Every Type of Facebook Ad Explained with Examples
I bet you’ve never seen or heard about some of these types of Facebook ads.
There are many types of Facebook ads and all of them have the best use. There are types of Facebook ads best for e-commerce stores and types used best for mobile app downloads. Let’s explore all of the types together with examples.
What are the different types of Facebook Ads?
There’s no one-size-fits-all ad unit on Facebook. We wish there were – it would make the whole process so much easier.
But, as they say, nothing worth having comes easy.
And there’s a lot to be gained from targeted, audience-specific advertising. Creating an ad for your audience, one that speaks directly to them, puts your ad campaign miles above the rest.
All your effort transforms into more click rates and website visits, and higher conversion rates.
The first step is picking the right type of ad for the right situation. I’m going to make this part easy for you. Here are eight Facebook ad types currently available through Facebook’s Business Manager. (In alphabetical order, no less!)
#1 Carousel ads
You know those park carousels with the horses? How they spin round and round, so you see all the different horses (and, presumably, the happy children on said horses)?
That’s the concept behind carousel ads. People can spin through the images to see everything you have to offer.
You can put up to 10 images or videos in a Facebook Carousel ad. These images should, ideally, showcase your product, service, business, app, page – whatever it is you want to show people.
The goal is to get people clicking through to your shop or website.
In fact, if you really want to take the carousel ad one step further, make it multiple pictures of the same product to highlight it. Or use different products to show the difference.
Even better, create one large panorama image.
Whatever visual statement you chose to make, you’ll want to remember that it’s all about the imagery. You only have room for a 40-character headline, 20-character link description, and 125-character ad-body text.
Your pictures HAVE to do the heavy lifting to get people clicking.
Carousel ads were designed specifically with ecommerce websites in mind where they have lots of products to show off, instead of just one main product they are selling. Great for showing off a category of products, such as shoes or t-shirts, etc.
#2 Collection ads
Sometimes I miss window shopping. I know, it’s crazy – why would I miss walking down the street and passing by stores?
But here’s the thing.
Sometimes I find the best stores when I look at their products in the window.
That’s what collection ads are, in a way. Digital window displays. The goal is to sell your store, brand, or latest product line as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific product.
Set up your collection with images that connect, visually, so you can pull your potential customers through the virtual door and onto your website. There’s room for up to five images or videos, so you can play around a bit with combinations.
Pick your main image wisely – this will be the eye-catcher. The attention grabber. It can do more than showcase; it can also educate. I’ve seen how-to videos in the lead spot, and the row of images were the tools the viewer needs to follow the instructions.
One caveat here. Collection ads only appear on mobile devices.
Yet another ad unit specifically designed for ecommerce websites with multiple products in a category to show off. Can also be great for artists, web designers, or other businesses with portfolios.
#3 Dynamic ads
Dynamic ads use machine learning to adapt the ad to a target audience. It learns more the longer the campaign runs, delivering you the best possible results for your ad goals.
Here’s how it works.
Dynamic ads pull pictures and descriptions from your product catalogue. This means that with one ad creation, you get several ads – one for each product – without having to manually create them.
Then, Facebook puts the ads in front of the right people. That is, they show Facebook browsers the product that best fits their interests. Different people will see different items based on past interactions with your store.
According to Facebook, dynamic ads work best when you have four or more products in the store.
Couple notes here. First, you’ll need multiple products connected to your Facebook Business account in order to use these. Second, dynamic ads only apply to campaigns with the goal “get more store orders.”
This ad unit was specifically designed for retargeting campaigns. It can be used in other ways, but was designed specifically to help businesses retarget the right product to the right person at the right time.
#4 Lead ads
Ever wished there were an easy way to get follow up information from your target market? Like, one-click and bam, you’ve got your lead?
That’s where lead ads come in handy.
To use lead ads, you’ll give Facebook a way to connect to a CRM platform, like ActiveCampaign, or build a custom instant form that submits to a spreadsheet.
Then Facebook generates an ad that will appear in front of those in your target audience who might want to connect with your company.
When they click the ad, it shows them their information asking if they are ok with sharing it, and if they click yes then you have a new lead.
This mobile-only Facebook ad type is great for collecting newsletter subscriptions, signing people up for product trials, or giving people a fast way to contact you. Especially great for service type businesses where you need to give a quote. Also useful for businesses that require their customers to apply or sign up for a demo.
#5 Link Ads
These are the easiest to set up and, some might say, the most boring. (Not me though. A good image ad can work wonders.)
Link ads give you full creative control of your ad, which is a nice change from the automated-everything that’s going on. You pick the image, headline, message, link, and more.
If you don’t have an online store, these link ads are the way to go.
If you do have an online store, use these in conjunction with a mix of other ad types in your ad campaign.
The added bonus? Since you’re in full control of the ad content for these, you can direct people to a dedicated place on your site, like a landing or one-off page, instead of a product page.
Link ads are general purpose ads. Useful for all business types or anyone trying to move visitors from point A to point B.
#6 Messenger ads
1.3 billion people use messenger every month. That’s a lot of potential customers you could be targeting.
Facebook’s messenger ads are an effective way to reach those people.
Messenger ads appear at the bottom of the “Chats” list. They look a lot like chats, only they’ll have a little “Ad” symbol beside them, and your ad image on the right-hand side.
People can click your ad and find out more.
You can also set it up so when they click on it, they open an in-messenger chat with you. This is called “click-to-Messenger”.
When you set up an ad in Facebook’s Ad Center, you’ll have three “placement” options: Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. When you have Messenger checked, Facebook automatically includes an ad designed to appear there.
Great for local businesses that need people to schedule an appointment, or other businesses that need people to call a sales rep first. Looking at you “coaches.”
#7 Slideshow ads
What happens when you combine a carousel ad with a video ad? You get a slideshow ad.
These video-like ads use motion (images “sliding”), sound (music), and text. The end result is eye-catching, like videos, only with five times less data required to view it.
They even load well on slow connections.
Slideshows are great for highlighting benefits, showing off products, sharing how-tos and how-it-works content, or telling your story.
Since they’re so low-cost in terms of data, they’re accessible to potential customers in a way videos aren’t.
These are useful for all business types similar to link ads, and designed specifically for the small business who doesn’t have access to videographers and video editors. Useful for making short commercials for local businesses or service businesses.
#8 Video ads
Video ads are classic. A good video ad can move us to tears or make us laugh. There’s a reason Superbowl commercials are popular!
In 2020. Hubspot tested Facebook video vs image campaigns. They found that video ads had 20% more clicks than image ads.
Any video you post on Facebook can be transformed into a video ad. Facebook’s video ads run in three places: News Feed, Stories, and in-stream ads on longer Facebook videos.
Videos can also be incorporated into any ad type listed above that has space for multiple pieces of media (Carousel, Collection, Dynamic).
To make a basic Facebook video ad, you can boost a post (where the original post is the video), or use the classic image ad approach, only instead of an image, you’ll use the video.
Video ads can work with any business, but are especially useful for software, courses, apps, and ecommerce products that are similar to as seen on TV type products where a demonstration is really compelling to the sale.
Which type of Facebook ad is best?
This really depends on what you want to do with the ad. What’s your objective? What do you want people to do? Before you jump in, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Can Facebook access my products’ information to create the ads?
- Yes: most ad formats will work for you.
- No: a classic image ad, boosting a post boost or asking people to like your page/store are your best bets.
- Do I have three or more products to sell?
- Yes: dynamic ads are the way to go.
- No: classic image ads are your best friend.
- Do I need to have complete control over my ad content?
- Yes: classic image/link ads are perhaps your only option.
- No: Any of the other ad formats might work for you.
- Do I need a lead/call/appointment first before the sale?
a. Yes: a lead ad or messenger ad would work best
b. No: Any of the other options might work then
It’s worth noting that you might not have as much control over which ad type you can use. You “Choose a goal” and set up an ad based on that goal. Most of these pre-set goals have carousel built in (you can add up to five pieces of media). Their pre-set goals include:
- Get more subscribers
- Get more website visitors
- Books a post
- Boost an Instagram post
- Promote your Page
- Get more leads
- Get more messages
Based on the goal you choose, you’ll be limited to ad types that fit your goal.
Finally, you can choose to “Boost existing content”, which will create an ad from your page content. This one is quick and easy, but means you can’t adjust the post-text, since it’s about boosting the original post rather than creating a new ad.
Of course, in order to use Facebook Collections, Dynamic ads, or existing customer targeting, you’ll need to have products connected to your Facebook Business Suite and Ad Center.
Examples of Every Type of Facebook Ad
An image is worth a thousand words. Scroll down to see examples of each type of Facebook ad.
Dollar Shave Club