December 16, 2015

Pros & Cons Of Facebook’s Carousel Ads

If you spend any time on Facebook – be it personally or professionally – you’ve almost certainly seen carousel ads.  These are ads that feature multiple pictures and that, in and of itself, is why food entrepreneurs might want to take another look at these.

The carousel ads option was introduced to Facebook last year and, according to Facebook, the ability to showcase multiple images within one ad has decreased cost per click by 20-30%.  For small businesses on a budget (isn’t that most of us?), these savings can add up.  So what do you need to know about carousel ads and what do you need to be wary of?

facebook advertising

Benefit: Showcase multiple images or just one big picture

The internet loves pictures of food and that’s even more true for lovers of artisan food products like yours.  One of the biggest benefits of carousel ads is that fact that you can feature several of your top-selling and/or eye-catching (and mouth-watering) products so consumers can see all you offer.  This is a great way to broaden your ad’s reach so that even if consumers aren’t looking for Product A type, they may be interested in some of the other products you’re featuring.

You can also take a different tack and create one big picture that may, for example, show one of the gigantic sandwiches your company is known for.  The picture of your sandwich, spread across several ad images, will help to drive home how big your sandwiches really are!

Benefit: Highlight some of your product/company benefits

You can also use carousel ads to help showcase what makes you company and/or products different from competitors.  Perhaps you only use products from family farmers, you use organic ingredients, and you hire underprivileged employees – each of those could be different images within one ad to help customers quickly – and visually – understand what your company is all about.

Benefit: Tell your company’s story

Does your company have a unique story to tell (hint, every small business does!)?  You can use carousel ads to tell this story across several different images to help build connections with your consumers.

Benefit: Multiple links all within on ad

Across the multiple images in a carousel ad you can create distinct links.  The benefit here is that if a customer is intrigued by Product C, rather than a generic link that might take them to your company home page, you can create a link corresponding to that image that would take the customer directly to your Product C page.  Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible to get interested customers the information they want – that’s the whole purpose of your ad – and direct links can help you do that.

Benefit: Call to action button within the ad

Each image in carousel ads can utilize their own call to action button (such as a ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’ button).  This will help make it easier for viewers to interact with your company in the way you’re hoping no matter what image strikes their fancy.

Consideration: Does this drive authentic traffic?

In the past, Facebook has been slammed for the fact that many believe that their ads are being hit by click farms which doesn’t deliver the audience/sales that the advertisers are hoping for.  In fact, this Small Food Business post from 2014 talks about that. Are carousel ads, which are driving ‘clickers’ to your website, providing different results or will your website just be inundated with visits from people who have no intention of purchasing?  The reality is that’s always a risk when it comes to advertising so ultimately you have to decide whether you want to give carousel ads a try.

Be Careful!  If you decide to run carousel ads, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of trying to create an ad that does all of the above.  For example, it may sound great to create an ad that features different products, tells your company story, and speaks to your brand differentiators, but ultimately what you’ll create is a very mixed message that will simply confuse consumers.  For every ad that you run (be it on Facebook or any other advertising medium), make sure you know what goal you’re trying to achieve and create the ad specifically for that purpose.  Trying to do it all will just result in an ad that does nothing well.

Have you run carousel ads?  I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences.

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