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7 Facebook Video Ad Hacks You Should Know

Jennifer Engevik author profile image
facebook video ad tips
facebook video ad tips

There was a time when Facebook video ads were the new kid on the block. It was possible to jump in and quickly reap huge benefits. Today, the space is crowded and it can be tough to stand out -- so, you’ve got to get strategic on your approach.

Thankfully, there has been tons of research done on what works and what doesn’t. To save you tons of time, we've compiled seven Facebook video ad tips that will help you succeed:

1. Understand the 8-Second Rule

In 2015, a study revealed the average attention span is now about eight seconds. Facebook Business reveals how quickly users drop off when watching videos on Facebook. People simply aren’t messing around these days...

The above data makes it clear that you’ve got to have a powerful hook right at the beginning. Waste time and you’ll lose out. For example, Knorr, a spices and seasonings company, created a video ad that resonated with Facebook users so much that it garnered more than 31 million views in one week:

As you can see, the video quickly captures the attention right at the beginning. It opens to a video of a woman feeding a blindfolded man and asking the question, “Can Flavor Help You Find Love?.”

Given the compelling intro, it’s hard not to watch the video all the way to the end. Knorr then ups the ante at the video’s conclusion by telling viewers to take an interactive quiz that will help them discover their own taste pallet.

This is an advertiser’s dream -- a video that is intriguing and a marketing ploy that inspires viewers to take immediate action.

2. Keep Most Video Ads Short

We say “most video ads short” because sometimes longer ads work -- with the Knorr example above as proof -- but you must know it’s far from the norm.

According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, 6-second video ads have shown “higher brand metrics across the board.” This seems quite short, but Facebook officially recommends 5-15 second in-stream and news feed video ads.

3. Branding Is Important

Throw your brand name/logo out within the first 3-seconds of your video Facebook video ad, and you’ll most likely see positive results.

According to Facebook’s research, consumers were 23% more likely to remember a brand if it was shown between 1-3 seconds. There is then a 10% dropoff to 13% if the brand was featured after 4 seconds. And of course, if the brand wasn’t revealed/showcased, it dropped off even further.

facebook video ad tips
Source: Facebook IQ

4. Place Calls to Action in the Middle of Your Ad

According to recent data, advertisers who place their calls to action (CTAs) in the middle of a video tend to perform much better than those who place them at the beginning or end.

It looks something like this:

facebook video ad tips
Source: Wistia

The above data came as a result of more than 300,000 videos with CTAs.

Almost 96% of the videos left them to the end and only 4% had them mid-roll. It surprised researchers to discover the highest conversion rates were found for mid-roll CTAs.

5. Consider Mobile First

Facebook has made it clear that 95% of its users are on mobile devices, and 65% of all
Facebook video views are from mobile devices. As you create your ads, don’t get stuck in the desktop frame of mind. It’s easy to do.

When you’re brainstorming, think deeply about the mobile user’s experience and what they will see. Also, it’s important to remember that they may not be the captive audience you’re envisioning when you’re thinking of video ads. Mobile users tend to be out and about and have the attention span of a guppy.

According to Facebook, Mobile First video ads (those created specifically for mobile) tend to keep attention longer than those that have been adapted to mobile.

facebook video ad tips
Source: Facebook IQ

Thankfully, there has been quite a bit written about mobile video ads. Click here to learn more about Facebook’s best practices.

6. Sound-Off Views Are a Must

One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is assuming that most people watch videos with their sound on. However, Facebook revealed in 2016 that 85% of Facebook video views occur with the sound off. That was in part due to the fact that Facebook’s default was sound-off autoplay, but there appears to be more to the equation.

In 2017 Facebook programmed autoplay to start with sound-on, but users are still largely using their phones on silent or vibrate. The same is true with desktops. While autoplay is sound-on, many users are putting their Facebook tab on mute.

facebook video ad tips

Your video ads must make sense both with and without sound. Make sure all of your visuals are on point and consider using Facebook video ad subtitles. According to Facebook, using subtitles normally increases view times by 12%, which makes the effort even more worthwhile.

7. Make Your Videos Square or Vertical

It’s recommended that you use 9:16 or 1:1 aspect ratios. This means either vertical or square videos, rather than landscape. The reason behind this logic is that landscape videos don’t take us much space in the Facebook news feed.

A square video assumes a whopping 78% more space in the mobile version of the Facebook news feed. A case study by Buffer found that square videos received up to 35% more views and 100% more engagement when tested against horizontal videos.

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About Jennifer Engevik

Jennifer Engevik is a Content Director and specialist for digital and print with more than 15 years of experience that includes campaigns for leading and growing brands.