8 Simple Ways to Optimize Facebook Video Ads

Shawn Forno 07.05.2017

You already know that Facebook video ads are an affordable, scalable way to reach a huge pool of highly targeted potential customers. One Nielsen study tracked over 300 Facebook video campaigns and found that “73% of them had a significant lift in ad recall, and the average lift between test and control groups was 86%.” Great. Facebook video ads work. The only question is—How do you make a great Facebook video ad?

Follow these 8 Simple Steps to Creating Facebook Video Ads that actually gets results. It’s easier than you think.

1. Upload Your Video Directly to Facebook

Video ad effectiveness is all about digital real estate. Your video displays completely differently when you upload your video directly to Facebook—as opposed to sharing a link to your YouTube video or website. Most importantly, direct video ad uploads are optimized by Facebook to appear wider in the News Feed.

Facebook video ads

Direct uploads also autoplay (not a default feature), and you have access to insights and other metrics. Direct upload of your ad is a way to ensure that your video will display in the best possible format every time.

2. Bidding, Budgets, and Cost Per View CPC vs. oCPM: Facebook Video Ads

When you link your video ad to an external video that uses CPC (like YouTube videos), your video ad won’t autoplay. That’s a huge no-no. However, the type of ad bidding you use also affects your CTA and conversion rates. Instead of traditional CPC bidding, test your video ad with oCPM (Optimized bidding—aka “Cost per 1,000 impressions”) to reach more of the specific type of people you want to see your video—people that will actually use your product.

Facebook video ads

oCPM bidding “shows your ad to people who are more likely to take the action you want.” If you want to drive viewers to your site, an optimized CPM bid will target users that are more likely to click external links, based on behavior and a number of other algorithms. CPM bidding does charge per impression, instead of per view, but your bid will automatically adjust to as your ad runs its course, so you won’t spend more than your budget.

It’s all about ROI and conversions. If more viewers complete the desired action, oCPM bidding will actually reduce the cost per view of your video and increase the overall ROI. Something to think about.

3. Optimize Your Facebook Video Ad for Mobile

As of 2017, mobile viewing is now the dominant way that people watch content online. Smartphones and tablets have overtaken the desktop, and your video ad needs to have the flexibility to function on both mediums.

Facebook recommends the following steps to maximum the effectiveness of your mobile video ad:

  1. Keep your video ads short — around 15 seconds
  2. Upload with a square aspect ratio AND the traditional 16:9 ratio for all devices
  3. Front load the video content with action and intrigue
  4. Use captions (85% of Facebook video is played without sound)

4. Define Your Target Audience

Bigger is better when it comes to Facebook video ad target audiences. Facebook recommends a target audience of at least 10,000 people for “best ad performance.” Reaching an audience of that size requires you to use all of the targeting options available, including:

5. Capture Attention Immediately

It’s no secret that mobile Facebook users like to scroll. Even with integrated autoplay, your video ad has to convince viewers to linger in the first few seconds or they’ll never see your video ad. The best way to capture attention immediately is with an eye-catching video thumbnail and a dynamite opening frame.

Your video ad should already be incredibly short—think 15 seconds or less!—so don’t waste time introducing yourself or your product. Jump right to the pain point or the CTA with exciting, interesting graphics, motion, and story.

6. Design for No Sound

Like we noted above, 85% of Facebook video is played without sound. And that’s not just mobile video—that’s site-wide. Facebook users don’t routinely use sound, so design your video to work like Charlie Chaplin.

Facebook video ads

Just because your Facebook video ad will likely play like a silent film, doesn’t mean you won’t be heard. Embrace the creative limitation, and let it fuel the visual aspects of your video by investing in quality animation and top tier graphics. Don’t forget that millions of people are watching Facebook video ads—they’re just not using audio. That’s still a massive audience ready to see what you’ve got to offer.

7. Add Value: Informative Video Ads

Just because you’re producing an ad doesn’t mean that you have to make it feel like an ad. Plenty of successful brands create Facebook ad campaigns that have nothing to do with hard conversion tactics and pushy sales techniques. Your video is far more likely to get views if it adds value to users—even if it’s an ad.

Facebook video ads

Target, for example, embraces the fact that people don’t want to watch ads, but they also want to see great ideas for products they can use. This video for a floating buffet table/tray adds value to your next pool or beach party, and delivers an interesting CTA in less than 15 seconds. I want one of these, and now you do too.

8. Invest in High Quality Video Production

Facebook knows that the lack of audio and the short attention span of mobile viewers means that top quality video ads get the most views. It’s a demanding medium, and subpar video content just won’t get the same ROI as high-quality production. Facebook video ads best practices simply says, “People are more likely to watch and remember videos that are well-crafted and designed to play on every device.”

When you create high-quality content, and format it for mobile and desktop viewers to easily view and enjoy, you’re much more likely to find significant success with your next Facebook video ad.

Facebook Video Ads: Technical Specs

When you upload your Facebook video ad, make sure that it satisfies these basic technical requirements:

  • Aspect Ratio for Facebook video ads without links — Full portrait (9:16)
  • On News Feed, video carousel link ads render as square (1:1)
  • Non-link ads render as 16:9 up to 1:1
  • 2:3 ratio is how your video will render in Facebook’s mobile News Feed
  • Max caption length (aka script) — 2,200 characters
  • Minimum width 600 pixels
  • Max File Size: 4GB
  • Max Frames Per Second: 30fps
  • Format: Full list of supported file formats here
  • Bitrate: No limit to bitrate file if you’re using two pass encoding, as long as long as your file doesn’t exceed 1 GB. Otherwise, 8 megabits per second for 1080p and 4 megabits per second for 720p.

Facebook Video Ads: Video Marketing 101

Facebook is an affordable way to enter the video ad space, even for small brands and startups. Take the time to create a quality video ad and optimize it with the steps above for better ROI on any video campaign no matter your audience or objective.

Contact us today to find out more about creating your own animated explainer video ad for Facebook.


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