Facebook Video Ads: Ultimate Guide & Best Practices in 2020

Facebook video
When it comes to Facebook, video ads can really take your performance to the next level if done well!

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What are Facebook video ads?

Over the last few years, Facebook started putting a lot of effort into videos. Facebook watch parties, Facebook scrolling feed and much more have been installed to better catch the video trend. Noticing this change, a lot of brands have started testing out Facebook video ads to compare their performance with other ads creative such as carousel or image ads.

The growth of videos in our society has become very important especially on Facebook. There are currently over 100 million hours of Facebook videos watched everyday and over 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day. Another interesting thing to note is that Facebook receives almost 135% more reach than image posts on Facebook.

If you want to learn more about how Facebook reach works, I recommend our article “Facebook Reach in 2020: How Many People See Your Post?“.

The truth of the matter is that Facebook videos are becoming more important by the day and if you aren’t generating Facebook video ads, you are probably sitting on a goldmine of money. Our Facebook video campaigns have generated awesome results for us over the last couple of months!

What are the benefits of Facebook video ads?

1 – Better results for almost anything

No matter the Facebook ad objective, might it be conversions or clicks, video ads often yield way better results than image or carousel Facebook ads. Of course, with video’s, it’s important to make something of great quality. A bad video will underperform a good image, but a good video with most often perform better than a great image.

Facebook video ads are also really good to gain visibility and increase the popularity of your brand. If you already have created a video for your brand, we recommend you try it out as a Facebook ad to gain more brand exposure. Who knows, this video might greatly improve your Facebook ads results with minimal efforts.

2 – Video views are extremely cheap

When starting a Facebook video ad campaign, you can now build a custom audience based on the video views you received. This custom audience can be really useful for your future retargeting campaigns.

If you want to learn more about Facebook custom audiences, we recommend our article “Facebook Custom Audience: Everything you need to know in 2020“.

How can you create a video views Facebook custom audience? It’s quite simple. Head over to the business manager and go inside “audience”. You’ll be able to select create and then custom audience.

Facebook video custom audience
Facebook Video Custom Audience

You can choose people who saw a number of seconds of your video or a percentage of your video. We always recommend taking a percentage of your Facebook video ad because the longer someone saw your video the more intent they’ve shown in your brand.

3 – You can target anyone, anywhere

When it comes to Facebook ads, it’s no surprise you can target pretty much anyone on the platform. You can target people based on their age, their gender, behaviours, interests and connection types.

When it comes to behaviours, you can even target people who have clicked on a “buy now” button in the last 7 days for example. In terms of connection types, you can target the friends of the people who like your page and much more!

You can also target people based on their location such as where they travelled to, the country they live in or even target a radius around a point on a map.

Facebook location targeting
Facebook location targeting

Finally, you can target people based on different placements. You can target people on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. This way, your Facebook video ad appears everywhere!

4 – Telling a story & sharing a message

A video can convey a story and share a message in a million different ways compared to images. Being able to show moving images and add sound, truly make Facebook video ad campaigns one of the most powerful ad creative out there.

You can create video’s around why your company came to the existence or show your products under a new lense through a video. Being able to craft a great video ad can also allow your brand to educate your audience about your company’s product and its services. This can really help in converting more visitors into customers.

5 – Engagement on video’s is strong

In 2020, videos online account for more than 80% of the consumer internet. In fact, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices (Statista, 2018). The growth of interactions around videos online has had spectacular growth.

We can count Youtube, Facebook Watch, IGTV, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Messenger Stories and counting. All those platforms have been growing consistently over the last few years which makes Facebook video ads some of the most interactive and popular content to create.

If you are still not convinced, look at Tik Tok, the fastest growing social media focused mainly on video creative format. People love videos and this trend isn’t about to die!

What are the best size & specs for Facebook video ads?

In order to make the process of creating video’s fast and efficient, it’s important to understand the size and formats of Facebook video ads. Every placement can have a different rule in terms of size, video length and so on. For instance, Instagram stories only allow videos of up to 15 seconds.

Fear not, depending on your ad objective, audience and placement, you might only need one video format to appear on the majority of the places, Nonetheless, adapting your video format based on certain criteria’s can only increase your chances of success.

Ratio, Lenght & Sound for Facebook Video Ads

1. Aspect Ratio’s

When it comes to finding the right aspect ratio for your Facebook video ad, we always recommend focusing on mobile-first. Most websites have more than half of their traffic coming from the mobile which gives it a lot of importance when it comes to Facebook ads too.

Here are the most common formats we use for Facebook video ads in our agency:

  • Vertical video: 4:5 or 2:3
  • Fullscreen: 9:16
  • Full landscape: 16:9
  • Square: 1:1

When it comes to vertical videos, it’s important to remember that most people like to tilt their phone to the side which gives a 4:5 ratio to be ideal. It’s true that a lot of people also like to watch videos with their phones standing upright.

Fullscreen video’s can be awesome for Facebook ads because they truly grab the attention of audiences. They allow your brand to fully capture your audience’s attention.

Finally, square ratio’s are quite popular for Facebook video ads, especially for the Instagram placement. The only problem with Facebook video ad square formats is that they are quite small. This makes them harder to fully capture your audiences attention.

For more information about Facebook video ads specs, we recommend visiting this article from Facebook themselves which contains the most accurate information on the subject.

Facebook Video Ads
Facebook video ads formats

2. Length

When it comes to length, we always recommend starting with a video that lasts approximately 15 seconds to start with. It’s also important to make sure the first few seconds of your video really grab the attention of your audience. In fact, nobody would want to watch the rest of the video if the 3-5 seconds doesn’t compel them to.

The goal of your Facebook video ad is to share your brands message in the most clear yet entertaining way. Video’s tend to do well online because they are more captivating than images. If you video isn’t captivating, then you missed the whole point of using Facebook video ads in the first place.

Getting in the more technical details, Instagram feed ads allow you to run videos that the last a maximum of 60 seconds. Instagram story ads allow you to create videos of a maximum of 15 seconds while Facebook allows you to create videos of up to 240 minutes (quite long I know). Here are the technical details in a more digestible fashion:

  • Facebook Feed & Instant Article: 240 minutes maximum
  • Facebook In-Stream: 5-15 seconds
  • Instagram Feed: 1-60 seconds
  • Instagram, Facebook & Messenger Stories: 1-15 seconds
  • Audience Network: 10-120 seconds

If you want more information about Facebook video formats, take a look.

3. Sound

When it comes to sound for your Facebook video ad, you should think about subtitles. Why? The majority of people watch your Facebook video ad without sound which means that if you don’t have captions your results are likely not going to be good.

Only Facebook In-Stream video’s require sound but most other Facebook video ads don’t require it. We still recommend to always have sound for those who want to listen but it’s key to have subtitles too.

For subtitles, we recommend using a big enough font and using a text overlay to make sure people can read properly. This way you can share your message in a clear manager while keeping your audience engaged throughout the entire Facebook video ad.

If you have a Facebook video ad running in multiple languages that work well, we recommend translating the subtitles in multiple languages. This will allow you to gain exposure with a bigger audience pool which has a big chance of having a positive impact on your results.

Facebook video ad Captions
Facebook Video Ad Captions

Moreover, it is a plus if your video has subtitles in multiple languages, and make full use of the built-in caption function. Most of the placements support this feature. Let’s discuss more in the following section.

If you are wondering how to add subtitles to your Facebook video ad, follow this article from Facebook!

What are the best practices for Facebook video ads?

Before diving into the best practices for Facebook video ads, it’s very important to realize that most people watch their videos without sound hence why it’s very important to have captions and subtitles. In fact, according to Digiday, more than 85% of videos are watched without sound.

#1 – Use Subtitles & Captions

Most people watching videos on Facebook are using the autoplay function by default. This means videos are always played without sound automatically, thus the importance for adding the right subtitles and captions to your Facebook video ads.

Not only do they improve the experience of the people watching the Facebook video’s but they can also be a must for certain videos where the words are what matters most.

Automated Captions Facebook Video
Facebook Video Automated Captions

Hot Tip ?️: you can check your Insight Tab and select the posted video’s on your Facebook page and see the views you received when the sound was on and the sound was off.

#2 – Focus on the beginning of your Facebook video

When it comes to Facebook video ads, the most important part is arguably the beginning of your video. Why? Well if people don’t watch the beginning because they don’t feel compelled to then you lost them.

It’s why we always recommend that you bring the story of your Facebook video very rapidly. The goal is to capture the attention of your target market. Of course, you can always try different beginnings to see which beginning of video seems to work the best.

Hot Tip ?️: don’t show your logo at the beginning of the video. The more time you spend on something that won’t compel your audience, the more chances you have of not keeping them watching the video. Remember, the beginning is the most important part.

You want to convey to your audience why they should watch your video in 5 seconds, be quick, precise and direct!

Facebook Video Stats
Facebook Video Stats [Source]

Another awesome thing you can with Facebook video ads is taking a hard look at the data to see where people leave your video the most. By finding that exact moment, you’ll be able to make modifications to that segment of a video that seems to make your audience drop off.

#3 – Use relevant Facebook ads CTA

When initially setting up your Facebook ads video campaign in the business manager, it’s important to integrate a CTA button that is relevant to your objective. For example, if you are trying to generate sales then you should pick the buy now call-to-action because it will improve the conversion rate of your Facebook video ad campaign.

If you want to learn more about conversion rates, I recommend our article “What is a Conversion Rate? How to Measure & Improve Your Conversion Rate“.

There are a lot of options when it comes to CTA, it’s why we recommend you take your time to pick the one that makes the most sense for your video and your Facebook ads objective. There’s Shop Now, Learn More, Download, Install Now, and so on.

Facebook ads CTA
Facebook ads CTA

We recommend you take a closer look at all the options when it’s time to choose and think about what your customers will want to click on. If you want people to download a PDF, then Download might make more sense then other CTA’s.

#4 – Description, headline & copywriting

Video’s on Facebook are arguably the most interactive type of content on Facebook but they still require some strong copywriting to truly captivate your audience. Your description should make your target market curious and leave them wanting to see the Facebook video.

You should also make sure that your description compels your audience to learn more. You should say what the video is about, why they should watch it and so on. This will improve your Facebook video results by tons.

Taste Facebook Video Ad
Facebook video ad example

While anything with motion will attract attention, don’t forget the existing headlines, titles, descriptions too. Giving users some basic introduction to the video will greatly increase the watch rate.

You should also integrate a strong headline that gets people curious to watch your Facebook video ad. Finally, don’t forget to add a link description below your link which could further entice your audience to watch your video or click on the CTA.

#5 – Split test your video thumbnail

When it comes to Facebook video ads, we know that the beginning of the video matter a lot and have a huge impact on results. Well, the thumbnail is part of this beginning of video. Most advertisers take the easy road and only let Facebook choose their video thumbnail. This strategy is not optimal.

At SH1FT, we always recommend our clients to let us create multiple thumbnails and personalize them. Having an attractive thumbnail that compels people to watch your video can make a huge difference in your results.

You can even add a few words to your thumbnail to make sure people know what your video is about although it’s not always necessary. If you do add text, make sure that you respect Facebook’s 20% text rule as it applies to images and thumbnails.

Text Overlay Tool Facebook
Text Overlay Tool

In order to make sure it works, you should upload first your image to Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool. As you can see in the image above, you just need to upload your Facebook video thumbnail and Facebook will give you an image text rating.

#6 – Creative work over complexity

At SH1FT, some of our best Facebook video campaigns came from research, collaborating with our clients and leveraging our expertise. In reality, most of the Facebook videos that performed well were quite easy to create.

You don’t need to make a video that cost ten thousand dollars that lasts 5 minutes. The most important part is that you are creative with your Facebook video and that it aligns with the goal of your Facebook ad campaign. For instance, some of our best performing ads were story videos which are only 15 seconds long.

The first step we recommend to all advertisers who want to create Facebook video ads is to find examples. I recommend our article “24 Facebook Video Ad Examples To Freshen Up Your Results“. You’ll find awesome Facebook video ads ideas to boost your creativity and get a sense of which type of videos work on Facebook.

If you don’t know which software to start with when creating your Facebook video ads. You can find a few free mobile apps to edit your videos such as Magisto & Hyperlapse. These apps can seem quite oversimplistic but we’ve been able to craft high performing videos from those in the past.

Finally, for those who didn’t know, Facebook has a Mobile Studio which has tons of apps you might want to use such as A Color Story, Canva, Quik, Mojo, Over and such. It’s a great place to start creating mobile-focused Facebook ads.

Need some help creating your Facebook video campaign?

At this stage, you’ve learned the basics of creating your Facebook video campaign. You know the formats, why you should create videos and how to create Facebook video ads that perform over time. It’s now time to leverage this ad format to bring the results your brand deserves!

At SH1FT, we create videos optimized for Facebook ads at affordable prices. If your brand needs videos, don’t hesitate to reach out to see if we think we can help you. You just have to request a proposal and we’ll see if you are a good fit to work with us!

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