Facebook Canvas Tutorial: Making Ads A Work Of Art

So, you wanna make an awesome Facebook Ad? There’s a ton of options available to you, but by far the coolest one is the new Facebook Canvas feature.

Facebook Canvas is the newest marketing option from the social media platform, offering an immersive space for ads that potential customers actually want to experience. Here are three reasons why you should be interested in Facebook Canvas:

  1. They’re gorgeous and fun to play with – making the ad more engaging overall
  2. You can direct different aspects of the ad to land on different parts of your site – making the ad more targeted.
  3. Facebook Canvas works. Early testers of the ad claimed to hold user engagement for over 10 seconds each – making it more effective than video ads.

Canvas is another result of Facebook’s marketing strategy, by improving the quality of marketing options available to advertisers while keeping users engaged on its platform. It’s a win-win-win for marketers, customers and Facebook as well!

So without further ado – let’s create a Canvas!

Creating Your Canvas

Facebook recommends that you start off in Facebook Power Editor to create your canvas. While that’s always an option, we found it more straightforward to access Facebook Canvas directly from your Facebook page:

Publishing Tools

Go to your Facebook page, making sure that you are logged in as an Admin or an individual with Editor permission settings to the page. You’ll see Publishing Tools as an option in the upper right-hand corner, beside Insights. Click on it.


Whoa, nelly! What’s with that new option at the bottom? Yup, you guessed it – it’s Facebook Canvas. We found that it’s easier to keep track of and navigate through your existing Canvas campaigns through this interface. So, let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Create Canvas

You’ll see a list of existing Canvas campaigns in this interface, and the option to create a new Canvas. Let’s click on “Create” and be well on our way!

Canvas Interface

Facebook Canvas gives you full control over an immersive, multimedia experience. Click To Tweet

You’ll be presented with a Canvas Builder interface, allowing you complete freedom to create your work of advertising art. It’s worthwhile to create new graphics specifically for Canvas, because these ads come with the “Tilt to Pan” option – meaning that you can use higher-quality photographs in different ways to show the quality of your product. But if you don’t have any creatives on hand, you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of creating with your existing materials.

Setting Up Your Canvas

  1. The first step to creating your Canvas is to select a Theme and create your Header. You’ll be surprised to find that the Header comes out extremely small – it’s more of a “Logo” than a “Header” in traditional marketing speak.
    • Facebook recommends uploading an image that is 120×44 pixels, but we found better results by uploading a high-quality brand logo here. The image gets reduced in size, but the quality stays the same.
  2. You now have the option of uploading a Photo. Choose the nicest photo you have of your product, and link the photo directly to the product image on your ecommerce website. We actually don’t recommend using the Photo option here, but we’ll explain more in the Canvas Components section below.
  3. Lastly, you can create your Button by writing your message and creating a link to your site. Use this space to promote an online deal – maybe “30% Off Our New Spring Collection!”

And there you have it! You’ve made your first Facebook Canvas. It consists of a Header, a Photo and a Call-To-Action button. Hmm…doesn’t this ad seem kind of…boring?

You’re not tapping into the full potential of Facebook Canvas if you’re satisfied with just the default options here. Don’t click the “Finish” button on your Canvas. Let’s move along!

Canvas Components


At the bottom of your Canvas editor, you’ll see an option to “Add Component” to your canvas. This is where the magic takes place. You’ll see five options – Button, Carousel, Photo, Text Block and Video. You can add all these options to your Canvas, making it as big or as small as you want. Here are our thoughts on each option:

  1. Button – You need to have this button up front and center with a catchphrase as your main Call-To-Action (CTA). Most of your Canvas is clickable, but a Button makes it very clear that this is the area where you want to direct your visitor.
    • Make sure that the button leads to the page with the highest conversion rate on your site, ideally a landing page made for your specific campaign.
  2. Carousel – We’d pick this option over Photo, nine times out of ten. Adding a Carousel to your canvas gives it Horizontal Depth as well as Vertical Length, allowing your visitor to browse through multiple pictures surrounding the same product. Adding two or three angles to the same product allows the viewer to shop an make opinions of your product, and helps to show the quality and design.
    • Use different carousel photos that lead to different parts of your site, so you can segment your audience within the same ad. Groovy!
  3. Photo – Although we feel that Carousel outdoes Photo in terms of product showcase, sometimes it could be an artistic choice to choose a single Photo that stands out. This could be useful for a promotional poster, or a beautiful scene that you’d like your visitor to pan left and right. If you’re not showcasing a product with this block, Photo could be your go-to option.
  4. Text Block – We’re not a fan of text. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. When using the Text Block, we only have this line of advice: less is more. Let your product do the talking.
  5. Video – We recommend placing a video at the end of your Canvas. If your visitor is engaged enough to scroll through two or three blocks of product photos, they’re the ones that will resonate the most with a multimedia creative.
    • Placing a video at the beginning of your canvas is a less attractive option, as it may as well be a photo with a “Play” button overlaid on top for the unengaged audience.

Previewing Your Canvas

Once you’re made your beautiful work of art, you can “Save” your Canvas by clicking “Finish.” Technically, you cannot make edits to your Canvas once you have clicked “Save.” However, you can always make a duplicate of an existing Canvas – which is just as good.

View Canvas

Now, how do you preview your Canvas? Chances are you’ve been working on desktop all this time, and Canvas can only be previewed on a mobile device. Click on the “View” button next to your newly-saved Canvas, and you’ll see some new buttons in the upper right-hand corner.

Preview Canvas


See the three phones under the “Get URL” option? Clicking on the phone(s) will prompt Facebook to send a notification to the Facebook Profile associated with the Page. Open up Facebook on your phone and click on the new notification – then you’ll be able to preview the Canvas.

Launching Your Canvas

Now that you’ve created and tested your Facebook Canvas post, it’s time to promote it! This is where you log into Facebook Advertising, and set up an ad that will accommodate your new Ad. You must have Facebook Advertising set up in order to process this step. We offer online marketing services to help you set up advertising for social media accounts, so give us a call if you’d like some help!

One piece of advice we’d like to clarify that will help advertisers launch a Facebook Canvas campaign – the Canvas is a destination, not a creative, for your ad. This means that when setting up your ad, you don’t “load up” your Canvas and promote that to your audience. You create a Facebook ad that leads to your Canvas URL, at which point the Canvas will open up in the mobile Facebook App and immerse your visitor in an awesome experience before they even land on your site.

Final Thoughts On Canvas

Facebook Canvas is a powerful new tool that breathes new life to retail advertising on Facebook. Not only is it an immersive experience – but it allows you to segment your audience into granular groups, before they even land on your site.

Say, for example, your ad group caters to “Gym Lovers age 18-34 in Vancouver, BC.” When a potential customer opens your ad, they’re presented with 2-3 products of which they can browse through multiple pictures. By clicking on an individual picture(s) they can be led to different landing pages on your site. If a potential customer scrolls all the way to the bottom of your Canvas, they can be presented with more immersive video option.

Canvas is a powerful way of reaching your audience!

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about launching a Facebook Canvas campaign today. If you have any questions, you can always contact our marketing agency on Robson street – or, feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter page! Talk to us – we’d love to start a conversation. We always have chocolate.