We interviewed one of our own – only the best, obviously – on Facebook’s new advertising tool: Canvas, and how it can best be leveraged for real estate listings.

Why do you think FB Canvas works so well for real estate, from a design point of view?

 You can show it to the public right away in a new and exciting way.


What makes an effective and beautiful Canvas?

In order to make a beautiful Canvas that showcases your product or story you need great visuals (video, illustrations, and images). In order for a Canvas to be effective you need a clear CTA (Call-to-Action), headers, and well-written and cohesive copy.


What do you think will most inspire potential leads to click within the Canvas for viewing a home?

You need to give potential leads incentive – a reason to click. Questions you should ask yourself are: what will happen when they click? Does that mean they can schedule a meeting? Book a viewing of a home? Think about what your client would want to click on – what your CTA will be – and then orient your Canvas around that.


How well do you think video can work in Canvas?

Video works well when it is smooth without too much going on. Because Canvas also enables tilt view, if the video is too busy or the camera jolts around too much you are going to overwhelm and over-stimulate the viewer. Videos should be slow, minimal motion, and (of course) high quality.


Do you prefer vertical or horizontal Canvas? Why?

Whether you choose vertical or horizontal should be based on the most common format of your chosen video and images. If your videos and images are mostly portrait then keep the Canvas as a vertical orientation, if you have a lot of landscape images it’s best to use a horizontal layout. Canvas is primarily a vertical layout which I find works best because you can easily integrate both portrait and landscape images if you utilize the tilt and gallery feature. This also means that if you choose a horizontal layout, you’ll have to go an extra step to make sure all your images are rotated to the correct angle which takes a bit more time. Since Canvas viewers will be coming from Facebook, the vertical layout is in fact a more intuitive transition.


What’s your solution to the mobile-only format of Canvas?

which in turn creates a simple and concise brand story for your target audience. This is similar to the way in which regular ads on Facebook limit your word count in order to force you to hone in on what counts and de-clutter your message.


What’s the best way to deal with large image sizes in Canvas?

Utilizing the tilt feature in Canvas is a great way to showcase large images. Moving your phone around moves the screen over the images giving the viewer a kind of Virtual Reality experience. You can also break your image up into 3 images and create a swipe-through gallery.


Do you think that more interactions within a Canvas (tilt, scroll, view) mean more conversions, or does a minimal simple style work better?

No, more does not necessarily mean better. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: would I enjoy this experience and do I find this interaction useful to the experience? Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

For more of our thoughts on Facebook Canvas, check out our blog post on the subject.

Angela Buttjes is a designer with Two by Fore Interactive. When not creating Facebook magic, she’s designing campaigns, websites and new brands for our clients.

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