Whether you’re running Facebook Ads through the Meta Ad Platform for the first time or the thousandth, there are a lot of options to choose from, ranging from targeting, placements, and bidding.
By the time you get to the ad formatting yourself, it’s understandable if you’re ready to just pick a simple, single image ad and be done with it.
However, if you do, you’ll miss the chance to rock the creative part of your ad campaign, which is undoubtedly an important place to make your ad campaign really shine. One of the best examples of this is Facebook Carousel ads.
What are Facebook Carousel Ads?
Carousel ads – also known as multi-product or multi-image ads – are a format option available for multiple placements on Facebook and Instagram.
They allow the advertiser to showcase multiple cards containing images, videos, text, and links in a single ad unit. They have a great track record for driving strong results and can be used to accomplish a large number of different goals.
Like with all campaigns on Facebook, sometimes being creative is the best way to generate clicks and increase your conversions. In this post, we’re going to look at why you should be using Carousel ads, how to create them, and 5 distinct, creative ways you can use them to get results.
Why Use Facebook's Carousel Ads?
You’re probably wondering why you should use Carousel ads at all. It’s a good question. When it comes to any sort of marketing investment, you don’t want to waste money on an advertising format unless there’s some solid evidence it will be worth it.
Fortunately, when it comes to Carousel ads, we have all that evidence and more. Carousel ads stand out, stopping people scrolling or swiping, giving them a distinct advantage.
They’re interactive, encouraging users to swipe through the cards to see more. That need to know will get people doing so, even if they would have ignored your single-image ad in their feed.
Given they also give you more room to advertise in addition to these other distinct benefits, it’s no surprise that Carousel ads have such a strong performance record.
You can feature multiple products, with each card linking to a different landing page. This gives you more option and helps increase your click through rate.
Alternatively, you could highlight many features of a single product to educate your customers. For example, photos of your product, but from different angels.
Carousel ads are also great for storytelling, with each card being the next part of the storyline. This could include explaining a process or ‘how-to’ using your product or service.
Facebook Carousel ads are known for their high engagement, high click-through rates, and higher-than-average conversions. Consider the following case studies and statistics:
• When Facebook debuted the carousel format, it resulted in 30-50% reduced cost per conversion and 20-30% reduced cost per click compared to single-image link ads. Similarly, on Instagram, carousel ads proved effective.
• According to Lebesgue, carousel ads have a conversion rate that's 20% greater than single image ads and 25% more than video ads, indicating that they generally draw in better quality prospects who are more inclined to convert.
• The clothing brand Lacoste experienced a 61% increase in click-through rate and a 32% decrease in cost per click with carousel ads on Instagram stories compared to other ad formats.
Facebook Carousel ads are a simple and effective ‘hack’ to get instant results and increase your return on ad spend… as long as everything in the ad campaign is tailored to your audience.
How to Create Facebook Carousel Ads
Creating Carousel ads for Facebook or Instagram is quick and easy using the Meta Ad Platform.
Proceed through the ad creation process as you normally would, choosing your objectives, budget, targeting, bidding, and more. You don’t have to select anything in particular to create Carousel ads except placements which allow for Carousel.
For example, if you only select Messenger as a placement, then you won’t be able to create a Carousel because they’re only available in the Facebook and Instagram.
In most cases, you should select Advantage+ Placements, letting the ad algorithm work out the best place to serve your Carousel ad.
Once you get to the Ad Level, where you develop your ad creative, it’s time to shine. Under Ad Setup, select ‘Carousel’ as your ad format.
You can decide whether you want to manually upload images and videos, or use media from your product catalogue (if you’ve set this up). For this example, we’ll choose them manually.
Next, scroll down to the Ad Creative section immediately below. This is where you’ll add the cards that make up your Carousel ad. You can choose between 2 and 10 image or video cards.
There’s lot of great media options to choose from. You can upload your own media, choose from existing uploads you’ve made, or select an image or video you’ve posted to your Facebook page or Instagram Account.
Alternatively, you can let Meta provide your with relevant media in the ‘Recommended’ tab.
All images and videos will be cropped to a square, so keep that in mind. It’s best to create visuals with the right dimensions to begin with, especially for video.
Once you’ve selected the image or video you want to use for each card, you need to add the text for each Carousel card, including a Headline and Description. Common choices are product titles, or briefly mentioning a product’s unique selling proposition. You can see below that there isn’t much room before the text is cut off.
For each card you can add a unique URL. So a Carousel ad with 10 cards can, containing 10 different product, can have 10 links to each relevant product. This means that anyone clicking on the card is more likely to make a purchase or convert, making Carousel ads a powerful format to use
Next, decide what order to place them in. You can do this manually, but Meta also has dynamic options to make this a little easier. You can automatically show the best performing cards first, for example. Only have this enabled if there isn’t a chronological order to your cards.
You can also automatically have a card at the end with your Page profile picture for brand awareness purposes.
Preview your ad to see how it will appear on in different placements, including desktop and mobile placements and edit where necessary.
If any key text (especially in the descriptions) was cut, look at how you can change it around to get the important stuff upfront. Then just submit your ad for approval, and you’ll ready to go.
5 Use Cases for Facebook’s Carousel Ads
1. Tell a Story
Storytelling is undeniably powerful. You might not remember statistics, for example, about how many dogs are currently locked in shelters without a home, but you’ll always remember that Facebook video of the one golden retriever stray a rescue got into safety, cleaned up, and rehabilitated who now has a loving family.
That’s because stories are specific, and they’re memorable. They take you on a journey, and that’s going to stick around.
Even if you aren’t going for the emotionally rich and complex stories, you can still use storytelling elements to create strong Carousel ads. Let’s look at the following example:
The above carousel ad run by Ice Breaker, which features Devin Abrams telling his story in short, digestible micro-videos. He’s talking about his purpose, and it uses storytelling to keep viewers hooked and engaged.
2. Grab Attention with a Single, Large Picture
This is a cool strategy that we love seeing. It breaks down a single, large image into multiple chunks to make up something impressive.
Here’s a Facebook carousel example of what this would look like if all the cards were laid out next to each other:
This is a quick trick to get people to scroll and click, and it’s a good one. If you can see that part of a picture that’s interested you has been cut off, don’t you want to see what’s next out of sheer curiosity?
You can use photographs or even graphics that you can create quickly with drag-and-drop, affordable software like Canva.
The one-image-multiple-cards strategy gives you more space to show an image, and it allows you to showcase a single image in a dynamic way. It does catch the eye, and the interactive component requiring users to see the full picture – which we naturally want to do – works in your favour here. It’s a great choice particularly if you want to promote only one product or service, but really want to demonstrate why it’s so valuable.
3. Highlight Items in a “Set”
A classic sales technique used to increase add-ons and purchase value is to present certain items as a natural ‘set’.
That incredible pink Himalayan salt is great after all, but it would look so beautiful in that glass salt grinder. Why not purchase both?
You see this a lot. Clothing businesses will pair up complementing items to make a must-have outfit, and Amazon sometimes has options for you to purchase multiple related items at once. You can use the same strategy for your Carousel ads.
Here’s another great Facebook carousel example:
This company sells a ton of vegan products, but this Carousel ad only shows seafood-alternatives. Similar items are grouped together.
You can either target cold and warm audiences with similar items to increase the likelihood of add-on purchases.
You can also create retargeting campaigns to users who have purchased in the past, showing items that would be relevant to them. For example, if someone buys a phone, serve them an ad showing a QR charger, a screen protector, a phone stand, a new case, and a car charger.
4. Increase Appeal by Discussing Features
Sometimes, the more you hear about a product, the more you must have it. Hearing that a watch as step tracking technology is great, but once you hear about how it also tracks strength training reps, monitors your heart rate, gives you Bluetooth notifications, and can be taken into the ocean, you have to have it.
Carousel ads are an excellent opportunity to really highlight as many features of your products as possible, making them that much more appealing to your target audience.
Use the different headlines and description text available to you on each card to maximise your ad copy and highlight as many features of your offer as possible. The more you have, the better your ad will perform.
5. Provide a Valuable Resource
Content marketing operates on the principle that establishing relationships and offering value can increase sales, and offering resources and information to your audience through an ad campaign is a solid strategy, too. This may take the form of tutorials showing how to use a product, or even offering up information that could help customers make the right purchase choice for them.
The Facebook carousel example below uses different cards to go over different face shapes and explain what glasses would look best. Since some customers may not want to purchase online because they worry about what would look good, this can overcome objections and increase sales.
By creating value upfront before asking for a direct sale, you’ll be more likely to get users engaged by catching their interest from the get-go.
Facebook Carousel Ads Best Practices
Incorporating Carousel ads into your advertising mix is an excellent strategy. To ensure you’re seeing the highest ROI and CTR possible, try to include these best practices into your campaign:
Use a mix of video and still images.
You don’t have to do this on every Carousel ad you run, but don’t just rely on images alone. Some of the strongest performing Carousel ads are so because of their reliance on video to keep people interested. Video is an excellent storytelling medium, and it gives you even more space to share information with your viewers.
Customise each card’s text.
One of the worst things you can do with carousel ads is not use the customisation options to their fullest potential. Your audience will immediately lose interest if they see an ad with multiple cards and images, but only a single headline shared amongst all of them. It feels like there just wasn’t enough good things to say. Use the description and the card headlines to make your products appealing.
So instead of doing this:
Go for this instead:
Both are showing different products and their prices with the hopes of driving sales, but one is much more convincing.
Customise each card’s link.
If you’re highlighting different products of services, make sure that each card has the link to that specific product or service. If you don’t, you’ll likely get a decent share of clicks but a lot of drop-offs before conversions; no one wants to go digging on your site.
Facebook Carousel ads (and those on Instagram!) have been an outstanding tool since they were rolled out, and they continue to be a powerful weapon in our paid social media advertising arsenal.
Those high click-through and engagement rates just can’t be ignored. Having more space to throw in some additional links, product features, and selling points can only work to your advantage when strategically optimised.
To see what types of Carousel ads work best for you, be open to experimentation. Try advertising different types of products or use some of the creative strategies mentioned above. Testing will help you see what works best on each individual platform and what your audience is most receptive to.