In 2015, we wrote a post called “5 Tips To Increase Conversions Through Facebook Video Ads.”
Tricks included creating educational and inspirational videos, integrating really specific calls-to-action (CTAs), using optimized CPM (oCPM) to pay for video ads, choosing the right target audience via the ‘behavior heading’ and ‘custom audience’ features, and of course… a reminder to always test!
Since 2015, a lot has changed.
Facebook made all videos default to sound on, leading many to preemptively mute their computers or tabs while browsing. Instagram video ads are just as popular as Facebook video ads, if not more so! And new formats like in-stream video ads, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live have taken over.
And, of course, the world of video ads has gotten more competitive than ever!
With all of these changes, what are the top tricks now for making sure your video ads remain extraordinary?
We’ve outlined five Instagram and Facebook video ad examples for you below.
1. Make your video ads as short as humanly possible
Although the current format for Facebook and Instagram video ads is 60 seconds, for a lot of people that’s still too long.
According to Wistia, people stop watching online videos just seconds in. Longer videos lose people faster, but no video is immune. A large portion of peopleise generally going to stop watching your video halfway-through or even less.
No matter how high quality your content might be, people are going to drop like flies when they start watching your video ads.
So how do you get your message across in time?
First, put the good stuff into the first 5-10 seconds. As the chart above highlights, viewership begins dropping with each additional second that passes after this. Whatever you want the maximum number of viewers to see should go into the very beginning of your video.
Then, make sure the entire video remains specific — that each shot is meaningful. You can’t afford to waste a single frame. You can see both of these lessons in this video ad from Velocity Black, advertising its new members app.
Velocity Black immediately hooks you — in this case, transporting the viewer to “the edge of space.” The visuals are stunning; the mood is epic. In case you’re tempted to scroll past, Velocity rapidly shifts to its next adventure scene, swimming with orcas in Norway, followed by a heli ski trip over volcanoes. The scenes absorb the viewer in adventure before you’re able to look away.
The entire clip clocks in at just about five seconds. If you notice it in your Instagram feed, you’re likely to stop and watch the whole thing. They knew it would be tough to keep your attention—and they decided to work with that, by making it almost impossible to stop watching.
2. Think like a silent film artist
When you tap a video on Facebook or Instagram, it will now automatically play with sound. It was a controversial choice, and one that has many users scrolling their feeds with their phones or computers on mute.
While you always had to think about how your videos worked without audio, that is especially pertinent today. Today, nearly 85 percent of video views happen in silent mode.
For advertisers, without the automatic opportunity to cue a friendly voice or striking tune, how do you get viewers to want to turn your sound on? Or, alternatively, how do you create silent clips that still stick?
First, try catchy colors. Red, for example, is proven to strike a particular chord, along with other primary colors, like blue and yellow. MailChimp is great at this, often building entire shots from these bold hues.
The visceral colors keep us engaged above video’s narrative, piquing curiosity as to what story MailChimp is telling.
Another way to get your message across without sound is to employ text in bold, dynamic forms.
The recent ad for the movie, I, Tonya, does this with flair.
The white, bold words from the AM New York review stand out in stark contrast with the black background. Their alternating sizes help draw the eye down the text in dramatic fashion. Paired with actress Margot Robbie’s frightening, determined gaze; the viewer can’t help but internalize the intensity she brings to the film, and the urgency with which it demands your attention.
The point is this: instead of being an obstacle, sound-off videos can play to your advantage. Bold colors and dynamic text can capture people’s attention in the first few seconds — and spur them to turn up the volume later on.
3. Incorporate design to make your ads look highly-produced
A bit of design goes a very long way when it comes to Facebook and Instagram video ads.
You don’t need a professional video studio to produce a commercial that looks professional with the various simple video editing tools out there. And adding even basic effects is one of the best ways to increase the conversions and engagement on the videos that you make.
For example, the Brooklyn-based business Baked‘s video below—at first glance, a simple shot of coffee being poured:
But as this GIF suggests, the video just does not end.
The coffee goes on for quite some time, the slow motion bringing the whole video to a new level of luxury and decadence. With the pro-looking title slide —which reads “Slow Moving Monday”—the whole thing looks more like an amateur short film than a simple coffee shot.
Natural lighting and a tilted lens keep it hypnotic and enticing.
Another, shorter work from Baked incorporates a unique viewing angle, some geometrical shapes, and another well-timed title slide.
Before Baked got in touch with Facebook Creative Studio and started making videos like this, they were uploading the same shots of coffee and pastries over and over again. After the video above, they saw a 40% increase in Thanksgiving pie purchases—proving to everyone that putting a little bit of extra effort into the design of your video can have a big impact and drive a big return.
Using DIY design techniques can help you naturally integrate into your viewer’s stream, keeping it in line with much of the content they experience every day, make your brand feel more friendly and accessible—and get you more customers.
4. Pair your Instagram or Facebook ad campaign with a specific product launch.
Using video ads in unique ways can be a great method for catching viewers’ attention ahead of a new product launch.
Wistia used some playful, behind-the-scenes footage in a video to drum up anticipation for their Enterprise plan:
Wistia’s decision to use @jeffvincent in a penguin suit helps build the mystery behind what’s “coming to [viewers] tomorrow.” Those who follow Wistia on Instagram feel “in” on this company secret.
Releasing teasers like Wistia’s is a great way to make your social media followers feel like they are a part of something exclusive, which can help build customer loyalty.
Building an air of mystery, hype, and/or privilege around a new product or service with creative video ads can be instrumental in elevating sales on the launch.
5. Be smart about how you A/B test
Finally, with all of the new options for creating Facebook and Instagram video ads, split testing remains as essential as ever.
Even the best pieces can become dull if you stop paying close attention to your metrics. Ways to make sure your tests stay effective include:
- Wait a few days before evaluating your results.
- Wait to confirm your results until you have at least 95% statistical significance.
- Stick to testing one variable at a time.
We break down each of these below.
Wait a few days before evaluating results.
Although you might be eager to see if your ideas (e.g. a new video title or color scheme) catch on, Facebook
recommends waiting between 3 and 14 days to both capture sufficient data and stay within the constraints of your budget.
Of course, this depends on the audience you’re testing. For example, if you’re running a test for site traffic, and you sense that people generally visit your page on the weekends, you’d likely want to cover a full seven-day period.
Overall, less than three days could result in a sample of results that are too few and/or scattered to really mean anything on a larger scale. More than 14 days could result in a lower ROI since most A/B split test winners can be determined before this two-week period is up.
Wait to confirm your results until you have at least 95% statistical significance.
In addition, while one test may yield a higher conversion rate than another, it’s important to confirm that this improvement is significant (i.e. not up to random chance).
Using an A/B significant test, like Kissmetrics‘ can be valuable to verify your findings. Here, users begin by inputting their overall page visits, along with conversions.
In addition to delivering conversion rates for each test to its users, Kissmetrics determines the certainty with which one version of the advertisement is more successful than the other.
Here, Kissmetrics is 99% certain that variation “B” will convert users at a higher rate than variation “A”. Kissmetrics deems any certainty rate below 95% not to be significant (i.e. users should not move forward with the campaign).
Using an A/B significance test can help boost confidence in a new campaign and avoid costly errors by using the wrong video ad variation.
Stick to testing one variable at a time.
While you might be tempted to test a ton of ideas at once (e.g. different video titles or color schemes), it’s important to focus in on one factor for each test.
For example, if your current audience is men in their twenties and thirties on the East coast of the United States, but you’d like to see if the same demographic will engage with your content on the West coast — test the new location but keep the gender and age range constant.
While multivariate tests do exist, they are more complicated and come at a higher price. The value of single factor A/B tests is understanding exactly what variable you can credit for your results prior to moving forward.
Embrace restrictions on length and sound to create Facebook and Instagram video ads that are short, to-the-point, vibrant, and relatable. Don’t be afraid to bring in DIY methods like iPhone cameras to give your followers a window into what goes on in your day-to-day — and even household items like plants to make them feel more at home.
If you’re used to publishing high-resolution, professional clips, consider mixing it up with raw footage, especially when building anticipation and a sense of things coming together, leading up to a new product rollout.
Keep paying attention to the results of your tests, continue to improve your variables, and up your conversion rates in no time.
And now, if you want to dive into the past, keep on reading our 2015 post (the tips still matters) then leave your comments!
It’s something that hangs heavy over your head.
You’ve got a great reach on Facebook. You’ve done well to build an audience and get them to engage with your content. It is so satisfying to see this happening, so what could possibly be bothering you?
Conversions, of course.
Advertisers and marketers are beginning to realize that a higher engagement rate and reach doesn’t always translate to the kind of ROI that a brand or business looks for in their advertising/marketing campaigns. Many companies have even pulled out of Facebook due to poor sales and conversions.
Your business goal that drives your Facebook marketing strategy should be to increase conversions. However, this goal has become difficult to achieve with increasing consumer expectations and rising competition for News Feed real estate.
That said, you’ve also been blessed with options such as Facebook video ads. These ads, when executed correctly, can lead to a significant increase in conversions.
With video ads estimated to occupy 15 percent of digital advertising market by 2017, Facebook was well aware how lucrative it can be to make the option available to Facebook marketers and to edge out competitors such as YouTube. The company has also incorporated the following features with video ads:
- Auto Play
Videos play in News Feeds automatically, and are counted as a view after 3 seconds (the industry standard). People seeing the video can click a button to unmute a sound, and see the video in full screen by expanding the player. This feature is applicable to Premium Video Ads only (videos that are 15 seconds long).
- Video view counts
All videos show how many views they have received, which can be used to calculate the conversion rate and aid content discovery.
- Audience retention graph
This graph in Page Insights will show the level of user interest in different parts of a video. A spike in the views at certain points will indicate interest at particular moments, whereas a decline will showcase the part of the video where people stopped watching.
How to use Facebook video ads to increase conversions
While video ads don’t guarantee an increase in conversions, using them in the following ways will increase your chances of improving your ROI:
1. Create educational and inspirational videos
Don’t just run Facebook video ads for the sake of pushing video content out there. Create inspirational and informative content to influence the decision making process of the audience and get them to take action.
Such videos communicate your brand or product’s story in a better way than a sales video would. The script should distinguish the benefits of doing business with you and how your company is better than your competitors. It’s important to stay tasteful and not get salesly from start till finish (let the call to action do the sales part).
Target did a great job by sharing this inspirational DIY video on Valentine’s Day, which also helped in increasing the retailer’s own sales.
A study by Anagard informed that when it comes to attention on the web, it’s a case of blink and miss. So people normally see a certain content on Facebook for 6 seconds or less (just somewhat longer than the average link). So if people don’t notice, your content can’t convert, so whatever makes them look longer will help with conversions. That’s what educational and inspirational videos do. Use quality best practices while creating such videos.
2. Integrate call-to-action
Facebook video ads will lead to more conversions when they include a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA will tell people what to do, such as ‘watch future videos to learn more’ or ‘stop by our store to buy these items’. The CTA can also direct viewers to discounts or coupons. Advertisers also have the option to redirect users to a dedicated landing page for relevant actions in the video (this works well for eCommerce stores).
Here’s a call to action button at the end of the video for Felicia Mupo. It redirects to the official website.
Don’t take a vague approach and hope you’ll be able to convince people to take certain action. That won’t happen if you overwhelm them, even if the video itself is creative. Make a shortlist of what you aim to accomplish, then cut it down to a narrowed list. Then use that list to select what you want the audience to do and use it as a CTA.
3. Use optimized CPM (oCPM) to pay for video ads
Don’t link CPC ads to external videos as there will be no auto-play in this case. Use oCPM bidding for video ads as it will optimize the video ad towards people who are more likely to take the desired action (such as go to the website at the end of the video) rather than just engaging with the post. This will reduce your cost per video view and show better insights for the ad.
You pay per view with oCPM, while enabling Facebook to search for viewers within your specified price point. While the price is going to be higher than normal CPM bidding, the cost per view will turn out to be lower at the end. You can learn more about these bid types in our Facebook ad bidding guide for beginners.
4. Choose the right target audience
Standard video ads on Facebook can be created for specific people, such as those who have already viewed your content. For example, you can come up with a follow up video for already captured leads to help them transition from awareness to consideration and affinity. Most of the targeting options can be found under the ‘behavior heading’ for video ads.
There is also the option of using the Custom Audience feature while creating Facebook ads. This will target the videos to your existing audiences, after you upload their user IDs, mobile IDs, numbers, and/or email addresses.
This will enable you to reach audiences who already know about you and inspire them to take action through the video. The feature will be quite useful to recover lost customers or encourage those customers who don’t open your emails.
And for reaching new customers, you can ‘exclude’ the entire custom audience set while setting the target for a video ad.
5. Remember to test
Test different video ads to determine what converts best. To optimize the video ad campaign, test more than two ad sets; because the first video ad outperforms the second doesn’t mean it will do better than the third video ad too.
A/B test everything from the content in your video to the videos’ headline and call-to-action. Determine what works best. You can also use the audience retention graph in this case to see where the interest was lost, and then A/B test 2-3 videos to see what works best to recapture interest.
Lastly, A/B test your target audience to determine the best viewers who’re likely to convert.
Videos are likely to get greater engagement on Facebook because of their visual power. And by following the above-mentioned strategies, you can ensure that you get conversions from that engagement.
Do you use Facebook video ads? What do you think of the results? Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in comments.