Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Carousel Ads

Do you wish you could get a better ROI from your Facebook ads? Do you struggle to sell people on your product or service with just a single image and a couple of sentences of text?

Then Facebook’s carousel ads might be just what you’re looking for.

When you use a carousel ad, you’ll have up to ten images or videos that rotate around and around (yep, just like the carousels at a carnival), each with its own caption. 

These are a great way to tell a story, to offer some useful information, or to showcase your products. If you want to see some good examples, check out this Facebook group:

FB Carousel Format Creative Examples

Are Facebook carousel ads effective?

In a word … yes. Carousel ads may prove to be a lot more effective than regular ads, with one study suggesting that they perform 10 times better in terms of how much traffic they’ll send you.

It makes sense: carousel ads give you more space to showcase your product or service, and once someone starts clicking to see more of your images, they’re already engaged and showing an interest … instead of just scrolling on past.

Carousel ads work well on both desktop and mobile, so you don’t need to worry about whether they’ll display correctly to your prospects. 

What assets do I need for a carousel ad?

If you’re used to creating ads that consist of a single image plus some text, then carousel ads might seem like a big jump.

Facebook has clear guidelines on what you’ll need, though:

  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Maximum number of cards: 10
  • Image file type: jpg or png
  • Video file type: Supported file formats
  • Video maximum file size: 4 GB
  • Video length: up to 240 minutes
  • Image maximum file size: 30 MB
  • Recommended resolution: at least 1080 x 1080 px
  • Recommended ratio: 1:1
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 20 characters

It’s definitely a good idea to stick to Facebook’s recommended resolution and ratio (the 1:1 ratio means you need square images) – that way, your images won’t get cut off or look odd, and they should look high-quality.

You can test out your carousel ad ideas by creating a mockup in Facebook’s creative hub here.

You can create your carousel ad itself through Facebook’s Ad Manager, or through your Facebook page: Strike Social has instructions on this here

Different brands use carousel ads in different ways. Here are some examples:

  • Travel companies might show photos of hotels with example dates and prices.
  • Restaurants might show some of the best dishes from their menu.
  • Daycare providers might show photos of children of different ages.
  • Fitness or health coaches might show “before” and “after” photos with testimonials from clients.
  • Software companies might show screenshots of their app in action.
  • Charities could show the story of someone they’ve helped, from beginning to end.

It’s up to you how you use carousel ads, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try out different ideas.

Tips for getting the most from carousel ads

If you want to get the most from your carousel ads, you can’t just use whatever images you happen to have left over from other campaigns, with a hastily whipped-together caption. You need to plan and execute your ad sequence carefully.

This means you should:

#1: Use strong, eye-catching images

Your first image, in particular, needs to be enough to get someone to stop scrolling. Make sure it’s a high-quality, well-composed image that catches their attention. (Check out our list of the best free image creators for marketers if you’re looking for easy-to-use image creation tools.)

#2: Have a connection between images

Some carousel ads connect images by having a continuous photo broken into sections, like this Nutella ad does; others create this sense of connection by using images that tie together in different ways (such as having the same coloring and styling).

#3: Write great copy

Your images might be what catches attention – but copy can enhance them (if done well) or detract from them (if done badly). Your copy should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should tie in with your brand identity and the overall feel of the ad. For example, if your images are cute and funny, reflect that in the tone of the copy.

#4: Have a call to action

Create a call to action for your whole campaign, not just each individual image. It’s often a good idea to use your final “card” as a call to action that encourages people to click through, as they may not have been reading the copy along the way.

Facebook carousel ads give you the space to tell a story or to showcase the best of what you have to offer. By implementing these tips, you could end up with a much lower cost-per-click … and far more conversions. 

Carousel ads are just one of many ways to get your brand, your products, and your services in front of a larger audience. Install the Facebook share button to make it easy for your readers and visitors to share your content with their Facebook connections (and add followers on Facebook) with a simple click. It’s easy to install, and it’s free to use!

If you’re looking for more information about Facebook marketing we have a series of guides on the site to answer questions like what is the meaning of a pinned post?

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