Carousel ads are an exceptional format for displaying multiple pictures in a series. They work well for storytelling, events, and explaining a process. You can also use carousel ads to “paint” a larger canvas, thus giving your audience an immersive ad experience.
Social media carousel ads are higher performing than regular static sponsored posts. Kinetic Social, a social marketing tech firm, found they are 10 times better at garnering click-throughs.
Wondering if you should adopt a carousel ad strategy in your social media marketing mix? Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Carousel Ads?
When we talk about carousel ads, we are talking about a specific type of ad you can choose to run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network within Facebook. Other social media channels, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, offer carousel ads as well. The distinguishing feature of these types of ads is the ability to include multiple images in one ad on individual “cards”. Each card offers the capacity to include a unique headline, description, and link, giving you the ability to customize each card and link to different landing pages.
You can include up to 10 images or videos in a Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger Carousel Ad, up to 6 images or videos in a Twitter Carousel Ad, and up to 10 images (no videos) in a LinkedIn Carousel Ad.
Benefits of Social Media Carousel Ads
Carousel ads are a creative use of advertising channels, making them stand out when people are scrolling their feeds. They can be used to accomplish different goals and have a great track record for performing well.
Carousel ads have a distinct advantage because they stand out. They’re also interactive because people have to scroll through the card. People are naturally curious and will want to see what’s next when they scroll. Plus, they give you the accommodation to include more content in the same ad. It’s no wonder they perform better than run-of-the-mill static ads.
Carousel ads are known for:
- High engagement
- High click-through rates
- Higher-than-average conversions.
While we all know there isn’t any magic when it comes to marketing tactics, but the performance you receive from carousel ads may seem magical compared to the results you receive from other types of online paid advertising – as long as you are tailoring your ads to your specific audience and you know what they want from an independent school.
Carousel Ad Videos
You can use a static image for each card in your carousel ad, but for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Twitter, you can include videos too. Each card gives you the option to upload an image or a playable video. This makes carousel advertising very interesting. For example, you could include clips from a class or school event (think concert, sport event, classroom activity, field trip, etc.)
Carousel Ad Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
Unlike regular social media ads, carousel ads let you include different calls-to-action and link to different landing pages on each card. This gives your audience the ability to click through on different actionable buttons to learn more information about that specific topic.
When to Use Social Media Carousel Ads
When should you use a carousel ad for your school? Here are some ways schools can use them to improve their return on investment in paid advertising.
We all want more traffic, right? Carousel ads can increase awareness of your school and drive more traffic to your website or landing page, always a good thing. Some schools use the carousel format to share fundraising events or launch an initiative as well.
Inquiries and enrollment
Would you like more inquiries? Carousel ads use compelling copy and images that can increase inquires and enrollment applications for your school.
Carousel ads can be used to generate awareness and interest for your school. Use stand-out images or video clips that will really catch the attention of your target families.
Tips for Creating Outstanding Carousel Ads
Use striking imagery
Humans are visual by nature and we process images easier and faster than words. And, we remember them better too. Using eye-catching, high-quality pictures, especially on the first card, will help ensure your creativity will catch the eye of your audience, they will stop scrolling and want to know more about your school.
Use Facebook’s instructions for setting up and best practices
Facebook offers step-by-step instructions and makes recommendations about how to best use carousel ads to your advantage, and these are good recommendations for other social media channels. For example, they encourage advertisers to:
- Use all the available elements of the ad card fully, such as including headlines, descriptions, calls-to-action, and links.
- Use images or videos that are consistent with each other, ideally telling a story. You don’t want to use images that don’t “fit” together.
- Include different links on different cards, if it’s appropriate. You can even use external links (i.e. to an event registration page), Facebook Pages, and Facebook events when it makes sense to do so.
- Use images or videos that will “speak” to your specific audience. Consider using custom audiences or retargeting to target people who have already shown an interest in your school.
- Test your creatives and place your best-performing cards first. You can test multiple creatives at once and replace or remove low-performing cards.
Link individual cards to a consistent landing page.
If needed, design landing pages with your carousel ad cards in mind.
Write compelling copy
Visuals are important, but once people are hooked by the image or video, you need excellent copy. Headlines, calls-to-action, and descriptions are important, especially for school marketers. Craft great copy by thinking about how your school can stand out. Share interesting information or a story tidbit that will encourage people to want to click through to your landing page.
Social media carousel ads offer a unique and exciting format, but they’re not right for every campaign. Think about the goal of your campaign and whether your audience will want to scroll to see more images or videos related to your storyline. If carousel ads make sense, remember they are very beneficial for driving traffic, increasing conversions (inquiries, enrollment applications), and creating better engagement.
Follow these guidelines for creating carousel ads on your desired channel. Take advantage of the unique format, opportunity to link to multiple landing pages, and testing to see how well they perform for your school.