Having spent a lot of time and effort on your affiliate website, you will want to get it out to as many people as you can. Chances are you’re already on Facebook promoting your site, blog posts or brand. If you are, perfect! You might not have heard of Facebook Canvas just yet, but after this article you’ll know the ins and outs of this cool campaign tool!

What is Facebook Canvas?

Facebook Canvas is an immersive advert experience designed to bring your brand story and products to life. Optimized to be a mobile-only tool, Canvas allows you to create a compelling narrative in a creative format; something that regular ads often can’t. These ads open in a users news feed, a form of ‘native advertising’. Native ads are seamlessly integrated into the user’s experience on a platform. In this instance, Cavas ads don’t interrupt the user’s attention when browsing Facebook like a pop-up or banner would, making them more likely to be engaged with than ignored.

Chances are, your affiliate website will incorporate a blog of some sort. Facebook Canvas is perfect for getting the word out about your blog posts, whether you’ve just reviewed a product or you are simply giving advice. It’s also a great platform to get the word out about your brand or product line. Whatever the purpose of your campaign, you can make Canvas work for you.

The facts speak for themselves. In 2015, computer hardware company ASUS noticed that 70% of the people who clicked on their Canvas ad went on to browse the ASUS website. They also noticed 42% more people engaged with their Cavas ad! Want to get in on the action? Creating an engaging and professional Facebook Canvas ad is much easier than you think, and I’ll prove it.

Let’s get you started…

Canvas should already be integrated into your business account. You’ll find it under ‘Publishing Tools’. Don’t worry if it’s not there – you can use it on Power Editor or even request it on the official Facebook Canvas page.

Get started with Facebook Canvas

From this page you can start creating your advert by clicking the blue ‘Create’ button.

You’ll immediately see the template you will be using to create your ad. From here you can add text, images, videos AND call-to-action buttons. In short, you can now start creating your immersive experience!

Get to know Facebook Canvas

From the screenshot below (your Canvas builder template), you will see the right hand side ‘Quick preview’ column. This allows to you preview your ad as you’re making it – perfect for seeing what works (and what doesn’t).

Quick preview

After naming your ad, the first thing you’ll do is ‘Select a theme’. The options ‘White’, ‘Black’ and ‘Custom’ can be changed throughout the ad-building process, so you don’t have to make any big commitments! Your ‘Header Image’ is the image you want people to see throughout their interaction with your ad – this could be a logo or simply a block colour.

Select a Theme

One of the best things about Facebook Canvas is how easily customisable it is. You’ll notice in the image above that the standard Canvas template includes a ‘Photo’ option, followed by a ‘Button’ option. By simply deleting this section or adding a new one, you can create a Canvas ad which is entirely unique to your campaign.

Struggling to make sense of it all? Let me help! If your affiliate website is very video heavy, or you decide you want people to see a clip of you or your product at the very start of your ad, you simply place a ‘video’ in the section where ‘Photo’ currently is.

If you think you would rather open with a call-to-action button or some introductory text, you can do that as well. All of that can be done by clicking ‘Add component’, and when you do you’ll see this:  

Add Component

These 5 canvas ad components are all pretty self explanatory, and like i said, you can arrange them in any order you wish (and add as many or as little as you want). You can even switch around the placements of these components at any stage of your ad building process.

One you may not be familiar with, carousel, is an example of how Facebook Canvas ads are a truly interactive experience for the user. The carousel component requires two or more images (of the same size) and requires the user to swipe left or right to see the next image – now you can see why it’s named the carousel!

Each image can also be linked to a specific URL, a great feature if your image is of a product. For example, users can be sent to the product page on your site straight from your ad!

All images and videos are also optimised for user interaction by their scaling options:

Image Options

Both ‘Tap to Expand’ and ‘Tilt to pan’ (especially the latter) require the user to physically engage with the ad to see the full image. In terms of image specifications, Facebook provides the requirements within each component section. It might be worth noting that you can only upload 20 images per Canvas. Bear in mind that your Canvas ad is a quick way to engage your audience and get a message out – you don’t want to drown them with information (you can do that on your website)!

Another component I should probably mention is the ‘Button’ one. The call-to-action buttons this option will allow you to include in your ad will be the driving force of traffic to your site. Don’t feel limited to just one CTA button in your ad. Place them wherever you feel appropriate – each one can be linked to a different landing page.

Facebook Canvas CTA Buttons

Creating the call-to-action button above took me just seconds to make, and once you’ve linked it with a URL it is live – just like that!

Preview your ad

Since Canvas is a mobile only tool, you won’t get a full feel of how your ad will look in the preview column alone. Facebook have cleverly added a ‘quick preview’ option (top left of the page) that sends the finished ad to your mobile device. Note that you won’t be able to preview your ad if you’re missing any links, text or images. You’ll see in the image above, red text stating ‘Invalid Link URL’ is reminding me that I haven’t added a link to my button. Once I have, this red text will disappear and I will be able to preview my ad on my Facebook mobile browser.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to preview your ad, as once you finish it, you can’t go back to edit your canvas. Saying that, you can duplicate it right before you click ‘finish’, meaning that you can infact work on a copy.

If you are happy with the end product, click finish. This will generate a URL for the Canvas so you can get promoting it!

Facebook Canvas Ad URL

Create an ad with your Canvas

In your ads manager account, you want to set up a campaign with the objective of sending people to your website.

Create an Ad

Copy and paste the URL of your Canvas post as the destination and give the campaign a suitable name. Set up your audience, budget and schedule as you would with any other campaign. You’ll want to chose a single image when you get to your ad creative. I personally think it makes sense to use the same image you first uploaded to your Canvas.

Create an Ad with Facebook Canvas

At this point, it’s important to make sure your ad is running to mobile news feed only, otherwise you could end up paying for clicks for people who won’t be able to see your advert! Again, like you would with any other campaign, chose your headline and text. I’ve shown an example of the text I used when promoting the Canvas ad I created for PhenQ (one of MoreNiche’s merchants, to those who aren’t familiar with us just yet).

PhenQ Facebook Canvas Ad

If you want to see exactly how the finished campaign will look to your customers, make sure you ‘View in Native App’ – a button at the bottom of your screen. From there, you’ll be able to give your Canvas campaign a full test run on your own mobile device.

If you’re happy with your ad, simply place your order. Assuming your ad gets approved, which it should if you’ve taken a look at Facebook’s advertising policies, you can successfully say you’ve created your first Facebook Canvas ad!

As you can see, Facebook Canvas is something different and is a truly engaging experience for the user. They are also pretty fun to make! Be sure to give it a try, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments section below when you have and what you thought of it. Good luck!