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June 10, 2024

Are Carousel Ads Effective for Local Advertisers?

Online display advertising is all about capturing the attention of the users, while they are not actively shopping for new products or services. This is hard to achieve, due to the lack of purchase intent, so marketers need to get creative and spark the attention of customers with stunning ad creatives. Thanks to the widespread adoption of social media, carousel ads have increased in popularity. In this article we will go over the pros and cons of these display ads from the perspective of local business advertisers.

Christian Scherbel
LInkedIn Logo

What are Carousel Ads?

A carousel ad is a single ad consisting of multiple images or videos (also known as cards), each one coming with its own headline, description, link and call to action. They are swipeable, making them super mobile-friendly and they let advertisers share multiple products or features at once. These ads are particularly popular on Facebook and Instagram offering a great way to interact with consumers. This format offers a visually engaging way to convey information, tell a story, or present a range of products or services to the audience.

Are they effective?

Social media users have developed the habit of scrolling past the widely adopted single image ads (the popular square images) and they are no longer as effective in grabbing the attention of consumers.

In fact, Meta reports that carousel ads have a click-through rate, which is 34% higher compared to single image ads and a 10% better conversion rate. This leads to 28% higher return on ad spend, proving they outperform their static competitors by a large margin.

How to Use Carousel Ads?

Sell Multiple Products in One Ad

Carousels are very effective for businesses selling physical goods. It lets you highlight multiple products you are offering and you have plenty of digital space to show their features and daily use.

Let’s say you are in the furniture business - you can create a sequence of your best-selling items that fit well together. For example, start with an image of a sofa, followed by cushions, carpets, chairs and a small coffee table.

Remember: consistency is key here! Make sure you select images that visually work well together. Their designs, colors and photo composition need to be similar or complement each other perfectly.


Who doesn’t like a good story, right? Storytelling is a creative way to encourage people to scroll through the carousel cards, making them eager to find out what comes next.

Imagine a local bakery using a storytelling approach in their social media campaigns. The first card showcases a mouthwatering picture of freshly baked bread, followed by an image that takes viewers to the bakery's cozy atmosphere. As users swipe through the carousel, they discover the story behind the bakery's family-owned tradition, with images of skilled bakers at work, sharing their passion and dedication. The narrative continues with shots of locally grown ingredients and the intricate process behind making pastry. The end of the story is reached with an image of a happy customer tasting a delicious dessert, captured alongside a panoramic view of the city. The final card presents a compelling call to action, inviting viewers to visit the bakery and experience the story in person, creating a powerful connection and driving foot traffic.

Promo Codes

Back in the days people used to buy magazines and newspapers anxious to cut out the promo codes for the local supermarket. We are currently living in an era of digital coupons with 40% of consumers reporting they use Facebook as a source for promo codes and discounts.

Don’t be too aggressive promoting your discount codes, but at the same time make sure they are easily accessible for the users, so that they don’t have to read a wall of text before they discover your offer. Think about your end goal using promo codes and how they fit in your marketing strategy. Maybe you want to give 20% off the initial purchase, so that you acquire new customers you can later retarget with additional products. An alternative would be to combine together items that will be out of fashion soon, like aging tech or clothes and market them to a wider audience of consumers.

Stimulate Interaction

Encouraging interaction on carousel ads is key to maximizing their effectiveness. To achieve this, consider implementing polls, quizzes, or questions within your carousel content. Post engaging queries related to your products or services, encouraging users to participate and to provide feedback.

Experiment with your call-to-actions – put a “Shop Now” or a “See More” button on your product cards or include a Google Maps preview of your business address with a “Get Directions” button.

Drawbacks of Carousel Ads

Creative Complexity

Crafting compelling and visually appealing content for each card within the carousel can be a time-consuming and a resource-intensive process. Most local business owners lack the expertise in photography, image editing and videography, making it challenging to produce visuals that stand out from the competition. Moreover, maintaining consistency in branding, messaging, and style across multiple cards requires careful planning, execution as well as some display advertising experience. To overcome these challenges, local advertisers may need to invest in professional help or spend more time and effort on content creation.

Unpredictable User Behavior

We design carousel ads with the mindset that people will click on the cards in exactly the same order and that they will pay attention to all of the headlines or call to actions we placed there. The reality is quite different – user behavior is often unpredictable. Since carousel ads rely on viewers swiping or clicking through multiple cards to engage with the content, not all users may follow the intended sequence or engage with all the cards. This variability in user behavior can present challenges for local advertisers as it means that some viewers may only see a portion of the content, potentially missing out on vital information related to the purchase. It underscores the importance of crafting each card to be individually impactful while also ensuring that the message flows coherently for users who engage with the entire carousel.

Ongoing Performance Monitoring

Dealing with carousel ads is not a one and done exercise. It involves ongoing tasks like monitoring and performance optimization of key metrics, such as click-through rates and conversion rates. This resource-intensive aspect of carousel ads necessitates not only time and effort but also a level of expertise in digital advertising analytics.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while carousel ads offer local advertisers a dynamic and engaging way to showcase multiple products or tell a compelling story, their success hinges on creativity and consistent monitoring. Pairing carousel ads with traditional banner ads can amplify their effectiveness. Banner ads draw initial attention, creating a broader awareness, while carousel ads engage viewers on a deeper level, offering detailed information and interactive experiences. This combination leverages the strengths of both formats, maximizing visibility and engagement, and driving higher conversions for local businesses.

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