Facebook Ads: What format should you choose?

By Mark Boyle | 30th October 2017

Facebook is an extremely powerful platform for advertising your brand and services in the digital world, but selecting the right objective and targeting is only a fraction of the process. Optimising your campaign for an effective reach is a key aspect of setting up an advert, but have you thought about the message you’ll be conveying?

Developing your advert creative is the last stage of setting up a Facebook campaign and arguably the most critical. This is where you get to choose what your audiences sees. Getting it wrong is likely to squander your success rate no matter how strong the rest of your campaign is!

In this blog we’ll guide you through the various formats you can choose for your Facebook advert.

Single Image Ads

A single image ad is considered the most popular format for Facebook advertisers. As the name suggests, this format is simply one image featured within your post surrounded by effective ad copy. The image size and post layout can differ depending on the campaign objective you choose, but the image remains the main attraction of the advert.

Get creative with your image design. Use bright colours and eye-catching imagery to appeal to your audience. Use 20% or less text on images or your advert will be delivered to a limited audience. Don’t neglect the ad copy! The image should pull people in while the text will reinforce what you are promoting. Include a call to action button for greater communication.

Single Video Ads

This type of format is identical to a single image post except the image is replaced with a video. This format is not suitable for every advertiser but can be extremely effective when done right. Facebook loves video and the platform is making a strong push to encourage users to produce recorded and live video content.

Don’t just create a poor-quality video for the sake of having one. Your video should be short yet effective in promoting your message. Complement your video with a strong ad copy and call to action button. Consider using a Video Views objective to deliver your advert to an audience more likely to watch your video.

Carousel Ads

The carousel format is where we start to explore the more advanced side of Facebook’s creative section. No longer are you restricted to one image or video, instead you have the option of up to 10 in a single post! This is a great way of promoting multiple key points rather than one. Each unique content can then have its own text and link destination while the post will utilise a single ad copy and call to action button.

The ideas for this format are endless. You could potentially use carousel ads to promote multiple products in one post or even display testimonials from existing customers. A downside is that your images and video will be displayed at a much smaller size than a single advert.

Canvas Ads

Canvas has been designed to provide an immersive full-screen experience for mobile devices. This format is intended for businesses who find themselves active in promoting on Facebook rather than casual advertisers. Canvas is quite clearly one of the more powerful formats that you can use on Facebook and requires a well-thought out strategy for successful implementation.

With the user experience at the forefront, this type of format can be used to combine multiple images and videos into various layouts. Your attention shouldn’t just be on what images, videos and text you use, but also how those elements are used together as part of an interactive experience.  If you’re audience isn’t mobile-based, divert your attention to another format.

Collection Ads

This format type is a feature of Canvas and was only recently made available as an option. With Collection ads, you are able to group multiple items into a single advert. Using Canvas, advertisers are able to display their products in an interactive experience designed for mobile devices.

Viewers of a Collection ad can seamlessly click from one item to another where they can find product details and prices before initiating the purchase process. This format is made even better by a fast-loading experience, improving the customer journey every step of the way.


With so many options to choose from, diving into Facebook advertising can be a frightening thought for some. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing the simplest or ‘best’ option as described by an internet expert. There is no best or right answer when it comes to determining how to convey your specific message to your own audience. Instead, experiment with different formats and analyse the results in order to ditch the poor performing formats in favour of the ones delivering the best ROI. Be sure to share your results with us!

Facebook advertising is an ever-evolving experience with new features and changes introduced on a regular basis. Keep your eyes peeled to our blog and social media channels to stay updated on the latest news.