Facebook users love video. Every month, 1.25 billion of them view videos just on Facebook Watch, Facebook’s streaming video service. Facebook video ads allow marketers to use this trend to their advantage.
Not only do video ads get more clicks (two times more, according to one recent experiment), but they give marketers more creative freedom to show off a brand’s personality and connect emotionally with an audience.
Facebook video ads have emerged as one of the most effective formats marketers have at their disposal. Knowing how to create scroll-stopping, engaging video ads on Facebook will help any marketer become instantly more competitive on the platform.
In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of Facebook video ads, five tips to create the best video ads possible, and see examples from eight companies that are making the most of video.
What Are Facebook Video Ads?
Facebook video ads are paid ad placements that feature a video and can appear in one of several predetermined locations on a visitor’s Facebook screen.
You can either create a video ad from scratch or boost an existing post that includes a video from your Facebook account.
Facebook video ad placements
Most people are familiar with in-feed video ads—the ones you see in your News Feed as you scroll. But there are actually several places where your Facebook ad can be featured.
In-feed ads look similar to organic posts and appear as someone scrolls through their News Feed.
In-Stream video ads are like mini commercials that show in the middle of another video. They only show on mobile devices after 60 seconds of the main video content plays.
The first 15 seconds of an in-stream ad will play, then the viewer is given a choice to either watch the rest of the ad or return to the original video.
Facebook Marketplace video ads appear while a user is scrolling and shopping on Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook Stories ads are full-screen, vertical ads that appear between organic Facebook Stories. Videos longer than 15 seconds get split into different story cards that play one after the other.
After the first three cards, a viewer can choose to keep watching or return to organic Stories.
Facebook Video Feed ads display in between organic videos on Facebook Video Feed. The scrollable Video Feed opens whenever someone clicks to watch a video from their News Feed. Video Feed ads display among the organic videos.
The anatomy of a Facebook video ad
Every part of a video ad has a job to do. Understanding each of those parts will go a long way to creating ads that attract and convert your most valuable customers.
Let’s take a look at the video ad example from Vyond:
1. Account link
This is the link to your Facebook account. This ad is also differentiated from an organic video post by the word “sponsored” that displays near the account link.
2. Primary text
This is the copy that appears above the video view. More than 125 characters may be truncated, so viewers have to click “read more” to see the full text.
3. Video view
This is where the video displays. Users decide in their Facebook settings if they want videos to play automatically, play sound automatically, or simply show a still image until they hit play.
Despite its name, the headline shows up below the video view. More than 40 characters of a headline may be truncated and not visible.
This is a clickable button on the lower-right of your ad. You choose from a pre-set list of CTA options when you create your video ad.
You can also see that an in-feed ad accepts engagements (likes, comments, and shares) and shows when the sound is turned on or off.
Facebook’s Requirements for Video Ads
Make sure you’re following Facebook’s video requirements and recommendations. If you don’t, your video may look odd in your ad, or Facebook may disapprove of your ad altogether.
Each ad type—Stories ads, in-feed ads, etc.—comes with its own set of specification requirements. There are five video specifications you’ll want to be aware of:
- File type: Facebook supports a wide range of file types, but MP4, MOV, or GIF are recommended for all video ad placements.
- Aspect ratios: 16:9 (horizontal) to 9:16 (portrait) are supported for in-feed ads, but Facebook recommends 4:5 for in-feed ads; otherwise, you may get black bars on either side of the video. Other ad placements may have different requirements.
- Video length: One second to 241 minutes for in-feed ads. This varies by video placement.
- Max file size: 4 GB for all placements.
- Minimum resolution: 1080 x 1080 for all placements.
You can find all the required and suggested specifications for each ad placement type here.
3 Reasons Facebook Video Ads Will Help You Reach Your Marketing Goals
1. Facebook and its users love video
When your ads include video, you’re helping Facebook achieve one of its core goals, and you’re providing the type of content that Facebook users crave.
Mark Zuckerberg has been bullish on video for a long time. “I just think that we’re going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video,” said Zuckerberg in 2016, during a keynote speech at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.
Since then, Facebook has focused on becoming the biggest ad-supported video platform. Using video in your ads means you’re aligned with Facebook’s goals.
Facebook users seem to be happy with the continued shift to video. Some 65% of Facebook users in the U.S. say they watch video on Facebook every day, and 60% of people who watch online video do it on Facebook. Also, 60% of people expect to watch more social video over the next year.
Video ads will help attract new customers on Facebook since video is such a popular medium on the platform.
2. Video is more engaging than other content on Facebook
People’s love for video also means they spend more time watching it and engage with it more than other mediums.
The average engagement rate on Facebook video posts is 6.13%, which is a higher engagement rate than any other type of content on Facebook. And people looked at video five times longer than static content.
3. Facebook video ads convert more than other types of ads
The best news for marketers is that video ads don’t just attract customers; they actually encourage them to convert more efficiently.
According to this poll, almost 69% of marketers say video ads outperform image and plain text ads on Facebook, while the best medium for finding a new product is videos, according to almost a third of shippers.
The conclusion? Not only do people love to watch video on Facebook, but ads that feature videos will help you convert viewers into customers.
5 Tips to Create Facebook Video Ads That Attract, Engage, and Convert
Facebook users watch over 100 million hours of video per day. While that’s proof that video is a popular medium, it also points out the need to create exceptional video ads if you want them to be memorable.
1. Create ads that work without sound
Facebook found that 80% of people reacted negatively to videos auto-playing with sound, so they gave users the option to turn off sound on videos. Now, most videos are viewed without sound, so your video ads should be able to get the message across with visuals only.
There are a few ways to make sure your videos are effective without sound.
Amazon added captions to this fun story about one of their most senior customers, Belle.
Belle describes her relationship with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
Make sure your entire message is delivered visually, like this timely ad from Talkspace.
Talkspace shows you what it would look like to speak with a mental healthcare professional remotely. It’s a quick, welcoming ad that uses only a few lines of text to get its message across.
Show, don’t tell, how your product works. Mirror is an interactive fitness device that projects workouts and more on a mirror via augmented reality.
It’s hard to visualize how Mirror works, but their ad shows you its capabilities by flashing through several scenarios of people using the product.
2. Be quick about grabbing attention and placing your brand
The first three seconds of a video ad delivers 47% of its value for your brand. In the first 10 seconds, your brand gets 74% of the ad’s value. Make sure you make the most of these critical first few seconds.
One in three people say seeing a logo or brand they like gets them to stop scrolling, and brand mentions in the first three seconds are positively correlated with conversion lift. To maximize the return from your video ads, make your brand easily visible right away.
Additionally, people have a much stronger recall of ads that get the point across in the first five seconds. So be clear and concise with your message.
Doritos needs just six seconds and zero words (except on the chip bag) to tell you everything you need to know about their new spicy, lime-infused snack.
3. Think mobile-first
Mobile and video are a perfect pair: people are 1.5 times more likely to watch a video daily on a smartphone vs. a computer.
If you’re already creating shorter videos designed for no sound that show your brand early, you’re well on your way to optimizing your video ads for mobile. But there are a couple of other things you can do.
For example, you can use vertical video. That’s how videos are often viewed on smartphones, so vertical video fills more of the screen. Not to mention that vertical video ads get the highest engagement on Facebook.
You can also consider using Lead Ads to gather information on mobile. When clicked, a Lead Ad sends users to a contact form within Facebook with most of their info prefilled, instead of sending them to a landing page on your website where they have to fill everything in.
Here’s what Airstream’s Lead Ad looks like.
Airstream used Lead Ads to drum up 78% more leads and even reduced the cost of those leads by 52%.
4. Retarget people who watch your videos
Retargeting ads are ads that automatically display to someone who has taken some action, such as visiting your website or seeing another one of your ads.
You can create a Facebook Custom Audience that specifically retargets people who have watched one of your video ads. When someone watches one of your video ads, they become familiar with your product and are 10 times more likely to click on a future ad.
Retargeting from video ads works because when someone takes the time to watch your ad, they’re signalling an interest in your product or message. You can then show them future ads that build on that interest.
Here’s a video ad from retailer Target featuring Google’s Nest devices.
Facebook tracks who watches all or most of this video. Since that audience is interested in Google products, Target can show them ads for other similar products they’d likely be interested in as well.
By using this strategy, Target will see a higher click-through-rate and conversion rate on retargeted ads, improving the return on their marketing spend.
5. Increase engagement with video poll ads
Facebook now offers interactive polling stickers—like the ones available on Instagram—for video ads.
Polling stickers allow you to interact directly with your audience. You ask questions, they get to answer. This interaction encourages engagement by asking something of the audience. It also teaches you something about your audience.
In general, interactive elements like poll stickers are popular on social media. In fact, 60% of businesses on Instagram use some type of interactive element like poll stickers, and 63% of people surveyed say they’ve used a sticker from a brand.
A poll sticker like this one not only gets people involved in the conversation, but it also acts like a focus group for gathering feedback.
Poll stickers are only available through video ads on Facebook. Luckily, they’re easy to set up, and Facebook shows you exactly how to do it.
Facebook Video Ads Examples That Sell with Emotion
The best ads tap into human emotion, and video is a great medium to make that connection. These eight brands have figured out how to do it well. Follow their lead, and you’ll be creating Facebook video ads people love to watch and want to share.
WizardPins and The Sill: Anticipation
Unboxing videos have been a trend on social media for a long time, with top unboxing videos getting millions of views.
These videos are popular because they trigger powerful psychological motivators. Think back to the last time you ordered something online. How exciting was it when the package showed up at your door? That’s the feeling unboxing videos can elicit.
WizardPins, a company that makes custom lapel pins based on their customers’ designs, leveraged the excitement of unboxing videos in one of their ads.
WizardPins’ customers are artists and creators, so they’re waiting to see their designs come to life in a tangible product. The ad is also fast-moving, so viewers get the gist of the story quickly.
The Sill, a direct-to-consumer company that ships houseplants to your door, has an animated unboxing ad that serves two purposes.
They tap into the anticipation of getting a new product. And they show how their plants are shipped safely, removing any concerns a potential buyer might have about shipping.
Fender and Zoom: Empathy
Empathy is often confused with sympathy. Sympathy can be expressed as pity, whereas empathy is our ability to watch someone else’s experience and imagine what it would be like if we had that experience ourselves.
Empathy in a Facebook video ad triggers a biological response that helps your customers feel what it’s like to use your product.
Fender is a leading manufacturer of stringed instruments. Music is filled with emotion for both the creator and the listener. See how Fender immerses viewers into the music creation process with this ad.
A musician watching two professionals create amazing music with Fender products can imagine what it would be like to do the same.
The ad is a conversation with contacts at Sonos—a designer of in-home speakers—that rely on Zoom to bring cross-country teams together.
The ad describes the challenge of working with engineering colleagues located on two coasts. People in the same remote work situation, Zoom’s target audience, will empathize with the challenge and feel relief with the solution.
People follow the examples of others they connect with, and social proof ads like these help provide that connection.
A funny ad can stop us in our tracks. But it can also help create a connection between your brand and your customer. Or, as this article in Psychology for Marketers argues, “we buy from people we like, and humor is the easiest and fastest way to get there.”
Casper gained fame as a direct-to-consumer mattress brand, and they’ve expanded to serve four-legged customers with a range of dog beds. They tug at our heartstrings and funny bones with a series of lighthearted testimonials from dogs, which they assure us are not actors.
Under Armour and Budweiser: Inspiration
The athletic clothing brand Under Armour expresses our deep desire to improve through visceral imagery, inspirational personalities, and motivational stories.
This particular ad features Aisha Praught-Leer, an Olympic middle-distance runner. Viewers are inspired both by the hard work it takes to achieve that level in her sport and by her infectious attitude towards breaking down barriers (and inviting others to do so, too).
Motivation isn’t always about sports, even when an athlete offers it. This ad from Budweiser steps away from beer and sports to inspire collective self-improvement.
In this ad, pro basketball player Dwayne Wade has a beer with Natalie Johnson, a senior brewmaster. The conversation is contextualized by Wade’s narration of a hopeful message for America’s future. You can’t help but feel encouraged and energized by the ad.
Don’t Be Intimidated by Facebook Video Ads
When you see a big brand’s highly produced ad, it can feel like videos are out of reach if you don’t have a huge marketing budget and top videography talent.
The truth is, people love authenticity in advertising. You can shoot and edit a video from your cellphone or create an animation using software that requires little to no experience and produce an ad that connects in ways a still image can’t. So get out there and record a conversation with your best customer or tell the story of your brand. It’s what the audience wants.