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Facebook Ad Formats and their Best Applications

Facebook is a great ad platform considering the fact that it supports multiple ad formats and types, dependent on the intended outcome of your campaign.

Facebook Ads have one of the best reputations for creating highly engaging ads to drive people to convert.

Designing your ads and ad placements depending on who you’re trying to reach and at what point in their buyer’s journey can have a huge impact on what type of ad you create.

Coupling this with the ad placement can be the key to an effective campaign.

So, what are the different Ad formats available?


With the rise of digital browsing and cameras on phone, communicating in such a visual manner as video can produce really good results.

Facebook designs their video formats to reflect how people experience video on their mobile app and desktop site.

You can capture short attention spans by using GIFs and short 5 or ten second videos, or keep people intrigued and watching by producing vertical video or longer length videos that tell a story.

Whatever your objective is, there is a video style to suit your campaign.


Photo Ads are one of the more basic forms of visual ads, but its important not to underestimate their effectiveness.

They’re perfect if you want to create an ad in minutes or raise awareness of a product – they say a picture speaks a thousand words, and one picture can tell your audience everything they need to know about your product.

Image ads are great when you need that little bit extra visual appeal, but you don’t have time to curate a video to say the same thing.


Collection ads have proven to be successful for a lot of e-commerce businesses. It is a collection of photographs shown in a grid (more often or not these consist of product collections) and are great for showcasing a catalogue like this.

They’re of most use when you want to dynamically organise products from your catalogue to produce a certain impression.

They’re also one of the best formats to engage customers and drive them to your website.


Carousel ads let you show off multiple products in a scrolling fashion, each with their own direct link to the products.

The benefit of carousel ads is that you can optimise single images that perform better with your audience to really drive the most engagement and conversions.


Slideshow Ads are, in the simplest terms, a combination of video and carousel. They combine sound, video elements and text to tell a story, but tend to load quicker than videos.

They’re quick and affordable to create and stock images can even be found in the ad manager during the ad creation process.

They’re the most efficient way to combine the appeal of video with the lower cost of image and text ads.

There are also other types of ads that Facebook lists, but a lot of these comprise of the main 5 elements listed above.

Types of Ads

Not only can Facebook Ads be created in different formats, but they can also be tailored towards different goals and aims. This determines the type of ad you want to produce as opposed to the format.

  • Instant Experience – a mobile optimised full-screen experience displayed when someone interacts with your ad on mobile.
  • Lead Generation – ads designed to collect information from people interested in your business. Usually presented as a lead form within an image, video or carousel ad.
  • Offers – discounts you can share with your customers on Facebook through the main ad formats.
  • Post Engagement – page posts that are boosted to deliver more engagement (likes, comments and shares).
  • Event Responses – used to promote awareness of your ads and drive attendance responses.
  • Page Likes – Used to drive likes to your page so people view your upcoming content.
  • Boosted Posts – These are a cheaper alternative to traditional Facebook Ads and work by turning one of your existing posts into an ‘ad’.

Ad Placement – What Options are There for Me?

The customisation and freedom of Facebook Ads doesn’t stop there, next you can choose where you want your ads to appear.

Facebook have a whole host of platforms and areas where your ads can appear, each with a slightly different audience.

  • Facebook Feed – this is what people will see when scrolling through their newsfeed.
  • Facebook Right Column – more commonly reserved for games ads, this is a dedicated ad area of Facebook.
  • Facebook Instant Articles – ads placed within interactive articles within the Facebook app.
  • Facebook Marketplace – these are ideal as people specifically come to Facebook Marketplace to discover and purchase.
  • Instagram Stories – since Facebook purchased Instagram, there’s now the option to advertise on Instagram too. Stories are a good option as they capture immediate attention of viewers and can help with instant purchases during events like sales.
  • Instagram Feed – for a more image centric audience, Instagram is a fantastic place to advertise. Increased brand awareness and targeting a more visual audience could be a reason to advertise on this platform instead.
  • Messenger Inbox – people regularly visit Facebook’s Messenger feature to connect and interact with people. Advertising here can give you great exposure on a more frequent basis.

If you’re unsure about where you want to place your ads, Facebook will give you the option to optimise the placement – this means that Facebook will learn from your ads and continue to place them where they will receive the best results.

Now you know some of the best ad formats, where they’re most effective and for what type of campaign, it’s time to set them up to help your business.

If you need any help with your Facebook Ads management, contact us today and one of our dedicated professionals will be more than happy to help.

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Heather Hirst
Currently undertaking a Communications degree at Bournemouth University, Heather is the Digital Marketing Intern at WNW Digital. She is part of the digital marketing team and here to gain industry experience and develop her skills in all elements of WNW’s expertise. You can contact her at

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