Enhancing Your Facebook Ads Using New Canvas Format

enhancing your facebook ads using new canvas format

Enhancing Your Facebook Ads Using New Canvas Format

Over the last few years, internet users have been spending more and more time on their mobile devices, using only a handful of apps. For advertisers, this has posed an interesting challenge: telling compelling brand and product stories on mobile platforms in enjoyable, yet effective ways. But how?

While there is not one surefire way to go about creating effective mobile ads, earlier this year Facebook unveiled a new way for mobile advertisers to get a leg up: Canvas Ads. Facebook’s Canvas Ads (also called Facebook Instant Articles) have been designed to give their users a great mobile experience, while expanding the creative possibilities of Facebook’s advertisers. They are made to incorporate both video and the carousel format, giving advertisers more creative freedom than they have previously experienced on this platform. According to Facebook, Canvas ads will “empower advertisers with more creative space to share their brand and products on mobile.”

These full-screen ads were designed to “bring brands and products to life.” This new type of ad format will allow advertisers to display mobile ads in a way that is totally new to Facebook. According to Instapage, Canvas ads will enable advertisers “to deliver fully immersive, interactive ads that are hosted completely on Facebook–thereby eliminating the need for users to click out of the app to engage with it.”

Canvas ads can include all of the following elements:

  • Videos and Pictures
  • Dynamic Inventory
  • Store Locator with GPS
  • Image Carousels
  • CTA Buttons
  • Text Blocks

There are four “templates” that nonprofits can choose from when setting up canvas ads. There are two specifically designed for selling products or services (“Sell Products – Grid Layout,” and “Sell Products – Lifestyle Layout”), however the two that are most relevant for nonprofits (especially those without e-commerce) are designed for general brand awareness, and increasing supporters (“Showcase Your Brand,” and “Get New Customers”). Here’s a break-down:

  • Get New Customers: according to Facebook Business, this format “optimizes for targeted customer acquisition…taking interested people directly from Canvas to your sign-up, subscription, or purchase page.” For nonprofits, this could include a volunteer sign-up page, a request information or donate form, or any other call-to-action related to the organization’s mission.
    • To optimize this template, Facebook recommends using a succinct message along with a strong call to action.
  • Showcase Your Brand: This format is designed to bring brand awareness to your organization using Canvas’ full screen layout. This layout is best suited for storytelling, which is especially nice for nonprofit organizations.
    • For this template, Facebook recommends using a clear and consistent message, along with thumbnails to add a unique and creative user experience.
  • Sell Products – Grid Layout: This format is specifically designed to inspire shopping on mobile. The template “combines the compelling components of Canvas with either your catalog in collection or your manually created catalog.”
    • By targeting an audience that is most interested in your products or services, this format is more optimized for sales than the other two.
  • Sell Products – Lifestyle Layout: this format features your products in “lifestyle images,” that show products being used or featured in a realistic way, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
    • According to Facebook, “when you use this layout, you can tag products in the lifestyle images from your catalog, providing an interactive shopping experience.”

But why have they done all this?

Outside of the obvious answer about innovation, and creating a new, engaging space for advertisers, Facebook has revealed that their primary motivation was to decrease bounce rates. Over time, website pages have been growing in file size, resulting in longer load times that cause users to abandon the website, or “bounce.” According to Facebook Business, in 2015, the average website page was 3 times larger than in 2011, and they will only continue to grow.

With Canvas ads, the load time will be nearly instantaneous because the entire ad experience is within the confines of Facebook. However, this means that advertisers interested in using this format will now have to create content specifically for their Canvas ads.

For nonprofit organizations, it is not always easy to compete for attention when advertising in the same space as large businesses. However, nonprofits tend to have greater potential for good storytelling than typical for profit companies. If you work for a nonprofit, you affect real change in the world, and you can showcase that change in Canvas ads, along with relevant calls-to-action, helpful text, and more. Canvas ads give the advertiser more freedom to create something truly unique and engaging, so your mission and work can be displayed in a variety of ways that will encourage conversions.

If you have any questions about Facebook Ads, or social media management, contact us! We’d be glad to help make your campaigns a success!

By: Emily Dietz, Strategic Planning & Operations Manager

Growing Your Good Work

Overview of Services:

Are you a new or small nonprofit needing help to continue to grow? Are you a mid-sized nonprofit that needs assistance with a new project or a new planning phase? If so, let’s connect so my experience and passion to help nonprofits can be put to work for you! Brenda has dedicated over 15 years to the nonprofit sector and worked with both large and small organizations. Out team has helped nonprofits grow through strategic planning and goal setting, successful project and organizational management, grant writing and administration, and fundraising. We are passionate about helping many sectors and organizations grow their good work! Our Coaching and Planning Services help you create your road map to long-term success! With guidance and hands-on assistance, we help nonprofits with business, strategic and operational planning and implementation that create continual measures of success. Ongoing coaching ensures a sustainable level of community service and support. Our grant research, writing, and administration services allow nonprofit Boards, staff, and volunteers to focus on mission related activities & donor relationship building. Put our long track record of successful grant services to the task of filling funding gaps.

Key Services (Bullet Points):

  • Senior Management Coaching
  • Strategic and Operational Planning
  • Grant Writing and Management

Special Benefits for Cause Inspired Clients

Caused Inspired clients receive one free month of grant services or two 30-minute coaching sessions. This is equal to $300 of free services!

Growing Your Good Work primarily serves small and mid-sized nonprofits in all sectors.

Growing Your Good Work

Address – Saint Augustine, FL

Phone Number – 904-599-8663

Email Address – [email protected]

Website – https://www.growingyourgoodwork.com/

Point of Contact – Brenda Swann

Region You Serve – National


Overview of Services:

MilkCrate is a mission-driven tech company that empowers nonprofits to grow using technology. It provides a tool for nonprofits to take their offline programs online through an affordable mobile app that engages participants and allows for real-time impact reports for donors and stakeholders.

Key Services (Bullet Points):

A templated mobile app for nonprofits with various features:

  • Data Entry / Upload
  • Brand Development
  • Data Analysis
  • Platform Bugs & Features
  • App and Website Integration Platform Enhancement
  • Bespoke Development

Some organizations we worked with include Mighty Writers, PYSC, Hoplite Resilience Center, and more.


Company Name – MilkCrate

Address – 448 N 10th St Floor 6, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Phone Number – (215) 720-1625

Email Address – [email protected]

Website – https://milkcrate.tech/

Point of Contact – Morgan Berman

Region You Serve – Nationally and internationally


Overview of Services:

I work with nonprofits as a de-facto fundraising, marketing, and/or operations director. I have a limited number of clients who view me as a member of their team, not as an outside consultant.

Key Services (Bullet Points):

  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Strategy

I have worked for some of the largest nonprofits in the country, but now seek to work with only a few at a time, serving as a parttime member of your management team.


Address: 8751 High Gate Way, Belvidere, IL 61008

Phone: 214-403-5994

Email Link [email protected]

Website www.tikson.com

Contact Jeff Tikson

Region We Serve – Nationally