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Swipe Right with Carousel Ads

I bet you have never stopped to wonder why some of our well known road signs in Australia (think of an image of a pedestrian crossing, or perhaps an outline of a kangaroo or koala) are images and not text. Of course they are images, you exclaim to yourself! If we are driving in our cars, we only have a few measly seconds to not only notice the road sign, but quickly interpret what the road sign is trying to tell us. Well, believe it or not, but it is this same frame of mind (quick, give me the information you’re trying to convey now) which we use when we engage with everyday marketing and advertising. Yep, our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller, which makes me wonder if Attention Deficit Disorder will even be considered a ‘disorder’ anymore, but rather a general behaviour adopted by the masses.

There is a reason we love mobile platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. We love visual! Reading?! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Turns out there is some serious data behind all of this and the marketing world is catching on. According to research presented in a Hubspot Infographic, all of this is due to the fact that our brains are ‘visually wired’ and seeing that we now receive five times more information than we used to compared to 1986, we need to find new and engaging ways to get people’s attention! Enter stage Facebook carousel ads.

It only makes sense that in this carousel world we live that we have carousel marketing too?! It seems Facebook has come to the same conclusion, but to be serious for a moment, there are some very clever reasons behind Facebook’s implementations of Carousel Ads, which have recently come to mobile too.

Facebook carousel ads allow advertisers to display a series of images and links in one ad format. They look like so:

Advertisers have the ability to be highly creative with this ad format as well. The swipe-right function can allow businesses to tell a story about their services or perhaps a range of products from their latest catalogue. You can include a Call-To-Action in the ad so that it is tailored to the imagery you choose. It makes the Carousel Ads appropriate for a range of marketing goals, from brand management to high intent Call-To-Actions.

What do you think has a higher likelihood of attracting conversions; an ad format purely made of copy, or a series of images with accompanying copy? If you picked the second option, you’d be right.  In fact, according to Christine Lu, a Solutions Engineer for Facebook, “advertisers have seen carousel ads drive 30 to 50% lower cost per conversion and 20 to 30% lower cost per click than single-image link ads”.

Depending on what your specific business goals are for using Carousel Ads, will also decide what types of imagery you use. If you’re trying to attract new customers, you are better off using ‘lifestyle imagery’, or if you’re trying to attract high-intent or returning customers, then use ‘product imagery’, according to Facebook. You can also find an array of design recommendations from Facebook so you’ll always be able to check if your chosen imagery and copy is going to match the ad format. On top of this, there is also a function to allow Facebook to optimise the order in which your images and links are shown in, depending on expected performance and engagement.

Swiping left-to-right has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon in the online world, and there is a scientific reasoning to this. For many Western cultures, we write from left-to-right, so it feels very natural. It’s why, for example, app-based dating tool Tinder has had enormous success with this ‘swipe-left-swipe-right’ notion. Swiping or moving right feels ‘right’ whereas swiping left feels ‘unnatural’. Jim Davies, who is an associate professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he is director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory, recently wrote a blog for Nautilis. In it he talks about the charm of Tinder and even makes the correlation between the app and heroes in theatre/film directing, seen to be moving right, are perceived as good by the audience.

So, want to get people to notice your ads? Then get visual! At SponsoredLinX, we can help you get there with our upcoming Optimise Webinar, ‘Facebook Revenue Raisers for Your Business’ which will occur at 10:30 am (AEST) on Wednesday 23rd September. You can register here. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 859 600 or visit our website. We hope you can join us!