By Chris Sugrue

October 18th, 2016

What’s not to like about Facebook’s carousel ads and posts format? With up to five clickable cards available for each ad, marketers have a dynamic panorama on which to play with imagery, copy, links and CTAs. If that wasn’t enough, here are four reasons why you should be using carousel ads.

1. Flexibility
Advertising has always been about telling a story, and Facebook carousel is arguably the perfect ad format for storytelling. The options are many. You could, for example, showcase five products, or one product with different variations or uses. It’s also a powerful medium for expressing your brand with the option for single panoramas. Facebook themselves advise using product imagery to target returning or high-intent customers, and lifestyle imagery for new ones.

Each frame can feature a headline, link or call to action. Use them wisely. With one ad you can send customers and prospects to a variety of landing pages, events or offers.

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2. More clicks at less cost
Right from their release last year, carousel ads have outperformed others. Research by Kinetic Social found carousel ads achieve ten times the clickthrough rate of Facebook’s other formats. That’s a 1% CTR compared to 0.5% with static sponsored posts.

An initial concern that the carousel format would inflate costs per click was quickly proved unfounded. Facebook only counts one click for the first 30 seconds of viewing, no matter how many times you move between frames. In fact, one Facebook case study cites a threefold decrease in cost per click.

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3. Reflects modern consumer habits
The carousel format represents a milestone in Facebook’s long-time dedication to tailoring their feed mechanisms to consumers’ changing habits. People on average are spending three hours a day on mobile, yet our attention span is currently less than a goldfish’s at just seven seconds – fish, apparently, can focus for eight. The success of Facebook carousel is based on how well the format plays to the micro-moments championed by Google, on the mobile platform we now rely on. If you only have a moment to grab an individual’s attention, then carousel ads are how you amplify it. 

4. Now even easier
You can now create carousel posts and ads in the Falcon platform and post them on Facebook and Instagram. Crucially, you can preview how your post will look on both desktop and mobile before publishing. The feature is available in the Publish section, and you can see how simple it is to use here:

Let’s finish with some tips on how to create a carousel that gets clicks.

  • Embrace the sequential possibilities.
  • Make that first image pop to draw the eye.
  • Each frame should nudge the viewer to the next.
  • Keep text minimal, as per Facebook’s guidelines.
  • *BUT* give your messaging the same love as your images.
  • You can put CTAs on every frame – use ‘em well!
  • Experiment with more than one version in each ad set.
  • Stay true to your brand throughout.

But most of all, make sure your ad is as personalized as possible. The smoothest, flashiest carousel ad will only work if it’s relevant to the people who see it. For that you need accurate audience segmentation in place. And you need to consider the different viewing habits of people on Facebook and Instagram – the former is where you have more time to make an impression and explore the full story-telling value of the format.

So get creative and get on the carousel now. When it comes to making moments that will resonate with customers, this ad format is one of the most potent yet.

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