Choosing the Right Facebook and Instagram Ad Types For Your Goals

These days, Facebook and Instagram feeds are a sea of video and image content, from cat gifs to reality show memes, prank and dance challenge videos, to personal memoirs on the struggles of everyday life. Everywhere you look, someone wants your attention and wants to be heard.  Amidst all that content, it’s tough to break through with your messaging, and there are limits to the audiences you can organically reach. Paid advertising can be a great bridge to connect you with the right audience, and drive results that are meaningful for your business. In order to ensure your ad creative is impactful, however, it should be tailored to your business goals. 

With the myriad of ad types available within Facebook’s ad manager, it can be difficult to determine which option is best suited to expand your reach, drive sales, and meet your specific business goals. Here at Gupta, we launch thousands of campaigns per month, and have developed a keen eye for which ad types are most effective for each business case. We hope this guide can help you make a decision that benefits your business and drives your success. 

Identify the key metrics (KPIs) you’re trying to influence

Before you can understand which ad types are best, start by identifying your main objective, and then select one or two key metrics to measure that relates back directly to that objective. This will help you to narrow in on the Facebook or Instagram ad types that will best help you move the needle on those key metrics. 

Main Business GoalSuggested KPISBest Fit Ad Types 
Awareness Reach, Impressions, CPM, Video Views, CPVVideo Ads, Instant Experiences
Selling ProductsRevenue, Return on Ad Spend, CPACollection ads, Dynamic Product Ads 
Driving Email Sign UpsCost Per LeadLead Ads

Goal: Raising Your Brand Awareness

Lead with Video: 

It’s hard to deny the power and prevalence of video content on Facebook these days. Recent studies show that over 4 billion video views take place on Facebook every day, and users spend 5x more time viewing video than static posts on Facebook. When a user is new to your brand or product, a video ad can go a long way in educating them about what you have to offer, and bringing them one step closer to the consideration stage. 

Engaging video content remains one of the best ways to reach potential new customers and get them excited about your brand. Another benefit of video is that you can build custom audience lists of users who are consuming your video ad content, which are extremely valuable for later retargeting, bringing those users along the funnel from awareness to purchase. 

At the early stages of introducing a consumer to your brand, make sure to use video content that packs as much information about the brand as possible within a brief and visually appealing spot. This is a good time to include reviews, product endorsements, press quotes and other stats that lend credibility to your brand. In this Fender Play ad, users who are experiencing the product for the first time are served a video piece that clearly walks them through what the product is, why others enjoy it, and what value it could bring to their lives. 

Remember, it’s important to use the first 3-5 seconds of the video to hook the viewer quickly with your view piece, knowing that their attention spans on social media are likely to be short. Don’t rush to drive them to a landing page or hit them with a strong call to action. This is the time to educate, inspire, and spark excitement about your brand. 

Facebook Video Advertising Tips:

  • When it comes to video length, we find its best to keep it short on socials, aiming for about 15 to 30 seconds for an ideal spot. On newsfeeds, we’ve seen best performance from 1×1 ratio videos. Don’t forget to also create a vertical 9×16 ratio for use on Instagram and Facebook stories!
  • It’s also important to keep in mind that 80% of Facebook users watch video content with sound off. Adding text overlays and subtitles will help make your ad more impactful in a sound off environment.


When running video ads, you can choose from several different targeting options for optimization, including:

  • Video Views – Aims to get the most people possible to watch your ad’s video content for varying lengths of time. Choose this objective if watching your videos is your most important objective. 
  • Reach – Aims to serve ads to as many people within your target audience as possible at lowest cost. Choose this objective if increasing maximum exposure is your top priority, but keep in mind that engagement on these ads could be lower than you would see with other objectives. 
  • Traffic – If you’re trying to drive interest in your company or products, then you may need a deeper interaction to truly connect with potential customers. In this case, you may want to select traffic optimization to move a customer further down your sales funnel from Awareness into Education or Consideration. 

Create Experiences:

When you’re in the awareness driving stage with your brand, creating branded experiences for the user to consume can also be a powerful tool. 

Instant experiences can be used to tell in-depth stories about your brand, provide behind the scenes looks into how your products are made, and more. In the Fender example below, we were able to offer users more information about what the Fender Play product has to offer through an interactive genre-based experience of videos, carousels, and images – all within one ad unit. 

Goal: Selling Products

Retarget Intelligently

Over the last few years, Facebook conversion tracking capabilities have expanded very rapidly and present advertisers with never before seen transparency into exactly what revenue their advertising dollars are generating. In addition to tracking, retargeting capabilities have also advanced, allowing us to serve customized ads to each user based on their previous purchase behavior, as well as their site viewing behavior. This helps make advertising more specific, relevant, and valuable to each user. 

Facebook Dynamic ads along with vendor platforms like Shopify greatly simplify the process of product-level retargeting. Facebook has invested time into increasing the breadth of offerings for advertisers looking specifically to leverage Facebook for selling products.

When selling physical products, we recommend leveraging Facebook’s Collection and Dynamic Product Carousel ad types, as these can best showcase your product offerings and leverage retargeting to users already within your purchase funnel to drive direct sales at a controlled Return on Ad Spend. 

In this case, these Carousel ads  could be set up in such a way that if a user views the “Jumper Chair” product on the site on a Monday morning, they would later receive an ad featuring the product with a 25% off messaging. In this way, we can nudge users who have previously expressed interest in our products  over the edge to purchase. 

Here, the collection of products featured in the ad could be based off of previous product purchases related to those featured in the ad messaging. 

Utilize Offer Ads 

When you have a limited time deal or promotion, Offer Ads are an excellent way of connecting with key users and reaching them multiple times with your messaging, all within one ad unit. When a user clicks on an offer ad, the offer will live within the Facebook “offers” tab for the full duration of the promotion, and the user will be prompted with 2 separate reminder emails off-platform. Reaching users across 4 touchpoints with an offer that drives value for them is an extremely effective tool, and is typically a strong driver of return on ad spend. 

Product Advertising Campaign Tips:

  • Collection ads can feature a combination of image and video. We’ve found success leveraging a short introductory video piece running alongside the product images. 
  • Both Collection ads and Carousel ads can be linked directly to the product catalog from your ecommerce store, allowing you to serve products to users based on what they’ve previously viewed on your store’s site. These features allow for prospecting,  upselling, and cross-selling of products. 


  • Conversions – When selling physical products, we’d recommend using the Conversions objective. This will allow you to aim for a specific goal, such as driving purchases on a secondary site. 

In order to use this objective, you’ll need to place a Facebook pixel onto your site to track purchases and revenue information. Find more information here from Facebook on setting up pixels and product catalogs.

Goal: Driving Sign Ups and Building Your Email Lists 

Sometimes Facebook isn’t the correct place to sell your products and services. This is often true for products with a longer sales cycle and for B2B clients. You may have a dedicated sales team, email marketing campaigns, or other pieces of your suite of marketing tactics that are more suited to getting the job done. Still, you can use Facebook to at least establish that initial connection — enter Lead ads. 

When driving email sign-ups and collection email, phone number, or address information is important for your business, Facebook’s Lead Ad format will be an incredibly helpful tool for you. 

These ads appear similarly to a standard video, image or carousel ad in the newsfeed. When a user clicks on the “Sign Up” button on a lead ad, however, they are taken to an auto filled form within Facebook, where you can easily collect a variety of data points such as full name, email address, street address, zip code, and phone number. You can also add customized questions to collect feedback from potential customers.

Here, the Women’s Tennis Association is leveraging the format to drive sign ups for their newsletter, bringing new users into their owned media channels for later promotion. 

Lead Ad Campaign Tips: 

  • Both image and video can be used within the lead ad format. What’s more, users who start filling out lead ads, but do not finish, can be retargeted later with follow up messaging. 
  • These forms can be connected to your CRM system directly, so that this information automatically flows through once a user signs up. This means your sales team can take immediate action while these leads are hot. 

We know the vast array of Facebook advertising and Instagram ad types and optimization options can be dizzying, and it can be difficult to know which choices will best help you achieve your business goals. We hope our quick guide has helped to shed a bit of light on the most common ad types and objectives that may be of use to you.