Everything you need to know about building the best e-commerce ads

Discover the best ad formats for your e-commerce shop.

Social media is immensely useful for driving traffic and generating sales for e-commerce businesses. So finding the best e-commerce ads for your brand and product is kind of a big deal.

Choosing the right ads boils down to looking at two things:

  1. What you want people to do when they see your ads.
  2. What sort of product you’re selling.

Getting this right is critical for getting the most from your social media advertising. Even the best social media ads won’t perform well if they’re wrong for your product or business.

The good news is that social media platform designers understand this. They’ve created ad formats for each marketing objective and for various product types.

We’re going to break down each ad type and what it’s best for, so you can more confidently decide which ads will help you start and scale your social media marketing.

Before we get too granular with the ads, here’s a quick bit about social media platforms to give you some context.

How to choose a social media platform

Each social media platform collects a ridiculous amount of data about their user base.

But you can simplify the decision by looking at the age demographics of each social media platform and focusing on the one that most closely matches the age demographics of your customer base.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the age demographics for each platform look:

  • Facebook is a good platform for all age groups.
  • Facebook and YouTube are the best options if you primarily sell to customers over 50.
  • Instagram is best for businesses marketing to customers between 18 and 24 years old.
  • Snapchat is the best for reaching teenagers.
  • LinkedIn is the best platform for reaching professionals between 24 and 35.

You can get even more specific, but identifying your primary social media platform is a strategic decision, and you’ll be on the right track if you choose based on age. Of course, you can always advertise on multiple platforms.

With that, let’s talk about ad types.

The best social media ad types for e-commerce

Facebook and Instagram have the most variation when it comes to ad formats. So we’ll talk about those first.

Video ads: getting more site visits

Facebook offers two types of ads for driving site traffic: link ads and video ads.

Of the two, video ads get better results.

Of course, the cost of creating video ads can be higher than other formats, so your advertising budget may necessitate that you use link ads.

It’s cool if you need to start with link ads. But you should transition to video ads once your budget allows for it.

Carousel ads: getting more product purchases

There are three options for getting more sales: carousel ads, collection ads, dynamic ads.

Carousel ads are the best all-around ads for e-commerce businesses that have a wide selection of products to advertise. You can use carousel ads to showcase multiple products, highlight a featured product or even show how a product works.

Any e-commerce business can get good results with carousel ads.

Collection ads and dynamic ads have more specific purposes:

If the majority of your customers are on mobile, collection ads provide a very engaging mobile experience. However, they don’t work on desktop.

If you need ads to remarket to people who’ve already been to your site, dynamic ads automatically show products that users have already checked out on your website.

Lead ads: get more leads

Like app install ads, lead ads are the only ad type designed to get leads.

The call to action in a lead ad takes the user to a form that’s been pre-populated with information Facebook already knows about the customer.

Leads ads get you more leads by making the signup process easier. Prospects can sign up in a matter of clicks without having to manually enter any information.

In e-commerce, lead ads only really work if you use a lead magnet or tripwire as part of your sales funnel.

The best part about Facebook ads is that they also display on Instagram. You even create Instagram ads in the Facebook ads manager, even if you’re only running Instagram ads. So running Facebook ads is kind of like running ads on two platforms for the price of one.

Pinterest video ads: get more sales

Most Pinterest content is static. So video ads stand out in people’s Pinterest feeds.

They’re a great way to show your most popular products in action.

Pinterest ads aren’t as tailored to your business goals as the Facebook ad formats are. However, you’ve got a lot of creative freedom to create video ads that support your marketing objectives.

Pinterest video ads have the same drawback as Facebook video ads: it can be expensive to produce video content.

If you need ads with a lower production cost, Pinterest also offers promoted pins. Promoted pins are image ads, so you can get them up and running with a lot less work.

Just like Facebook, it’s great to start with promoted pins if you need to. However, look for ways to get some video ads going once your budget allows for it.

Finding an e-commerce ad that’s right for you

There you have it – these are the best ads for e-commerce businesses. They’ll reach the largest audience and do the best job of enticing customers to buy. YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter advertising can work for e-commerce companies. However, these platforms don’t have ad formats that support e-commerce as well as the Facebook and Pinterest ads.

So get some of these ads up and running. Then give us a shout on social media and let us know how they work for you!


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