Categories Ads, Facebook Ads, How to Guides

5 Genius Carousel Ad Techniques Small Businesses Use to Crush Their Competition

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5 Genius Carousel Ad Techniques Small Businesses Use to Crush Their Competition

Facebook introduced Carousel link ads a few years ago, which allowed a business to display up to 10 images and/or videos, all with different headlines, links or calls to action within one single ad. Carousel ads can be used to showcase a specific product, give more details about a product or to tell a story.

They are a really fun way to advertise your product or service and are great for getting engagement and clicks but the trick to using carousel ads successfully is to identify whether or not using this style of ad is profitable for your business.

Why Use Carousel Ads?

One of the biggest advantages to using carousel ads is that it gives you the chance to use multiple photos that link back to your website. Companies such as Target, Tieks, IBM, GMC and Verizon and more, are all using this form of advertising. Advertisers can see up to a 20 to 30 percent decrease in cost per click when comparing carousel link ads to standard link ads. Making it a powerful tool for small businesses that sell multiple products or services.

5 Ways to Use Carousel Ads in Different Industries

1. The Experience Focus Technique

Whether you are telling the story of your product or those of your customer’s stories, give Facebook users a reason to swipe through your carousel by using photos that illustrate the story in order. Storytelling is one of the most effective marketing techniques to use in any ad, not just carousels!

Hotels and Accommodations often use carousel ads to displaying various hotel room features and amenities such as large rooms, comfortable beds, fine dining, and a trendy bar. These are all the characteristics that could sway a customer to choose your location over the competition and is the exact same strategy their competition uses.

A more creative use of carousel ads would be to sell the experience to be had when staying with you. Set your location apart by displaying how close you are to nearby attractions, such as restaurants, nightlife, and historic areas to potential customers. The competition might also be close to these locations, but those prospective customers won’t necessarily know that.

2. The Show & Tell Technique  

Carousel ads are a great opportunity to show how-to tips for anything from applying for a loan to how to make a cake. They are also great for How to Guides. Use photos to show the steps in order on how to use your product or service.

In real estate for example, the traditional marketing strategy behind a carousel ad is to display the best properties available in the area and hope the right people see them. Since buyers look at many other factors when hunting for a new house, this isn’t always effective.

A more creative use of a carousel ad in this industry would be to highlight the things that truly matter to them. For example many families will look for areas in good school districts, whereas others might be more interested in neighborhoods closer to dining or shopping.

Agencies could also feature their top real estate agents and detail why their customers love them. You could adding quotes from reviews and then link them viewers to the agent’s profile page on the agency website. Don’t forget a clear call to action on that page.

3. The Feature/Benefit Showcase Technique

Another fantastic way to use carousel ads is to highlight the advantages or benefits of your products or services. Show Facebook users that you can provide value, and they will be more likely to click your ad.

Financial institutions often use them to showcase features like free checking, mobile deposits, and online payments. And even though these features are important, they are not unique because almost every bank offers them.

A more creative use for carousel ads in this space is do some market research into what interests your targeted audience, and provide them with relevant information to add value.

For example, if you are targeting parents who wish to set up their child’s first bank account, tell the parents how to teach their children to be financially independent. If you are most interested in targeting Millennials, consider using the carousel ad to create a “Guide to Financial Adulthood.”

4. The ‘Big’ Picture Technique

This is one of my favorite types of Carousel ads. You can take one single image, break it into multiple images and upload them as cards in the carousel to give it a panoramic effect. (Learn how HERE)

For example, when selling consumer electronics, brands usually use carousel ads to display multiple images of the products they offer. Electronics users tend to be very brand-loyal and don’t usually switch without a great reason, so you need to be more creative to when them over.

Some other creative uses of panoramic images could include a phone clipped to the handlebars of a bicycle, with a hot band on the screen or a bearded guy sitting in a coffee shop, listening to music to featured headphones while typing on his computer.

5. The Cataloging Technique

There are times when a single product image just doesn't show everything you want to show. Panorama photos can be broken up into a few smaller images and then uploaded into the carousel to allow for a unique look at the image.

Restaurants often use carousel ads to show the food they serve. Professionally photographed images of plated meals work really well for this. But is not the most creative use of this type of ad.

An even more creative use of this ad type would be to show the “farm-to-table” connection to your food. This could include images of wide open fields, a beautiful cut of beef marinating in locally-sourced seasoning, or a sizzling steak with deep grill marks on a finished plate garnished with local produce. This is a great way to distinguish your establishment from other restaurants in the area.

Other ways to use carousel ads include:

  • Give users a tour of your mobile app
  • Use humorous photos and copy to catch users attention
  • Show the change in seasonal products
  • Share resources or articles

Selecting eye-catching images is the most important factor when using carousel ads. Facebook users scroll through their news feed quickly and your ads need to immediately capture their attention.

The second most important factor is the ad copy. Character limits are shorter with carousel ads than regular ads, so brevity and creativity are vital. So you need to use the carousel format in creative ways to make your ads stand out from your competition.

Creating a Carousel Ad in the Ad Manager

  1. Select an ad objective that supports the carousel format.
  2. Define your audience, budget and schedule.
  3. In the Ad Format section, select Carousel at the top of the page.
  4. Leave the box checked next to Automatically show the best performing images and links first, if you want the ad's carousel cards to be ordered based on their performance. If you want them to be in the order you add them, you should uncheck this box.(Note: You may have to click Show Advanced Options to see this.)
  5. Choose between Image and Video / Slideshow for each card.
  6. Click to upload your image and fill in the details of the first card. You can also add specific URLs and descriptions for each image.  (Keep in mind it’s all about (high quality) images in your ad. The images need to grab the attention of people, so choose them carefully. Don’t forget to make sure your ad copy is short and sweet. Add a powerful headline, clear description.)
  7. Repeat the step above with image card and . Click if you want to add more cards or click Remove if you want to delete one.
  8. Click Place Order.

Always show the best performing carousel cards first if at all possible. Since you can test several pieces of creative at once, order them based on performance to promote a product or service.

Make sure the story, copy and action you would like your audience to take fits with your landing page. If your ad focuses on selling your product, make sure to link them to that specific product.

If you’re telling a story in your ad, make sure each image naturally leads into the next. This is called a “need-to-complete” approach.

Wrap Up

The key to any successful ad campaign is to be authentic and intimately familiar with your audience. Once you lose a potential customer, it can be nearly impossible to regain their loyalty.

Set your business apart from your competition by giving consumers something different than the other ads they are used to seeing. The key is to think strategically and deliver eye-catching, creative ads that will get clicks, generate leads, and drive conversions.


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