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Inbound Marketing Blog

    What We've Learned Using Video in Facebook Ads

    Posted by Justin Horvath

    It’s no secret that video content is quickly taking over Facebook users’ timelines. In fact, back in June of 2016, Facebook's Vice President of European, Middle Eastern and African operations mentioned that in about 5 years, Facebook “will be probably all video.” Let’s face it: Facebook is a fast-paced platform, so capturing and retaining a user’s attention is a difficult task to undertake. And it sounds like it's only going to get more difficult.

    Video content is powerful. It breaks up the monotony of text copy and typically results in higher rates of engagement. Organic posts that contain video content also have a greater reach than posts that simply contain an image: 135% greater, to be exact.

    In an increasingly visual landscape, digital advertisers are also jumping on the video bandwagon to make ads appear to be more native, meaning they mirror content in organic feeds. And why not? Facebook ad campaigns geared toward video views are largely successful and incur lower cost per video view with high engagement and conversion rates. Very few digital (and certainly not traditional) marketing platforms can deliver similar results.

    Elements of a Successful Video

    For many of our clients at IMA, the idea of creating a video for any type of Facebook advertising campaign is daunting at first. Many feel like they don’t have the time, the budget, the equipment or the cinematographic skills to pull off a compelling video. However, I’ve learned that not every video ad needs to look like it’s been shot by James Cameron.

    If you own a smartphone, you’re already off to a good start. The built-in cameras in today's smartphones deliver high quality images and videos. An intuitive video-editing app like FilmoraGo can help you apply filters, voiceovers, text and more straight from your phone. The main objective of visual content is to catch the eye of a potential customer, hit them with your call to action and intrigue them enough to draw them to your landing or product page, so don't be afraid to get creative.

    If the prospect of filming and editing a video still seems too overwhelming, don’t despair. Facebook’s Slideshow tool is here to help. Just upload a few images you’d like to use, and Facebook will thread them into a video for you, complete with your choice of music, slide duration, text overlays and transition filters. Heck, you don’t even need to have your own imagery! If you’d rather, Facebook has a library of stock photos courtesy of Stockphoto! Setting up a slideshow is so simple, and it’s a fantastic way to begin advertising on Facebook using strong video content.

    Another item to keep in mind when building out your video views campaign is the platform on which your ad will be served. The plurality of Facebook users are now accessing the site through a mobile device. Recent financial releases show that 84% of Facebook’s total revenue came from advertising on the mobile app and site alone. That’s a powerful indication of how you can plan to optimize your ads before you launch them: keep the mobile users in mind, as that’s most likely where they’ll see your content.

    How Video Ads Worked for One Client

    The holiday season is flooded with ads on both traditional and digital platforms. It’s the time of year that is a nightmare for Facebook users who are being inundated with advertisements all clamoring for their attention and money. It’s equally frustrating for digital marketers on the platform because we’re all battling each other for the same demographics, which drives up ad spend while limiting reach and conversion. It’s also the best time of year to be running Video View Campaigns utilizing visual content that runs at a low cost per view and conversion with high user engagement rates and massive reach.

    This past December, an IMA client located just outside New York City was running a promotion centered around the holiday season. Not surprisingly, so were many of their competitors in the area. We knew a video ad was more likely to be successful, but our client did not have any video content that was relevant to the promotion we were about to launch.

    Rather than launching an ad with amazing copy accompanied by a boring stock image, I put together a slideshow using stock photos from Shutterstock. In less than 10 minutes I had a compelling video to run alongside compelling copy and very specific targeting parameters. Within 4 weeks, this particular video ad reached more than 56,000 users, received more than 500 engagements, was shared over 350 times and had over 50,000 video views.

    The icing on the cake? The ad had a cost per view of only 2 cents.

    Topics: Facebook, Video