This is one of the questions I get asked the most. It’s not an unreasonable question because they want to get the best results possible for their investment.
However, the answer is often along the lines of “how long is a piece of string” because it depends on you and your business.
I know, I know. Cue eye roll!
But I like to be honest with you like I am with my clients.
Which Facebook Ads are most effective for you will depend on your Copy, Image and Video quality, clarity of next step, and customer journey.
As with most things in Facebook Ads, there is no right or wrong answer, just what’s right for you.
But if you are just starting out with Ads, this doesn’t help you work out which Ads you should use first does it?
So, I’ve provided a summary of each Ad Format that you could try below.
This is quite generalised and you may find you get different results, but it is based on my experience of running Facebook Ads for myself and my clients for 15 years so should help you decide what to try first.
SINGLE IMAGE ADS
Image Ads are a great foundation or starting point when you are just starting out as your Ads will be shown in the most areas of Facebook’s network, and it is the most basic Ad format.
You have Copy and an Image to capture the attention of your target audience and encourage them to click and take the next step.
Images Ads often get lower CTRs (Click-Through Rates; % of Clicks from number of times your Ad is seen). This is usually due to being the less engaging format to stop people scrolling through their newsfeed.
You can improve your CTR by playing around with your Images to make them stand out as much as possible, testing different first lines of the copy to speak directly to your target audience so they feel compelled to click “read more”, and creating strong copy that your target audience will resonate with and want to take the next step.
SINGLE VIDEO ADS
Video Ads are often more engaging that Image Ads as the movement catches the viewers eyes and makes them linger for a touch longer.
Video Ads are great for capturing attention, engaging your audience, and building a connection with your audience quicker.
The layout of the Ad is the same as the Image Ad, but the Video replaces the Image.
For Video Ads to run across the majority of Facebook’s network (and to get the best performance) they need to be less than 30 seconds. This can be tricky but definitely worth putting the effort into.
Video Ads often get higher CTRs due to how they build a rapport with your audience almost immediately, but you can improve yours by playing around with face to camera videos vs slideshow videos, videos in different locations, using captions or not, plus testing various video messaging/content. You can also test the same as the Image Ads in terms of copy - testing different first lines of the copy and creating strong copy that your target audience will resonate with.
Carousel Ads are engaging for your audience and are often under-utilised.
Carousel Ads are Image Ads with more than one image that people can click or swipe through.
You can get quite creative with this by showing off multiple products or benefits or your services or testimonials, with a Q&A format where you ask a question on the first image and prove the answer on the second, or telling a story by breaking it down across several images.
CTRs vary heavily based on the design – sometimes it’s the best format for you, other times it is not worth the effort. If you can get creative with the format then give it a go!
While technically these will run whenever you create a Single Image or Video Ad anyway, I think it's important that you consider how these Ads can work for you and set them up properly from the get-go.
These are Ads that show up on Facebook and/or Instagram Stories.
They have the same look and feel as them so consider how you want people to see your brand in this area.
I recommend creating Images or Videos in the right dimensions for Stories so it looks seamless. Your copy will not appear on the Ad when you do this, and only a small part of your copy when you don’t, so your Image or Video will need to say all you want it to for people to click through.
Without copy, Story Ads tends to be better at getting engagement (Reactions) from your audience than driving Clicks unless enough intrigue is created.
When setting up Stories Ads they will actually sit within your Single Image or Video Ads, so select this option and upload your Story size image. Facebook will assign it to the Stories placement automatically.
Dynamic Ads are Ads that Facebook automatically creates for you using a variety of copy, headlines and images or videos that you upload.
It creates combinations of them all to determine which combination provides the best results for you.
Dynamic Ads can work well if you have lots of products you want to sell but you will also need to create a Catalog first.
This method can get complex so if you’re just starting out I recommend sticking with the others first and exploring this option later.
I tell all my clients that in order to determine which Ads are most effective for them we need to test and learn.
So choose which formats you will start with and start testing!