January 13, 2016
Facebook continues to roll out new features and designs for its Business Manager. A recent addition, the carousel ad format, allows businesses to showcase three to five images in one advertisement, at no extra cost.
Carousel ads are a powerful tool for businesses, and especially for those who sell multiple products or services. eMarketer estimates that spending on paid display ads (like banners and sponsored content) is set to outpace search ads in 2016.
The ability to show multiple images at once gives businesses the opportunity to get creative and highlight their brands in new ways. To go along with the new interactive design, businesses can also direct people to specific links from each image. Each unique combination of an image (or video), headline, and link is refered to as a carousel card.
Facebook optimizes the performance of each image in the carousel by selecting the images and links that perform best. In this way, the carousel format acts as a built-in A/B testing environment that can help advertisers quickly determine which carousel cards best engage viewers. According to Facebook for Business, since the release of the carousel format, “ads drive 30-50 percent lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30 percent lower cost-per-click than single-image link ads.”
Is your business interested in utilizing this feature, but not sure what strategy to use? Here are some starting points:
1. Capture your audience
The first thing to keep in mind is that the carousel is designed to grab the attention of the viewer, and to bring awareness to the brand. The first card should be strong enough to make the viewer want to continue looking at the rest of the cards in the ad carousel. Become familiar with your target audience and use images they will be attracted to, and thus more likely to click on.
2. Keep them interested
You want the viewer to be engaged in all of your images. A business can use carousel cards to show multiple products, or to tell the story of one product through the use of multiple images.
Pull your audience in by creating a full narrative of the brand. If you are advertising a hat, tell the story of a boy purchasing the hat and all the experiences the boy has in his hat. Creating a story will bring out the business’ voice, and promote brand recognition. The carousel also allows businesses to show different features of their products or services.
3. Call to action
Each carousel card can direct the viewer to a different URL on your website. Your headline and link or call to action button should also engage the viewers and entice them to click on your ad. Whether the ad is on Facebook or Instagram, use active language to leave the viewer wanting to learn more about your brand, product or service.
As advertising increases on Facebook, it’s important for your brand to stay fresh and carousel ads are a great way to keep your audience engaged.