Choosing the right Facebook ad format for your product sales
February 5, 2019
Facebook Dynamic ads are one of the single best ways for marketers to reach customers with personalized product ads quickly and easily. With 2 billion active monthly users, it’s no surprise Facebook is at the top of every advertiser’s to-do list. In order to stand out in the sea of ads, marketers need to get more creative and precise with their ads. This isn't possible with better targeting alone. This will require a long look at your ad formats and creative. <br> In fact, Consumer Acquisition <a href="http://www.consumeracquisition.com/100k-facebook-ads-tested-heres-works/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">found</a> that images are responsible for 75 to 90% of an ad’s performance. While ad imagery is always important, Facebook users are always particularly sensitive to imagery. As they scroll, each user is served dozens and dozens of ads. In order to stand out and grab attention, marketers need to find the absolutely best way to show off their product. <br> Let’s break down the current Facebook ad formats for catalog sales to determine which will work best for your campaign.
Facebook ad formats
<small><center><a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/help/180438362291173?helpref=search&sr=1&query=single%20image%20ads" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a></center></small>
Single image ad
The classic one-image ad allows marketers to showcase their best product image. This also includes panoramas and 360 photos. <br> To use this format, your images should be in a ratio of 1.91:1 with a resolution greater than 1,080 x 1,080 pixels. While single image ads can get the job done, and are tradition in marketing, they are also very limited. Importantly, studies by Facebook and third parties often find much higher returns through multi-image ad formats. <br> Even if your single image ad does grab the user’s attention, and they stop to inspect the product, they won’t find much more supporting information. Without extra images, angles, or inspirational branding, the user is much less likely to actually click. That’s why advertisers tend to opt for the multi-image ads or slideshows. For example, the carousel ad.
<small><center><a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-create-ad-carousel-ads" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a></a></center></small>
The Carousel ad allows marketers to use up to 10 images or videos within a single ad. This isn’t just a neat trick for piling more information into one paid ad slot. By including extra images, marketers can show users exactly what each product can do. Each image and video is a new chance to spark interest and connect with that user. <br> Plus, this format opens up a number of different combination options. For example, marketers can: <ul> <li>Promote one item in each individual image.</li> <li>Promote an item category in each individual image.</li> <li>Add a fixed card at the beginning with a fixed image, video, or slideshow to appear no matter which products are generated.</li> <li>Add a fixed card at the end to show off your brand and page.</li> <li>Add a map card to show your nearest physical location.</li> </ul> Images used in a carousel ad must be in a ratio of 1:1 and resolution greater than 1,080 x 1,080 pixels. <br> The carousel ad is perfect for creating immersive, multi-image ads for both mobile and desktop. <br> <small><center><a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1128914607238107" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a></center></small>
The Collection ad is similar to the Carousel, but it is designed to create a more structured and curated experience. Instead of simply an array of images and videos, the Collection uses a template to feature different assets like hero images, product images, or videos. The Collection ad experience is especially powerful on mobile, where the template is designed to be full-screen and load quickly. <br> Facebook also offers four Collection templates to make the creation process easier. The Storefront is the clear winner for marketers looking specifically to drive catalog sales. <table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Storefront</td> <td>Lookbook</td> <td>Customer acquisition</td> <td>Storytelling</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Show off several products</td> <td>Show off products while focusing on brand</td> <td>Focus on a specific page and action</td> <td>Encourage users to look more closely into your brand</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dynamically organize products from your catalog</td> <td>Combine brand and product images</td> <td>Use high-quality product-specific images and video</td> <td>Showcase story and brand-centric images</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Note that, even though these look fabulous and native on mobile, they aren’t available on desktop. If you’re looking to create a true shop feel purely on mobile, collection is perfect. (<a href="https://productsup.com/blog/facebook-collection-mobile-ads/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Learn more about how to tell a story with Collection ads here</a>.)
Add slideshows for a more immersive experience without extra production costs
It’s no secret: it takes time and resources to create great ad imagery. Now, consider how much more time it takes to create great videos. Video may be ideal to show off your products, but it’s not always practical. That’s one reason Facebook offers the slideshow option. <br> Slideshow allows advertisers to combine several images with music to create a more powerful customer experience—without video production costs. In fact, this can be easily done within the ad creation process on Facebook. <br> You can create a slideshow by combining music and several images of the following types: <ul> <li>Square (1:1)</li> <li>Rectangle (16:9)</li> <li>Vertical (2:3)</li> </ul> Be sure to A/B test your slideshow by creating two ad sets for the same campaign. Use one slideshow and one image or video format. This will help you understand whether there’s value in slideshow for your products and, if so, how much.
<center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3976985/Example-of-dynamic-product-videos-for-online-retailers-1.mp4" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></center>
Want the customer to get a better idea of your products? There’s no better way than video, where you can show exactly how the product really works. Video allows the user to begin to see, understand, and imagine the product in real life. Whether it’s a short clip or a long story, video brings the experience to a new level. <br> However, Facebook video ads are not yet available with the catalog conversions objective. That means, if you want to drive sales from your product catalog using the Facebook Dynamic Ad template, you won’t be able to use the general video ad option. This is probably because video is generally not meant to be dynamic and uniquely generated. Businesses create only a handful of videos that relate to their overall brand. <br> Currently, you can use the video format with the following objectives: <ul> <li>Reach</li> <li>Brand awareness</li> <li>Traffic</li> <li>Engagement</li> <li>Page likes</li> <li>Event responses</li> <li>App installs</li> </ul> To learn about creating product videos dynamically, <a href="https://productsup.com/richmedia" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">check out what the Productsup Video Designer can do</a>.
Always keep Facebook ad images emotive and inspiring
On sales channels like Google Shopping, ads help consumers compare products side by side. That’s why images on these sites are always simple, as they showcase the product itself without any additional marketing flair. On Facebook, however, the marketer’s goal is to drive spontaneous and impulse-driven clicks. That means you'll need to wow the user. <br> We have already <a href="https://productsup.com/blog/tips-high-quality-product-images/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">compiled</a> several tips, from basic to fun, to keep your ad images fresh and interesting. However, for Facebook, marketers will have to be particularly creative. <ul> <li>Show the product in action. This will help the user imagine how the product will really fit into their life.</li> <li>Display the product in numerous angles or situations, ensuring that something will personally stick for the audience.</li> <li>Be topical, relevant, and personal when possible. Instead of basic images, always select unique creative that relates to the season or climate. Facebook users expect to feel personally and immediately engaged.</li> <li>Add information that will convert your audience. This may be price tags, reviews, or specific keywords. Like many of the previous points, you need your products and ads to always feel relevant and unique.</li> <li>Keep it personal and emotive. Add people and moments to your images. Don’t stick to practical, dry ideas; inspire a feeling.</li> </ul>
How to provide your images to Facebook
Before you start designing templates, you’ll need to upload your product catalog. This is where you will provide links to the images to be used. Because each one of the Facebook ad formats have unique image and video size requirements, you’ll need to plan ahead and know which format you’ll be using before you upload a product catalog. <br> Product images must be provided using one of two attributes. First, there’s the imagelink attribute, which is used only for the main product image. For additional images, use the additionalimage_link attribute. Here, you can add up to 10 comma-separated image links. <br> Important requirements: <ul> <li>Accepted formats are GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF.</li> <li>Do not include borders around the image.</li> </ul> Important requirements: <ul> <li>Max. character limit for links: 2,000</li> <li>The same rules as the Image Link attribute apply.</li> <li>For tab-delimited files, separate each URL by a comma.</li> <li>For XML, include each URL as a separate <additionalimagelink> attribute.</li> </ul>
Want to make the most of your Facebook campaigns?
Your Facebook campaigns have several moving parts. From targeting to tracking to optimizing for ROAS, you’ll need to have a strong plan in place in order to drive returns. That’s why we wrote our complete, one-stop-everything guide to running a successful Facebook campaign.
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