Facebook offers a lot of different opportunities for online advertisers these days. With so many options available through a single website, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed when trying to figure out which route is best for your advertising efforts. If you are new to digital advertising or Facebook as an advertising platform, this can be even more difficult since you are likely unfamiliar with the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

It is impossible to cover every single type of advertising channel Facebook offers in a single post like this. Instead, this article is going to focus on one unique form of advertisement that has been gaining traction in recent years. While many people stick with the tried-and-true boosted Facebook post or traditional domain advertisement, more and more online advertisers are finding a new route to marketing success through Facebook: the carousel ad.

Offering a mixture of advanced advertising capabilities and interaction, carousel ads are the next step of online marketing when you have different types of products, services or advertising content to share with your target audience.

What is a carousel ad?

Picture the old-fashioned rotating carousels you probably enjoyed once or twice (or more) as a kid. Bouncing up and down on a plastic horse, going around and around to the beat of happy music. This is the namesake of Facebook’s unique carousel ads. Users get more content in the same amount of space via a rotating sequence of images. They can also control this sequence to their liking.

The idea is actually rather simple. Instead of showing a single image like more traditional marketing channels, the carousel ad allows the advertiser to display multiple images that shift and change automatically. This type of advertisement is more dynamic and interactive compared to traditional forms since it gives consumers more content to consume in the first place. Through Facebook, a carousel ad also gives the consumer more control since they can click through the different images and focus on the ones that attract them the most.

Best of all, personal ads work in the same manner as other types of advertisements on Facebook. In fact, a single campaign can use a variety of different types of ads in addition to a carousel advertisement at the same time. When used in combination with other forms of marketing, a carousel ad increases the chance of good engagement and response to the overall marketing campaign.

When to Use a Carousel Ad

It may be tempting to immediately jump on board this new advertising bandwagon given that carousel ads can be up to 10 times more effective than traditional, static advertisements. In most cases, there is no harm in doing just this. However, to really take advantage of the true influence a single carousel advertisement can have for your campaign, you need to make some decisions beforehand.

The most important decision to make is whether a carousel ad is actually right for you. Despite the greater level of interactivity and engagement the carousel ad can have if you need the most response from your audience, something more dynamic like a video advertisement may be better. If your budget is tight, simple Facebook post boosts and domain advertisements will be more affordable.

If you want to have an advertisement that not only is a good middle-ground option but also gives consumers more choices, the carousel ad is a great option. The type of business/products you sell can also influence this decision. Businesses with a variety of products and services to display at the same time will have the most success with carousel ads right from the start.

For example, imagine an online clothing store that wants to feature a number of spring combinations it has on sale. With traditional advertisements, the business would either need to cram a set of combinations into a single space or create separate, different advertisements for each combination. The carousel ad, on the other hand, achieves both possibilities with the content rotation mechanism. Each clothing combination gets its own space or image without taking up a whole page of basic advertisements.

In effect, a carousel ad is more economically beneficial than traditional advertisements. While they may cost more compared to a single ad, situations that require multiple product and service pitches can take full advantage of less space for less cost. Given the choice between multiple single ads and one carousel ad, most people will see the benefit of this format.

Carousel ads are also great for creating narrative marketing content. Instead of just showing a series of products in rapid succession, the sequence of images can be used to tell a story. Increasing brand awareness by showing different images of the business and its employees is another good option when crafting the creative content for your campaign overall. The most important thing to remember is how you use the carousel ad is up to you.

Getting the Most Out of a Carousel Advertisement

Unfortunately, it is easy to overestimate the true potential of a carousel ad if you don’t take the time to make the necessary preparations. Just like any other advertisement, carousel ads require some strategic thinking, planning, and set up ahead of time. You need to know how you intend to use the ad, what the purpose or goals you want to achieve are and what the creative content will look like in its final form. Knowing these things will give you a better understanding of how the carousel ad will fit into the bigger picture of the overall campaign.

If you have an existing marketing plan and content strategy, use these materials to craft the carousel ad. If you are still creating these things, finish this step before moving on to the actual execution of the advertisement itself.

If you make sure to keep a solid foundation of strategy and planning under you before creating a carousel ad, you will give yourself the best chance to capitalize on the inherent advantages a Facebook carousel advertisement can offer you.

Jim Rulison

Jim Rulison serves as the CEO for Media Loop LLC (formerly the National Center for Pain Inc). Jim oversees the day to day operations for all lead generation accounts, with a concentration in the health care industry. Before joining Media Loop, Jim was the CEO of PME Home Health and was the founder of one of the nation’s first virtual call centers. He lives in Rochester New York area where he and his late wife raised their two children. Jim spends his free time with his family and enjoying cooking and his two dogs.

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