Facebook continues to offer businesses more advertising options with the introduction of mobile-specific ad units called Canvas. These ads look like regular timeline ads but once clicked on by users, the ad becomes a full-screen, multi-image, mini-website set within the Facebook framework.
A finished version of what a Canvas ad can look like can be found on the Facebook Canvas Help page.
Advertisers can use Facebook’s self-service tool to build Canvas ads, which requires no website building or coding. The tool can be found under your business pages’ Publishing Tools menu with the Canvas option located at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side. (This feature is still being rolled out; if the Canvas Ad option does not appear on your page, you can fill out the request form here.)
Once entering the Canvas section, advertisers will be able to make an ad by hitting the “create” button in the top right corner.
Once inside the Canvas Builder page, the content options for the ad unit will be visible, starting with a selection of color themes and headers.
Other options include adding a photo and creating a button that will link users to the company’s mobile-optimized website.
The final option is the “Add Component” section at the bottom of the page. This will bring up a pop-up menu that allows the advertiser to add a photo carousel, create a text block, upload a video or add another button or photo.
Once all the components are added and saved, advertisers can hit the “Preview on Device” button in the Quick Preview section of the right-hand side of the Canvas Builder page. The Canvas ad will then appear in the Facebook app of the builder’s mobile device.
At this point, they can test out the Canvas ad and see how it displays on mobile. If changes are needed, they can go back to the Canvas Builder page on their desktop to make edits. Once they are satisfied with it, they can hit the “finish” button on their desktop.
Once the Canvas has been finished, hit the “Get URL” button which will now appear just above the Quick Preview section of the Canvas Builder page. Advertisers can then move to the Facebook Ads section, select the “Send people to your website” objective and enter that newly-saved Canvas URL to post the ad. As with all Facebook ads, they will be able to choose an objective, select the audience and choose the budget.
For advertisers, using Canvas ads will allow them to create a rich, website-like experience for consumers without having to make changes to their business website. For Facebook, it allows companies to advertise with them in a more vibrant way while ensuring that the end-user does not actually leave the Facebook environment.