Carousel & Video: Why Visual Facebook Ad Formats Work

Carousel & Video: Why Visual Facebook Ad Formats Work

Want to increase your Click-Through-Rate and improve your campaign performance?

FACT: Age-old emotive marketing works.

Now all you have to do is translate that emotional power to an ad format. As they say — a picture is worth a thousand words — so visual storytelling needs to be your #1 priority.

Subconsciously, we all build our perception of the world from visual reference points. This is known as ‘pattern recognition’: recognising patterns in our environment is one of humankind’s oldest survival mechanisms. This is a powerful gut reaction that you can tap into.

Make your ad messages fit an interactive advertising channel by telling a story through imagery and video.

We are visual sharers

Studies show that Facebook videos are 40 times more likely to be shared over text-based content. Advertisers should take note: visuals encourage users to spread your marketing messages on your behalf.

To maximise impact, try to cut out any sound and text as much as you can. Many smartphone users will scroll Facebook without the sound enabled. If your current ad message relies on worded narrative, remember to use captions so that it can be understood with the sound turned off.

Specifically for carousel ads, set up the feed to outline a four or five picture narrative structure — like a Top 5 or new seasonal products post. Take a look at this post packed with visual ad examples.

Distraction vs. search-based internet consumption

On Facebook, your audience members will be browsing during their leisure time — but they may only have a second or two to engage with your brand.  They will be distracted by liking and commenting on their friends’ updates.

Therefore, as a marketer, you should be aiming to distract viewers on Facebook by using traditional emotion-based advertising tactics.

In contrast, users searching on Google will be actively looking for tips on how to do something, or what to buy to help them achieve their goal.

So, for a stellar Facebook ad campaign, why not combine these two consumer search modes to best present your brand on the platform?

For instance, this ad for Global POV starts with a critical question: who benefits from poverty?

This is an excellent example of combining these two mindsets: leveraging both an emotionally powerful ‘draw’ and filling in data gaps people are likely to be curious about.

Providing the solution with visuals

Once you have raised a concern within your viewership, your content needs to offer a solution to the problem.

With Facebook, it’s possible to do this in 20 seconds or less. If you break your solution down to just the bare bones, you can show simple illustrations of your solution enhancing people’s lives.

With this video ad campaign for Sephora, they tell you very simply how to create a Halloween makeup look.

In reality, these steps will probably take longer — but it makes for great snackable content that takes advantage of the popular ‘how to’ format.

Similarly, carousel ads can present variants  in no time at all. Carousel ads are great: with a quick scroll of the lineup, users feel like they’ve performed a micro-search on Facebook, getting more info and context about your brand.

Take your cue from Spotify and use video clips as well as carousel ads to make sales. Your audience’s attention will be piqued by the moving imagery  — it’s all about cutting through everything else that’s going on in the Newsfeed.

Testimonials and social proof

Social proof is a human need.

To have an impact, brands should include imagery of people experiencing their products and services.

With traditional print advertising, beautiful models are almost always hired for ad campaigns. Often, people in ads are depicted as smiling with the product — but this old-school advertising format can feel lacklustre.

Instead, you can simply use interviews from real-life happy customers and make a short testimonial video for an ad.

Testimonials form part of the R.T.M method (Reminders, Testimonials, Messenger) and should be used at Level 2 of the ALL Framework.

GoPro, for example, collects user-generated content (UGC) to link to their product pages:

When building a bridge with your online store, you can choose from a number of automated apps to gather and post UGC content. You can then tag and add your products to sponsored posts, embed the images within your sales pages, or repost them to other networks automatically.

Calls to action

With visual ads on Facebook, the endpoint isn’t necessarily making a sale. An email opt-in or link to a free tutorial can be enough to get people clicking through to your site. Your may also want to funnel people into Messenger  or to your Facebook page.

Be 100% clear on what outcome you’re looking for with your Facebook ads, as you may need to segment campaigns off into multiple concurrent ones. Decide on a clear and defined value proposition before you run off and create your ads.

Keep your ad CTA clear and simple — this is “The End” of the story and should not be ambiguous. Think about:

  • What your viewer needs to do next
  • Why they need to perform this action
  • How they can implement the next step

Visual content is better than ever, but it’s also cheaper than ever.

There is some tough competition out there when it comes to nailing your visual strategy on Facebook, so keep testing and refining your creative assets.

About Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is writer and brand consultant. She runs a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. Her site is dedicated to helping readers make the most of their online businesses — no matter what size they are.

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