Facebook carousel ads: Tell a story to your customers through images and video in a single advertising unit

We are living in the world where mobile is eating out everything. Our favourite moves are swipe, scroll and pinch.

Facebook created carousel ads by keeping the swipe behaviour pattern in mind.

The mobile real estate is small. Hence there is a limitation in showcasing what you want, but though carousel ads you can tell your 10 slides long story in single post and without caring about screen size.

What are the Carousel ads?

The Facebook carousel ads format enables you, across both Facebook and Instagram, to show 5-10 images or video, headlines, and links or calls to action in a single ad unit.

facebook carousel ads

Pic Credit: advertisemint.com

carousel ads 1

According to a new report, carousel ads are 10 times better at getting people to click through compared to static sponsored posts on Facebook,

The carousel ads, which let brands show multiple images and ultimately a link to some action, are driving 10 times more traffic to advertisers’ websites, according to data compiled by Kinetic Social, a social marketing tech firm. The report looked at ad trends over the past three months, according to the campaigns that pass through its platform.

LOVOO found that they got a 72%higher click-through rate versus single image mobile app ads. 

3 Reasons why carousel ads work better?

a) Swiping Vs Scrolling

Carousel ads SWIPE OR SCROLL_

Image Credit: http://garciamedia.com

An experiment was conducted (N = 252) to inform this issue by investigating whether and how adding the swiping functionality to a tap-only mobile website influences users’ intentions to use the website.

The data revealed that the addition of swiping technique positively affected behavioural intentions to use the website. Perceived enjoyment was a key variable that explained this effect. These findings have design implications for mobile websites.

Scrolling is a blind movement which you learned from a time of period but the swiping create a hyperactive pleasing experience.

Google experiment showed that it is faster to switch web pages in the Cards interface compared to the Pages interface. A reason for this is that the Cards interfaces shows at least 3 to 4 visible web pages at once, depending on the position of the current selected web page in the stack of cards.

As such, if the web page was immediately visible it could immediately be selected. Whereas, in the Pages interface a user would have to swipe to the web page they wished to selected and then select it. Therefore, the Cards interface required less interaction than the Pages interface and was hence faster to select web pages.

b) Similar to Shopping experience

You shop online or offline, your typical behaviour of scanning the products is horizontal. We simply first swipe our eyes left to right or vice versa.

This particular behaviour match in Facebook carousel ads.

c) Varied Targeting in one go

Your customers interact differently to your brand, depending on who they are and how they feel.

When you are able to use the multitude of images/videos, captions and call to actions in one ad, you simply able to target multiple personas in one go.

FB Carousel ads Example

3 Ways you can use Facebook Carousel Ads

a) Gamification

You can design challenge, offer or game around ten random pics. Where you can simply create lucky offers which could be revealed at landing pages.

You may get a huge amount of curiosity-driven engagements.

b) Tell a story

You can tell stories in multiple ways through the images. Here see the storytelling carousel examples.

Facebook carousel ads format

Facebook carousel storytelling


facebook carousel ads - template

There are many ways to tell stories through carousel ads. You can imagine and create. If you are looking for inspiration, go do Google image search, you will find many extraordinary carousel ads which you can replicate for your business.

c) Content gateway

You are doing content marketing or want to expose existing deep content of your site to the user. Carousel ads can do wonders.

You can promote 10 web pages or articles in a single go.

How to make organic carousel post on facebook?

It is not mandatory that you have to do carousel ads only to show multiple images in a single go. You can do it in a normal post too.

If you have og: image tag in the blog or business website then Facebook will preselect the image. Though it is not the very efficient way because you will need to tell customise story through your post.

You can follow the following process…

Step 1. Paste the link, Automatic Images will be populated in carousel form. If you have less image on the page then you have to add manually.



Step 2. You can have unique customised headlines too. Just click the cursor on the headline (Yellow Marked in pic).


facebook carousel ads 3

Step 3. Add your desired matching landing pages. Just click on link icon and put your destination URL.


organic carousel facebook post1


Done !

facebook carousel ads 4

How to create Facebook Carousel Ads?

I assume you have a basic idea about the Facebook campaign and adset creation through Advert Manager or Facebook Power Editor. If no, then please put your request in the comment box.

I will define that.

Facebook gives more than 13 ad objectives but right now the following objectives can be fulfilled through carousel ads.

  1. App Install
  2. Brand Awareness
  3. Conversion
  4. Reach
  5. Store Visit
  6. Traffic

[ Note: I prefer to manage Facebook Ads through Power Editor instead of Advert Manager. ]

Lets Start..

Facebook give Following Recommendations for Carousel Image and Video Ads.

Carousel Image Ads Recommendations

  • Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1.9:1
  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 30 characters
  • Your image should include minimal text. See how the amount of text in your ad image will impact the reach of your ad

Carousel Video Ads Recommendations

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 Characters
  • News Feed description: 30 characters
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1
  • Video: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
  • Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading moov atom, no edit lists
  • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred

Technical Requirements

  • Caption length text: Text only, max 2,200 characters
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1 / 1.33:1 / 4:3 / SDTV, 1.375:1 / film, 1.77:1 / 16:9 / HDTV, 1.85:1 / Film, 2:39:1 or 2:40:1 / Widescreen / 9:16, no pillar boxing or letter boxing
  • Length: 120 minutes max
  • Thumbnail image ratio: Should match the aspect ratio of your video. Your thumbnail image may not include more than 20% text. See how much text is on your image.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1 landscape) / 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • File Size: Up to 4GB max
  • Frames: 30fps max
  • Bitrate: No limit to bitrate file if you’re using two pass encoding, as long as long as your file doesn’t exceed 1 GB. Otherwise, 8 megabits per second for 1080p and 4 megabits per second for 720p.


Now learn to create your carousel

Step 1: As I said earlier that I use power editor to create Facebook ads as it gives a higher level of control.

Open your Facebook power editor and click on create a new campaign. You can create ads with any of aforementioned objectives, but here let’s have a demo with traffic option. 🙂


Facebook Carousel Ads-Power Editor

Step 2: You have to set the adset where you define your target, budget, bidding options and campaign duration etc., I have explained that in Facebook Mobile App Install Campaign and Facebook Lead Generation campaigns posts.

You should take leverage of full-length targeting options too.

Carousel ads creation

Step 3: Now click on ads tab.

Select arrow pointing option [ Ad with multiple images or videos in carousel ]

creating carousel ad

Step 4: Now you have the flexibility to compose your carousel ads.

  1. You can manually put your image video or link
  2. Automatically fill carousel with image from website (If your web page has multiple images and you want to use those then it is the easiest way)
  3. You can put some compelling text communication

You have two options where you can get your user landed

4. Website or  5. On Facebook Messenger

6. Last card could be added automatically with your FB profile pic.

creating carousel ad2

Step 5: Here you can manually select your image card and you can crop it also for best displays.

creating carousel ad3

Step 6: And finally you can have call-to-action button of your choice.

Further, you can add your choice of Headlines and description.

In last save the changes, it will go for Facebook automated approval and within 24 hours your Facebook carousel ad will be live. (In normal case if everything all right it takes just 15 min to get approved)

You are done.

I have mentioned earlier that you can have up to 10 carousel cards but it has little term & condition.

a) If you have from 3 to 5 elements available, you can select the element order

b) If you have from 3 to 10 elements, you have to leave on Facebook to optimise for the best elements.

Facebook official advisory for carousel ads

Before creating ads in the carousel format, consider:

  • What makes your business unique? Have confidence in what makes you different and use carousel ads to highlight it.
  • What’s the best way to represent the objective you’re trying to achieve? Do you want to sell one product or multiple products? Or do you want to educate customers about your brand and offerings more generally?

You can use the carousel format to:

  • Feature multiple products that link to different landing pages. Give customers more options and help raise your click-through rate.Facebook Carousel Ads01
  • Highlight multiple features of a single product. Show different product angles or details to better inform customers.

    Carousel-Ads multiple feature

  • Tell a story. Use images and/or videos in succession to illustrate a compelling narrative.

    carousel ads 2

  • Explain a process. Walk people through how your business works step-by-step.

    process carousel ads

    GIF source: Buffer.com

  • Sell the benefits. If you don’t sell physical goods, use images and/or videos that show the benefits or results of becoming a customer.


Creative Tips to get best out of your carousel

best form of carousel ads

  • Use all the available components of the carousel format to tell your story. The images and/or videos are what grab people’s attention, but don’t ignore snappy headlines, descriptions and calls-to-action that give context, detail and encouragement.
  • Use images and/or videos that are cohesive and engaging. Take images and/or videos from the same shoot or that feel similar to each other (ex: same color schemes), contain less than 20% of text, and are 600 x 600 pixels (or a ratio of 1:1). Use the Grid Tool to make sure they’ll be approved
  • Consider your audience. Use product imagery when targeting people who have visited product pages on your website. Reach prospective customers with lifestyle imagery.
  • In most cases, show the best-performing carousel cards first. One of the benefits of the carousel format is that you can test multiple pieces of creative at once and order them based on performance. Then you can replace or remove low-performing carousel cards. However, if you’re using the format to tell a sequential story or as a canvas for one long image, make sure you opt out of the automatic optimisation feature when you create the ad.
  • Decide how to best associate each carousel card with a landing page. If you’re a large business with a large inventory, you may want to take people who click on a carousel card with a specific product on it to the page where they can buy that exact product. If you’re a smaller business with a smaller inventory, you may want to take people who click on a carousel card to the page with all your products in that category (ex: If a carousel card features a women’s top, it could send people to a page that showcases all the women’s tops you sell).
  • Get inspired. Check out creative ways other advertisers have used the carousel format to get ideas for your own campaign.

Test the Effectiveness of the Carousel Format

To get a good idea of how the carousel format can help boost the performance of a campaign, you can run a test:

  1. Create two ad sets in one campaign. One should have three to five ads with different images and/or videos in the single image or video format. The other should have an ad in the carousel format containing those same three to five images and/or videos.
  2. Ensure that everything about the ad sets is as similar as possible. They should have identical budgets, bids, targeting and landing pages.
  3. Run the campaign.
  4. Create an insights report and compare the metrics relevant to you for each ad set.

Check AdExpresso post on Facebook A/B test.

Some inspiring Facebook Carousel Ad Examples


You can find a huge bank of varieties of best facebook carousel ads and post examples here.

There is a catch, You have to be careful

It is not that much simple that you will create your carousel ads and it will perform like a super sonic missile. Many people have bad experience too.

Scott Beckman from the digital marketing agency, FiveFifty,  had shared their experience with carousel ads.

“Generally, we’ve seen them perform at a higher cost for fewer interactions than other advertising options on Facebook. We do still recommend them in some cases, though: we find that they work best as retargeting campaigns, targeting people that have previously been to a site, using the products they looked at in the creative. Our sense is that, since Facebook is primarily an up-down network, the side-to-side nature of carousel ads is a deterrent unless the creative is particularly compelling.”

Nedalee Thomas, the CEO of  Chanson alkaline water  has even worst experience, she says that getting people click on your ad is not enough.

I would suspect that for low cost clothing carousel ads would work. However, my company Chanson Water USA inc just tried two sets of carousel Facebook ads that did not drive 1 sale. The ads averaged 0.19 cents a click which is very reasonable. I targeted people who had income to afford my products that were known online buyers, home owners intermeshed in health. Each set of ads showed 5 products with the prices. The first 5 products were on sale $500 off and were high end products. The second set of ads featured products that were in the $200 to $750 range. Between the two ads, which already showed the product and price, 3,000 people clicked to find out more but not one purchased.”

I had only intention to share those experiences to make you careful while creating an ad. You should create and test first then take the decision to go full throttle carousel ad campaigns.


The Facebook news feed is highly competitive nowadays. You have to work hard to differentiate yourself from others. For breaking the news feed clutter and getting attention, I recommend you to give a try to Facebook carousel ads and post.

Over to you………

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