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Facebook offers small business owners an unprecedented opportunity to reach your ideal target market with your message. With the right Facebook ad format, creative and offer, you can easily drive more foot traffic and website traffic to your business. Managed properly, your ad campaigns can yield incredible results, including generating more highly qualified prospects that convert into increased sales and profits.


If you are not optimizing all Facebook offers with its wide array of campaign objectives, targeting parameters, placements and ad formats, this article is for you. We’ll specificallyhone in on the best performing formats and placements.



Currently, there are over 80 million business pages on Facebook. Out of which, only six million use Facebook for advertising.


If you are among the 74 million businesses not taking advantage of Facebook ads, you likely fall into one of two camps:


      1. You’ve tried Facebook ads and were disappointed with the results. Perhaps you ran a few campaigns and didn’t get the ROI you were expecting. Thus, you’ve decided Facebook ads don’t work (for your business).
      2. You’ve never placed a Facebook ad and don’t really know where to start. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with all the options and afraid of losing money. And/or you may be hoping that your organic marketing strategy will pay off.



The good news: There’s never been a better time to start using Facebook ads to grow your business.


12 Facebook Ad Formats


Facebook offers the following 12 different ad formats for promoting your message to your target market. This list is in my recommended order for both best performing and level of complexity, from easiest to more complex.


  1. Video – Tell your story with sight, sound and motion. Show off product features, and draw people in. The auto-play movement catches people’s eye. Video is one of the best performing ad types as Facebook is giving high priority to video content in the News Feed.
  2. Image – Use a beautiful image to convey your message. Drive people to a destination website or app through high-quality visuals. Image ads with a link work really well on Instagram in particular, given it’s such a visual platform.
  3. Lead Generation – Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect contact information from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad. Facebook’s tagline for Lead Ads is, “Tap, tap, done.” It’s that simple for the user.
  4. Messenger – Get people to start conversations with your business. This format is particularly effective when you have a Messenger chatbot [BE2][GK3] hooked up to your Facebook Page. Plus, people seeing your ad don’t have to leave Facebook to interact with you. Well, they hop out to Messenger and then right back to scrolling through their Facebook feed!
  5. Slideshow – This ad format is a lightweight looping video of up to 15 seconds long, using between 3-10 of your own images or Facebook’s stock images available via Shutterstock. The simple slideshow format doesn’t take up as much streaming data to play, which helps to reach people across connection speeds.
  6. Carousel – This is a lovely format that allows you to showcase up to ten images and/or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. This format performs well on both Facebook and Instagram.
  7. Offers – Create a special discount to share with your customers on Facebook. You can design your offer ad to appear as an image, video, or carousel.
  8. Event Responses – Use this ad format to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. Event ads can be a single image or video. I recommend video.
  9. Collection – Encourage your prospects to shop by displaying a variety of items from your product catalog—customized for each individual. Definitely a more advanced ad format, and essential for ecommerce stores.
  10. Dynamic – Promote all the products in your catalog to the right people, automatically. Also incredibly effective for ecommerce stores.
  11. Canvas – This beautiful, immersive format lets people open a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad. I don’t see too many of this ad type; usually bigger brands put the time and effort needed into creating this format.
  12. Page Likes – I put this one last on purpose. If your Facebook Page is really new with not that many likes (fans), or you’ve reached a plateau in fan growth and wish to build your audience, then Page Likes ads could be a good choice. Page Likes ads can be with a video or an image. However, I will say that Page Likes ads should be a low priority in your marketing mix. It’s best to invest your advertising dollars to place your message in front of your exact target audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying to get more likes, and then paying again to reach them.


Small businesses should first focus on these 3 Facebook ad formats


If you are new to Facebook ads, the three formats I recommend focusing on for best performance are video, lead generation and Messenger.


For video ads, upload native video content to your wall first and also broadcast using Facebook Live. Then amplify reach with the Video Views objective. But, before you place your video ad (boost your video content) make sure you’ve included a strong call to action and a link, or Messenger button.


For almost all ad formats, you can include a link to drive people to your website to learn more about your business or special offer.


You’ll want to run many split tests when driving people off of Facebook. Ideally, send people to a very simple landing page with no extraneous buttons. Just a clean, simple offer to sign up with their name/email/phone number or to make a purchase. Make sure you have Facebook Pixel installed on your landing pages.


To learn from real businesses of all sizes generating amazing results with their Facebook ads, visit Facebook’s Success Stories.


In future articles, I’ll be walking you through additional aspects of how to get solid results with Facebook ads.



About Mari Smith



Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here


Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

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