Skip to main

6 Types of Social Media Ads That Drive Solid Results

Authors: Gaurav Sharma Gaurav Sharma
Posted Under: Social Media
Listen to this Article

6 Types of Social Media Ads That Drive Solid Results

We can all agree that an organic social media strategy is great, mainly for its cost advantage. But it also takes a lot of manpower and time to get your content in front of the right eyes.

After all, there’s just so much you need to do—from finding the right time to post on Instagram to selecting the appropriate hashtags. And even after all of that effort, there’s no guarantee that your content will reach a wide audience.

You can use the right Instagram schedulers to schedule your Instagram posting if you are not available on the right time to post on the Instagram platform.

Investing in different types of social media ads guarantees faster results. 

However, as the field of digital marketing grows, choosing the best paid social media ad for your business can get confusing.

In this post, you’ll find 6 different types of social media ads you should consider investing in to build brand awareness and increase conversions.

6 Types of Social Media Ads for Your Business

Here are 6 types of social media ads that you can choose from, for your next advertising campaign.

1. Image Ads

These are perhaps the most common types of social media ads.

Almost every social media platform supports image ads. You’ll find them on news feeds, sidebars, and banners.

They’re most powerful on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, where images are the prevalent form of content.

In image ads, you can use different types of graphs, charts, and other diagrams to increase engagement. Fortunately, you can create different types of graphs, charts, and diagrams using the right graph maker in a few minutes.

Image ads immediately grab the audience’s attention, which makes them great for creating awareness about your brand or a product. You can include a link to a specific page on your website on the ad or a call-to-action like “Shop Now”.

You should also use a logo maker to add your brand’s logo to those images in the ads. This can help improve your brand awareness and recall.

To get the most out of these types of social media ads:

  • Use high-quality images
  • Keep text on the image to a minimum
  • Try to match the style of content found in your posts, as it helps the audience associate the ad with your business faster

Here is an example of an image ad by Bluehost on Facebook.

Blue Host Image Ad Example
Image via Facebook


2. Video Ads

Video is a powerful marketing tool. A study by Wyzowl shows it’s used by 86% of businesses.

86% of businesses use video content
Image via Wyzowl

The same study shows that people watch an average of 19 hours of video content every week.

This makes video ads one of the most effective types of social media ads.

Every major social media platform supports video ads. They are visually captivating, which makes them particularly effective in gaining the attention of your target audience. For example, Marketers now are using videos as a shopping tool in live stream shopping events. The best available live-stream video shopping platforms are helping them to boost their sales in their live shopping events.

Marketers are now investing more in podcasts, webinars, and other video-based projects. Apart from this, with the right SEO tactics, your video ads can also rank in the search engine results, leading to greater engagement and views.

You could also partner with influencers for your video ads. All you have to do is leverage an Instagram engagement calculator and find an influencer in your niche who has good engagement. Then, you can partner with them to create an engaging video for your audience and maximize your ad’s reach.

Here is an example of an in-feed video ad on Facebook.

Wise in-feed video ad example
Image via Facebook

Social Media Video Specs Guide

For Image ads, it’s important to get the dimensions of the videos you publish right. It’ll provide a more pleasant viewing experience for your audience, which maximizes the total views, reach, and engagement.

In-feed Facebook ads, for instance, should have a resolution of 1080×1080 and an aspect ratio that’s between 9:16 to 16:9.

For Instagram, you can use:

  • 16:9 with your landscape video ads
  • 1:1 with square video ads
  • 4:5 with vertical videos

For TikTok ads, a resolution of 540×960, 640×64, or 960×540 is best. The aspect ratio can be 9:16, 1:1, or 16:9.

Twitter video ad resolution can be 1280×720 for landscape video ads, 720×1280 for portrait ads, and 720×720 for square ads. The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9 for landscape or portrait video ads and 1:1 for square video ads.

For LinkedIn video ads:

  • A landscape video should have minimum dimensions of 640 x 360 and a maximum of 1920 x 1080. The aspect ratio should be 16:9.
  • Square videos should be a minimum of 360 x 360 and a maximum of 1920 x 1920 with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
  • Vertical video ads should be a minimum of 360 x 640, a maximum of 1080 x 1920, and an aspect ratio of 9:16.

Snapchat video ads should be 1080 x 1920 with an aspect ratio of 9:16.

YouTube video ads can have a minimum dimension of 426 x 240 and a maximum of 3840 x 2160. The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9.

With the right video dimension, you can get better YouTube views for your YouTube video ads.

Ensure that your video ads can be understood without the sound on for two reasons:

  1. Most mobile users watch videos on social media with the sound off.
  2. When a user has enabled auto-play, most videos will autoplay with the sound off.

Make sure that your video has a single powerful message. Short videos, preferably under one minute, tend to perform better. However, don’t be afraid to make it a little longer to convey a compelling message. 

It’s best to leave this to a social media manager who’s a strategic communications expert as they’d know exactly how long a particular video should be to become compelling enough.

3. Carousel Ads

Carousel social media ads let you show multiple marketing videos and/or images in one ad. Each video or image can have a headline, description, link, and CTA.

These types of social media ads are most popular on Facebook and Instagram.

You can use carousel ads to advertise real estate, show different features of a product, tell a brand story, show behind-the-scenes shots, or any other product or promotion that fits.

Here is an example of a carousel ad showcasing the different services a school provides.

Moringa School carousel ad example
Image via Facebook

Facebook even supports an optimization feature where your best-performing carousels are displayed first. But if the cards have to follow a sequence to tell a story, opt out of this feature.

To use these types of social media ads effectively, ensure the images or ads you use in your carousel are visually similar to maintain consistency. Tie your images or videos to a landing page to generate leads.

4. Stories Ads

Story ads are supported on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. These allow you to advertise your products or services in between users’ Stories.

Here’s an example.

Stories ad example
Image via Facebook

The short duration of Stories makes these types of social media ads ideal for time-sensitive promotions. Stories have higher visibility as they are at the top of users’ feeds, which makes them great for building awareness.

Different Instagram Reels editing apps provide the right resolution and size of the videos as per the Instagram posting guidelines on the size, length, and resolution of the video ads to get better results.

An Instagram and Facebook Stories ad can be:

  • A video that plays for 15 seconds
  • A photo that plays for 5 seconds
  • A carousel that plays separate content, such as an image and video, within one ad

With Snapchat’s Story ads, you can reach your target audience in between content or on Snapchat’s Discover section using a branded tile. For the Discover section, you can have a collection of up to 20 images or videos.

To get the most out of these types of social media ads, make your Stories ads as interactive as possible.

Get a creator account. It’ll give you growth insights into your profile and help you learn the most effective advertising message for your Stories ads.

This is the right type of social ad that provides a good result from a small business social media marketing strategy campaign. Small businesses can create stories and promote them after editing them to make them more professional.

Also, you can leverage the right social media marketing software to schedule and promote these ads. This helps small businesses to get good results from these ads on social media platforms.

5. Message Ads

While most types of social media ads appear in a user’s news feed or Stories, Facebook Messenger ads and LinkedIn Sponsored InMail appear as a message.

Facebook Messenger ads appear in a user’s Chats tab in between their conversations. Here’s how that looks.

Facebook Messenger ad chat example
Image via Facebook


Interested users can tap on the ad and carry out an automated conversation with your brand. Or the message can redirect them to your product or service pages.

How Facebook Messenger Ad can redirect to Page
Image via Facebook


The best part about using the Messenger app is that you can restart conversations with warm leads that have turned cold or customers who’ve messaged your business in the past.

LinkedIn is another good social platform for video ads. Fortunately, you can leverage the best LinkedIn analytics tools to track the real-time metrics of your campaign.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail also lets you advertise through messages. But in this case, it goes to the users’ LinkedIn inboxes.

Here is an example.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail example
Image via LinkedIn

Keep your messages simple and direct to get the most out of these types of social media ads.

But how do you find the leads who need to be messaged?

You can leverage a CRM to track your leads to determine which ones need to be targeted through these ads. Typically, they’re the ones who haven’t been engaging much recently.

6. Collection Ads

Collection ads are among the best types of social media ads.

These ads include a cover photo or video, followed by smaller product images that show the details of your products’ or services’ pricing and features.

It’s a form of a storefront that allows your target audience to buy your products without leaving the social media platform.

These ads nurture the users’ interest in your brand and provide good results for your small business social media marketing campaigns.

These types of social media ads are highly effective on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

You can link each image to a separate URL.

Here is an illustration of how a collection ad appears on Instagram.

Instagram Collection ad example
Image via Facebook

Ensure your collection ad provides an immersive and rich visual experience.

To know which types of ads are most suitable for your business, you need to generate social media reporting and hone in for better results.

Pro Tip: Measuring the effectiveness of video ads is necessary and you can know real-time results by monitoring the metrics such as views, clicks, impressions, and engagements. The metrics of Video ads are quite similar to Google Ads key metrics. Ways of energumens or user action are quite different in both ads.

Ready to Try Different Types of Social Media Ads?

Of course, not all 6 types of social media ads will be suitable for your business. You can use these ads for marketing on different platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Research your audience and choose the ones that you think will resonate with them. 

Measure the performance of the ads to figure out the type that helps you meet your campaign objective and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Blog Banner Image

Get our best tips in your inbox! Join the smartest marketers who receive our ON newsletter.

Join the Social Pros LinkedIn Community

Join a community of real social pros doing social media on LinkedIn. Receive all the inspiration and ideas straight to your feed and add your thoughts to the conversation.

Follow Social Pros on LinkedIn

Subscribe to Social Pros Podcast

b2b influencer

Ready to Get Started?

I am looking for...