Social media is changing all the time, with new formats emerging on a seemingly daily basis. And while it makes sense for any business to appear ‘on trend’, messing with a winning formula can sometimes be costly.

Canvas ads and their new simplified siblings – collections – are doing the rounds on Facebook these days, with marketers relishing the opportunity to play with Zuckerberg’s shiniest new toy. And while there’s no denying that these mini publications are impressive and visually rich, the question is, do they really work? It’s all very well to create a stunning showcase for your business, but what does it even mean if nobody is clicking on it?

Ultimately, every audience is different, and it’s important that you understand its dynamics before tossing those tried and tested tactics out the window. For instance, if your users are mostly desktop based (and unbelievably this remains the case for many), they’re basically going to be confronted with what literally equates to a blank canvas – an unclickable area of dead space that does little to further brand equity.

So, when do you venture into unchartered territory and when should you apply an ‘if it ain’t broke’ stance? Here are a few options to consider before diving down the Facebook rabbit hole:

How does your audience interact? 

Only mobile users are going to be able to access Canvases and Collections, so if your audience is mainly desktop based – think 9 to fivers who predominantly use their lunch time to browse the net – you might need to think twice before testing these new toys.

However, if your business objectives include driving product discovery on mobile, delivering a seamless browsing experience and converting demand into sales, then Canvases and Collections can work wonders when delivered to the right audience.

Where are your clicks coming from?

For any content strategy to be successful, it’s important to understand how users engage with your content. Are they more responsive to deeper, immersive content such as blogs or are they better triggered by targeted sales drives? While each element has its own role to play, differentiating between which element works hardest for your consumers is vital for any business.

What’s your objective?

Looking to showcase a brand-new offering or introduce a more complex campaign? Then canvas is going to serve you well. But if it’s pure sales you’re after, you’re likely to convert more effectively using tools like Carousels, which quickly drive both desktop and mobile users into the sales funnel by identifying key products and deals. If brand building is your aim, then a canvas or collection ad offers you a unique way to present your product or service, enabling you to insert impressive visual elements on a tight budget.


It’s important to get to know your audience and to establish what makes them tick…and click. As such, it’s never a bad idea to sample the latest offerings, but it is important to constantly evaluate and re-group based on business results. Yes, it might get you brownie points from a client to show off your understanding of the latest and greatest technologies, but ultimately, it’s important to go with what works, based on your overarching goals and objectives.