Standing out in busy social media feeds is getting harder.
But here’s the thing with a good Facebook video: it stops your users’ scrolling and captures their attention.
Because of Facebook’s power to put you in front of your ideal audience, there’s never been a better time to include video in your Facebook advertising efforts.
Facebook video ads help your audience retain up to 95% of your message, compared to 10% when reading it in text—which can have a huge impact on your long-term growth.
Video works across the entire customer journey
You can use video as your ad format for all of the available objectives with the exception of catalog sales, which uses a pre-populated database of product images to display most relevant products.
- Awareness: brand awareness, reach
- Consideration: traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages
- Conversion: conversions, store visits
Make sure to reference this chart to ensure your video fits the required source ratio, length, and the objective:
Using Facebook video ads for the exact stage of the journey towards purchase means Facebook will optimize your video delivery based on your goals.
Traits of a high-performing Facebook video ad
All you really need to create a video for your online store is a smartphone, an app to edit the video, and an idea that will captivate your viewer.
You can start with what you have and use free editing tools like iMovie early on and upgrade later on.
Don’t overthink it: shorter Facebook video ads work best, especially when you’re just getting started, so play around and create variations of the same video to see what looks and works best.
Let’s dive into the important factors of a successful video for Facebook ads.
Optimize the Facebook video ad quality
To perform well, your Facebook video must be high-quality, crisp, and ideally HD.
If you’re exporting the video from your editing software, these are the recommended custom settings:
- H.264 video with AAC audio in MOV or MP4 format
- An aspect ratio no larger than 1280px wide and divisible by 16px
- A frame rate at or below 30fps
- Stereo audio with a sample rate of 44,100hz
Make sure to also check out the design recommendations for each of your ad placements.
Select the perfect type of video
Wondering what to make your video about?
As an ecommerce business, there are many angles you can take.
Here are some ideas you can put into action:
- Showcase of your product in real life: for example, a person wearing your fashion on the street or the making of a meal with your cookware
- Behind-the-scenes of your business: for example, showing a timelapse of getting the product from ideation to life
- Showcasing your products from all angles
- Educational, demo video of getting the most out of a product: for example, taking care of winter boots
As it turns out, viewers are more likely to:
- like behind-the-scenes videos
- like and share funny videos
- share educational videos
- like and share emotional videos
If you haven’t created any videos yet, start with what’s easiest for you right now and you can change things up as you go.
Capture attention immediately
Think about your own experience when scrolling through your Facebook feed. How long does an advertiser have to grab your attention—and keep it? Probably not more than a second or two.
It’s critical to engage your viewers as early as possible, and you can do this in a few ways:
Lead with engaging visuals right away. Movement captures the eye, as well as short scenes. In fact, Facebook found that top-performing videos have shorter scenes—on average, 2.8 seconds per scene compared to 4.1 seconds for lower performing ads. Break your video into short scenes whenever possible.
Show your products and brand early. If you want to be remembered, don’t count on your viewer to stick around for half a minute.
Use the time it takes you to tell your story. Shorter videos, ideally up to 15 seconds, tend to perform best and have the highest completion rate. However, telling a cohesive story is more important than length. Don’t go shorter or longer than it takes to convey your message and a call-to-action in your video!
Don’t forget subtitles and optimization for sound-off
Want to increase your chances at winning with Facebook video ads? Think about the impact of their sound and what happens if your viewer can’t turn the sound on as they come across your ad.
>> If your video isn’t consumable and comprehensive with no sound, you’re wasting otherwise great opportunities.
- 39% of consumers are more likely to finish videos with subtitles
- 85% of Facebook Video is watched with the sound off
Videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off, so unless your viewer deliberately turns it on, you’re depending on your visuals.
Make sure your imagery, flow of information, on-screen text, and subtitles can supplement the lack of sound. When enabled, sound should offer additional value to your viewers and further tell your story.
Setting up your Facebook video ad
When your video is ready, it’s time to jump into Ads Manager and set up your campaign.
No matter what advertising objective you select, the default and recommended placement setting will always be Automatic Placements:
This is the case because Facebook uses their mountains of data and performance history to show your ad where it’s most likely to get you to reach your goal.
A hypothetical example might be that Facebook users are more likely to fill out a form through your ad when they see the ad in the Facebook feed as opposed to Instagram stories. If you deliberately unselect the feed placement, you’re reducing your chances of reaching your goal.
Facebook optimizes the delivery of your ads to achieve the lowest cost per optimization event.
Once you get more comfortable with this and your automatic placements are showing which areas have the highest conversions, you can play around to get the best results.
Budget & Schedule
This is where you’ll set your budget, which can be daily or lifetime. You can also set your ads to run on an ongoing basis or have a start and end date and time.
The budget you’ll invest entirely depends on the budget you have and are willing to test out with Facebook video ads. You can always increase or lower your budget later on.
When you click on Advanced Options, you will see additional options for using your budget and bid strategy to optimize for ad delivery.
Video and ad copy
Simply select the Single Video format and upload your video directly to Ads Manager. The best thing about this process is that Facebook takes you through it and flags anything that isn’t as it should be.
You can double-check your video specs against the recommendations listed on the right.
Lastly, your ad needs text to enrich the experience and create context for your video. The number of fields and characters you’re working with will depend on the objective you selected, so just make sure to follow the guidelines next to each field:
Make your ad copy inviting, engaging, and most importantly—clear. The outcome of the video and the next best step should be more than obvious from the copy just like it should be from the video itself.
Examples to inspire your Facebook ads
Still unsure about where to start? Here are three creative yet simple examples to get you inspired!
This video ad from Bloomingdale’s is a perfect example of how little it takes to create a video that can stop your viewer in their tracks.
Bloomingdale’s used cinemagraph—still photographs with repeatedly moving elements—to add texture and movement to still imagery and drive direct purchases.
Short video? Check. Optimized for sound-off? Check. No need for expensive, complicated, time-consuming video production? Triple check.
This clever ad from Hotels.com made the most out of the sound-off autoplay nature of Facebook video ads.
They promoted a simple offer with a superb, I-have-to-see-this-until-the-end touch of an interpreter and subtitles along with a funny Captain Obvious reference (and wardrobe).
Garmin launched their Fenix 3 HR smart watch aimed at their adventurous audience. This ad is perfect because it takes less than three seconds to develop a story from a black-tie event into a Garmin-powered adventure.
It’s short, dynamic, eye-catching, and entirely optimized for sound-off viewing.
Video ads on Facebook work across the entire journey towards purchase, and you can use them to move your potential customer closer to buying your products.
It’s one of the most effective formats on Facebook right now, so take advantage of it.
PS. If in doubt, these simple rules should help. Shorter is better. Less text is better. Dynamic is better than static.