Carousel Ads Driving 10 Times More Traffic

According to campaigns that ran through Kinetic Social’s proprietary social marketing platform, serving over 2.7 Billion impressions in Q3 2015, all of the social marketplace rapidly and constantly evolves, and can be taken as an indicator of current marketplace trends, and not necessarily an indication of future trends.

The complete report includes ad spend on Facebook and Twitter, on both desktop and mobile, and for all ad types. Platform-specific data in each chart reflects a mix of awareness, engagement and direct response campaign initiatives.

According to data from Kinetic Social, reported by Garett Slone for Digiday, carousel ads, which let brands show multiple images and ultimately a link to some action, are driving 10 times more traffic to advertisers’ websites, compared to static sponsored posts on Facebook.

Don Mathis, CEO of Kinetic Social, says “… carousels are a major push for Facebook… pricing is competitive… performances are stellar… but… it’s a new product… they tend to get good adoption in the early days…”

For now, though, 1% of users are clicking through on carousel ads compared to 0.1% on non-carousel ads, says the report, far better than the rate for a typical display advertisement. And EMarketer has said that the best mobile banner ads from sectors like retail that generate the highest responses from consumers, garner a 0.5% click through rate.

The Kinetic Social data is another sign of the growing strength of Facebook’s ad business, particularly since the carousel format is native to mobile. Meanwhile, most publishers are working to determimnd how to make mobile banners work while simultaneously dealing with the specter of ad blocking.

More brands are moving into carousel formats on Facebook and Instagram. Kinetic Social said it was too early to release what it’s finding about the Instagram ones, but Wendy’s is among the brands that have seen some early success, according to its agency, VML.

VML shared one carousel campaign from Wendy’s that ran on Instagram, and the agency said it led to a 20 point lift in ad recall versus a 14 point lift from single-image ads. The point lift means that users who saw the carousel ads were 20% more likely to remember the campaign compared to people not exposed to the format.

The Q3 Topline Summary from the Kinetic Social Platform tells the story across all of the advertisers surveyed, according to the report:


  • Facebook’s carousel ad unit showed outstanding performance in the analysis of Q3 data. Carousel ads had an incredible 10x increase in link click CTR when compared to non-carousel ad units. This will likely continue into Q4 with Facebook’s focus on their Dynamic Product Ad offering
  • Video ads continue to have the lowest eCPC for the 5th quarter straight, highlighting the efficiency of video buys on Facebook. Analyzed video stats show high correlation completion rates by video length, with 15- and 30-second videos being the best performing lengths
  • The CPG vertical had both the highest CTR and lowest eCPC for Q3, highlighting the continued efficacy of CPG advertising on Facebook


  • eCPE and eCPC both dropped in Q3forTwitter, the second straight quarter for both pricing types. The report anticipates this to continue into Q4 with Twitter’s recently released ‘Moments’ product, creating a more engaging and compelling experience in the Twitter platform
  • Twitter’s Video product shows strong promise coming in with extremely competitive rates in Q3, with an average $0.10 CPV and some verticals as low as $0.05.


  • Pinterest saw the amount of search performed on their venue increase 81% year over year, an impressive feat for a platform with 100 MAUs globally, concludes the report
  • Pinterest has seen the number of Pinners double in the past 18 months
  • People engaging with a Pin (click-through, closeup, repin) are 2 to 4 times more likely to make a purchase (source: Millward Brown).


  • KineticSocial was one of the first partners to launch with the Instagram ads API program, which began in Q3
  • Instagram is an immersive platform experience that is distinct from the other social platforms, driving excellent engagement and brand awareness results

Other incidental findings reported by the Kinetic Social report include:

VML’s Chad Martin said that clients are finding success with a formula that serves one ad on Instagram and then a carousel ad on Facebook. The strategy is particularly effective when they present Facebook users with a carousel after they’ve already shown interest in its brands.

Kinetic Social also looked at Twitter’s numbers for the quarter and said that costs on video are coming down on that platform as it matures its offering. Cost per view on videos averaged 10 cents with some verticals as low as 5 cents, putting it on par with Facebook costs, said the report.

Costs per engagement fell almost 50% for Twitter advertisers, as well. They were paying 23 cents for every click on their ads on Twitter versus 45 cents a year ago, according to Kinetic’s stats.

For the complete report, as a PDF file, with charts and graphs, please visit here, or sign in here.



2 comments about "Carousel Ads Driving 10 Times More Traffic".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, October 28, 2015 at 8:59 a.m.

    As a consumer, I can offer my own personal opinion about why I like and am more inclined to respond to a carousel ad rather than a static ad; ... it gives me at least a semblance of slight control over how I can interact with the ad.

    IMO, it's similar to the difference between a salesperson pushing a single item in my face or laying-out five or six different choices on the table, and then taking a step back,  which allows me to control what I look at and what I don't. The experience is much less stressful and "in your face", if that makes any sense.

    In other words, it changes my mental impression of the experience from "being sold to" into "allowing me to shop."  And that's a very big difference.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 28, 2015 at 10:29 a.m.

    Consumers are being squeezed so hard, they will pop. Ad blockers will be only a sliver.

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