We can all agree that an organic social media strategy is great, mainly for its cost advantage. But it also takes a lot of manpower and time to get your content in front of the right eyes.
Investing in different types of social media ads guarantees faster results.
However, as the domain of digital marketing grows, choosing the best paid social media ad for your business can be confusing.
In this article, you’ll find 6 different types of social media ads you should consider investing in to build brand awareness and increase conversions.
6 Types of Social Media Ads for Your Business
Here are 6 types of social media ads you can choose from for your next ad campaign.
1. Picture ads
These are perhaps the most common types of social media ads.
Almost all social media platforms support image ads. You’ll find them on newsfeeds, sidebars, and banners.
They are most powerful on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, where images are the most common form of content.
Image ads grab the public’s attention immediately, making them ideal for building awareness of your brand or a product. You can include a link to a specific page on your website on the ad or a call to action like “Buy Now”.
To get the most out of these types of social media ads:
- Use high quality images
- Keep the text on the image to a minimum
- Try to match the style of content found in your posts, as this helps the audience associate the ad with your business more quickly.
Here is an example of an advert illustrated by Bluehost on Facebook.
Video is a powerful marketing tool. A study of Wyzowl shows that it is used by 86% companies.
The same study shows that people watch an average of 19 hours of video content each week.
This makes video ads one of the most effective types of social media ads.
All major social media platforms support video ads. They are visually captivating, which makes them particularly effective in grabbing the attention of your target audience. Apart from that, with the good SEO tacticsyour video ads can also rank in search engine results, leading to increased engagement and views.
Here is an example of an in-feed video ad on Facebook.
Social Media Video Specs Guide
For image ads, it is important to clearly define the dimensions of the videos you publish. This will provide a more enjoyable viewing experience for your audiencewhich maximizes total views, reach, and engagement.
An in-app Facebook video ad, for example, must have a resolution of 1080×1080 and an aspect ratio between 9:16 and 16:9.
For Instagram, you can use:
- 16:9 with your landscape video ads
- 1:1 with square video ads
- 4:5 with vertical videos
For TikTok in-app ads, a resolution of 540×960, 640×64, or 960×540 is best. The aspect ratio can be 9:16, 1:1 or 16:9.
The resolution for Twitter video ads can be 1280×720 for landscape video ads, 720×1280 for portrait ads, and 720×720 for square ads. The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9 for landscape or portrait video ads and 1:1 for square video ads.
For LinkedIn video ads:
- A landscape video must have minimum dimensions of 640 x 360 and maximum of 1920 x 1080. The aspect ratio must be 16:9.
- Square videos should be a minimum of 360 x 360 and a maximum of 1920 x 1920 with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
- Vertical video ads must be a minimum of 360×640, a maximum of 1080×1920 and an aspect ratio of 9:16.
Snapchat video ads must be 1080 x 1920 with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
YouTube video ads can have a minimum dimension of 426 x 240 and a maximum of 3840 x 2160. The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9.
Make sure your video ads can be understood without sound for two reasons:
- Most mobile users watch videos on social media without sound.
- When a user has enabled autoplay, most videos will play automatically without sound.
Make sure your video has one powerful message. Short videos, preferably less than a minute, tend to perform better. However, don’t be afraid to make it a bit longer to convey a compelling message.
This is best left to a social media manager who is a strategic communication expert because they would know exactly how long a particular video should be to become compelling enough.
3. Carousel Ads
Social media carousel ads allow you to display multiple video marketing and/or images in a single ad. Each video or image can have a title, description, link and CTA.
These types of social media ads are most popular on Facebook and Instagram.
You can use carousel ads to advertise real estate, show different product features, tell a brand story, show behind-the-scenes photos, or any other product or promotion that works for you.
Here is an example of a carousel ad showing the different services offered by a school.
Facebook even supports an optimization feature where your top performing carousels are displayed first. But if the cards need to follow a sequence to tell a story, disable this feature.
To use these types of social media ads effectively, make sure the images or ads you use in your carousel are visually similar to maintain consistency. Link your images or videos to a landing page generate leads.
4. Story Ads
Story ads are supported on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. These allow you to advertise your products or services between user stories.
Here is an example.
The short duration of stories makes these types of social media ads ideal for time-sensitive promotions. Stories have higher visibility because they are at the top of users’ feeds, making them ideal for building awareness.
An Instagram and Facebook Stories ad can be:
- A video that plays for 15 seconds
- A photo that plays for 5 seconds
- A carousel that serves separate content, such as an image and a video, in the same ad
With Snapchat Story ads, you can reach your target audience between content or in the Discover section of Snapchat using a branded thumbnail. For the Discover section, you can have a collection of up to 20 images or videos.
To get the most out of these types of social media ads, make your Stories ads as interactive as possible.
Get to creator account. This will give you insight into your profile growth and help you learn the most effective advertising message for your Stories ads.
5. Advertising messages
While most types of social media ads appear in a user’s News Feed or Stories, Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads appear as a message.
Facebook Messenger ads appear in a user’s Chats tab between their conversations. Here’s what it looks like.
Interested users can tap the ad and conduct an automated conversation with your brand. Or the message may redirect them to your product or service pages.
The best part about using the Messenger app is that you can restart conversations with warm prospects who have gone cold or customers who have messaged your business in the past.
LinkedIn Sponsored InMail also lets you advertise through messages. But in this case, it goes to users’ LinkedIn inboxes.
Here is an example.
Keep your messages simple and direct to get the most out of these types of social media ads.
But how do you find leads that need to be sent?
You can take advantage of a RCMP to track your prospects to determine which ones should be targeted through these advertisements. Typically, these are the ones who haven’t engaged much recently.
6. Collection announcements
Collection ads are some of the best types of social media ads.
These ads include a cover photo or video, followed by smaller product images that show pricing and feature details for your products or services.
It is a form of storefront that allows your target audience to buy your products without leaving the social media platform. These ads fuel user interest in your brand.
These types of social media ads are very effective on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
You can link each image to a separate URL.
Here is an illustration of how a collection ad appears on Instagram.
Make sure your collection listing provides an immersive and rich viewing experience.
To find out which ad types are best for your business, you need to generate social media reports and fine tune for best results.
Ready to try different types of social media ads?
Of course, not all 6 types of social media ads will work for your business. Research your audience and pick the ones you think will resonate with them.
Measure Ad performance to determine which type helps you achieve your campaign goal, and don’t be afraid to experiment.