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Optimizing Your Facebook Video Ads — Best Practices for 2020

facebook video ads best practices

With consumer attention shifting more and more toward social media, marketing practices have been gradually following suit. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram have massive audiences in the digital world, and marketers have been quick to capitalize on that. 

But in the vast sea of marketing options, social media video marketing has proven to be one of the most lucrative practices for brands, especially on Facebook. According to TechCrunch, people view over 100 million hours of video content on Facebook daily. That is why many marketers globally were quick to take their advertising efforts to this social media platform.

Did they find success? Yes!

According to Socialbakers, Facebook videos drive 135% more traffic than other types of visual content, such as photos or infographics. That makes them the perfect advertising opportunity for your brand!

If you think your business could utilize this Facebook video craze, don’t hesitate to try. After all, over 90 million small businesses are on the platform, and that number is sure to rise even more. 

But if you’re unsure where to begin or how to get started with Facebook video advertising, we’re here to help you! Let’s check some of the best practices for Facebook video ads to help you get your campaign underway! Here’s our advice:

Now let’s get right into it!

Facebook Video Ads — Best Practices for 2020

Make Sure You Use Native Videos

First things first, you should begin by uploading your content to Facebook instead of using external hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. “But why?” you may ask. Well, the reason is quite straightforward — the algorithm loves it

A study by Quintly found that Facebook recommends native videos more often, and they get up to eight times more comments and around 170% more interactions. Most advertisers have realized this and have already made changes to where they host their videos. The following graph illustrates that well:

facebook video ads best practices quintly

Overall, even if you did make this mistake at the beginning of your Facebook video ad campaign, this issue is easy to address, so it won’t take you long to fix it!

Also, don’t forget to post your videos in the optimal aspect ratio! The recommended options are either 9:16 or 1:1. But why is that? Because 95% of Facebook’s audience uses the platform on mobile devices, and these two formats are best for the optimal mobile experience. After all, you don’t want to miss out on such a massive portion of your audience, do you?

Create an Engaging Hook

Nowadays, we live in a fast-paced digital era, making it harder to grab consumers’ attention by the day. Some research even found that the average attention span of people is eight seconds nowadays. That is one second shorter than that of a goldfish!

That’s why marketers are faced with an ever-growing challenge to engage and excite their targeted audiences and invite them to interact with their ads. The way they deal with this issue is by creating actionable and exciting hooks.

But what is a hook? It is the part at the beginning of a piece of content (in this case, the start of the video ad) that is supposed to excite and encourage the viewer to stick around. If you manage to do so, you’re more likely to get the potential customer to interact with your brand.

However, there are even more reasons you should focus on reeling your audience in from the get-go. According to Facebook, video views go up only if the users engage with it for at least three seconds on their platform. That should give you even more incentive to focus all your creative efforts to the beginning of your ad! 

Write Clickable Headlines and Descriptions

We cannot emphasize enough how important the quality of your copy is! If your headlines and descriptions are too long, nobody will want to read them. Alternatively, if they’re too short, they won’t provide sufficient information. And let’s not even begin to mention how ineffective they’ll be if they’re bland and unimaginative!

But how can you create a more compelling copy? There are a few things you could apply to your writing, so here are a few pointers to follow:

  • Make sure your copy fits your video’s visuals.
  • Include words such as now, right away, immediately, etc., to create a sense of urgency.
  • Don’t make it longer than 400 characters.
  • Make it informative.

We know it’s not easy to find the perfect balance between brevity and informativeness, but you know what they say — practice makes perfect!

Create a Compelling Thumbnail

Many marketers disregard the importance of their ads’ thumbnail to their detriment. And why is that? Because Facebook users can turn off video autoplay at will. That means that those who do will only ever get to see your video’s thumbnail unless they press the play button. In such scenarios, an inviting thumbnail could make all the difference!

We know all videos have a thumbnail, even if it’s auto-generated. But the fact is that those randomly-selected ones are often dull and ineffective at grabbing users’ attention. So how do you up your thumbnails’ performance? Create a custom one, of course!

Regardless of whether you’ll be making the thumbnail yourself or will hire a professional, here are a few things to keep in mind along the way:

  • Use HQ images.
  • Make sure the picture is relatable.
  • Avoid overusing text (text shouldn’t take up more than 20% of the image).
  • Make your thumbnail trigger curiosity.
  • Be creative.

Also, don’t forget to adhere to Facebook’s thumbnail guidelines! You can find them here.

Add Subtitles/Captions

This point might not seem relevant at first glance, but believe us — it is. “But why?” you may ask. The answer is simple — because users watch most Facebook videos muted. According to data from Digiday, 85% of videos on Facebook are viewed muted. In such scenarios, it’s essential to have captions or subtitles enabled so that you could still get your message across.

That is why you should turn on captions for all your video ads, and consider adding subtitles to the content that could benefit from them, such as demonstration and how-to videos. By doing that, you can increase your view times by up to 12%.

Include a CTA Button

If you don’t encourage users to take action, they likely won’t. That is why incorporating CTAs in your copy is essential for increasing your conversion rates. However, you can take it even further than that. 

The most effective types of CTAs on Facebook video ads are CTA buttons. These are much more prominent and appealing to the eye than, for example, some text or a link in the ad’s description. After all, most users will be scrolling through their news feed, not paying much attention to your copy in the first place. But since buttons are much larger, Facebook users are more likely to notice them. Take a look at this example of a CTA button:

CTA button example

This ad encourages the users to enter a contest and offers a prominent one-click-solution to doing so!

Here are a few more examples of practical CTA buttons you could use:

  • Book Now
  • Watch More
  • Listen More
  • Learn More
  • Download
  • Shop Now

Be Short and Sweet

Do you remember when we talked about users’ attention spans these days? No, just because you managed to get them hooked doesn’t mean you’ll keep their attention while you ramble on for the next ten minutes. In other words, you have to be as brief as possible.

Your users’ attention span isn’t the only thing you should worry about. When it comes to creating Facebook video ads, the best practice, according to data from Backlinko, would be to keep them up to 15 seconds long. That would increase the number of users who watch your video ad to completion by up to 70%!

However, don’t overdo it! Like with everything else in life, be moderate. There is such a thing as too short, believe it or not. Anything between 1–3 seconds would fit that description, so try to make your ads upward of five seconds long.

Create Valuable Content

You’ve probably heard this phrase before in some shape or form online, but what can you do when it’s so crucial to your success! What this point entails is that your ad must meet your viewers’ needs (user intent). There is no tangible way to illustrate this, except to emphasize you must put yourself in your customers’ shoes. The first thing you’ll need to do is zero in on your audience. Then, you can try to figure out what kind of ads to create and which products to promote based on what you think those customers need. Asking yourself some of the following questions could help you do that:

  • What product would my target audience find useful?
  • What is my target audience searching for?
  • How can I help my consumers better understand my product?
  • What kind of questions would my audience have?
  • How can I answer those questions?

These are just a few things to think about when coming up with content ideas for your ads. The better your ad addresses your consumers’ issues, the better ROI it will provide!

Test, Measure, and Reassess Your Campaign

Every seasoned marketer knows the importance of monitoring your campaign’s progress and adjusting it on the fly. After all, the online market is fluid and changes daily. That is why you should utilize the power of your ad and video analytics to get the most accurate representation of how your ads are performing. 

Also, when it comes to your Facebook video ads, one of the best practices you could employ would be to utilize the power of targeted advertising. By zeroing in on a particular demographic, you can maximize the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.

But that is not all! By targeting your ads, you can utilize the power of personalized video to enhance your ROI. That way, you can better meet your consumers’ needs and raise your brand awareness as your viewers will connect your brand’s name with positive emotions these types of ads usually evoke.

Optimize for Mobile

According to eMarketer, more than ¾ of global video views come from mobile users. In that sense, it has become more vital than ever to optimize your ads for phones and tablets properly. And no, you can’t avoid doing this because 94% of Facebook ad revenue comes from mobile! Unless you want your campaign to fail, you’ll address this immediately!

But how can you best optimize your ads for mobile? There are way too many factors to cover here, so if you want to find out more, our article on how mobile ads work might help you!

Are You Ready to Start Advertising?

Now that you know everything there is to know about Facebook video ads and the best practices you can use to boost your campaign’s performance, will you try it out? If you do, we believe in you! Just don’t forget to remain persistent and patient. No results come overnight — it’s often a long and arduous process. And if you happen to need more help with getting your Facebook campaign up and running, why not check out some of these must-have social media marketing tools? Maybe they can help you!

Best of luck with your campaign!

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