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 field of digital marketing grows, choosing the best paid social media ad for your business can get confusing.
In this post, 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 that you can choose from, for your next advertising campaign.
1. Image Ads
These are perhaps the most common types of social media ads.
Almost every social media platform supports image ads. You’ll find them on news feeds, sidebars, and banners.
They’re most powerful on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, where images are the prevalent form of content.
Image ads immediately grab the audience’s attention, which makes them great for creating awareness about 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 “Shop Now”.
To get the most out of these types of social media ads:
- Use high-quality images
- Keep text on the image to a minimum
- Try to match the style of content found in your posts, as it helps the audience associate the ad with your business faster
Here is an example of an image ad by Bluehost on Facebook.
2. Video Ads
Video is a powerful marketing tool. A study by Wyzowl shows it’s used by 86% of businesses.
The same study shows that people watch an average of 19 hours of video content every week.
This makes video ads one of the most effective types of social media ads.
Every major social media platform supports video ads. They are visually captivating, which makes them particularly effective in gaining the attention of your target audience. Apart from this, with the right SEO tactics, your video ads can also rank in the search engine results, leading to greater engagement and views.
Here is an example of an in-feed video ad on Facebook.
Social Media Video Specs Guide
For Image ads, it’s important to get the dimensions of the videos you publish right. It’ll provide a more pleasant viewing experience for your audience, which maximizes the total views, reach, and engagement.
An in-feed Facebook video ad, for instance, should have a resolution of 1080×1080 and an aspect ratio that’s between 9:16 to 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-feed 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.
Twitter video ad resolution 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 should have minimum dimensions of 640 x 360 and a maximum of 1920 x 1080. The aspect ratio should be 16:9.
- Square videos should be a minimum of 360 x 360 and a maximum of 1920 x 1920 with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
- Vertical video ads should be a minimum of 360 x 640, a maximum of 1080 x 1920, and an aspect ratio of 9:16.
Snapchat video ads should 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.
Ensure that your video ads can be understood without the sound on for two reasons:
- Most mobile users watch videos on social media with sound off.
- When a user has enabled auto-play, most videos will autoplay with the sound off.
Make sure that your video has a single powerful message. Short videos, preferably under one minute, tend to perform better. However, don’t be afraid to make it a little longer to convey a compelling message.
It’s best to leave this to a social media manager who’s a strategic communications expert as they’d know exactly how long a particular video should be to become compelling enough.
3. Carousel Ads
Carouselsocial media ads let you show multiple marketing videos and/or images in one ad. Each video or image can have a headline, 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 features of a product, tell a brand story, show behind-the-scenes shots, or any other product or promotion that fits.
Here is an example of a carousel ad showcasing the different services a school provides.
Facebook even supports an optimization feature where your best-performing carousels are displayed first. But if the cards have to follow a sequence to tell a story, opt out of this feature.
To use these types of social media ads effectively, ensure the images or ads you use in your carousel are visually similar to maintain consistency. Tie your images or videos to a landing page to generate leads.
4. Stories Ads
Story ads are supported on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. These allow you to advertise your products or services in between users’ Stories.
Here’s an example.
The short duration of Stories makes these types of social media ads ideal for time-sensitive promotions. Stories have higher visibility as they are at the top of users’ feeds, which makes them great 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 plays separate content, such as an image and video, within one ad
With Snapchat’s Story ads, you can reach your target audience in between content or on Snapchat’s Discover section using a branded tile. 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 a creator account. It’ll give you growth insights into your profile and help you learn the most effective advertising message for your Stories ads.
5. Message Ads
While most types of social media ads appear in a user’s news feed or Stories, Facebook Messenger ads and LinkedIn Sponsored InMail appear as a message.
Facebook Messenger ads appear in a user’s Chats tab in between their conversations. Here’s how that looks.
Interested users can tap on the ad and carry out an automated conversation with your brand. Or the message can redirect them to your product or service pages.
The best part about using the Messenger app is that you can restart conversations with warm leads that have turned cold or customers who’ve messaged your business in the past.
LinkedIn Sponsored InMail also lets you advertise through messages. But in this case, it goes to the 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 the leads who need to be messaged?
You can leverage a CRM to track your leads to determine which ones need to be targeted through these ads. Typically, they’re ones who haven’t been engaging much recently.
6. Collection Ads
Collection ads are among the best types of social media ads.
These ads include a cover photo or video, followed by smaller product images that show the details of your products’ or services’ pricing and features.
It’s a form of a storefront that allows your target audience to buy your products without leaving the social media platform. These ads nurture the users’ interest in your brand.
These types of social media ads are highly 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.
Ensure your collection ad provides an immersive and rich visual experience.
To know which types of ads are most suitable for your business, you need to generate social media reporting and hone in for better results.
Ready to Try Different Types of Social Media Ads?
Of course, not all 6 types of social media ads will be suitable for your business. Research your audience and choose the ones that you think will resonate with them.
Measure the performance of the ads to figure out the type that helps you meet your campaign objective and don’t be afraid to experiment.