With hotel mobile traffic accounting for 47% of hotel website visits in the first quarter of 2016, we’re constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest ways to help hotels capture mobile audiences. One of the most exciting new ad platforms in the mobile marketing space is Facebook’s Canvas.
We’ve put together this guide to tell you what Canvas is, and how your hotel can use it to drive mobile bookings.
In early 2016, Facebook launched a new advertising feature called Canvas, keeping them ahead of the mobile marketing curve and sharply increasing the interactive elements of their mobile offering.
Facebook describes Canvas as “an expressive experience on Facebook for businesses to tell their stories and showcase their products.” In jargon-free language, Canvas is a way to create visually-oriented, interactive mobile advertisements that load quickly (because they’re still hosted on Facebook) and can be designed any way you like. For hoteliers, visuals are key, so Canvas offers a great opportunity to increase your brand visibility.
What is Canvas?
Canvas is “a new post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience on Facebook that loads nearly instantaneously”. When a user clicks on a Canvas ad in their newsfeed, the ad unfolds into a full screen experience that visitors can interact with.
To find Canvas, just go to your hotel’s business page, under the business settings. As long as you own or manage the page, you’ll be able to set up your first Canvas.
Canvas’ basic landing page-style design offers each business a platform to upload and feature their imagery, text and videos. Through Facebook’s advertising platform, you’ll be able to drive traffic through to your Canvas landing page. You’ll build your hotel’s brand message and increase your interaction rates with a page designed around one specific goal.
Here are some of the key features:
- Basic landing page feature available within the Facebook platform
- Exclusively for paid advertising content
- Add your own images, video, content and call to action
- Free to create your Canvas – no need to stick to a pre-designed template
How Can I Use Canvas for My Hotel?
If you have your hotel’s Facebook business page set up, you’ll automatically have access to the new Canvas platform. This will allow you to create your own series of Canvases by uploading your logo along with a collection of text, images, and videos. You should also add a strong call to action to drive the user through to your E-commerce site.
How exactly do you do it? We’ve outlined the steps for you below, but if you’re more of a video person, here’s a great guide put together by Michelle Pescosolido.
In the settings on your Facebook business page, you will have a new tab for Canvas on the bottom left where you can get started.
From here, you can start to create your Facebook Canvas content.
Within the Canvas platform, there are a number of different things which can be added into the Canvas. It all depends on your campaign goals.
For example, if you would like to do a brand awareness campaign, you can simply highlight the key features of your hotel by displaying your core images, a small area for your hotel’s value proposition, and a call to action to bring the customer through to a relevant page of your website.
Feel free to experiment! Once you’re happy with the content for your Canvas, you just save it and it will then be available to use within Facebook’s ad manager.
One brand who has already used the Facebook Canvas platform well is L’Occitane, who created a Canvas to drive brand awareness, which highlighted how they source their products. The Canvas resulted in an 11% increase in ad recall over their link ads.
L’Occitane created an interactive Canvas. Their Canvas has so many different sections that it functions on the level of a miniature website, letting users flick between different product pages. Canvas offers an extraordinary amount of flexibility and options when you’re creating your designs.
Their Canvas brought the customer through the process of how their products were sourced from organic suppliers and brought to market. They kept the message clear throughout their campaign, and had the clear objective of building awareness of L’Occitane to their chosen audience.
What Does This Mean for Hoteliers?
As mobile traffic continues to increase across our websites, it is important to keep adapting our methods and trying new technologies. Hoteliers, it’s essential that you show your audience that your brand is relevant. Show yourself off in the clearest way possible. Through Facebook Canvas, businesses are given an opportunity to highlight certain elements of their business through a new channel.
Should I Use Canvas for My Hotel?
In a word – yes! Here’s why:
Canvas is a very strong platform for imagery. This is a bit of a double-edged sword for hotels: On one hand, you should absolutely have the required stock of beautiful images of your hotel before investing budget into Facebook Canvas.
On the other hand, once you have these assets along with a specific campaign goal established, Canvas is a platform that should be used with every large scale campaign you run. You’ll be able to control exactly what your potential customer will see once they click on your advert, and curate a genuinely pleasant experience for viewers.
It’s also worth mentioning that load time of the advert within the Canvas platform will also be less when compared to sending them off to an external website. This will encourage people to interact with your adverts and spend more time engaging with the content.
To wrap this up:
- Facebook Canvas is a new, highly visual platform that should be used for all your hotel’s large scale campaigns
- Each of your campaigns should have a specific goal for your Canvas to be designed around
- Hotels should arm themselves with high quality imagery and video to get the most out of Canvas
To learn more about how you can use Facebook Canvas for one of your special offers or a competition you’re running, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
Words by Rachel McCoy.