5 Steps To Success with Facebook Video Ads

Facebook Video Advertising is a powerful tool for businesses looking to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, boost engagements, and increase leads. It’s time for your business to jump on the Facebook video advertising bandwagon.

In 2019, “Facebook users [watched] close to 3 billion hours of video every day, including over 16 minutes of video ads every month” — and those numbers continue to rise. What’s more, “Agorapulse found that Facebook native videos have an 86% higher reach than similar content on YouTube,” (AdEspresso). 

Still not convinced?

“62% of marketers find Facebook to be the most important social media channel for their business” and they advertise there because “content organically posted to Facebook Pages only [reaches] about 16% of fans” (Databox). And marketers choose Facebook video ads over static image ads for these reasons (among many others):

  • Great videos will grab attention (and hold it!) where static images may not
  • With video, you can appeal to multiple senses for a more impactful experience
  • You can convey much more information with video than you can with a photo
  • Video allows you to show rather than tell, a great way to build trust 
  • Evocative and entertaining videos are highly shareable; increased engagement
  • Creating a video isn’t cost-prohibitive; there are options for every business and budget

The proof is in the pudding: video ads convert.

“According to mega online retailers, eBay and Amazon, adding a video to a product description can increase sales by up to 35%” (rocketdigital.ca).

It’s important to note that simply choosing video ads over static image ads won’t guarantee good results. Videos for ads must be well-thought-out, designed to reach campaign goals, exceptionally creative, well-produced, and adherent to video advertising best practices. And because they’re often more expensive to create (that is, they require more resources to create or produce than simply taking or buying a photo), extra care should be taken in the planning phase. 

We think this quote from Falcon.io perfectly sums up both the challenges and opportunities Facebook video ads present: 

“Facebook video ads are like street performers. They occupy a crowded space and try to catch your attention as soon as possible, but if they don’t deliver, you’ll just keep moving. When it comes to performing, you want to be the main act—not the sideshow. To get views and engagement on your Facebook video ads, they need to be too good to ignore.”

Here are 5 tips for success with Facebook video ads for your own brand: 

  1. Define your goals, objectives and measures of success
  2. Choose the right Facebook ad type, placement and platform for your goals
  3. Create a video for your ad that will grab and hold attention
  4. Edit and optimize your video for maximum success
  5. Keep mobile users front-of-mind

1. Define your goals, objectives and measures of success

Your marketing team should discuss and define the goal(s) of your Facebook video ad campaign before you get started: 

  • What are you hoping to achieve through your ads? 
  • What is the target audience for your ads? 
  • What do you want the people who see your ads to do? 
  • How will you measure the success of your ad campaign?

Defining those goals will help you to choose the right objective(s) when setting-up your video ad in Facebook. Facebook offers the following objectives for single video ads:

But Facebook recommends the “brand awareness” or “video views” objective for single Facebook video advertisements. (Other objectives are recommended for Slideshow Ads.)

  • Brand Awareness: The brand awareness objective gives you the estimated ad recall lift (people) metric, which shows how many people we estimate would remember your ad if we asked them within two days”  (Facebook)
  • Video Views: “The video views objective optimizes to get the most plays of your video ad. Show your ads to the audience who are most likely to watch your ad for at least 2 continuous seconds, 15 seconds or longer” (Facebook)

For the video view objective, there are different sub-objectives: 

Properly defining your campaign goals, and then your Facebook video ad objectives, will help you to create a campaign better-designed for success, as well determine which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be monitored to track your campaign’s return-on-investment (ROI). For example, from Falcon.io

→ Do you want as many people as possible to see your video ad? Then choose the “video views” objective and measure the number of video views earned throughout your campaign. And if your ad’s video is short and/or the video’s main crux (your branding and primary call-to-action (CTA)) appears early in the video, you might be particularly focused on those 2-Second views earned.

→ Alternately, if your primary goal is brand awareness over video views, then choose that objective. Facebook will show it to those people that data estimates are most likely to recall your ad. 

“If your goal is to generate engagement and discussion around your video ad, a longer and more immersive format like a sponsored live or 360 video will attract highly engaged viewers who are likely to comment on and react to your content” (falcon.io)

→ Finally, if you’re creating a Facebook video ad campaign to drive conversions or rack up sales, we recommend collection video ads or canvas ads, as you can display a video highlighting your products or services while showing off clickable images of your offerings below” (falcon.io)

There are myriad other Facebook video ad objectives and KPIs and, in turn, countless combinations to both build your campaign and then measure its efficacy. Those objectives and KPIs should complement your campaign’s primary goals, and the video you create should completement all of those things (goals, objectives and KPIs) as well as follow the best practices for the ad format and ad placement you choose. Phew! 

Seems like a lot to consider. It is. That’s why it’s so important to sit down with your marketing team before you start work on video creation or ad set-up to discuss, define and review it all. A clear strategy for every ad campaign you launch is critical for success.

It may seem daunting but it’s not. It’s possible today for any business owner to create a Facebook video ad campaign in-house, even with limited resources and little experience. Facebook offers a fairly intuitive DIY ad builder: How To Create A Facebook Video Ad. That said, most businesses find more success through partnering with a digital advertising agency that knows all the ins-and-outs of Facebook video advertising.

2. Choose the right Facebook ad type, placement and platform for your goals

As Facebook says, “There’s a video ad for any business, any budget, any goal.” And that includes a variety of ad types (formats), placements and platforms on Facebook’s network to choose from, including the following types (formats):

  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow
  • Instant Experience
  • Lead Generations
  • Offer
  • Event Responses
  • Likes

…and the following placements:

  • In-stream
  • Feed
  • Stories
  • Search
  • Messages
  • In-Article
  • Apps and Sites

…and the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network
  • Messenger

Don’t wait until you’re setting up your video ad inside Facebook to determine ad format, placement and platform. Rather, understand the intricacies of each and every choice before you set out to create your video. 

  1. Define your primary campaign goal(s) and choose the appropriate Facebook ad objective(s)
  2. Determine which ad format, placement and platform best suits your goals and objectives
  3. Create a video that follows best practices for the format, placement and platform you’ve chosen

3. Create a video for your ad that will grab and hold attention

We know that attention spans are short, and there’s nowhere that’s more true than online. So aim for a video that will grab attention immediately and then hold it long enough to convey your messaging. Choose imagery, editing, text and logo overlays, and sound that combine to create an engaging, evocative, meaningful, memorable (and shareable!) experience. And then make sure that people won’t just remember your video but also the brand that showed it to them!

→ Branding: 

Mention or show your brand within the first 3 seconds of your video. “Facebook found that consumers were 23% more likely to remember which brand made a given video ad if the brand was featured in the first three seconds and 13% more likely if the brand was featured after four seconds (compared to ads where the brand wasn’t explicitly shown in the video)” (falcon.io). 

→ Call-To-Action (CTA):

Every piece of marketing content should include a good, clear CTA. What do you want viewers to do next? 

  • Think of your business next time they need a similar product or service? 
  • Call your business now? 
  • Fill out a form or provide their contact information?
  • Click a link to your website? 

The CTA is the most important part of your ad. And how and where you include that CTA is critical: …mid-roll CTAs had the highest average conversion rate at 16.95%, compared to 10.98% for post-roll and 3.15% for pre-roll” (falcon.io). So put your CTA in the middle of your video.

Facebook Video Ads Conversion Rates

Image: Wistia

→ Sound:

“85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound” (wordstream). 

Facebook’s “sound-on” feature is controlled by the user and depends on their own device settings. That means your video has to be able to do its job with the sound off. You cannot rely on the sound (ie: dialogue) to provide key information or your ad’s CTA. 

Instead, use the imagery itself plus text and graphic overlays or subtitles and text blocks to communicate key points. Your video’s soundtrack (and voiceovers) should be seen as an enhancement but not a critical piece of video success. Consider subtitles to go along with voiceovers and well-designed text overlays to communicate your CTA.

→ Add some flare! 

Adding those graphic elements, like animations, logos, text overlays, subtitles, text blocks etc. doesn’t require a design expert or video production company. Apps like Adobe Spark Post, Ripl and Hype Type let marketers with minimal design experience animate their visuals in a simple, affordable and intuitive way. Plus, Facebook now has a similar tool brands can use natively. Stay on top of some of the current graphic design trends to make sure your content stands out” (falcon.io).

4. Edit and optimize your video for maximum success 

Your video’s title, length, and format (layout) must take into consideration your campaign goals and your ad objectives, as well as the ad format, placement and platform you choose — tricky! That’s why it’s so important to consider the Big Picture before launching into creating the video. Before you get the camera out, ask and answer all of the questions about where it’ll go and who will see it. 

→ Video Length: 

Facebook recommends video ads that are anywhere from 5-15 seconds long (though you can create a longer 30-second ad as necessary). AdAge found that 6-second ads are being used by top marketers “to combat consumers’ ad avoidance” and Falcion.io reports that 6-second ads showed “higher brand metrics across the board”.

→ Title and Description:

You’ll need to add a title and description to your video. Optimize both with relevant keywords so that Facebook’s algorithm can match your targeting objectives, and make sure that both the title and description are engaging and clear; tell people (quickly) what they’ll see and what they’ll get out of watching it. Of interest, “video creation platform Wochit studied over 33,000 Facebook videos in 2017 and found that certain phrases in titles got way more video views than others” (falcon.io):

Social Media Ads Titles Tips - Stir Marketing

5. Keep mobile users front-of-mind

  • In January 2020, 98 percent of active users accessed the social network via mobile (statista.com)  
  • “94% of Facebook Ad revenue is from mobile” (sproutsocial.com
  • “Mobile-first video ads make up more than half of Facebook’s video revenue” (sproutsocial.com
  • Mobile-friendly video generates higher engagement

So create a video optimized for mobile users:

Facebook Video Ads Format

Image: louisem.com

→ Video Formatting: 

Not a video production pro? Review Facebook’s video format guide for information about compression, pixels, frame rate, and progressive scan.

Get started! 

Ready to give it all a try but don’t have the budget to employ a video production company? No problem! Lots of businesses find success with simple videos created in-house using basic tools. 

So grab your phone or digital camera with video feature and shoot some material. (Do your best with set-up, lighting, angles, composition, focus and stability). Or gather a collection of great static images (photos or graphics) and combine them to create a slideshow-style video.

And then use one or some of the many (often free) online tools for adding some pizzazz:

Setting-up the ad itself can be done via Facebook Ads Manager, “…your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network. It’s an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they’ll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing…”.

You can even set-up Facebook ads from your mobile phone using Facebook Mobile Studio, which offers how-to guides and recommendations.  

You may find the set-up piece in Ads Manager or Mobile Studio quite simple. After all, Facebook has designed a system that’s meant to be accessible for users of all experience levels. 

However, if your goals, objectives, audience targeting, and KPIs haven’t been perfectly defined, your video doesn’t follow ad format and placement best practices, or your message doesn’t resonate, it’s possible to spend a lot of money on ads that aren’t getting results. 

Consider partnering with a local social media agency experienced in running Facebook video ads to hedge your bets. They can help you to create a Digital Advertising Strategy, optimize your ads, and monitor results so that you’ll know clearly what’s working and what’s not. 

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