Should I Use Different Ad Formats for Different Objectives?

Last Updated April 26, 2021

With social media advertising becoming more and more efficient and targeted every day, we’re often left to wonder what little details we can tweak to make a massive difference for the visibility of a brand. 

One of the factors that can help your campaign objectives are ad formats. Some of the ad formats that you may be used to interacting with across social media platforms include:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • First view ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Instant experience ads
  • Collection ads

But does one ad format rule them all?


Mixing up ad formats can benefit your brand. By using various methods to communicate your current campaign, you’re able to increase brand perception positively by 8 percent

Ad formats shouldn’t necessarily be selected simply because they look better or it’s your personal preference. Instead they should be chosen according to the objective you’ve set. Some ad format types are more finely tuned to different objectives and audiences. 

Let’s take a look.

The Ad Format that Boosts Awareness

Trying to get your foot through the door? 

If you’re at a stage in your business where you want top-of-funnel audiences to recognize your brand, or perhaps you’ve launched a new product that you want to raise awareness, your priority should be: impressions and reach.

This is where it gets a bit tricky. Your unique views (impressions) are driven by whether or not your ads were engaging to target audiences. 

In a perfect world, an ad would go viral, right? With hundreds of thousands of viewers sharing your content it makes sense that you would be getting more out of your ad spend. However, to be realistic, not every (or any) of your ads can go viral and quality is hardly a factor in anything going viral at all. So you should never formulate their strategy relying on that. 

Instead, you should focus on using ad formats that are best suited to increase awareness, that consistently get good impressions and engagement. In most cases, that means video ads

Video ads regularly achieve higher engagement rates, and can be extremely effective at persuading audiences to interact with your ad. 

Ad Formats that Convince your Customer to Buy

In order to convert customers you have to make sure that you are also driving traffic of the right leads. These two ad formats have been proven to help drive conversions. 

A carousel ad is perfect for driving high-intent traffic to your site. The ads stand out and lead directly to a product that a user clicks on, making their journey short and easy. 

Carousel ad example

Video ads are also a great tool for conversions as people get invested and often check out your website. A video format also allows a brand to relay all the necessary information that it needs to give out in order to convince a customer of their unique selling point.

Ad Format vs. Ad Objective: What’s More Important? 

At the end of the day, ad formats are very relevant to what your campaign is trying to achieve. However, you cannot drive a social media advertising campaign solely on what format you pick.

For example, if you pick image ads you must imbed it with a witty copy to captivate audiences. A video has to be relevant and informative, not confusing or off-putting. The ad format is just a piece of the puzzle...if you get the other pieces wrong, viewers will dismiss your ads without a second thought. 


Whatever ad format you’re using, it’s crucial that you have Pixels set up so that you can retarget the people who may have seen your top-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel ads. Without your Pixel set up properly, you’re basically working on that same puzzle with missing pieces you’ll never get back.

As always, finding the best ad format for your objectives is a matter of experimentation and iteration. As you set up your campaigns, consider which ad formats you want to test with different objectives. Best practices are only as good as the results you get from them!

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