Blog / July 11, 2017

Facebook Video Ads: 3 Insights Marketers Need for Their Next Campaign

By Melanie Franke

Facebook has not been secretive about the importance it places on video. From Zuckerberg calling video a “megatrend” to reports of the social giant entering the TV market, video seems to be the common thread in news around Facebook.

Every brand knows they need to be on Facebook, but knowing social media and what tactics work isn’t the same as knowing social video. In our latest guide, Adapting Video for Facebook, we break down the most important tactics for brands to generate real impact and revenue through Facebook video ads.

The first step in this whole process is understanding that social video is fundamentally different than any other TV or digital video campaign in the marketing arsenal. Here, we discuss some of the most important aspects affecting social video and how brands can work through them to drive outcomes through Facebook.

Download our guide, Adapting Video for Facebook: Creative Best Practices for Turning Your TV Ads into Video that Drives Impact!

Facebook video ads should be the next evolution of your TV ads

TV ads have been the norm for years. They are expensive to run and produce, but they could always generate great awareness for your brand.

However, today’s video-centric environment isn’t meant for the classic 30-second ad. With YouTube recently killing their unskippable 30-second ad, they prove that no digital video platform can sustain having a traditional ad format in an online context.

After investing substantial time and money into a huge campaign, it seems logical to want to run it on all platforms–not just TV. But all of the evidence suggests that this isn’t the right strategy for driving any sort of impact. So how can you successfully deliver your campaign on social?

The key here is considering the editable duration of a video, which means finding ways to tell the same story in 8, 15 and 30 seconds. You may need to pull in extra assets or shoot new pieces for it to fully work, but having the option to adjust timing for different platforms and preferences ensures the campaign can run anywhere.

Mobile behavior will define Facebook video

Ooyala’s Q1 2017 Global Video Index showed that for the first time, mobile was more than 50 percent of overall video consumption, which is important to note for Facebook campaigns because the majority of time spent on the platform is on mobile devices.

A recent study from Facebook shows a marked increase in consumer time spent on Facebook during TV commercials during the premier of a popular primetime show.

Facebook looked at the activity of 537 people who said they watched the season premiere of a popular TV show. Their Facebook use went up during every commercial break.
Facebook also looked at the activity of the people who said they did not watch the show. There was no distinguishable difference in their activity during commercial breaks.

This shows that TV viewers are likely to turn to their smartphones where there is more interesting (and snappier) content to get them through a commercial break when they’re bored. They aren’t committing to reading a full article; just a little time away until their favorite show starts again.

“On smartphones, people are in control of what they see, where and when they want to see it,” wrote Mark Rabkin, VP of Core Ads at Facebook, in a recent post. “…When the TV no longer holds their attention, they’re picking up their phone.”

Resonance is a key ingredient for Facebook video

Consumers today are the architects of their own entertainment. They have the option to skip video ad content online after just a few seconds, and they are scrolling through their mobile news feed faster than ever.

The question for Facebook advertisers is: How do brands get viewers to pay attention to their ads in a crowded news feed environment?

Rabkin also discussed this in his article: “Because people can watch virtually anything at any time, they’re only going to watch ads that grab their attention, reward their time, and are immediately relevant.”

Brands need ads that actually resonate with the viewer, which means thumb-stopping, personalized and relevant content. But it also means conveying your message in as little time as possible; on average, Facebook users watch 5.7 seconds of a news feed video ad. Although it would be great if everyone watched each video ad until completion, as marketers, we have to stop thinking that watching every second of every video is a reasonable expectation.  

When an ad is targeted and personalized for the right audience, the first five seconds should quickly convey the brand, the product being featured and any promotional messaging around it. After the first five seconds, there is more room for specific feature messaging and information because if someone is watching past those initial first seconds, then you know you’ve delivered something relevant and the viewer is interested to learn more.

Download our guide, Adapting Video for Facebook: Creative Best Practices for Turning Your TV Ads into Video that Drives Impact!

More about the author

Melanie Franke Content Marketing Manager

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