Facebook carousel ads show a sequence of up to five images, using headlines, text crawl, links and calls to action, all in a single ad unit. They have been a major product focus for Facebook over the past few years and can be used on all of Facebook’s channels, including Instagram.
Carousel ads have proven to be extremely engaging, possibly because they enable a form of digital storytelling that other ads can’t. Data collected by Kinetic Social in 2015 showed the carousel format to be 10 times more effective than banner ads. A 2017 case study by Informatics suggests that the magic hasn’t worn off yet. Studies that have been done on carousel ads have also noted a significant improvement in ad and brand recall, compared with other types of ads.
One reason for this success may be the carousel’s versatility. Because it lends itself to showcasing a narrative, it fulfills a fundamental communication need. Its visual range and short time span, makes people stick around.
Carousel ads are used in many effective ways. Here are just a few…
Highlight a product – because you have multiple images to work with, it is easy to highlight the various aspects of a product both visually and with the headline text feature. Unlike a video of the same length, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to get quality content together for these ads and then hold a viewer’s attention long enough to make an impression.
Give a tour – Really. Give a tour of virtually anything; a building, an article, a new idea. This format lets you lead a viewer through a process that leaves them feeling like they have traveled. It’s a strange thing to say about a 5 image ad, but something about the combination of image, text and sound makes it possible.
Demonstrate an action – This ad format is excellent for sharing a few short steps in a process, especially one that you are trying to simplify for your viewer. If your product has a rub point or an area that is unclear for customers, carousel ads can help you smooth it out in a visually pleasing way.
All of the above ultimately results in carousel ads being highly cost-effective. Done well, they are a great use of your marketing budget and they are that rare type of ad that can truly build a conversation between you and your customers.