How to Create and Set Up a Successful Facebook Video Ad

Video content has become the go-to suggestion for pretty much anything you do online.

Writing blog content? Add video to it.

Have a podcast? Promote it with video.

Want to grow your reach on social? Go with video.

This was expected as there’s an ongoing growth trend of the amount of time we spend consuming digital video content each day. According to Statista, it’s now at over an hour per day:

Statista video stats

Video is captivating, scroll-stopping, and relatable. Sometimes it entertains us, and other times it makes us emotional.

With Facebook’s advanced and hyper-specific targeting, video ads have naturally become a marketer’s not-so-secret weapon and a way to capture the attention of their ideal audience.

If you’re looking to get started with Facebook video ads, you’re on the right path.

In this guide, we’re going through the benefits, placements, best practices, and the step-by-step guidance for creating your video and setting up a successful Facebook video campaign.

Why the Focus on Facebook Video Ads

You could promote a beautiful image or even a carousel of product images on Facebook. They’re visual and interactive. So why the hype around Facebook video ads?

Facebook – the king of Video Ads

First of all, let’s discuss why this article is dedicated to Facebook and not any other social media platform.

In the recent research on the state of Social Media Ads conducted by Wave.video, Facebook took the lead by many measures. It has been found that 92% of video creators make videos for Facebook, 54% said that ads on this platform get the most engagement, and 82% claimed that they create Facebook ads more than any other platform-based ads.

Impressive, isn’t it?

Moreover, it has been discovered that users prefer Facebook over YouTube – another social media giant –  when it comes to watching video ads.

The conclusion? People like seeing relevant ads on Facebook, and video creators choose this platform more often because their ads get more engagement.

Facebook video ads stats

People want to see the product in action

Videos make an impact on people’s perception of the product—a lot. In fact:

With Facebook video ads, you can show up where they’re expecting you before they even begin to search for you. Thanks to Facebook’s advanced targeting, your ad will be shown to those consumers that have already shown interest in your range and categories of products—and potentially impact their decision to research more or even make a purchase.

Videos are memorable

Videos are sticky and can stay with the viewer long after they’ve seen them.

According to Single Grain, 80% of users can recall a video ad that they viewed in the last 30 days. What results would you see if your ideal customer saw your Facebook video ad and remembered it for a month?

It could be more qualified traffic to your website, more leads, or even more customers. If they hit the right chord with your viewer, videos can quite literally transform your business.

Videos drive the highest click-through rate

It’s time for marketing talk.

The only way you can see whether your video ads are actually making a positive impact is by looking at the actions your viewers took after watching them.

Have they clicked through? Liked your page? Browsed your website?

Once you identify immediate user activities that matter to your business, you can track them and optimize accordingly. Here’s why videos play a huge role in this:

Videos cause valuable customer actions

Finally, even if you were unsure around video as the right way to go with Facebook advertising, here’s the punchline:

Videos don’t just get people to click through. They also help them make buying decisions and, ultimately, part with their hard-earned money!

For example, if you use a Facebook video ad to showcase and demonstrate a product, your viewers might end up buying it even though they wouldn’t have before seeing the video.

Even if your products are at a higher price point or they target businesses rather than consumers, video can entice them to go to your website and contact your sales team.

Never underestimate the power of video!

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Places You Can Show Up with a Facebook Video Ad

When we talk about Facebook video ads, most people automatically think about the standard Facebook feed ads.

However, these are all the places where the same ad might appear:

  • Facebook: feed, instant articles, in-stream videos, right column, marketplace, stories
  • Instagram: feed, stories
  • Audience Network: native, banner, interstitial, in-stream videos, rewarded videos
  • Messenger: Home, sponsored messages

In Facebook’s vocabulary, these are called placements, and it’s important to take note of them early on because your ad placements are a decision you’ll have to make in your campaign setup before even selecting your format or uploading your video.

Facebook Ads placement

Facebook recommends selecting automatic ad placement as the most efficient use of your advertising budget. This is because they optimize the delivery of your ads to achieve the lowest overall cost based on the goal you’ve defined for your campaign.

Keeping this in mind will help you create a video that won’t just stop your viewer when scrolling the feed—it will get them to take action wherever they see your video.

How to Make an Irresistible Facebook Video

Facebook’s design recommendations for video ads include a wide range of options that aren’t quite definitive.

For example:

  • Video ratio ranges from 9:16 (fully vertical) to 16:9 (fully horizontal)
  • Video length can be anywhere from 1 second to 240 minutes (yes, that’s 4 hours!)
  • Captions and sound are available, but not mandatory

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this, which is why we broke down these key features of a captivating Facebook video ad.

Share a single message

The single most important approach to your video is that it should carry a single message.

Video attracts great attention, so you might be tempted to take advantage of it and share all the good things about your brand, product, or team, but sharing just one strong takeaway and action will have a much stronger impact.

Here are some topics you could focus on in your video:

  • A super-specific tip on something your audience frequently struggles with; the ad takes the viewer to a blog post that lists more tips
  • A customer testimonial or similar proof of the success your product or service brings; the ad takes the viewer to a registration form or a pricing page
  • A short product demonstration that shows your product in its real environment; the ad takes the viewer to the product page
  • A behind-the-scenes video that shows your process and/or your team; the ad takes the viewer to a story on your website all about your brand

As you can see, these all serve different purposes, so it’s up to you to define what it is you want to achieve with your video ad.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our always-updated video templates library for a wide range of industries and topics.

Wave.video video templates page

Remember: one video = one message.

Keep your video short

As I mentioned earlier, many Facebook ad types allow for up to 4 hours in length.

This allows for a lot of flexibility and testing, but it’s crucial to remember that video ads are easy to skip and need to bring their message across in as little time as possible.

In fact, Facebook recommends experimenting with short videos of less than 15 seconds. When you think about the previous tip about a single message, going for a short format makes a lot of sense.

On top of that, BuzzSumo’s research showed that video engagement on Facebook starts dropping after 90 seconds:

Facebook video length engagement

Some video topics, such as a quick tip, might fit into 12 seconds, while a short product demo might need up to one minute of time to convey the key points.

When choosing your video ad length, make sure each second earned its place and retains the viewer’s attention.

Show your product or brand message as early as possible

If you want to wait until the end of your video to show your product, name, or logo, think again.

Facebook has been saying this for a long time: you need to hit people with faster messages. In the video advert rating they conducted, they saw that ads with brand and messaging in the first 10 seconds can effectively reach three times more people.

And to complement the earlier mentioned need for short video ads, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, said that 6-second ads saw the highest brand metrics across the board compared to 15- and 30-second ones.

Want to be memorable? Show up as early in the video as you can.

Go square or vertical on mobile

Statista reports that 95% active user accounts accessed Facebook via smartphone.

And that’s a good thing! People are 1.5 times more likely to watch video daily on a smartphone than on a computer.

To make the most out of this, focus on creating square (1:1) and vertical (from 4:5 to 9:16) videos that will take up the largest portion of the smartphone screen possible, helping you avoid other Facebook feed distractions.

You can reference this video requirements matrix when creating your video to make sure your desired video ratio works with the ad objective you had in mind:

Video requirements matrix Facebook

Additionally, experiments have shown that square videos result in highest views, engagement, and reach, and this is particularly emphasized on mobile.

In Wave.video, you can easily add all relevant formats and check how a video will look like in each of them. This will help you make sure it helps you tell the story as you wanted.

Wave.video square format

Create for sound-off views

As much as 85% of video views on Facebook happen with no sound on. It makes sense: people are on the go, in their workplace, or close to their sleeping child—without headphones, they’d inconvenience those around them.

This is why it’s crucial to create Facebook video ads that make sense even without the sound.

The information presented in the video should be clear just by looking at the visuals, as well as the next best step after watching. You can achieve this by:

  • Adding text to your videos
  • Using imagery that carries a narrative without any sound
  • Using subtitles

optimization for sound off

Nail your call-to-action placement

Finally, your video should make your viewer proceed to the next step by having a call-to-action (CTA).

This might be subscribing to your newsletter, clicking through to your website or shop, or even purchasing a product.

Whatever you choose, you must make it obvious and easy to do.

Use all the elements at hand, including text, visual cues like arrows, and voiceover if applicable, to guide your viewer to this perfect next step. Another thing that will help you with this is the button you select when setting up your ad, like ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Learn More’.

CTA Learn more

On top of that, play around with the placement of your CTA within the video. An analysis from Wistia showed that CTAs placed in the middle of the video outperformed those at the beginning and the end:

call to action conversion rates

Test different options in your Facebook video ads and see which ones spark the best results.

Creating a Top-Performing Facebook Video Ad

Ready to put your video in front of the right viewers? Follow these five steps.

Step 1: Start in Facebook Ads Manager

Ads Manager is the starting point for running ads on Facebook, as well as Instagram and Audience Network. It has everything you need, from intuitive guidance to a rich knowledge base.

The guided creation workflow will be perfect for you if you’re just getting started or you’re less familiar with all the components of Facebook ad campaigns.

Head over to Facebook ads manager and follow the steps to get started.

Step 2: Choose the right objective

Once you start creating your campaign, you’ll be prompted to select your marketing objective, which will impact the rest of the campaign setup:

objectives for Facebook Video Ad

Even though there’s an objective here that might seem obvious to choose for a video ad—the Video views objective—you can actually use video as your ad creative in almost any of these objectives.

Instead of going for Video views right away, consider this:

  • Awareness stage is designed to generate interest in your brand and offers by reaching people who are more likely to recall your ads later on
  • Consideration stage is aimed towards people who already know the type of solution they need, and they are now considering all their options (and your products as a part of that)
  • Conversion stage targets people already interested in your brand and products and entices them to purchase

As you can see, it’s not just about the number of views your video ad receives—it’s about the context and level of intent and familiarity that your target viewer is in.

Whichever stage and objective you select, keep in mind Facebook will optimize your ad delivery based on that.

For example, if you want people to go from your video ad into Messenger to start a conversation with you (the Messages objective), Facebook will show this video to people who have done that in the past with that type of ad.

Step 3: Find your perfect audience

The Audience section of the campaign setup allows you to get hyper-focused on who gets to see your video ad.

This includes filters such as:

  • Locations, including countries and regions
  • Age, where you get to select the minimum and maximum age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Detailed targeting with demographics, interests, and behaviors, which you can use to include or exclude certain details

Facebook Ads audience

You can also create custom or lookalike audiences by uploading your subscriber or customer list.

When you nail down your targeting, you will see an estimate of daily reach and results. You can also save your audience to use in later campaigns.

Step 4: Let Facebook tell you what works best

Based on the format and placements you select, Facebook will suggest what length, aspect ratio, resolution, and file size will work best.

Facebook Ads recommendations

Make sure to click through to aspect ratio specifications, supported formats, and ad guidelines to ensure you’re doing everything as required.

Bonus tip: If this is when you realize you have a video that isn’t in the correct aspect ratio, you can go into your Wave.video account, change the dimensions with a single click, and export again.

Step 5: Perfect your ad copy

The text you add to your video ad must compliment the message you’re conveying with the video and compel the viewer to take action.

To ensure this, keep in mind the following recommendations:

  • Text should fit into 125 characters, as it might get truncated if longer
  • If you add a link to your ad, the headline should be no longer than 25 characters
  • Link descriptions should be up to 30 characters

Bonus tip: Be cautious about adding text to your thumbnail as it might negatively impact ad delivery if the image consists of more than 20% text.

It’s your turn

You’re now ready for success with Facebook video ads.

Here’s a quick recap of key takeaways and steps to take:

  • Showcasing your products and brand through Facebook video is memorable and drives impactful action from your viewers
  • Short, dynamic video ads with early brand presence and clear CTA perform the best
  • Selecting a marketing objective in Facebook Ads Manager that aligns with your business goals will optimize your ad for best results

We hope you’ll have fun creating Facebook video ads and get your business to grow on their success!

How to Create and Set Up a Successful Facebook Video Ad

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