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A Beginner's Guide to Facebook Ad Types and Formats

Digital Advertising

Looking to bring in more revenue for your small business? If you’ve just opened your online store and are looking for ways to generate your first sales, Facebook is one of the most effective ways to promote your products to your intended audience.  

Aside from SEO in West Palm Beach, promoting your products on Facebook is another way to reach your specific audience and boost your sales.  

Facebook offers a wide array of ad formats and ad types, including targeting features, that allow you to meet your business needs and goals.  

In this article, we will share with you the different Facebook ad types and format options. By understanding what they are, you can create ads that cater to your intended audience and marketing goals.  

Without further ado, let’s get started!

7 Basic Ad Formats

There are seven basic ad formats that you can use to create various ad types that are focused on achieving different advertising objectives.  

1. Image Ads

Example of image ads on Facebook.
Image from Business2Community

Image ads contain a single image that you can use to feature your product, service, or brand. It can be used in various ad types, placements, and aspect ratios.  

It’s the most basic ad format and the easiest to make. This ad format is many advertisers’ go-to choice for almost any stage of the funnel.  

Whether you want to grow your brand awareness, boost your sales, or increase conversions, you can never go wrong with image ads.  

Just make sure you use high-quality photos to pique interest and capture the attention of your target audience.  

The only con about this ad format is that a single image can be limited to the message you're trying to get across. So, if you want to demonstrate how your product works or show off multiple features, the single image format isn't the best choice.  

Here are a few design tips to optimize your Facebook image ads:

  • Keep your messaging short, direct to the point, and simple.  
  • Use your brand’s color and aesthetics when designing your Facebook ads.
  • Use imagery that appeals to your target audience.  
  • Use full-sized, high-resolution images. Blurry pictures are a major turn-off!
  • Optimize your image ads for mobile. 81.8% of users access Facebook through mobile.  
  • Develop ads that address your target audience’s concerns.  
  • Do A/B testing to find the right image.  
  • Optimize for SEO in West Palm Beach by using keywords in your copy or hashtags.  

2. Video Ads

Facebook video ads are paid ad placements that use a single video to market products or services. Video ads can appear in one of many predetermined locations on a user’s screen.  

Videos are engaging in nature, which is why marketers love them. They capture people’s attention and effectively connect with their audience.  86% of marketers use video as a marketing tool to generate leads.  

With today's technology, you can create video ads just with your phone. They don't have to be perfect. Some people even prefer raw, authentic videos.  

If you’re wondering how to make your Facebook video ads successful, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Make your videos evocative. Create a heartfelt, relatable story that will make your audience feel your message.  
  • 85% of Facebook videos are viewed with sounds off. Ensure your videos make sense even without audio.  
  • Get to the point fast to get people hooked right away and motivate them to finish your video.  
  • Optimize your video ads for mobile by creating them in vertical format.  
  • Entice viewers with a compelling thumbnail.  
  • Set clear goals. What do you want your video ads to achieve?
  • Do A/B testing to find out what works.  
  • Nurture potential customers until they convert with retargeting.  
  • Optimize for SEO in West Palm Beach by using keywords in your title, description, and hashtags.  

3. Slideshow Ads

Slideshow ads are made up of three to ten images. They're video-like ads that use sound, motion, and text to get your message across.  

What’s great about slideshow ads is that they use five times fewer data compared to videos. They load quickly so they're perfect for markets where internet connections are limited. Slideshow ads are also affordable and incredibly easy to make.  

If you have no experience making video ads but still want to capture your target audience’s attention with movement and sound, start with slideshow ads.  

Here are some best practices for effective slideshow ads:

  • Make use of the high-quality images you already have on your site or Facebook page.  
  • Create a storyboard before you create an ad.  
  • Use branding on your images for consistency. It will help your ads to perform well.  

4. Stories Ads

Stories ads are full-screen image, video, or carousel ads that pop up in between the Stories users watch on Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, or WhatsApp.  

Stories look native so they don’t feel intrusive. You also have a lot more freedom with stories since you can experiment with AR, images, sticker polls, video effects, filters, and many more.  

Stories go away after 24 hours but you have the option to pin them to your profile on Instagram. The Stories format is great for featuring your brand, showing behind-the-scenes clips, and user-generated content.  

Here are some Facebook Stories ads you need to follow to make sure they perform their best:

  • Choose your images wisely. They should be compelling, and engaging, and motivates users to click on the call-to-action.  
  • Create time-sensitive content that will urge users to take action quickly, such as time-limited sales, giveaways, or contests.  
  • Keep your Stories ads short and fast. Nothing more than ten seconds.  
  • Put a call to action.  
  • Optimize your Stories ads for mobile.  

5. Instant Experience Ads

Example of an instant experience ads.
Image from Newsfeed.org

Instant experience ads are mobile-only, full-screen interactive ads that let users engage with your content on Facebook. They open after a user taps on your ad on a mobile device.  

With instant experience ads, your audience can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt the screen in different directions to get a better view of the product and zoom in or out to see details you might have missed on the first look.  

Instant experience ads load fifteen times faster than standard mobile web apps. They are perfect for visually highlighting your brand, products, and services. It’s also a great way to capture your audience’s attention.  

If you want to get the most out of the Instant Experience format, here’s what you need to do:

  • Hook people with a strong opening image that will compel them to tap and see more of your ad.  
  • Make sure your brand name or logo is visible on the first screen. As much as possible, put your logo in the header to give your audience context.  
  • Use a pre-designed templated that best aligns with your business goal.  
  • Highlight your main point early because not everyone reaches the end of your ad.  
  • Use a mix of high-quality images, videos, and text for a richer ad experience.  
  • Include CTAs to help users take the next step.  
  • Repurpose existing ad materials to save time and money.  
  • Boost visibility  

6. Carousel Ads

Carousel ads let you highlight two or more images and/or videos in a single unit. Readers can flip through these multiple images or videos, each with its description, link, headline, and call to action.

This type of ad format is great for presenting your audience with a broad range of products, as each image can have its landing page tailored for that specific product.  

The carousel format can also be used to walk users through a process or to tell them a story.  

If you’re interested in using carousel ads, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Aside from using compelling images, make sure you maximize all available carousel components. Create catchy headlines, snappy descriptions, and irresistible call-to-action buttons.  
  • Use images that feel similar to each other. They need to look and feel cohesive.  
  • Provide a variety of links for the various products or services promoted in the ad.  
  • Use lifestyle imagery to target potential customers.  
  • Display a broad set of products that are not of the same variants.  
  • Create a dedicated landing page for every product or service advertised.  

7. Collection Ads

Collection ads is a format that lets people journey from discovery to purchase in an immersive and smoothly continuous way.  

Each collection ad features a main video or image followed by three smaller ones in a grid-like layout below. It’s like window shopping online, where you can scroll through a product lineup.  

Collection ads are great for online stores with a wide array of products. But if you sell a limited number of products or services, this isn't the best option for you.  

To ensure a successful collection ad, here are the best practices you need to follow:

  • Use an eye-catching cover image or video that will pique the interest of your intended audience.  
  • Allow Facebook to dynamically select which products to feature. They usually display images based on their popularity or likelihood of purchase.  
  • Use a large product set of more than 50 products to increase the variety featured in your ad.  
  • Tag the product ID, name, or link in lifestyle photos.  
  • Encourage users to explore further by adding more product photos to the destination website or app.  
  • Include a URL parameter to help people identify where your ad traffic is coming from.  
  • Use relevant hashtags for better visibility and to boost your SEO in West Palm Beach.  

Facebook Ad Types

Facebook Ad Types

You can create ads on Facebook based on your objectives like brand awareness, more conversions, or generating leads. Each of these goals has a corresponding ad type designed to help you accomplish that specific goal.  

With Facebook advertising, there are two places where you can make these ads:

  • Facebook Page – Focused on speed and simplicity.
  • Ads Manager – This lets you go more in-depth and create complex ads.  

Understanding what you can do in both places allows you to create better, more effective ads on Facebook.  

Ad Types: Facebook Page Created Ads

The fastest and easiest way to make Facebook ads is straight from your Facebook Page.  

All you have to do is click on the “promote” button, and you can start the process of creating an ad right away. The types of ads you can create from Facebook Page include:

Boosted Posts

Every post you create on your Facebook Page, Facebook gives you the option to put it in front of more people across its advertising network. It will look just like any other Facebook post, except that it has a “sponsored” note on top.  

Make sure you use hashtags for better visibility and to help boost your SEO in West Palm Beach.

Page Likes Ads

Page campaigns contain simple ads that link directly to your Facebook Page. Likes don't always translate into sales but they can help boost brand awareness.  

Website Visitors Ads

This ad type aims to promote your external website by redirecting people to your landing page or blog posts. It helps increase traffic to your site by reaching people who will likely click on the link.  

Website visitor ads are perfect for increasing awareness of a specific web page.  

Website Purchases Ads

This ad type uses data from Meta Pixel to target people who will most likely purchase your products or services. These are users who have taken certain actions on your site, like adding payment information, viewing a product, liking a post, and other activities that show interest in the products on your site.  

To access this type of ad, you need to set up your Facebook Pixel so it can collect the necessary data for you.  

Automated Ads

Facebook Automated ads let you create a custom advertising plan for your business by telling the platform what your objectives are. Based on this, the AI system will create ads that let you get the most out of your placements, targeting, and ad budget.  

These ads run automatically continuously, which saves you time.  

Messenger Ads

Messenger ads work just like any other ads on Facebook platforms, except that it appears in your audience’s inbox amongst their conversations.  

Messenger ads will automatically place ads in areas that will most likely drive campaign results in the most cost-effective way possible. All a user has to do is click on your ad to initiate a conversation with your page.  

Ad Type: Ads Created from Ads Manager

Ads manager is an all-in-one tool for creating and setting up your ads for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network. It’s also where you’ll be tracking your campaigns’ progress and performance toward your marketing goals.  

Ads Manager offers more options compared to Facebook Page. It allows you to create custom audiences and catalogs. Here are the different types of ads you can create with Ads Manager:

Event Ads

Are you hosting an event soon? Tradeshows, workshops, or a seminar? Whatever it is, you want to invest in event ads to get more RSVPs or sell more tickets.  

Depending on the size of your event, you may want to limit the ad’s geographical reach to people living in your area or neighboring cities.  

Increase your posts’ visibility by using the right keywords and incorporating them into your hashtags. Optimizing for SEO in West Palm Beach will also help boost your ranking in the search engine results pages.  

Offer Ads

Offer ads encourage people to shop on your site or physical store by sharing special discounts and coupons.  

Lead Ads

Lead ads is an ad type with an Instant Form attached to it so that users can submit their information and you can use this valuable data about your potential customers to personalize their experiences with your brand.  

Lead ads are perfect if you have a product with multiple target marketing. You can use it for gathering contact information for market research, future promotions, and driving engagement.  

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads, also known as dynamic banners or creatives, are ads that automatically change content and promotions to show each shopper the most effective imagery, copy, or landing page that will get them to convert.  

Think of them as display ads on steroids. They target users based on their previous interactions with your site.  

Mobile App Ads

Mobile app ads refer to ad campaigns or ads that are specifically designed for mobile devices. 92.1% of internet users access the web via mobile devices.  

By investing in mobile app ads, you can put your business in front of more potential customers and generate more leads. Mobile app ads appear within websites viewed from mobile devices, social media platforms, and apps.  

Mobile app ads are ideal if you want to drive more installs to your mobile app. When a user clicks on the CTA, the App Store or Play Store will automatically pop up.  

Take Your Business to the Next Level with Facebook Ads!

Your presence on social media can greatly impact your SEO in West Palm Beach. The more active you are, the better your visibility will be not just on social platforms but also on search engine results pages.  

If you want to drive more leads and generate more sales for your business without spending too much, Facebook ads are one of the most effective ways to do it!

Now that you know the different ad types, you want to test your ads to see what works and optimize them as you go along to generate the best results for your campaigns.  

At Digital Resource, our digital marketing specialists and social media experts will work with you to create a custom strategy that will help you achieve your marketing and business goals.  

Contact us today to see your business grow!

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