Video Marketing

11 Simple Ways To Optimize Facebook Video Ads

Shawn Forno 07.21.2019

You already know that Facebook video ads are an affordable, scalable way to reach a huge pool of highly targeted potential customers. Over the years, Facebook has also made it easier for companies to connect with audiences in new and unique video formats, like live streaming, interactive video, and dynamic vertical video formats. 

The only question is: how do you make a great Facebook video ad? Follow these 11 simple steps that actually gets results.

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.

In the first image, we’re uploading our video directly to Facebook. As you can see, you have a variety of customization options, from choosing the best thumbnail, video description (great for SEO  and audience targeting) and adding Facebook video captions (we’ll get to that later). 

Uploading Facebook Video Ads

Here’s what it looks like when you upload using an external link. In this case, we’re pulling a video from our IdeaRocket Vimeo channel, and sharing it to Facebook: 

Uploading Facebook Video Ads

In this case, you have complete freedom to write your own message above the video, but the Facebook metadata (a.k.a, all of that great customization control) can’t be done here — you’ll have to optimize it on your 3rd-party video hosting site before link sharing to still reap the SEO rewards. 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.

Getting Technical (Specs)

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

Optimize Your Facebook Video Ad for Mobile

While understanding key aspect ratios is important, 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. While Facebook hosts a variety of aspect ratios,  it has fully embraced vertical video largely due to vertical video engagement rates with mobile viewers. This is especially true when tapping into Facebook’s newer live video streaming capabilities, which are optimized for vertical video first. 

When uploading your video, ensure it’s optimized for vertical viewing to maximize engagement. Check out our simple overview below, and click here for a more in-depth guide to vertical video aspect ratios

Bidding, Budgets, And Facebook Video Ad Optimization 

To truly maximize what type of bidding strategy is right for you, first consider your video objective. The type of ad bidding you use also affects your CTA and conversion rates. Traditionally, paid social campaign objectives can be boiled down into four primary objectives. 

  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click): Use this format to drive people to perform a specific action after viewing your video, like visiting your website, blog, or downloading your app. 
  • CPM (Cost Per 1,000 impressions):  Use this format when your goal is to reach wider audiences and expand your reach. 
  • CPL (Cost-Per-Lead): Use this format when prompting viewers to fill out a form, or collecting personal information. 
  • CPV (Cost-Per-View): This is a newer metric, and it’s totally video-centric. This metric accounts for how long a viewer watched your video, so use it when you want to measure and increase engagement. 

Facebook recommends two different types of bidding options to maximize the efficiency of your video ad: 

CPM Bidding (Cost per 1,000 impressions)

CPM 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 most likely to be interested in the content you’re offering. Facebook automatically adjusts bidding to target viewers who are most likely to watch your video for 15 seconds or more. You can also manually set bids for greater control over your budgeting. It’s important to note CPM bidding does charge per impression, instead of per view, so this play is more about reach. By targeting the right audience, you can ensure you’re reaching only the viewers that are truly valuable to you. 

CPV Bidding (Cost-Per-View)

Facebook’s CPV kicks in after a viewer has engaged with your video for 15 seconds. This option is good for brands looking to engage with viewers for longer periods of time, giving flexibility for longer-form video formats. 

Define Your Target Audience

Defining the right target audience is all about truly understanding your ideal customer. For this exercise, it’s important to go back to your persona research to truly understand your buyers’ behavior. The deeper you understand your audience, the better you can understand how to deliver the right content that will resonate with them best. Ultimately, this will help increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, and increase ROI. 

Facebook has a robust set of targeting tools that allow you to build the right audience. Examples include: 

  • Location: Are you looking to target viewers in a certain area? 
  • Demographics: What type of person are you looking to target (age, gender, income, etc.) 
  • Interests: What is your target audience interested in? 
  • Behaviors: What type of actions does your target audience typically take on or offline? For example, are they a mobile user, typically use a desktop? Do they live in a city apartment, or in the suburbs? 
  • Retargeting: Has your audience interacted with your business before? Have they visited your website, downloaded a piece of content, or made a purchase? 
  • Lookalike audience: Profiles similar to your page followers, people who have interacted with businesses like yours, or may follow or engage with your competitors. 
  • Custom audiences: Build your own custom audience by uploading your own customer list

Capture attention immediately with thumbnails 

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.

Add a clear CTA

Your video ad should already be short, 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.

Design for no sound

Like we noted above, 85 percent 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. 

There are several ways to make sure your Facebook video captions are up and running smoothly. For a complete, step-by-step walkthrough, check out our guide here

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. 

Add value by providing compelling information

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.

Keep brand top-of-mind

One reason businesses create marketing videos is to keep their brand top-of-mind for consumers. That only happens if your brand shines through every video you create. Make sure your videos adhere to your brand guidelines by ensuring your including the right colors, logos, taglines, and, if an animated video, character or design elements to maintain brand consistency on your Facebook channel. 

Stay authentic, and keep videos high quality

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.” 

As we’ve written about before, if you want people to watch your videos and subsequently spend their money on what you’re offering, you can’t just sell a product or service. You have to build a relationship.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.

Optimizing Facebook video ads

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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