How to Advertise on Facebook: 5 Types of Facebook Ad Formats You Should Know

By Salt

Facebook is a marketing powerhouse.

With over two billion monthly active users, it stands out as one of the best platforms for reaching specific target audiences and attracting more qualified leads through paid advertising. Despite the huge, ever-growing competition in the social arena (cue, the rise of TikTok), Facebook’s user base keeps growing. And the platform is constantly pushing its advertising limits, targeting mobile opportunities, and developing creative formats to help businesses reach their target audiences effectively. Time and again, Facebook has proved its worth to advertisers.

The headache for advertisers is that on a platform as incredibly large as Facebook, you have to stand out and be unique in order to elevate your ads above the competition. There are a variety of advertising options that make getting started a very daunting task. If you want to get the best results, it’s important to understand the different Facebook ad formats you can leverage to get your target audience’s attention.

In this Facebook ads guide, we’ll walk you through the different types of Facebook ad formats and when it’s most suitable to use them.

Let’s dive right in:

1. Carousel Ads

If you’re looking to promote different products or highlight the different features of a product in a single ad, then carousel ads may be the best option to go for. 

Carousel ads allow you to add up to 10 images or videos with each of them having a unique link if you’re promoting a product collection. You can link all of them to the same link if your aim is to highlight the different features of a single product. Each image or video has its own headline and description too. Alternatively, you can use carousel ads to tell a story or explain a process (for example, how to install and use an app) by splitting up each section across different sections of your carousel.

However, you shouldn’t confuse carousel ads for slideshow ads (we’ll talk about those later in the article). You can set the order of your images and videos, or you can let Facebook’s algorithm line them up in the order that drives the most conversions.

Learn more about carousel ads.

2. Image Ads

Also known as photo ads, image ads are the most basic Facebook ads format. They feature a single still photo and can be used in different ad types, placements, and aspect ratios. You also have to add a copy and a call to action (CTA).

Image ads are easy to make and effective if you use high-quality photos. They are suitable for all stages of the sales funnel, whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness or grow your conversion rates. 

However, they can also be limiting as you have only one shot at getting your message to your target audience. If you want to demonstrate how your products work or advertise multiple products in a single ad, image ads are not the best option.

While Facebook will allow you to put text over your image ad, it’s recommendable to keep the words to less than 20% of the image. Too many words can be distracting. 

Read more about image ads’ best practices.

3. Video Ads

This format is pretty much the same as image ads. The difference between them is the format of the content. Video ads use video or motion graphics to market a product or service. They are also more engaging compared to image ads. You can create video ads on Facebook or boost organic posts that have videos.

When using video ads, parameters such as placement and objectives are used to determine your video requirements like the video aspect ratio, length, and ad size. You can however create video ads using multiple objectives.

Video ads may be fun and more effective, but they are time-consuming to make. That’s why businesses with a simple message to pass prefer using carousel or image ads. When using video ads, try to deliver one single message that is easily digestible by the audience. The recommended length is 15 seconds or less.

Learn how to create video ads in Meta Ads Manager.

4. Slide Show Ads

Slideshow ads are almost similar to video ads. They can contain between three to 10 images or a single video that plays in a slideshow. They often serve as a stepping stone for advertisers and small businesses with no experience in creating videos but still want to leverage motion and sound to grab the audiences’ attention. 

When using slideshow ads, remember to:

  • Use impactful high-quality images and videos
  • Keep the copyright rules in mind when using music 
  • Target slow-internet areas or people with older devices with slideshow versions of your best video ads

One of the benefits of slideshow ads is that you can walk your audience through a complex process in a simplified manner.

Create a slideshow ad.

5. Collection Ads

The primary goal of collection ads is to make it easier for Facebook users to search, discover, and make purchases from mobile devices. It offers users a mobile window-shopping experience where they can scroll through your product lineup with just a single tap. 

Collection ads are similar to carousel ads but more advanced, customizable, and full-screen. The videos and images you choose for your collection ads will pop up every time a user opens your Instant Experience (previously Canvas). 

When using collection ads, some of the best practices you should keep in mind include:

  • Have a variety of products in your catalogue that Facebook can choose from
  • Use a large product set of more than 50 products
  • It’s better to let the Facebook algorithm decide which products from the catalogue are to be included for each specific user
  • Always use eye-catching cover images to attract users into clicking on the ad
  • Add a URL parameter to your ad

Get Started on Facebook Advertising with Salt Marketing

Facebook is still undoubtedly the biggest social media platform in the world. It also offers some of the best, and most robust, targeting options for advertisers. It remains an important channel for paid advertising for eCommerce businesses of all sizes despite its rising advertising costs. 

If you don’t have experience setting up and running Facebook advertising campaigns, a digital marketing agency like Salt Marketing can help. 

Talk to a Facebook ads specialist.

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