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Facebook Canvas Ads Set to Up Advertising Ante in 2016

Publish Date: 03/17/2016

One of the greatest parts of social media marketing is being on the cutting edge of new technology, and 2016 is already shaping up to be a revolutionary year for social marketing. In just the first two months, we have seen some exciting improvements announced for social media marketing channels, especially Facebook. Recent announcements from the world’s largest social media platform have included new emoticons, enhanced video, and an overall move toward rich media content.

What is Rich Media Content? Rich media content goes beyond standard images and copy to give users more interactive experiences. Videos, buttons, and app-like integrations give users a reason to spend more time with the content and extend the engagement period. At the same time, videos and .gif images increase the visibility of the content by making it stand out among other posts and standard images. In general, rich media content allows marketers and advertisers to boost visibility, engagement, and overall success.

Canvas Ads

The newest of Facebook’s rich media experiences is called Canvas. Canvas allows users to view interactive, full-screen experiences on their smartphones just like they would on a computer. While these experiences will undoubtedly be advertisements, the format of these ads provides an outlet for marketers to tell stories and reinforce brand identity. In fact, social media experts have called Canvas ads “mini-articles” or “instant articles” because of their interactive nature and slideshow style layout.

With Canvas, skilled marketers will be able to go beyond the “click” and tap into touchscreen actions like “swipe,” “tilt,” and “zoom.” Canvas ads have the potential to retain the viewer’s attention for much longer than traditional content, as we can see from the examples below.

Improved Video

If you spend any time on Facebook, you know that video has gained serious traction in the News Feed. For many, it seems like every third story contains a video already rolling and vying for attention. With silent video and captions, users can enjoy watching video in any environment, making it easy to consume several 1-minute videos during a browsing session.

On both Facebook and YouTube, we see video content quickly capturing visibility and user attention. In 2016, video will incorporate even more rich media with 360° video content. Like with Canvas, 360° video will allow users to interact and explore a virtual environment. This rather dystopian image of Facebook’s recent conference might imply that users will soon be navigating 360° content with screens strapped to their faces, but you can actually view 360° video on your smartphone now. Using your smartphone, check out this video from Mythbusters, and this ad for the mobile game Clash of Clans.

Engagement Matters

At the end of the day, the success of rich media content on social media will be measured by the same yard stick as standard content. Ultimately, marketers will still strive to engage with their content in a way that will reinforce client goals such as brand awareness, product sales, or sales leads. Rich media content will simply be used to capture attention and increase engagement with the marketing message.

As it is currently with social media marketing, rich media content also requires excellent follow-through to truly work. This means that the user’s positive experience must continue through to social monitoring teams, sales teams, and brick and mortar staff. And as always, the amount of time and effort put into rich media marketing content will affect the success and response.

From your mobile device, click here to see how Canvas ads can be used to show off your brand..

To learn more about how rich media content can be used for your brand, visit or contact

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