Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Types

  • December 15, 2018

Facebook has been a godsend for business owners. This platform allows them to engage with their audience and to do some effective advertising to boot.

However, advertising on Facebook isn’t exactly the easiest thing to manage. That’s why most companies that have the funds would rather hire a team of marketing experts than to do it themselves.

Guesswork and trial and error when it comes to Facebook advertising is bound to just lose you a lot of money in the long run. With more than 1,300 targeting options available, it’s hard to match those up with specific objectives and formats. This is going to be a full-time occupation.

Before you invest in a marketing strategy for Facebook, you have to understand your options, what you might expect should your ads succeed or fail, and what to do if it does. Here, we’ll explain the basics and offer some helpful tips that you could use to improve your strategy.

First, we have to distinguish ad objectives from ad formats. Business owners have the tendency to think that they’re one and the same. Incorrect.

Ad objectives pertain to what you want to achieve. On the other hand, the ad format is what your ad looks like. This is where some forms of creativity come in.


facebook ad types


The different Facebook ad objectives

The key thing to note here is that Facebook directs your ads to users who will mostly likely complete the objective you selected. So choosing the right objective determines whether or not your ads will reach your target audience.

The three main Facebook ad objectives are awareness, consideration, and conversions.

Notice that each of them is has the purpose of addressing a consumer at every stage of the sales funnel.

This was done deliberately. Facebook designed its whole advertising system to meet a consumer at key points during the buyer’s cycle.

Identifying your buyer’s position in the sales funnel will make what objective you should choose to become apparent.

Now, those three main objectives branch out into 15 smaller objectives. These are what you’re going to be choosing from when you’re creating your ad.

15 Facebook ad micro-objectives


If your company is just starting out with Facebook advertising, the first step is to get your name out there. With over 1.8 billion Facebook users who visit the site per month, it’s safe to assume that the majority of those users have not even heard of your company.

This is where the sales funnel starts. First, you have to build an awareness and spark up some interest in whatever product or service your company is offering.

This is the perfect way for you to be discovered. With these type of ad, you can tell your audience what your company is about, how it came to be, and what you believe in. Think of this is your introduction.

These might sound like very grand concepts, but it’s important to establish this connection very early in on within the sales funnel. Sales ride on your reputation and how well your customer knows you and whether or not they can trust your brand.

The types of awareness ads that you can use are:

  • Brand Awareness – gets your brand name out there for more recognition
  • Local Awareness – makes it easier to find your local business (depends heavily on the user’s location and how close it is to your business)
  • Reach – boosts your ad and shows it to as many potential customers as possible (not available to everyone at all times)

The right way to use awareness ads

As the name implies, awareness ads are used to gain some visibility so that potential customers might find you. They’re perfect for establishing a base audience – people who consistently follow your brand and would want to stay updated.

For business owners, the right move here is to invest in a creative team or, at the very least, freelancers who specialize in the creative aspect of marketing.

This is where you need to grab people’s attention, so high-quality infographics is a must. All the imagery to be used should pop, meaning they should be memorable and be able to unload a lot of information all at once without being convoluted or overbearing.

These are usually made in the form of photos and short videos. People respond more to visual things, so it’s best to invest in a design team that knows what they’re doing.

TIP: A cost effective way to test ads by showing them to an unsuspecting employee who falls under your target audience. Ask for feedback in an hour or more and see whether the imagery sticks.


facebook ad formats



The next part of the sales funnel is where you want potential customers to have your business in mind, so that they might want to look up more information about your products or services.

Consideration ads are the perfect way to link to the content you have on your site or on your app. These include blog posts, video content, and promotional coupons and newsletters.

The types of consideration ads you can use are:

  • Site traffic – gain more traffic to your website by directing users to any page within the site
  • Engagement – build a community with your audience by having them participate
  • Page Likes – get them to like your Facebook page
  • Offer Claims – give them incentives
  • Event Responses – get them to be part of company events
  • Post Engagement – have them post comments and give feedback on your posts
  • Video Views – increase the number of views you get with video content
  • App Installs – encourage people to download and install your app on their mobile devices and tablets
  • Messenger Ads – send automated ads posed as messages through the messenger feature
  • Lead Generation – use a lead form that users can fill out to gain new leads

The right way to use awareness ads

This is where keeping track of analytics is useful. Identify your content that gains the most traffic. Improve on it and keep replicating it. Lead potential buyers towards that content through attention-grabbing infographics.

Make offers as appealing as possible. Gain more leads by creating a lead generation form to get more people on your mailing list.

TIP: Having high quality images is a given if you want people to click on your ads. A more useful tip is to optimize your website to get faster loading times. Most users close landing pages that don’t load quickly enough.


This is the last leg of the sales funnel. Here is where you drive your customers to action and convince them once and for all that your products or services are worth purchasing.

These ads include links that direct the user to a page about a specific product or to your online store. These also include forms for them to fill out to register for events.

The types of conversion ads you can use are:

  • Conversions – directing a user to your website where they can perform an action (register, subscribe, claim offer)
  • Store visits – directing a user straight to your store (not available to everyone at all times)
  • Product catalog sales – direct the user to make a purchase

The right way to use conversion ads

Conversion ads are used alongside with Facebook’s version of “cookies” – the pixel. Like cookies, it’s a line of code that remains in the user’s browser to track their online activity without storing sensitive information.

This allows you to remarket to whoever visits your site. So we recommend that you link conversion ads to pages that display your goals.

TIP: To reach the most amount of people with your conversion ads, let Facebook do the work for you and keep your target fairly broad. Once there is a data to interpret, you can then plan your strategy accordingly.


different types of facebook ads


The different Facebook Ad formats

It’s important to note that you only have a limited window where you can sustain people’s attention. That’s excluding the fact that leaving an impression is a separate thing altogether.

This is why selecting the right ad format on Facebook determines how successful your ad campaign is going to be.

7 Facebook Ad formats


According to Facebook, there has been a 50% growth in watch time on Facebook. So you would do well to take advantage of this piece of information and invest in good video marketing techniques. This is the online version of a commercial.

The ad objectives that are compatible with video ads are:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness
  • Traffic
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Conversions
  • Video Views

TIP: It’s 30% more likely that users will watch a video on Facebook if it posted locally, meaning videos that are uploaded directly on Facebook, not videos linked from other video sharing platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.


This is simplest ad you post on Facebook. This should be a high quality image along with a call to action and usually a link to a conversion page.

The ad objectives that are compatible with photo ads are:

  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness
  • Traffic
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation

TIP: The most effective photo ad is one that evokes feeling or tells a story. This is main way that a photo ad can make a good impression. People are less likely to respond to generic stock photos than with content that was specifically made by a marketing team for the specific purpose of driving in more traffic.


There are two ways you can post a slideshow ad – through video form or by creating an actual slideshow with Facebook’s slideshow creation tool.

Facebook has made sure to give marketers the option to spruce up their slideshows with branded templates, text and image overlays, and background music.

The benefit of using a slideshow is that you can walk your audience through a story.

The ad objectives that are compatible with slideshow ads are:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness
  • Traffic
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Conversions
  • Video Views

TIP: Pay attention to which order you use your photos in a slideshow. Place the more engaging ones up front. Also, make sure you select the very best one for the thumbnail. This has a lot to do with a user making up his/her mind about watching the video in the first place.


Canvas ads are essentially tiny websites. They take up the whole screen of your mobile device and they are fully interactive, making them very engaging ads.

These are within Facebook, so users who are not likely to click on an ad because they don’t want to be directed anywhere else should find this type of ad entertaining and hassle-free.

The ad objectives that are compatible with canvas ads are:

  • Traffic
  • Brand Awareness

TIP: It’s very important for your canvas ad to have a clean and easily navigable layout. Don’t treat it like a mood board and stay away from unwanted elements like tacky or flashy GIFS and CTA buttons.


different types of ad campaigns



The best part about dynamic product ads is that your ads will be shown to people who have expressed an interest in a product or service you’re offering without ever having to have visited your website.

As long as you build your catalog and set the parameters for it, Facebook will find an apt audience for it.

The ad objective that is compatible with dynamic product ads is:

  • Product Catalog Sales

TIP: It’s a smart move to invest in high quality images of your products. People will not find your company trustworthy if you present your products without much effort. For instance, on eBay, people are not likely to buy an item if the seller posts low res photos of it taken with an old phone.

Also, make sure that your catalog is constantly updated to avoid broken links and inconsistent pricing.


Carousel ads expand as multiple pictures and links in one ad. This is perfect if you don’t have a shortage of great photos of your products.

This could also be useful in terms of telling micro-stories. For example, you can post photos from a company event this way.

The ad objectives that are compatible with carousel ads are:

  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation

TIP: Avoid having redundant photos in carousel ads. If one of these ads is about one specific product, then make sure you have photos that expound on different angles.


types of facebook ads 2017



When people click on a lead form ad, they are directed to a form that you have previously customized. This is to get contact information from them, so you can send them deals and updates.

The ad objective that is compatible with lead form ads is:

  • Lead Forms

TIP: The most important piece of info to gather from potential customers and loyal customers alike are their email addresses. Having people subscribed to your mailing list is the cheapest and one of the most effective ways you can gain leads and, hopefully, sales.

Investing in a Facebook ad creative team: your next best decision

Advertising on Facebook can be a tedious and complicated endeavor. However, when done correctly, the benefits outweigh the trouble and the funds you invest into it.

For a business owner, all this can be quite overwhelming. It’s best to hire a team of creatives who can optimize every single element that goes into a great Facebook marketing strategy.

We’re that team. Contact us today and we can talk about how you can get the best out of Facebook advertising.


One of our experts is online, she will get back to you

Tanya Mendes

Marketing Manager