Canvas is Facebook's mobile marketing platform for companies wanting to present a more immersive experience to potential customers. It's a full-screen mobile ad that Facebook touts as loading nearly instantly and is designed specifically for Android and iOS devices. Using the same technology for loading photos and video quickly in the Facebook mobile app, Canvas can load up to 10 time faster than the mobile web.
When Canvas launched back in February, advertisers had to have either a web click or website conversion objective. Making Canvas even more versatile for advertisers, especially for marketers looking to seriously gain brand engagement, marketers can now choose brand awareness or video view objectives. "This means brand marketers can use Canvas across their range of goals for their campaigns," noted a Facebook post.
The future of Canvas
Facebook is seeking to make Canvas an extremely robust marketing tool, especially for companies looking for new branding and customer relationship opportunities. "The future of Canvas will include many more features designed to make this immersive, attention-grabbing format accessible to any business, regardless of size or creative resources," said Facebook. "Recently, we introduced new metrics for Canvas to help marketers understand the performance of each component—videos, photos and buttons—within their Canvas. Marketers can now learn from each Canvas they run, determining which designs work best to achieve their campaign goals."
They plan to make Canvas simple for any brand to implement by providing advertisers with templates that immolate how other advertisers have used the new platform. Facebook says that the templates will be available over the next few months, but they provided one as an example:
360 Videos Coming to Canvas
Facebook wants to make Canvas its most immersive ad format in order to attract the Madison Avenue brands. Soon they will be offering 360 videos that provide advertisers a unique way to engage people on mobile and interact with a brands advertisement. According to Facebook, ITAU, a Brazilian bank, used Canvas with 360 video in it to tell an immersive story for children, in order to let people know about the banks outreach and charity in the area of education.
They are also offering the ability to link Canvas ads to one another via linked buttons and images, instead of just linking to a website. The allows advertisers to create a multi-Canvas experience. "By linking Canvases, Beats by Dre could invite people to explore differently colored versions of its iconic headphones, designed after different countries' flags," noted Facebook. "When people tapped on their different Beats options, instead of being driven to a slow-loading website, they got another Canvas, loaded quickly, that they could explore. Beats saw an average of 39 seconds spent in the Canvas, and 73% of the Canvas was viewed on average."
Brand Success on Canvas
Facebook released some statistics from a couple of brands that have recently tried the Canvas marketing platform. Royal Caribbean used Canvas to promote a contest to win a free cruise where the last Canvas screen provided an access code and a link to enter the sweepstakes. Their cost per action was $0.17 and the average time potential customers spent on their Canvas as 72 seconds.
They say that Canvas works for smaller localized brick and mortar businesses too. A company (Edifica) built a new condo complex (also called Canvas) in Peru and was looking to find buyers using Canvas. According to Facebook, they saw a 50% lower cost-per-click, a 15% lower cost-per-thousand impression, and a 2.3X click-through-rate versus their other link ads, and got a 46-second average time spent in their Canvas. It's unknown how many of these clickers turned into condo sales.