In a previous RapidBI article we discussed the effectiveness of Twitter in terms of marketing for SMEs. However, it is far from being the only social media tool that you can use to reach your online audiences. Facebook Canvas was introduced a year ago to allow companies, including SMEs, to establish their marketing presence on the social media platform in a new way.
What is Facebook Canvas?
At first glance, a Facebook Canvas advertisement resembles a standard ad on the social media site. However, clicking on it will make you see that it’s so much more that just your standard advertisement. Social Media Today explains that Facebook Canvas serves as a platform for companies to combine photos, videos, and a carousel, allowing advertisers to use a maximum of five images – complete with links – on a single ad.
It’s highly customisable, and there are numerous formats to choose from. Users have the option to mix-and-match different headers, as well as upload their own photos or videos and provide text. Unlike static ads, Facebook Canvas supports features such as tilt-to-pan and tap-to-zoom, as well as other interactive innovations that provide a visually immersive mobile-only experience.
These effects, combined with an opportunity for storytelling, allow companies to create compelling Facebook Canvas ads that draw the attention of audiences. Industry experts are now touting this as a medium that will allow organisations to create a miniature, interactive version of their website that they can upload to the social media platform.
Why does Facebook Canvas work as a marketing tool?
One mistake that companies make, including SMEs, is that they take the importance of website visits for granted. This leads some to pay less attention when it comes to establishing their online domains. But in reality, it’s the other way around. A low number of potential customers go to their pages because their audiences do not know them extensively.
With Facebook Canvas, they can effectively bring forward what they can provide. Smart Insights reported that Facebook continues to reign supreme as the top social media platform, with an 18% market share. To put things into perspective, that’s 7% higher than WhatsApp, the second-ranking social networking platform on the list. WhatsApp is actually owned by Facebook. In short, you can reach more people by setting up your ads on the platform. In effect, you are bringing your products and services closer to your audiences by extending you reach.
Facebook Canvas has another advantage against many other marketing tools: faster load time. As digital marketers know, slow page loading times can lead to low conversion. There will always be users who simply don’t have the luxury or patience to wait for pages to load and this will cause them to leave your site even before it loads. This problem is addressed by Facebook Canvas by making the content load almost instantaneously.
Ayima conducted a series of tests on Facebook Canvas and discovered that it can provide an 18% increase in click-through rates (CTR) and a cost-per-second (CPS) decrease by 26%. Some early trials on the platform also proved that it produced better ad recall, and improved user engagement across the board.
Why choose Facebook Canvas for SMEs
Smart Company revealed that there has been a push to improve the link between SMEs and their audiences via Facebook Canvas. They relayed that Facebook has developed several innovations that will allow SMEs to maximise the tool.
Old features and/or options that are valuable for clients were retained. For example, as with the old Facebook ads, SME owners can choose a payment plan according to their preference. They can set it according to clicks, conversions, reach, or frequency. The schemes allow you to choose the most cost-friendly arrangement, which is vital for a relatively young business.
Furthermore, you can easily check the profiles of users who interact with you, whether existing or potential customers. By doing this you will learn more about your audience. For example, you can find out where the majority of viewers are from, and formulate strategies and/or create offers, which are applicable for that specific location or demographic. Quantifiable data is invaluable for designing ads, products, and services that better target your potential market to increase ROI in the long-term.
Facebook Canvas ads are easy to produce and release as well. Ad Age points out that you don’t need coding knowledge to stitch together an ad. You can create and launch marketing material in around 10 minutes once you’re familiar with the process. Facebook already has an easy-to-use editor where you can collate the elements you will be using for your Canvas advertisement. Its user-friendly interface means you can produce the ads yourself, instead of hiring an agency to do the work. This equates to possible savings if you can do things in-house but only if you’re able to build the strategies to target potential customers and to increase conversion. As well as making improvements and tweaks to strategies once you’ve evaluated how effective they were and highlighting future areas of opportunity.
Another benefit of utilising Facebook Canvas is the ability to provide an immersive experience. The interactivity along with the visual cues allows SMEs to create ads that would showcase the best of what they can offer. For instance, small retailers companies can showcase several items from their inventory at once through a Facebook Canvas ad. Newly established travel agencies, meanwhile, could provide teasers that highlight the destinations that are currently on offer.
With a little creativity, you can quickly gain the attention of the people you want to reach and through analysis identify where you need to improve to gain the best results.