9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Carousel Ads Are Key to Automotive Facebook Strategy

Carousel ads, or multi-product ads, are a great way to gain traction on Facebook for automotive businesses. So how do you successfully create and optimize a carousel ad? 

How to Create a Successful Car Carousel Ad

Carousel ads are used to showcase 3-5 images and links within a single ad unit. They can direct people to certain sections of your website, urge them to like your page or download your app, engage them with your post and much more.

We use carousel ads to direct visitors to our clients' VDPs. Because our used car campaigns have been the most successful, we'll walk you through best practices for creating a used car carousel ad.

As with any advertising campaign, always have goals in mind before you start. At 9 Clouds, we find that used car carousel ads not only move vehicles off the lot but also drive traffic to the dealership's website. In other words, a visitor may click on a car and end up buying it, or they may click on a car, wander off to another vehicle and buy that one instead.

These campaigns will also increase your Facebook likes and audience reach.

Creating the Ad

To create a carousel ad, you can use Power Editor or Ads Manager. We'll use Ads Manager for this example. The below screenshot provides you with some basics if you aren't familiar with creating these ads.


On step one, choose “Send people to your website.” On step five, place a link to a VDP in the “Destination URL” section, and add an image. Make sure all car images are arranged at similar angles. You don't want them to be helter skelter (see below).


Add a headline and description for each car. The first text box you see will be what will show up at the top of the entire ad. You can choose to add a Call to Action button (we sometimes use “Shop Now”). You should also click the option to have Facebook automatically select and order images and links for optimization purposes.

Audience Targeting

You can experiment with your audience targeting a lot, but we usually set it for the city of the dealership and add a 50-mile radius. Refine the Age and Gender categories according to the type of car you are selling. For example, a 50-year-0ld male would be more likely to buy a brand new Ford F-150 than a 19-year-old female. You can also adjust Interests, but we typically do the most adjusting in Behaviors. Type in “Automotive” and select “Purchase Type,” then “Vehicle Price,” and finally “Buy used (in market).” Refine even further if your ad is specific enough.

Budget and Schedule
Set a Lifetime Budget so that you don't “set it and forget it,” which can lead to overspending. Schedule your campaign for a manageable time frame (we do one-month campaigns). Under the “Optimize For” section, select “Link Clicks to Website/Pay per Link Click,” then choose “Get more link clicks at the best price.”

Choose Mobile News Feed and Desktop News Feed. Use default settings for Ad Scheduling and Delivery Type.

Now you know how to create a carousel ad. But that's only the first step.

What's Next? Optimizing and Experimenting

Facebook advises you to “use product imagery to target returning or high-intent customers, and lifestyle imagery to target new customers. While you should use images that are related to one theme in each ad, try different creative strategies, like storytelling or sequencing, to see what works best for you.”

What does that mean? Experiment. Try different cars and descriptions to see what works best. If you've been reading our blog for a while, you've probably heard us preach against using stock photos. Use real photos of your vehicles, or you simply won't get clicks.

Be creative with your ad. Here is a good page for inspiration.


After a few days or a week, dig into your insights report to find out what is working and what isn't.

To view an insights report for your ad in the carousel format:
1. Go to your Ads Manager
2. Click on the Columns dropdown
3. Select Carousel Engagement

To see insights broken down by carousel card, complete the steps above and then:
1. Click the Breakdown dropdown
2. Click By Action
3. Select Carousel Card

Find out which vehicles are being clicked on the most and adjust your strategy accordingly. If nobody is clicking on the 2009 Chevy Cobalt you posted, take it down and replace it.

Optimization Tips

Here are optimization tips from our ad experts here at 9 Clouds.

  • “Markdown wording” works (e.g. “2015 Ford Fusion – now $18,000 [was $21,000]”).
  • Diversify your ads within your ad group. Create different ads within a group and tweak different things – like descriptions, photos, headlines, etc.
  • Use UTM tagging (LINK) to measure results by ad using Google Analytics.
  • Compare your insights between multi-product ads and other Facebook ads you may run (boosting posts, single product ads, etc.). What is working the best?

You can find all kinds of inspiration for creativity and tactics by visiting this resource within Facebook.

Learn Even More About Facebook Ads

Want to become a Facebook advertising expert? Download our free eBook, A Step-by-Step Guide to Leveraging Facebook Ads for Automotive Dealers, or check out Season 1 of 9 Clouds Live: Facebook.