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The 3 Most Effective Types of Social Media Advertising

Blocks with social media logos

Want to try your hand at social media advertising?

If so, you probably want to focus your efforts on just a few platforms and ad types at first.

After all, unless you have a very large marketing budget, you won’t be able to allocate resources to a tonne of campaigns.

Besides, social media advertising is like most other strategies - you need time to learn how to do it, so you’ll need to start small to practise.

Our guide today can help. Here, we’ll look at 3 of the most popular social media platforms in Singapore and the most effective ad types on them.

Naturally, because we’re talking about ad types, platforms like WhatsApp are out of the running. There’s no such thing as advertisement on the messaging platform, popular as it is in Singapore.



Phone screen with facebook logo

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why we’re starting with Facebook. It’s one of the biggest social media platforms even now.

As far as social media advertising goes, it’s also one of the most useful - especially because of the wide range of ad types on it.

Now, when it comes to the most effective ad types on the platform, it’s worth offering a caveat.

Namely, that ad effectiveness really does vary based on factors like ad goals or calls to action as well as audience demographics.

That being said, we can generalise a bit here for simplicity.

For instance, image ads and video ads are currently considered the most effective ads on the platform.

Statista’s 2019 survey of digital marketing professionals certainly shows that.

24% of marketers picked single-image ads and 20% picked video ads. The closest runner-up, the lead ad form, got a mere 12%, by comparison.

Computer screen with the words facebook ads

Which Type to Use

Again, we’re only generalising, so you may have to adjust your format selection based on your brand’s specific needs and performance.

Bear in mind too that social media advertising is just like every other type of marketing. It’s best done with data, so you may need to test and measure results to find the optimal ad type for your situation.

That aside, here are some tips:

  • For engagement and awareness, it’s usually best to go with video ads, especially ones 90 seconds and under in length. Don’t be tempted to go long - shorter is better on social media!

  • Image ads can be very effective too, but demand more creativity because there’s more competition for them on the platform. There are more image ads than video ads right now.

  • Consider carousel and collection ads if you’re trying to sell products or a range of items, as they offer a way to showcase several objects easily.

  • Instant experience ads may also be a good option to boost brand awareness on mobile in particular.


Instagram homepage on phone screen

Now, Instagram is somewhat different from Facebook, of course.

You get a slightly different demographic as well as slightly different content presentation.

The platform being so focused on visuals, it’s hardly surprising that the two ad types that marketers deem most effective here are the photo ad and the carousel ad.

Both capitalise on Instagram’s unique format and method of putting visual content front and centre.

That being said, you won’t lose out by using other ad types here if you pair them with the right goal.

Stories can be hugely effective too, for instance, with a 75% completion rate for viewers according to one study. This already tells you that they can be useful for certain campaigns.

Instagram ads on computer screen

Which Type to Use

While we do think both photo and carousel ads work superbly for nearly any purpose on Instagram, here are some more basic recommendations:

  • If you have a short or time-sensitive message, use image/photo ads. They’re best for getting messages out to people as quickly as possible.

  • Carousel ads are probably better for awareness and engagement-focused campaigns, along with video ads. This is because they’re naturally more engaging.

  • Given that Stories are basically a spin on video ads, they’re also good for awareness-focused campaigns. That should have been suggested by the statistic we mentioned above.

  • Focused on conversion and products? Try carousel, shopping, and collection ads, which let you highlight specific products right out of your catalogue.


Person holding a phone with youtube logo

YouTube is another of the big platforms here in Singapore.

At present, pre-roll skippable ads are considered the most effective ad types here. 29% of marketers think they are most effective, followed by 7% who opted for non-skippable ads instead.

You can actually use non-video ads on YouTube, of course. However, these aren’t terribly popular.

Youtube analytics on computer screen

Which Type to Use

Here are our tips for YouTube advertising:

  • If your campaign is about bringing up awareness, use non-skippable ads.

  • If you’re trying to bring up engagement or get conversions, it’s usually best to use a TrueView skippable in-stream ad. However, a bumper ad (a non-skippable, 6-second ad that plays at the start of a video) may also work for this in some cases.

  • The bumper ad is best used when you have a very short message with a very clear call to action.

Final Notes on Trying to Pull Off Effective Social Media Advertising

As you can see, there are a lot of ad types you can use to get your message across to consumers.

The long and short of it is that you should pair the ad type or format (as well as the platform) to your goal.

And again, remember that ad efficacy is a function of several factors.

Collection ads tend to do best when your goal is conversion, for instance. And some demographics really do view video-format ad types more often than others.

That’s why it’s important to consider what a format presents most effectively and what your audience’s behaviours and habits are.

You may also want to check out what types of organic content do best with your audience on a platform. Chances are the same format will work well when translated into an ad.

In any case, if you want to learn more or need help with your social ad campaign, drop us a note! We’ll be glad to chat with you on what you may need.

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