Facebook offers a variety of ad formats, but one of the most effective is carousel ads. They’re a great way to showcase multiple products, specific details about one product or develop a brand story over several slides. We’ll dive into what these are and best practices on how to use them to advertise your brand and products.
Carousel ads are ad placements available on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network that allow you to place multiple “cards” (videos, images or a mix of both) in a scrolling format. While you can have up to 10 cards in a carousel, it’s recommended to have only 3-5 since users tire of scrolling at that point.
Before creating your carousel ad, here are some questions to ask yourself. The answers will inform what goes into your ad.
Carousel ads can be effective at all stages of the customer journey, from awareness to transaction.
Create a carousel of eye-catching images, videos and cinemagraphs delivered to a wide audience to introduce your brand to new users, increasing your audience.
Retarget customers who have viewed items in one of your other ads with a specialized carousel of related content. For example, a company that specializes in dog toys can create a retargeted audience based on Facebook users who viewed a video ad about the company’s products and are interested in dogs and luxury goods, serving those users a carousel created from a catalog of high-end dog toys to that audience.
You can retarget customers who have visited your site but have abandoned a shopping cart by presenting them with a carousel ad showing them the products they’ve expressed interest in and encouraging them to finish their purchase with the call-to-action button.
If you’re trying to show off multiple products, feature a different product on each card that links to its own landing page. Give customers more options and help raise your click-through rate!
If you want to highlight the features of a single product, use each carousel card to show different product angles or details to better inform customers.
If you’re looking for active engagement, tell a compelling story that develops across cards - the interactive format encourages people to swipe through more.
Give people a step-by-step tour of how your business or product works.
Repurpose assets you already have. Use existing images from your catalog or from your Facebook or Instagram accounts as your ad creative.
Use interlinking images or visual cues to prompt your audience to swipe through the carousel cards to see the rest of your creative. Be creative, but keep your content consistent across the carousel. Use images and video with a strong focal point that are thoughtfully composed.
Use a combination of videos and images to create a more interesting ad, keeping videos between 5 to 10 seconds. You can also use cinemagraphs, which combine a still photograph with a repeating animated element.
Every item in your carousel will have a call-to-action button. If you are designing a single-link carousel ad, this CTA should represent your entire campaign. For a multiple-link carousel ad, make sure that the CTA displayed fits the action you want the person to take for that item.
Coordinate CTAs to match the message of your carousel layout and your objective for the ad. For example, if you’re trying to increase the number of customers buying items from your online store, you can combine product images with a Shop Now CTA. Or, if you were the owner of a boutique resort hotel, you could split the panoramic view from your rooms into multiple images, with the Book Now CTA.
You can also use the carousel format with dynamic ads. If you have a catalog connected to your ad account, you can automatically promote relevant products from your catalog and showcase up to 30 products within a single ad unit on mobile or up to 5 products on desktop.
Facebook gives you the option to let machine learning optimize the order of the carousel images to maximize results that you’re optimizing for. Make sure to turn this off if you want your cards to be shown in the order you make them.
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Brenna Kleiman is a Senior Media Buyer at Hawke Media. In their spare time, they make robots.