A Guide to Facebook’s New Canvas Ads + Improvements to Facebook Coupons

Facebook's New Canvas Ads

Facebook is at it again. The granddaddy of social media rolled out its new immersive mobile ads, called Canvas. The new advertising experience gives businesses the ability to create a customizable mini website that consumers can interact with.

We’ll provide answers to the most common questions about these new ads, but if you’re not ready to jump on the new ad bandwagon just yet, not to worry, traditional ads still exist. In fact, Facebook has made some interesting improvements to traditional options like its coupon offerings. We’ll talk about those too.

First, let’s talk about Canvas.

What do the new Facebook Canvas ads look like?

The ads show up in the Facebook Newsfeed, just like the traditional ads do, but once a Canvas ad is clicked it opens something similar to a website. The ad could include image carousels, movies, scrollable text and a call to action.

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Consumers can also rotate their phone and zoom in, which essentially means they interact with it the same way they would a mobile website. Here’s an example of a Canvas created by Burberry:

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Burberry ad using Canvas on Facebook from Digital Team on Vimeo.

Why the new look?

Businesses had complaints about traditional Facebook ads. These ads, which typically consisted of a picture and a link to a brand’s website, were cumbersome.

Some websites weren’t mobile friendly, so when a consumer reached the intended site, it didn’t look right on a mobile device. Plus, load times were often a problem. Facebook says that sluggish load times were the top reason customers abandoned a site.

To fix these problems, businesses will now upload all of the elements needed for the ad right into Facebook. With all of the components native to the site, the company says load times are as much as ten times faster than typical mobile websites.

Facebook created a similar solution with its Instant Articles feature, which loads articles instantly that brands have published directly to their Page.

What are the pros and cons of Facebook’s new ads?

The online community is buzzing about these new ads, but let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

Pro: It gives the consumer a more interactive experience.

Pro: It gives businesses more creative freedom and digital real estate to play with.

Pro: Given the space, businesses can create a story that engages consumers on a deeper level than a basic ad.

Pro: Facebook says 50 percent of all people viewing a Canvas ad view at least half of the ad, and spend an average of 31 seconds checking them out.

Con: It takes time to create these ads from scratch. Right now, there are drop and drag tools, but there aren’t any templates to use. As of September, Facebook says it’s working on templates and plans to release them “in the coming months.”

Con: The ads are still new. In other words, brands are still experimenting to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

How do you get started with Canvas ads?

If you want to learn more about Canvas or create your first ad, here’s a link to Canvas.

What if you want to stick with traditional Facebook ads?

Facebook isn’t forcing every business to use the new ad format. In fact, the company is still making improvements to its traditional format to make sure businesses have access to an advertising option that’s right for them.

What improvement has Facebook made to traditional ad options?

One of the biggest improvements Facebook is making is to its coupon offerings. Back in 2012, Facebook let businesses offer coupons through the platform, but the feature hasn’t been updated until now.

Here’s a look at some of the new coupon features:

  • Customers can save coupons in a new Offers tab within Facebook and quickly access them at the checkout counter so the cashier can scan the barcode.
  • Facebook will remind customers (via a push notification) when a coupon that’s saved in their Offers tab is about to expire, and encourage he or she to cash it in before it’s too late.
  • Facebook is working on a special code that you can attach to a coupon to ensure it’s not redeemed more than once.

What are the benefits to the new coupon feature for local stores?

This new feature is a big one for local brick and mortar stores because they’ll be able to get a better idea of return on investment.

As customers come into the store to redeem their coupon, or click to use it online, businesses can make a direct connection between their Facebook presence and sales that resulted from a coupon offer.

How do you create a coupon on Facebook?

If you want to create a coupon on Facebook, here are the instructions to do so.

Whether you give the new Facebook ads a spin or opt for an old faithful coupon, the number of advertising options within the biggest social media platform continues to grow.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at FiveStars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

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