas to Do More
Facebook is, no doubt, an Internet juggernaut. The billion-dollar company drives one fourth of all web traffic, accounts for one out of every five minutes spent on a smartphone, and gets a quarter of all display ad revenue and 37% of mobile display ads. These stats might make it seem like Facebook is a one-stop shop for a mobile marketing plan. That might work for some companies trying to reach consumers demonstrating strong alliances to Facebook, but it’s not a sustainable strategy as the mobile marketing environment grows, shifts and adapts to the needs and behavior of users.
Instead of hoping Facebook Canvas will be a powerhouse in mobile marketing, marketers should be inspired by the new platform and expand these colossal efforts to other mobile strategies. There is no reason a Twitter or Instagram ad shouldn’t be as flashy, alluring or inventive as a Canvas campaign. Particularly, the stimulus for Facebook Canvas should lead to better in-app advertising.
Marketers should take into account how a user clicking an in-app ad is going to perceive and interact with a mobile site. Mobile optimization and responsive Web design should be top priority for any marketer deploying a mobile marketing campaign.
Data should also inform every element of a campaign. If a company is looking to target photographers, there are a high percentage of them on Instagram. If they are hoping to reach crafty moms, Pinterest might be the best option. Data about customer behavior, preferences and demographics leads to personalization—the key to any successful marketing campaign, mobile or otherwise.
Mobile Rules the Day
Whether you are a company that has never explored mobile marketing or a company that sees great returns from your mobile efforts, Facebook Canvas provides a new opportunity to transform your marketing strategy, explore the possibilities of Facebook advertising further and reach a great deal of customers. This intuitive tool and easy integration into an existing ad plan allows you to push the boundaries of your marketing ideals. By definition, canvas happes inside facebook. If you want your own canvas-like personalized experiences, try Roojoom.
But don’t stop there. If you find Canvas to be a powerful way to tell your brand’s story and reach customers, keep going. The greatest explorers didn’t stop at the top of the mountain; they looked for the next adventure. Your approach to mobile marketing will benefit from Canvas, but only if you let it guide you to cutting-edge trends and innovative advertising across all mobile channels.