As Facebook’s ad platform has become increasingly versatile and robust, more and more business owners and marketers have begun leveraging the platform to work for their business goals.
Unfortunately, with the addition of so many features and formats to the Facebook toolbox, it’s easy to find yourself at a bit of a loss when trying to identify which ads will work best for your business.
In this article, we’ll break down three effective Facebook ad types, when these work best, and how you can get started using them for your small business.
Examples of Facebook Ads for Business (free download)
Types of Facebook Ads
When there were fewer options, these questions were easier to answer, but there’s no reason to shy away from the new options at your disposal just because of their complexity. You’re likely familiar with the standard image ad type, but there’s much more that can be done with Facebook advertising today. Below, we will cover three alternatives to image ads that are worth a try.
The first two, video and slideshow ads, have similar uses and contexts, and having at least one in your arsenal is mandatory for success as we approach 2019. Our third recommendation, carousel ads, requires some extra consideration but is a very unique presentation which lends itself well to certain messages. While these aren’t all the ad types you may want to be using, they are the three with the potential for truly outstanding results.
Video is Increasing
First things first, if you’re not already using video in your content, it’s time to start. If you’re anything like us, you likely have noticed the massive increase in video content, advertising or otherwise, on social platforms such as Facebook.
Video is No Longer an Added Bonus
If you’re anything like most marketers and business owners, you also have been reluctant to adopt this medium for your own efforts. A lot of people are still operating under the misconception that video is an optional, bonus way to advertise.
Consumers Prefer Video
It’s not. In fact, 72% of people prefer consuming video content over text content when the message is the same (Source: WyzOwl). This means that if you aren’t using video advertising but your competitors are, 3 out of 4 audience members will choose the video message.
This number is only going to increase as smartphone usage habits evolve, and while text formats will likely never be phased out entirely, it’s safe to assume video is going to become an increasingly superior format for Facebook advertising.
How to Get Started with Video Ads
If you’re already using video, you’re safely in the 80+% of other businesses who are doing so, and if you’re not, that’s okay! The ships have yet to sail—and it’s never too late or too difficult to start.
The good news about video advertising on Facebook is there are options for just about every budget out there. If you’re wary to pour thousands of dollars into a top-tier production, you’ll be happy to learn Facebook has a full suite of courses and applications available for individuals to create video ads with nothing more than their smartphone.
Another option for successful video advertising on Facebook is using slideshow ads.
What They Are
Facebook’s slideshow ads give you the benefits of motion and imagery and even sound like a video would, but don’t require you to shoot any actual video content. Just use still images and add some formatted-for-you transitions, made easy by the slideshow ad editor, and you’re good to go!
What They’re Good For
Slideshow ads are a good choice if you don’t have the budget to create new content, if you have a lot of benefits to describe, or if your audience has multiple segments.
Slideshow Ad Tips
Your slideshow ads should create a video-like experience, so make sure the slides tell a cohesive story that drives home your call to action and brand messaging.
Give it some thought, and at the very least begin experimenting if you’re already advertising on Facebook. Video is not a format you can afford to skip, and it’s no longer too difficult for any business to create.
A carousel ad is another way to spice up otherwise simple imagery and has the added benefit of interactivity and progressive presentation.
How Carousel Ads Work
The format sets up a showcase of cards which can include either images or video, have their own headline, and which a user clicks through to view more of.
What They’re Good For
Carousel ads are great for highlighting the features of an offer or product, or for explaining a unique business process or method. The sequential and interactive nature of these cards is what distinguishes carousel ads from standard image or video ads.
Carousel Ad Tips
The sequence and variety of the cards should be considered when implementing carousel ads. Don’t cram all your existing ad images and video into one carousel just for the sake of using one, as tempting as this may be. This tendency is one of the main reasons carousel ads underperform when compared to video and image ads.
If you think you want to experiment with a carousel, plan it out in as much detail as you can to ensure the sequence is utilized properly. How can you strengthen your advertising message benefit from multiple, interactive cards?
It’s highly recommended to make unique content for this type of ad, just as you would for an individual image or video ad, but if you’re reusing existing content, consider imagery, headlines, and messaging. If the cards seem unrelated or disjointed to an audience, this format will fall flat, and you’d be better off using standard image or video ads.
Tips for Choosing a Facebook Ad
It’s very common when deciding on Facebook advertising formats to feel a single message or offer could be presented in many different ad formats. Ultimately, the best format for you to use is not a 1:1 choice—you’re likely to have multiple formats that would work well for a message and any one of them could be valid.
You’ll want to consider your audience, your brand, and your budget, among other variables. Testing remains the best way to decide what the most effective ad format will be for your campaigns, and it’s important to be testing with the three ad formats we mentioned—video, slideshow, and carousel.
If you don’t have success with one of the formats above, don’t give up after one try. Consider what you could have done differently, and try different angles. There’s almost certainly a way your brand can utilize all the ad formats outlined above, as well as the various other types Facebook leaves at your disposal.
Rather than limiting yourself to the ad formats you’re most comfortable with or have had success with in the past, figure out how to make them all work for you, and when one format will work better for your business over another. If you keep at it, you’re sure to find a way to make video, carousel, and slideshow ads on Facebook work for your business, and you’re likely to learn a lot about your audience along the way.