Facebook’s newest mobile ad creation is Canvas, which debuted at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France, had a brief beta period and was recently made available to all Facebook advertisers using Power Editor.
With Facebook Canvas, advertisers are able to provide users with a full screen interactive rich media ad experience that lives within the Facebook app.
How It Works
Facebook Canvas ads exist only within Facebook’s popular mobile app.
Canvas ads appear to users as normal sponsored posts in their news feed. When users click on a Canvas sponsored posts, it expands, taking over the users’ full screen, immersing them into the rich content.
According to Facebook “You can easily build your Canvas using a combination of videos, still images and call-to-action buttons. In Canvas, people can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt-to-view panoramic images and zoom in to view images in detail.”
Canvas’ beta release was limited to well-known global brands including Carnival Cruise Lines, Wendy’s, Target, BMW and Macy’s.
In their first Canvas campaign, Carnival Cruise Lines targeted a broad audience of newcomers to cruising. TechCrunch provided some initial overall metrics, reporting that “53% of users that open a Canvas, view at least half of it, and the average view time is a stunning 31 seconds. The top Canvas ads can see more than 70 seconds of view time per user.”
Digiday reported that “Carnival said that 50 percent of people who opened the ad scrolled through until the end. Also, the average time spent with the ad was between 135 seconds and 174 seconds, longer than the ad’s running time of two minutes.”
Wendy’s Deconstructed Cheeseburger Canvas ad let people scroll, swipe, and see GIFs of different ingredients received 65 seconds of average view time. 2.9% of viewers even got all the way to the bottom and used the Wendy’s restaurant locator.
Why We Love It
- Increase Brand Awareness: For branding and awareness campaigns attention and engagement are top priorities. Facebook Canvas gives companies and brands the ability to create an immersive experience that grabs 100% of a user’s attention. The level of engagement driven by Canvas ads is unparalleled across social media platforms.
- Enhanced Mobile Experience: Facebook Canvas ads are designed for and run exclusively on mobile, so it only makes sense that the Canvas ads are fast to load and are very user friendly.
- Standard Advertising rates apply: Facebook Canvas ads run as sponsored post ads and there are no additional costs associated to run them. Advertisers will be able to use the same pricing and bidding models available for standard Facebook ads.
- Content Marketing Opportunities: With all the hype around content marketing, Canvas ads are like delivering small websites to your consumer’s thumbs. Great content nudges consumers closer to conversion goals.
- Higher Engagement: With Canvas’ advanced visual features you can create an immersive storytelling experience, translating into long consumer engagement and higher conversion rates.
- Ecommerce made easy: With Canvas you can add more details, including full product catalogs and even Buy Now CTAs.
Interested in learning more, contact your Charles River Interactive Account Manager, or check out Facebook’s official site for Canvas.
Interested in learning more in social media trends? Read more from our blog, View from the Charles:
The Rise of Mobile Chat Apps
Facebook & Twitter Unleash New, Exciting Features
Co-authored by Nancy Stewart
We reported last month on big developments with Twitter (#RIPTwitter: The Future of Twitter and Your Brand) and how they could change the content marketing landscape.
Our conclusion? There’s a lot of opportunity here for smart marketers – despite the critics who fear any change to the Twitter algorithm. The rules are still the same: Really compelling, targeted, organic content is your best bet for attracting followers, building engagement and achieving conversions.
Where do you start? We’ve compiled our top 10 Twitter tips (with a bonus tip) to help you develop a smart strategy.
How to Use Twitter for Your Brand
If you want Twitter to be a successful tool for your business, you need to have a plan before you start tweeting away.
Even the most eloquently-crafted 140-character posts will not attract followers and achieve real results on their own. Creating and implementing a smart content strategy will go a long way to keep your Twitter account focused on your business objectives and directed at your target audience.
- Lay out your goals: You’ll have more success creating effective tweets if you know why you are tweeting. Your posts should support your business goals for using Twitter. Start by answering a basic question: What are you trying to do? The answer may be build brand awareness, promote thought leadership or generate leads. Make sure your content supports those goals.
- Target your audience: Before posting any tweet, ask yourself: “What information does my target audience want and do they care about this message?” It’s a good idea to tweet about topics you’ve seen resonate with your followers in the past. These easy tricks can help you acquire a more targeted following.
- Find your voice: Central to building a brand presence on any social media platform is having a personality. How do you want followers to perceive your brand? Are you fun, creative, humorous? You convey that personality by picking the best voice and tone and staying consistent.
- Get creative with #hashtags: You’ve seen them, but do you know to use them? Hashtags are keywords or phrases that help your posts reach the right people. Research the most popular hashtags related to your industry. Once you’re established on Twitter, you can even create your own hashtags.
- Use visuals: Stop thinking about Twitter as a space that only allows text. Uploading images, GIFs and videos help your posts stand out and increase engagement significantly.
- Develop an editorial calendar: Feeling overwhelmed with the need to post to Twitter, Facebook, your blog and so on? Editorial calendars help you get organized and post regularly on a schedule, so you don’t fall behind.
- Be interactive: By nature, social media isn’t supposed to be a one-way conversation. Make sure you are giving back to your followers by responding to them, re-tweeting them, etc. If you tweet content from other sources (besides your own blog), be sure to mention and tag authors and publications.
- Engage with influencers: Identify a list of reputable individuals or businesses with a particular expertise that’s relevant to your brand. When an opportunity arises to reply or retweet, take it! You can also keep an eye on what the industry experts are tweeting and mention them in tweets you feel they’d be interested in.
- Include a clear call to action: The best way to achieve a direct response is to be explicit. If you have only 140 characters, don’t be coy or shy. “Read more at our blog” or “Visit our online store” are effective approaches when you pair them with a compelling reason why: “Get ready for summer. We’re offering 20 percent off all sandals today. Visit our online store.”
- Be brief: This one goes without saying, since the hallmark of Twitter since its launch was the 140-character-limit. You may feel the squeeze to stay within those boundaries, but know this: Shorter Tweets – 140 characters or less – get more conversions. That’s according to Twitter’s own best practices guide.
And a bonus 11th tip:
Pay to promote your Tweets: Even a small investment in paid social can help drive traffic. Promote tweets with high engagement rates to extend your reach and continue providing your target audience with particularly engaging content.
Interested in learning more about social media and paid search trends? Read more from our blog, View from the Charles:
How To Use Snapchat For Your Brand
Google SERP News: Right Rail Ads Are Gone
A couple weeks back, Google confirmed that it was removing ads from the right hand side of desktop search results. This change happened pretty quickly and led to a lot of conversations around what this meant for paid search.
But a lot of questions have also surfaced around how this change would impact SEO. Some are calling SEO the loser in all of this, while others are viewing this as an opportunity for SEO to be a winner.
Google’s Changes and SEO: 3 Facts to Know
It does not appear that these ad layout changes will change search results for most users. In fact, some users will get an improved experience. Let’s look at the facts:
- Google is bigger on mobile than desktop: Last year, Google confirmed that more searches happen on a mobile device – which never had the right rail ads – than on a desktop. That means, Google’s top users will not be impacted by this change.
- New paid search ad space only affects “highly commercial queries”: That is, searches where Google believes the user’s goal is to make a purchase. The four paid search ads at the top of the page will relate to those types of searches.
- Google values user experience: Google made this update to improve the user experience, and it demonstrates they are committed to searcher intent. By focusing on highly commercial queries, Google looks to give searchers with the intent to make a purchase more relevant ads.
Google’s Ad Layout and Organic Search: What Happens Now?
We know that the changes will affect SEO, but it isn’t yet clear to what extent. What we know for certain is that Google will continue to make changes that focus on a better user experience. If you want to stay ahead of the game, you should always put time into implementing a solid SEO strategy.
Let’s review some key points for you to consider:
- Space just got far more competitive for organic
What was formerly the top organic search result for a highly commercial query (where purchase is the intent) is now the fourth paid search ad. Research shows that the further down a result appears in the Search Engine Results pages (SERPS), the fewer clicks it receives. Now, organic search results may display below the fold on desktop searches specific to these queries. Previously, organic search results received as many as 70 percent of clicks. It will be interesting to see if this stat changes.
- Expect to see more from the Knowledge Graph
The removal of the right rail ads frees up a lot of space in the SERPS for more information to populate in the Knowledge Graph panel. Again, since Google is all about focusing on user intent and getting users accurate information as soon as possible, the Knowledge Graph feature is expected to become more prominent. We’ve already seen different versions of this panel, including the Health Conditions Knowledge Graph, which rolled out last year. So this is a critical time to focus on getting your local search efforts intact and your schema markup in place to take advantage of this newly open real estate.
Interested in developing a better understanding of Google as a marketer? Read more from our blog, View from the Charles:
Google SERP News: Right rail ads are gone
How to Launch Smarter Campaigns with Google Customer Match
Does this sound like you?
Your developers, SEO and paid search teams have come together to build a website that is driving traffic in volumes and surpassing your most optimistic estimates. Plus, the reports you’re getting from Google Analytics tell a positive story of highly engaged users.
From Google Analytics, you are learning how users came to your site, what pages they visited and how they engaged with your content.
But this data only tells part of the story. You want to know more about what users are actually doing on your site. Google Tag Manager is a free, effective tool that tracks user behavior.
What is Google Tag Manager?
Google Tag Manager (GTM for short) is a free easy-to-install service offered by Google. GTM allows you to set up an interface to build “Tags” (also known as pixels) to track and evaluate visitor interactions on your site through Google Analytics as Events and Goals.
You will gain valuable information about your audience reach, visitor experience and navigation, and path to conversion.
Why Use Google Tag Manager?
Here are three top reasons to start using Google Tag Manager on your site:
- Streamline your tags: Adding and managing tags can be time-consuming and messy. With GTM, you do not need to re-code your site. GTM provides your development team with a block of code to add to the opening <body> tag of each page you want to track.
- Improve site function: Once in place, the GTM online menu interface allows you to immediately build, test and publish your tags within minutes. Because the tracking tags are not hard coded, your site load time, a critical component of the user experience, can improve and may reduce visitor site abandons due to slow load times.
How to Implement Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager opens up a universe of new data and analytics possibilities to uncover new insights into your website performance. Charles River Interactive (CRI) has developed an end-to-end strategic and targeted GTM implementation approach with our search partners. We lay the GTM framework with defined goals, naming conventions, and deployment stages. Instead of a flood of raw data, CRI lets your metrics tell a story about your audience and their experience on your site. This brings about actionable insights and solutions to improve your website and marketing strategies.
Helpful Tools to Learn Google Tag Manager
Interested in learning more about GTM and how to apply it? Here are some helpful tools and resources:
Interested in learning more about how to leverage Google’s tools for your marketing goals? Read more from our blog, View from the Charles:
Google SERP News: Right rail ads are gone
How to Launch Smarter Campaigns with Google Customer Match