The Complete Guide to Facebook Video Ads
If you're one of the 1 billion active users on Facebook, then you’ve likely noticed a recent surge of video content taking over your News Feed. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve found this content shift enhances your Facebook browsing experience in most instances.
More and more marketers are becoming aware of this powerful content format, and are quickly hopping on board the video trend to give their viewers what they want. Even more powerful than providing a resonant brand experience is the fact that videos convert. According to Adobe, shoppers that view videos are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-video viewers.
But standing out on Facebook is just as difficult as standing out in Times Square on New Year's Eve…unless you're Carson Daly. How do you become the Carson Daly of Facebook?
Enter Facebook Video Ads. In this guide, I'll explain:
- What Facebook video ads are
- Why you should be running Facebook video ads
- How to set up Facebook video ads
- Six tips to make the most of Facebook video advertising
Let's get started!
What Are Facebook Video Ads?
As you likely suspected, Facebook video ads are Facebook advertisements in the format of videos. Instead of writing out a blurb of text and/or uploading an image, you’ll need to either create a video in-house, work with a videographer to create one, or use an already existing video to upload to Facebook’s native video player. From there you’ll be able to customize the video description, thumbnail, budget, and audience you serve the ad to.
Why Should You Run Facebook Video Ads?
Facebook video ads are the best way to ensure people remember your brand and come back to your site. Video isn’t just trending on Facebook, it’s a strategy that works to engage and convert website visitors, to push leads down the funnel in email marketing campaigns, and to fuel engagement across multiple social channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Periscope (which has literally built a social network based just on live video streaming).
According to Sheryl Sandberg, 1.5 million small and medium-sized businesses shared videos on Facebook in September of 2015. “Some likely paid to turn those videos into ads to get more views. And considering average ad revenue per user in the US shot up 50% this year, the video ad strategy is working,” says TechCrunch.
How To Set Up Facebook Video Ads
Now that you’re a believer in the value of video ads, how in the world do you get these babies up and running?
Luckily, if you’re already running ads on Facebook, the process is quite similar. To get started:
Navigate to the top of your profile page and select “Create Ads.”
Select the campaign objective “Get video views.”
Define your audience (or select a predefined audience), budget, and ad schedule.
Create your ad! This is where the fun begins.
You’ll notice there are a few options to build your beautiful video. You can upload a video, browse through your library, or create a slideshow with images. In most cases you’ll want to grab a pre-made video from your desktop or promote a video that you previously posted organically.
Take note of Facebook's recommended video specs before uploading to ensure the highest quality viewer experience. A varying format could result in poor playback or black bars if your aspect ratio is off.
Lastly, customize the copy above your video, preview it, and watch your video views soar.
6 Strategies to Get the Highest Facebook Video Play, Engagement, and Conversion Rates
#1: Show videos that don’t require sound
No sound might sound bizarre until you take the time to reflect on how you view videos on Facebook. While from time to time it might be in the comfort of your own home, people are often browsing through their news feeds to kill time on their commutes, while in a restaurant or public place, or while taking a brain break at work. More often than not, a sound is not appropriate in these scenarios and since people are inherently lazy the chances of them plugging in their headphones to listen to a video advertisement on Facebook are slim.
Does your video simply not make sense without sound? Add captions! Facebook recently announced that they’re making it even easier for advertisers to automatically add captions to their videos because they’ve become aware that sound can be an issue. “Internal tests show that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%,” Facebook reports.
#2: Utilize CPM bidding to ensure your ads are on autoplay
Advertisers might shy away from autoplay in certain environments, but Facebook shouldn’t be that place. Why? Because there are enough distractions present on Facebook as it is, so you want to engage multi-tasking newsfeed scrollers as fast as possible, and playing your videos automatically is the best way to do so. To be eligible for autopay you need to bid by cost-per-impressions (CPM) rather than cost-per-click (CPC).
#3: Get to the point quickly
I was surprised to find that Facebook video ads can be up to 120 minutes in length. This is insanely long, and the chances of someone completing a 2-hour video while on a social network seem pretty unlikely.
At Wistia, we’ve found that video length matters when it comes to business videos. After analyzing millions of videos, Wistia data showed that on average, people watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds.As you can see from the graph below, the longer the video, the less people watch.
Keep your ads short, sweet, and engaging to get to the big points faster.
#4: Advertise video content that’s performed well elsewhere
Which videos performed best organically on Facebook? Which videos perform best on your website? Which webinars have driven the most engagement? What does your audience like to watch?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask before running your video ads. You should be looking at metrics like engagement and play rate of your video content across channels before you determine what videos are worth putting money behind. As WordStream founder, Larry Kim, taught me during my time as a WordStream employee, always promote your BEST content (i.e. the top 1%!).
#5: Get granular with your audience
This a lesson taught in Facebook Advertising 101, but it’s also one you must remember when running video ads. These things cost money so you might as well advertise to a granular and relevant audience to cut through the clutter and focus your budget on engaging the people that matter.
#6: Pay attention to and learn from your video stats
Once your Facebook video ads have gained a significant amount of views you need to take a step back and determine if the money spent is yielding a return. How many people are watching videos? Clicking on your ads? Visiting your website after watching? Understanding how your Facebook video ads impact your target audience will help improve your video production and advertising strategy to ensure your business is positively impacted. (Check out our new benchmarks for Facebook ads to see if your metrics are where they should be.)