Facebook ads fall into 3 main types of formats. The one you choose will depend on your budget, the offer or service you want to promote, and whether you’re targeting the top or bottom of your sales funnel.
1. Single-Image Facebook Ad
What it is: A single stock image or advertiser-provided image plus surrounding ad copy.
When to use it: Best for very limited advertising budgets and simple, fairly inexpensive or free offers, or services that most people are already very familiar with.
Also great for targeting people who are near the bottom of your sales funnel — they’ve already engaged with other sales and marketing initiatives, and they’re one step away from a purchase.
- Promotion of a free or inexpensive public seminar
- Free introductory class
- Complimentary assessment
- Simple personal training
Pro – cheap and better than not advertising at all.
Con – least effective advertising format on Facebook.
2. Carousel/Slideshow-style Facebook Ad
What it is: A slideshow containing multiple still images with video-style transitions between slides and titles or captions on each slide. Usually about 60 – 90 seconds. These ads can include music and/or voiceover.
When to use it: Best when your budget is limited, yet you have strong competitive advantages that you want to showcase, or offer less familiar, more complex program or service at a higher price.
It’s also a cost-effective option if you’re new to a market, targeting a new audience — or suffering from what we call “business invisibility” and need to increase awareness in order to start filling the top of your sales funnel.
- A multi-month weight loss program
- A chronic disease self-care program
- High-end in-depth sports specific conditioning and training for college prospects
- Corporate wellness/employee wellness services for small/medium employers
Pros – less expensive than full video, much more effective and high-impact advertising format than single-image Facebook ad.
Con – not as polished and emotionally powerful as full video.
3. Video Facebook Ad
What it is: A full video ad using stock or advertiser-provided video footage with music and/or voiceover, edited as appropriate and integrated with still photos, with video transitions and custom titles and marketing captions throughout. Usually 1 – 3 minutes.
When to use it: This ad format is best when:
- You can invest in the highest-impact advertising available with the greatest emotional impact.
- Suitable when your competition’s marketing is fairly sophisticated, or you want to reach a regional or national audience, or your program or service targets audiences likely to be highly selective.
It’s an excellent choice for filling the top of your sales funnel.
It’s also ideal for communicating emotionally intense experiences or incredibly effective content, like customer stories in their own words.
- High-end summer camp that markets nationally
- Corporate wellness and employee wellness programs and services for regional, national employers
Pro – this is the most effective advertising format.
Con – this is the most expensive advertising format.
Other things to consider when creating a Facebook ad
Know how much you can spend
When you are determining your budget, remember that it has to include Facebook Ad per-click charges paid directly to Facebook, and other third-party costs, like stock images, stock video or licensed music.
Have a goal in mind
Determine in advance what your goal is for the ad – for example perhaps you want it to generate phone calls, visits to your website or to increase brand awareness through shares and likes. This valuable feedback will let you know how well your ad is working. Specifically, you should consider:
- Integration and configuration with Google analytics using Facebook Pixel
- Define and configure appropriate Google analytics goal completions for Facebook ads
- Analysis of website traffic and visitor behavior resulting from your Facebook ad
- Development of landing page, a single web page customized for your ad campaign(s) and business, designed specifically to increase likelihood of conversion
Think about other places to post your ad
Of course you’ll also want to post your ad to your Facebook business page — but don’t stop there. Yes, Facebook has ad creation tools, but you can also create ad elements like videos and single-image graphics outside of their interface. Then, you can repurpose the ad wherever you like. For instance, you might post the ad video and appropriate copy tailored to each platform to:
- Google My Business