What Are the Pros and Cons of Facebook Carousel Ads?

If you’re looking to step into the paid advertising world, Facebook (or rather, Meta) is a great place to start as it caters to nearly any business. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, chances are your target audience is on Facebook. 

However, Facebook Ads can be complicated to get to know – or at least, it may feel like that when you’re just starting out. There’s so much to learn, so much conflicting information . . . it can all be a bit overwhelming. 

So, if you want to skip the hard parts, consider hiring a Facebook advertising agency to do the hard work for you. But if you want to learn more about Facebook Ads yourself, the different creatives are a good place to start. 

The three main ad formats on Facebook are:

  1. Single-image ads
  2. Video ads
  3. Carousel ads

Today, we’re talking about the last one on the list,  the Facebook carousel ad format. I run my own ads agency, Snowball Creations, and I can say with confidence that carousel ads are often the top-performing ads for our clients.

Yet, despite this, many people running their own ads don’t always utilise this ad format, perhaps because they aren’t as familiar with it. We’re changing that today. I’ll walk you through what carousel ads are as well as what’s good and bad about them.

What are carousel ads?

Single-image and video ads are pretty straightforward to understand. Single-image ads consist of, well, a single image, and video ads consist of videos. But carousel ads aren’t as self-explanatory. 

Luckily, once you know what they are, it’s easy to understand. Carousel ads are ads that contain multiple images, in different “slides”. You swipe from one image to another. You make the images go around like a carousel. Get it?

Think of it as a mini slideshow that you can use to showcase your products or services when running ads. 

What are the pros?

When deciding which ad format to choose, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each. However, before we dive into the good and bad sides of carousel ads, I want to make something very clear: you shouldn’t use this information to make a definitive decision. 

As with any choice regarding your ads, I’d recommend doing extensive A/B testing. So test a carousel ad versus a video ad versus a single-image ad. Keep everything the same – the audience, the copy, etc. – and just change up the format.

This will give you a much clearer picture of which format actually performs best. Because the truth is that what works well for one business’s ads may fail dismally for another. Now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into all the good stuff of carousel ads.

1. You can use multiple images and videos

As mentioned, the entire point of carousel ads is that they function as a slideshow, allowing you to use multiple images and videos within one single ad. This allows for some creative uses, such as showcasing multiple products within one ad or telling a story. 

For example, if you have a skincare company, you can show all the products of a specific skincare routine. You can add testimonials, graphics, and text – all within one ad. 

2. They're engaging

Because carousel ads are interactive and require users to swipe, they are much more engaging, especially if you craft them in a way that has users wanting to get to the next slide or the end of the post. 

The fact that you can vary your content so broadly as well is also helpful since you can change things up to keep each slide of the carousel fresh and exciting, thus preventing your audience from getting bored and swiping away. 

3. You can convey a lot of information

If you’ve ever felt like normal ads are limiting and don’t allow you to share as much information as you’d like then carousel ads are perfect for you since you can easily add a lot of information into one ad without having to cram everything into a single image.

4. They're cost-effective

Because you can combine multiple products into one carousel ad rather than setting up a separate ad for each product, you get to use your money more effectively, which could help you achieve higher returns on investment.

5. They're diverse

Whatever your product or service is, whatever your style is, and whoever your audience is, you’re bound to find a way to make carousel ads work for you.

They are incredibly diverse and make for some of the most fun and creative ads. If you’re not sure how to create eye-catching and engaging carousel ads, consider hiring a creative agency to help you.

The cons

There are of course some downsides to these types of ads as well, although most of these are outweighed by the pros (at least, in my expert opinion). However, I always try to give you the full picture so that you can make an informed decision. So, without further ado, here are the cons of carousel ads on Facebook.

1. They can be time-consuming

While the multi-faceted aspect of carousel ads is certainly a big benefit, it does also mean that these types of ads often take longer to create. Rather than pouring your efforts into one great image, you now need to create multiple stellar images – all of which work together well and have some level of design consistency spread across them.

2. They can be overwhelming

Again, the ease with which you can portray information to users is a massive plus when it comes to carousel ads, but it does also have its downside. 

You may feel tempted to cram as much information as possible into the ten slides offered by a carousel ad, but this could lead to your users feeling overwhelmed by choices or experiencing information overload.

3. They don't always work as planned

The design of carousel ads lends itself to an interactive experience where all the slides work together and keep the user engaged. 

Sadly, this doesn’t always happen. Some users may swipe away after one or two slides, and thus won’t get the full picture or all the information you hoped to give them.

4. Small screen limitations

If you don’t do your carousel ads properly by optimising them for all devices, the nature of these ads could mean that users on smaller screens have difficulty viewing the ads, especially if they are crammed full of text and images.

5. Ad fatigue

If you use carousel ads too frequently, they may lose their impact. Your users may get bored of viewing these ads, especially if you don’t have a lot of variation and they see the same carousel ads time and time again.

The bottom line

Carousel ads are great! Their unique format lends itself to countless creative uses, and it’s certainly an ad format worth testing. However, you shouldn’t only rely on carousel ads. Try out different ad formats to test which ones work and which ones don’t. 

You can also do further testing within ad formats by testing different types of carousel ads to see which ones give you the engagement you’re looking for. And if you need some help with Facebook Ads, fill in the form below!

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