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16 Vital Facebook Video Ads Best Practices For High ROI

Lauren Breen
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There are a number of ways for marketers to boost engagement, showcase a band, and grab people’s on Facebook—but none is as effective as a solid video ad campaign. 

Don’t just take our word for it.

Facebook saw the trend and created Facebook Watch back in 2017, a video-on-demand service. Almost five years later and more than 1 billion Facebook users watch video content on Facebook Watch every single month. This means Facebook is full of users ready and wanting to watch your videos. 

Additionally, video ads get two times more clicks than image ads, which means your ads are getting double the engagement. And who doesn’t love that?

The sky is blue. The grass is green. Video ads work. Need we say more?

Ok, we’ll say some more. 

There are also a lot of things to consider when creating your Facebook video ads. You might do well to scroll through some of these ad examples we’ve covered in a previous post.

Or, better yet, keep on reading to find the best practices we swear by as well as tried and tested tips to make your engagement skyrocket and business thrive.

What is a Facebook video ad?

But first, the basics. 

Video ads are ads that include video content to deliver messages about your brand or ad campaign. They’re like the smarter, faster older brother of the single image ad. By which we mean, video ads are great at allowing you to show off your brand in new ways, show unique features or tell your brand story, or capture people’s attention quickly. 

The great thing about starting a video ad campaign on Facebook is that you can create video ads right from Ads Manager, or you can boost a post that already includes your own video you’ve created right from your business or brand Facebook Page.

The other thing about video ads is that they’re EVERYWHERE, which is great for your video ad campaign, and also more generally for your online presence. 

Video ads can appear in multiple different placements across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. Choose from a variety of aspect ratios (depending on the placement) and decide whether you want to upload your own video or create a video from images using video creation tools.

Facebook video ads tips and best practices

Now that you know what video ads are and what they can do, you might be wondering how to use video ads effectively?

And you’d be right to ask. Because what’s the point of making exciting video content if optimization isn’t a top priority.

Before you go ahead and start your video marketing campaign, follow these tips and best practices to make quality videos that get the most video views and increase brand awareness. 

1. Capture attention in the first 2 seconds

Part of the benefit of using Facebook for your video marketing is having a large audience to reach. And reaching your target audience requires you to make videos engaging enough that they’ll want to convert from casual online viewers to real-life customers. 

That’s why hooking them in the first few seconds of your video is key. When creating your video ad, try to make them stick around by posing a question at the start, creating a hypothetical they can relate to, or giving them an exciting teaser in the introduction to hint at what’s to come.

2. Choose an enticing thumbnail or upload a custom image just in case the video isn’t loading or doesn’t auto-play 

Aside from the content, make sure your video catches your audience’s attention before they even press play. 

Choose a thumbnail for your video ad that captures the essence of your brand and could potentially stop a user from scrolling through their news feed. 

For example, Thrive Causemetics has a thumbnail for their video ad that shows a before and after image of a customer’s face. This might not seem that compelling, but if you’re interested in getting lash extensions, it’s bound to draw you in. 

Facebook ads thumbnail
Use a compelling thumbnail to draw people into your video ads - source

3. Add sound, but don’t rely on it

If you’re trying to get more eyes on your ads, you’ll also want to include sound to catch the attention of your viewers. 

Adding sound to your video ad is a good way to keep your viewers engaged while also lending a hand in your campaign messaging. Choose from royalty-free music to give your ad a vibe that’s professional, or compose your own using software that’s specific to your brand identity. 

Don’t make audio a key component of understanding your ads though because a whopping 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.

4. Always, always, always, add captions

With the above said, if a sound is a necessary component of your video, captioning is essential. Whether it’s a viewer who is in an environment where they can’t play audio aloud or someone who is hearing impaired, captions give your videos a broader viewership and offer a more accessible message to your audience.  

5. Upload videos formatted for their placement

Make sure your videos are published with the correct ratios so that there are no formatting hiccups when viewers go to watch your video ad. For stories, videos should be at an aspect ratio of 9:16, while videos that appear in people’s news feeds should be a 4:5 aspect ratio. 

Facebook video ad format
Facebook offers a number of formats, all with their own specific ratio requirements - source

Consider consulting this guide to read more on correct ratios for video ads. 

Tip: Most people watch videos on their mobile devices, so ensure that your video is the correct aspect ratio to appear correctly on people’s phones and tablets. Here’s a guide to help you find correct Facebook Video specs

6. Match the look of content already on people’s feeds

When starting the video production process, there’s no need to worry about your video looking like it was professionally filmed, or created by a cinematographer. 

Don’t believe us? Take a look at these video ad examples. Sure, some are well-produced, but other effective video ad campaigns simply feature two people sitting in front of the camera, or handheld camera footage. 

Let us repeat: It doesn’t need to be a fancy, expensive video. It can even look like a friend took it. Just make sure you’re capturing people’s attention and getting your message across. 

7. Tell a story that shows product benefits and the pain points you solve

Everyone loves a story. Providing a narrative for your audience to follow can keep people engaged, while also providing a case study for how your product, brand, or service works and solves problems in the real world. 

You can even use a customer testimonial to illustrate your message. Just be sure to include a character or person the audience can identify with, create a short but effective storyline, and tell a narrative your viewers will be able to connect with.

8. Don’t forget to include a CTA

You can do an amazing job at explaining your business, but you still need to tell them what you want them to do. Be sure to give your viewers a directive, whether it’s visiting your business page, following you on LinkedIn or other social media sites, or making a purchase on your eCommerce site. 

For example, take a look at the last frame of this Facebook video ad for Groupon. At the end of the video, the company shows viewers its unique slogan, while also prompting them to download their app from their preferred app store. 

Groupon Facebook video ad CTA
Groupon Facebook video ad CTA - source

If you’re still looking for some inspiration to create a compelling CTA for your Facebook video ad, explore some tips on how to create strong CTA ad copy

9. Don’t be afraid to get silly

You don’t need to be a comedian to make an ad that’s funny. The great thing about video ads is the opportunity they give you to showcase the fun side of your business and show some personality. 

Because who wants their ad to be boring? People’s news feeds are full of well-curated single image ads, perfectly photographed, self-serious to a fault. So why not stand out from the crowd?

Take Pillow Cube as an example. Their video ad promoting their unique pillow design uses jokes, running bits, and videos of customers reviewing their product to keep their audience engaged through the entire two-minute ad.

So, get a little silly. Your audience will appreciate the variety. 

10. Viewers should be able to learn everything they need to know just by watching the video

Not that your video should include everything about your business or brand, but you should definitely have high-quality information in your ad to increase brand awareness and entice audiences to explore more of what you offer. 

This video ad tells us everything we need to know through images and animation

For example, take a look at the Facebook video ad campaign for Db, a travel and outdoor equipment company. The ad features their product-- a travel-ready backpack-- in a dynamic way, focusing on showing rather than telling us about its many features. Even if you can’t read the small amount of copy that is below the backpack in the ad, the video remains informative through simple video animation and storytelling. 

11. Don’t forget about the headline and captions

Equally as impactful as good video content is a well-crafted headline for your ad. Keep things on brand, but remember: your goal is to get people to play your video. Consider posing a question in your headline, or offering a catchy tagline to your product or service. 

These headlines will appear above your video and should reiterate your product benefits or the value you provide. The captions and headline can be the difference between someone watching your video or scrolling right past.

12. Use influencer content to capture attention

Influencer marketing is a strategy that businesses use to promote their products and services by partnering with popular social media users or bloggers. Influencers usually have a large, engaged audience that brands can tap into to build credibility and even drive sales.

Partnering with influencers is a number one marketing strategy for many brands, and the benefits include reaching a bigger audience, building trust for your brand, getting more leads, increasing your brand’s social following, and driving sales.

Best of all? Their content typically feels more organic vs commercial and viewers may watch a video just because they recognize their favorite influencer. 

Some influencers will promote your business for free, but those with large followings charge a fee to gain access to their audience. Whatever the case, be extra sure that you get clear permission to use their content for your ads.

Public.com tapped a TikTok influencer to promote their investment app

Take a look at this example from Public, an app for buying stocks and researching investment opportunities. Their ad uses a content style approach and features TikTok influencer Daniel Mac asking strangers questions about their careers and interest in investing. Daniel then uses this opportunity to plug Public.com, creating a natural, conversational approach to the advertisement. 

Use this tip with discretion.

With the emergence of TikTok and Instagram Reels, specific audio and trends are going viral at insane speeds. If a sound or trend is on its way up and, most importantly, is relevant to your brand, jump on the bandwagon for your ad content.

If there’s no logical tie to your brand, don’t force it. This tip could come off as try-hard if you do.

The Extra Debit card has some really good examples of how to do this well….and a couple of examples that feel too forced. Let’s take a look.

Here’s a great example of how Extra used a trend of using voiceovers or dubbing with animals:

Animal voice-over example

It’s funny and entertaining. It discusses the product, but because the cats are just focused on buying catnip, it doesn’t feel too forced.

And now here’s a not-so-great example:

Daniel Mac imitation example

In this video, Extra tried to copy a trend that influencer Daniel Mac started where he approaches people in nice cars and asks them what they do. Earlier we saw an example from Public.com of the trend copied in a good way, USING Daniel Mac. This example though totally forces the idea. You know what’s coming. It doesn’t really make sense. It seems cheesy. Right idea, wrong execution.

14. Test out different lengths to see what works best

Shorter videos can make for good video ads. Try making short videos that are about 6 seconds, like this Airbnb ad, or as short as a gif and looking at a couple of seconds of video. Varying the lengths of your video ads can also give you a better sense of which kind of video your audience responds to best. Find out which length gets the most engagement and you have an idea of how you can cater future video ads to meet your audience’s interest. 

15. Test out different creative types

And while we’re discussing ad testing video lengths, testing different creative ad types is another great way to gather performance metrics and determine what your viewers like to engage with. 

Do they prefer animation? An iPhone video? A super-produced, cinematic ad? Or maybe test a combination of all three of these. Make it your own and chances are your viewers will reward you for your excitement and boldness. 

Learn how to do successful Facebook ad testing and get a better sense of when to test and how to test.

16. Utilize CPM bidding to ensure your ads are on autoplay

When you create ads using video, it doesn’t just end at the creative stage. You can use Facebook ads manager to optimize your video ad reach and utilize CPM bidding  (Cost Per Thousand Impression).

What’s CPM bidding? It allows you to set target bids that accumulate after 1,000 impressions. Basically, CPM bidding doesn’t charge you for clicks. But it will charge you for impressions of your ads, even if they’re shown below the fold where a user won’t see them.

You may want to read more about CPM bidding before you choose to use this strategy, so look into ad bidding on Facebook bidding, which we wrote about here.

Facebook video ad FAQs

Now that we’ve looked at some best practices when it comes to creating effective video ads, let’s look at some frequently asked questions to cover all of our bases. 

Do Facebook video ads work?

This is a great question if you’re someone who is a little skeptical about how well video ads perform on Facebook. Which is understandable. 

But get this. Videos on Facebook generate up to 8 billion views each day, including video ad creative. And shoppers are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase when they watch videos, in comparison to non-video viewers. 

As an example, the marketing team at Teamzy found great success when they saw a 325% increase in conversions and a 70% decrease in CPA with a video ad campaign run by our team.

The video that was part of the campaign had ad copy with a personal “hello” that helped grab the attention of viewers. Additionally, the conversational nature of the video was a big plus when it came to educating consumers on what Teamzy is and how it can help.

This is why Facebook video ads can be so powerful. Video draws people in, grabs their attention and gets them to take the action you’re looking for.

How long can a Facebook video ad be in 2021?

Video accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook. And currently, Facebook allows videos that are less than 240 minutes long (that’s 4 hours). Hopefully, that’s plenty of time to get your point across.

Facebook video has some new guidelines and features, so feel free to explore their main page for the Video tool and learn more about video features and best practices. 

Also, check out this video requirements chart for more information on video specs and length limits. 

What is the minimum duration of a Facebook video ad?

Video ads on Facebook can be as short as 1 second. Though, you’ll most likely want them to be longer. 

What is the cost of Facebook video ads?

The cost of your video ad depends on how much you want to put into your ad budget. Facebook will try to get you as many results as possible for that amount, so if you want to spend $10 a week, you can. Or, if you want to spend $20,000 a week, you can also do that.

It is true that some types of ads require a minimum amount of spend to work, but Facebook will alert you if that is the case. 

Before you dive into how much you want to spend on your video ads, you may want to read more about how to set up and maximize your Facebook ad budget

Lights, camera, action

Now that you’ve probably gained a lot of practical know-how on running Facebook advertising campaigns with video, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Pick up your camera, set up your set, and get to work on your next eye-catching online video that will help increase your conversion rate and get people talking about your business. 

Feel free to look at more Facebook ad examples for video ad inspiration, explore the Facebook Hub to learn more about how you can level up your Facebook Ad performance, and learn more about Klientboost ad services

Chapter 5:
Facebook Campaign & Ad Types

What You’ll Learn: Discover the different ad types you can use through Facebook to drive the results you want.

Chapter 6:
Facebook Ads Budgets & Bidding

What You’ll Learn: Take advantage of the best Facebook budget and bidding strategies to get the most effective performance from your ads.

Chapter 7:
Facebook Marketing Strategies

What You’ll Learn: Nail the correct Facebook marketing strategy so you can be more efficient with your campaigns.