Become a Meta Master: the Pros and Cons of Different Ad Formats

By David Pico

  • Paid Media
  • Paid Social
  • Strategy


The terminology surrounding "meta ads" can be a bit confusing. To grasp the various types of meta ads, it's essential to first delve into ad formats and placements. Specifically, let’s take apart the different types of Meta ads used to advertise luxury hotels.


Regarding placements, the "Advantage+" feature is the top choice in hospitality. Meta employs AI to tweak the ad format for various placements, ensuring that the most effective ads are highlighted across different channels such as feeds, stories, reels, messenger, FB ad networks, and more. Additionally,  multiple single images and videos can be used in Advantage+ to create dynamic ads originally built in the different placements. For example, let’s say you can have pictures of the hotel room and amenities and videos about the destination’s lifestyle. Advantage+ will create and promote multiple ad types across all the placements and optimize them based on performance. 


If Advantage+ creates, distributes and optimizes ads from your existing material, then let’s break down the types of content you can create on Meta. 


example of slideshow traffic ad

Slideshows allow you to showcase the best visuals of your property swiftly. The most prevalent ad format in the hospitality sector is the "slideshow by difference." This entails a video slideshow that combines images of lifestyle, rooms, food & beverage, amenities, and destination. As powerful as this format can be, there is a drawback to consider. Because they can feature many images, slideshows sometimes lack a narrative, presenting images in a seemingly random order. Think of the slideshow as a mini-story with a beginning, middle and end to keep it compelling.


example of an video engagement ad

Videos continue to stand out as the most impactful ad format. They offer a concise visual narrative that delves into the hotel's identity and experiences. This format provides flexibility in style and resonates more with the placements increasingly favored by users. Traditional videos are also a popular choice in this industry. The only downside we see for video content is the cost to produce and the need to change up the videos based on the offer to keep them in sync and relevant. 

Single Images

example of static image reach ad

Single Images can be effective for retargeting, especially if a user has previously been captivated by a more visually rich format like a slideshow or video. However, they can stay flat with the support of other, more comprehensive ad types during prospecting. Their impact is further diminished if the images are average and lack a unique artistic or distinguishing touch.

Carousels & Collections

example of carousel conversion ad

Carousels & Collections have the potential to be both engaging and imaginative, provided they incorporate creative and visual storytelling. Carousels come into play when there's a need for visual promotional storytelling or showcasing multiple products or services in a single ad. Much like the Slideshow format, the Carousels format must feature captivating content to encourage users to view the entire carousel.


For luxury establishments, the beautiful surroundings and deluxe accommodations create gorgeous content. There is a common feeling that the content itself is all that’s needed to drive traffic and bookings. Luxury properties must avoid the trap of solely boosting organic content, opting instead to fuse various ad types into their campaigns for superior business results. Use the organic and ad combo to create a one-two punch that really connects with consumers. 


In the realm of luxury hotel advertising, we've discovered that Meta ads such as slideshows and single images are remarkably cost-effective. Specifically, they shine in the area of retargeting and are often the top-performing strategy. Videos have, of course, been gaining traction on their own for decades and are now making real headway as ad content.  Videos perform particularly well in areas of awareness and reach. 


Learn how BCV helped Salishan Coastal Lodge drive conversions with engaging ad formats ➜



If there’s one thing to take away from this post it is the power of Meta's detailed targeting capabilities to use, repurpose, and optimize your posts. Which means that putting the time into your posts is totally worth it.  In all formats, creativity takes the forefront in determining the success of ads. We consider creativity to include the content, images, text of the ad, AND the ad format itself. We’ve learned that A/B testing can dramatically enhance an ad's efficacy and pinpoint the optimal blend of ad type and copy. The time you take to get those ads polished and pre-tested and optimized empowers Meta to work its magic.  Putting your great content into Meta creates an ongoing loop of formats, data, and blended content that is satisfying and drives success.

David Pico
About the Author

David Pico

Director of Paid Media

David Pico has been a paid media expert for 15 years, working at leading media agencies across multiple markets in the US, Europe, and Latam, and including a portfolio of Advertisers and Brands that included Singapore Airlines and Marriott International.

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