6 min read

Have you contemplated incorporating Meta (Facebook) Ads into your marketing strategy but feel overwhelmed by the different types? If you’re nodding in affirmation, you’re in the right place. 

With over 3.8 billion monthly active users, the Meta network is an advertising platform businesses simply can’t ignore. But with multiple ad formats at your disposal, it’s a tricky terrain to navigate without the proper guidance. 

In this article, we’ll examine four significant types of Meta Ads — image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads — to give you a clear understanding of which ad type could work wonders for your business. Whether you’re a new startup in the tech industry, a booming fashion retailer, or a small local bakery, there’s a Meta Ad-type tailored to your unique needs.

Stay with us as we decode Meta Ads to help you make informed decisions that can potentially catapult your business growth. Let’s get started!

What Are Meta Ads? 

Meta Ads may seem complex and confusing on the surface, but once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be well on your way to harnessing the vast potential this platform offers. 

Simply put, Meta Ads are advertisements served to users on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. These ads appear in several places across the platforms, including users’ News Feeds and Stories. The placement of your ad can impact its visibility and performance. But what sets Meta Ads apart from traditional advertising methods?

Thanks to the vast amount of user data that Meta has at its disposal, Meta Ads allows businesses to target audiences based on factors such as age, location, interests, behavior, and even relationship status. Imagine being able to handpick your audience that sees your ad — that’s the kind of precision we’re talking about here.

But targeting is only one side of the coin. The other crucial aspect is choosing the right type of ad for your business goals. Whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, or boost sales, there’s a Meta Ad format that aligns with your objective.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what Meta Ads are, let’s go deeper into the individual types of ads, starting with basic image ads.

Diving into Meta Image Ads

If Meta Ads were a family, image ads would be the reliable older sibling — consistent, straightforward, and dependable. Image ads are the most traditional type of Meta Ads and a great starting point for businesses new to the platform. But don’t mistake their simplicity for ineffectiveness. Image ads are a powerful tool in your Meta advertising arsenal when executed correctly.

Image ads are single-image advertisements accompanied by a text description and a clickable call-to-action button. Depending on your chosen ad placement, these ads typically appear in users’ News Feed or the right-hand column.

One significant advantage of image ads is their simplicity. They’re easy to create, don’t require complex design skills, and grab the viewer’s attention with a visually striking image. When you implement image ads in your marketing strategies, choose a compelling photo that aligns with your brand and communicates your message effectively.

When creating your photo Meta ads, it’s important to keep your ads within the proper specifications. You should also avoid images that are overtly sexual or imply violence to stay compliant with Meta’s community guidelines.

If you have a tight marketing budget, image ads may be the answer to your Meta Ads needs. Image ads can be cost-effective because they require less investment than video ads or carousel ads, making them a practical choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

Industries with visually appealing products or services can benefit immensely from image ads. Think of restaurants showcasing mouth-watering dishes, clothing brands displaying new lines of wear, or travel agencies enticing potential tourists with stunning destination shots. Image Ads can tell a story, evoke emotions, and inspire action faster than text alone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Image ads are straightforward and easy to create, making them a great starting point for businesses new to Meta Ads.
  • Image ads are cost-effective and require less investment than other ad formats, making them a practical choice for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • Image ads are particularly effective for industries with visually appealing products or services, as they can leverage images to tell a story and evoke emotions.

Exploring Meta Video Ads

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? In the world of Meta Ads, videos can mean higher engagement, a broader reach, and a potentially greater return on investment. In the family of Meta Ads, video ads are the charismatic, dynamic younger sibling.

Video ads incorporate motion, sound, and captivating visuals to tell a more complete story than image ads can achieve. They can be as brief as a few seconds or as long as 120 seconds on Instagram and a whopping 241 minutes on Facebook platforms, but we recommend keeping them shorter and snappier — around 15 seconds — to retain viewer attention on mobile.

Videos are a potent tool to engage with your audience. They can potentially boost user engagement and conversion rates significantly because they hold our attention longer than still images — it’s as simple as that. They’re easily digestible, entertaining, and immersive.

One thing to remember before making a video ad is that while video ads can have a higher return on investment, they also require more time, resources, and skills to produce than image ads. But don’t let that scare you — Meta has made it easier for businesses to create video ads with their in-built Video Creation Kit.

Organizations in almost any industry can harness the power of video ads, but they’re especially effective for businesses with complex products, services, or concepts. For example, software companies can offer product demonstrations, fitness instructors can share short workout snippets, or an interior design firm can showcase a time-lapse video of their transformation process. The possibilities are as vast as your creativity!

Key Takeaways:

  • Video ads are a dynamic and engaging ad format that can tell a more complete story than image ads, potentially leading to higher engagement and ROI.
  • Video ads are especially beneficial for industries with complex products, services, or concepts that can be more effectively communicated through motion and sound.
  • While video ads require more time, resources, and skills to create, the potential return on investment can make this ad format a worthwhile endeavor. Remember, Meta’s Video Creation Kit can simplify the creation process.

Unpacking Meta Carousel Ads

Welcome to the world of carousel ads, the versatile middle child in our Meta Ads family. Carousel ads allow businesses to display multiple images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. Essentially, these ads provide a dynamic, interactive browsing experience right within Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

The multi-faceted nature of carousel ads offers two significant benefits. First, they can tell a more extended, cohesive story by sequencing images or videos. Second, they allow you to showcase various products or highlight different features of a single product, all within one ad. It’s like having a mini catalog at your audience’s fingertips!

While carousel ads require more effort to set up than image ads, the performance payoff is often significant. According to Meta, carousel ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click than single-image ads.

If you think that carousel ads might work for you, keep this in mind. Carousel ads are perfect for businesses with a wide range of products or services, such as e-commerce stores, car dealerships, or real estate agencies. E-commerce stores can display a variety of products, car dealerships can showcase various models, and real estate agencies can highlight multiple property listings, each with its own link leading to a detailed page.

Key Takeaways:

  • Carousel ads provide a versatile ad format that allows businesses to display multiple images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.
  • Despite requiring more setup effort, carousel ads can offer a significant performance payoff, often driving lower cost-per-conversion and cost-per-click than single-image ads.
  • Carousel ads are ideal for businesses with a wide range of products or services, as they can showcase multiple items or features within a single ad.

Discovering Meta Collection Ads

Last but certainly not least in our Meta Ads family, meet the collection ads — the innovative, quirky cousin that offers an immersive, mobile-optimized shopping experience right within the Meta app.

Collection ads are unique, combining a primary video or image with several smaller accompanying images in a grid-like layout. Users who click on the ad are taken to a full-screen, rich-media experience known as the Instant Experience. This immersive environment is mobile-optimized, enabling businesses to showcase their products in a visually compelling way that’s designed for easy browsing and shopping on mobile devices.

Before jumping in to create a collection ad, it’s important to understand that this process is more complex than setting up image or video ads. The process requires businesses to upload a product catalog to Meta and create an Instant Experience. Despite the added steps, collection ads’ interactive and immersive nature can lead to higher engagement and potentially better conversion rates than more basic ad types.

Collection ads are particularly advantageous for retail and e-commerce platforms, as they can showcase a catalog of products in a scrollable, immersive format. However, any business that aims to provide a rich and engaging mobile browsing experience may find value in this ad type.

Key Takeaways:

  • Collection ads offer an immersive, mobile-optimized shopping experience, combining a primary video or image with several smaller images.
  • While creating collection ads requires more complexity and resources, the potential for higher engagement and conversion rates can make it a valuable investment.
  • Collection ads are particularly beneficial for retail businesses and e-commerce platforms looking to showcase a catalog of products in a mobile-friendly format.

TNT Growth Can Help You Choose the Right Ad Type for Your Business!

Like pieces of a puzzle, each type of Meta Ad brings something unique to the table. Whether it’s the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of image ids, the dynamic storytelling capabilities of video ads, the multifaceted showcase of carousel ads, or the immersive mobile shopping experience of collection ads, each serves a particular purpose in the grand story of your advertising strategy.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to advertising. Your choice should align with your business type, marketing goals, budget, and, most importantly, your target audience’s preferences. And if you need some help along the way, we’ve got your back!

With over 10 years of experience in the digital advertising space, we know Meta Ads inside and out. Reach out to us to get your custom marketing plan today!