Facebook Video Ads

15 Facebook Video Ads Best Practices (with Examples)

Video is an integral part of marketing overall. This is unsurprising because consumers love video and spend more time on it than they would a print or other visual ad. In fact, as you’ll increasingly find, brands that don’t do video ads other than television are facing a disadvantage.

Combined with social media, video ads are an incredibly powerful force. That’s because people spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social media networks. In fact, both paid videos and organic user content improve how people view a given brand very quickly. After all, it’s important for people to see how something is used, or to have a laugh during the day.

One of the most powerful options for reaching customers is Facebook video ads.

What are Facebook Video Ads? 

Simply put, Facebook video ads are a form of advertising on Facebook that leverages the power of video. These can include videos that your company has produced or something that’s user-generated with permission. This way, your brand has a lot of opportunities to reach people with your brand message. Are Facebook Video Ads Still Effective in 2024?

In a word, yes. Although there’s more competition than ever, Facebook is still the most used social media platform in the world. And, its reach for advertising is proportional to its ubiquity because Facebook ads reach 42.8% of internet users. In other words, there are a lot of Facebook ads in general.

However, not all Facebook ads are video-based. Rather, there are still a lot of content formats such as photos and other “still” graphics. In addition, there are several types of Facebook ads, whether video or graphics-based. And, of course, there are still some text ads.

The data speaks for itself, Facebook ads are still hot in 2024!

Further Reading: Facebook Ads Targeting: The 3 Options You Have And 8 Tips To Maximize Them

Types of Facebook Video Ads

types of facebook video ads
Source

Naturally, these ads aren’t created equal. In addition, some ads are better in different contexts, have different cost structures, and can help reach different audiences. As marketers or brand managers, we need to understand the differences. Then, we can incorporate these powerful tools into our Facebook marketing strategy. Let’s focus on the most mainstream of video ads formats.

Feed Video Ads

These are the Facebook video ads most of us think about first. Simply, these are sponsored videos/video posts that are placed in Facebook users’ feeds. Especially for mobile users these ads automatically start when the user scrolls through their feed. And while you can’t make them stop and watch the whole thing, many people will.

In-Stream Video Ads

If you stream on Facebook Live, you can include advertisements in them. This lets you talk about agency news or have a how-to while also presenting more overt sales messages. Another option is to use these as a call to action. For example, you can highlight that the product being demonstrated is on sale.

Facebook Stories Video Ads

Stories are an import from Instagram. And like Instagram Stories, you can use still photos, videos, or both. However, they only last for 24 hours. Consider using the same Stories on Facebook and Instagram, as it saves resources. Or, repurpose your TikTok videos and YouTube Shorts for a Stories-based ad. Think about including a short preview of a how-to video and some inspiration, for example.

Facebook Marketplace Video Ads

Most of us think about Facebook Marketplace as a place where locals post stuff for sale. However, these days it’s much more sophisticated, and can include ads from brands. While you’ll often see this space used by resale or thrift stores because it matches the theme, nowadays more companies are jumping on the bandwagon.

Simply put, this kind of Facebook video ad is a great way to reach people when they are in a buying mood. In this case, showcase the type of item that people frequently sell in your community. Often, you can convince people to buy your products or visit your store.

15 Facebook Video Ads Best Practices in 2024 for Businesses

It’s one thing to talk about Facebook video ads and how they can help your brand, and another to learn how to do it right. Some of these best practices show you how to make an effective video, while others deal with the technical aspects of making an ad that sells. Fortunately, if you follow these best practices, you’ll have a better chance of success.

1. Tell a Story

tell a story

Let’s be honest: humans are hardwired to listen to stories. In fact, we’ve been listening to stories, and telling them, for thousands of years. What’s different now, though, is that there are new story types over the centuries. And, their significance in culture has changed. For instance, in the days when you didn’t have a lot of branding, stories didn’t try to sell brands.

However, along with modern branding, there are now brand stories. A brand story does more than simply tell people about a brand, such as what they make or when they were founded. Instead, a good brand story will evoke emotions.

That’s not to say that you need to tell the whole story in your Facebook video ads. Far from it. In fact, there usually isn’t enough time to do that. Instead, tell a story within a story. Connect with your potential customers. This way, you can help people develop an emotional connection with your brand. In turn, this emotional connection helps convert the curious into customers, and customers into loyal ones.

2. The First 3 Seconds are All You Have 

As the saying goes, first impressions are critical. And for in-person interactions, those first few seconds are critical. The same is true with Facebook video ads or any other form of video for that matter. In fact, according to Facebook, the first 3 seconds are critical to your audience watching the rest of it – or not. Therefore, you need to be sure that the introduction to your videos grabs the audience’s attention. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of eyeballs.

3. Keep It Short

As I alluded to in the last point, people don’t have the attention span to watch lengthy ads. In fact, there’s a reason why people often use commercial breaks during sports games and movies on TV as an opportunity to make popcorn: they simply aren’t interested in the commercials.

The ideal length should be between 5 and 15 seconds and always under a minute. Think about it this way: when the TV stations run 3 or 4 commercials, which are usually 30 seconds to a minute, we tend to tune them out. On the other hand, TikTok and YouTube shorts are wildly popular.

4. Target the Right Audience

Facebook offers three audience selection tools for effective targeting – core audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences. Each of these dictates the criteria for who will see your advertisement, and it helps you maximize ROI. Custom audiences let you be the most specific on who you want to pitch your ads to, such as men 45-64 if you’re selling men’s suits. On the other hand, a lookalike audience could include anyone who expresses interest in men’s suits, including significant others and the merely curious.

No matter what criteria you choose, your video should be laser-focused on your desired audience. Experience has shown us that.

Further Reading: 4 Steps for How to Measure Facebook Ads Metrics Effectiveness

5. Use Vertical or Square Video

Use Vertical or Square Video

The key thing here is to avoid the horizontal video. Vertical or square videos are known to get more views and engagement. Think about it: A horizontal video simply displays smaller in the Facebook feed when compared to a square or vertical video.

Simply stated, the more screen real estate your phone occupies, the more likely it is to be clicked

6. Introduce Your Brand Early

Make sure that you introduce your brand within the first few seconds. It could be a logo or a mention, but you not only want to capture the viewer’s attention, but have them remember your brand! 

7. Keep It Mobile Friendly

Here’s the thing: more than 98% of Facebook users access the site from their mobile devices. This number reflects both people who check Facebook from computers on occasion and those who don’t. However, even as you consider the people who use different sizes of devices, Facebook is increasingly a mobile-friendly site.

When making your video, make sure that it’s suitable for small screens. You should be able to do this through your content creation tools. But in a nutshell, you want a video that will load quickly and look nice on screens of any size. Otherwise, you’ll miss a lot of opportunities from people not watching the video – and you’ll still pay for it.

8. Make Video Compatible with Mute Mode

Make Video Compatible with Mute Mode

People may choose to turn off sound in public places, which lets them view Facebook in places they otherwise would be unable to. This is good for you as an advertiser because you can make an impression on people no matter where the customer is watching your ads.

In a nutshell, make use of text and graphics to make the message understandable for the ones watching without sound. Another option is to include closed captions, which also serve the hard-of-hearing community. At the end of the day, you want to draw people into your brand story as quickly as possible using only visuals. Then, the sound becomes another tool to enhance the user experience.

9. Retarget People Who Watch Your Videos

One of the most frustrating things in marketing is when people consume your content but never go any further. After all, it’s when people engage with your content on some level that you’ll get ROI and conversions. And while all ads have watchers that don’t engage or convert, it’s always best to minimize those numbers.

Fortunately, Facebook gives you the option to retarget people who have engaged with your ad in some way like visiting your website or watching the video. This action signals that they are interested in your product. Use the Facebook Pixel tool on your website, or let Facebook place a cookie on someone’s computer if they interact with your content on the platform. Either way, you’ll find it’s easier to get enough marketing “touches” to have an effect.

Further Reading: 9 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Ads ROI

10. Upload Ads Directly to Facebook

Here’s a dirty little secret: Facebook does not want its users to leave its platform. In other words, they really don’t want people clicking through a link to watch a video or view other content. This way, they can collect ad revenue and other data from your customers. Even with Facebook video ads.

Therefore, if you share a YouTube video link, it’s not going to perform well. Facebook penalizes ads and organic content alike when they don’t have native video. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid this problem if you upload the ad directly to your Facebook Ads Manager account. Best of all, it’s easy.

11. Keep Your CTA in the Middle 

Although this seems counter-intuitive, the middle section of the video is the sweet spot for inserting your CTA. Think about it – when you’re watching YouTube, does the host suggest you “like and subscribe” in the middle, or at the end?

For most videos, it’s the middle. And while they might say it again at the end (or with a YouTube video card) you don’t have enough space for this in Facebook video ads. Instead, put your CTA in the middle – then give your audience a few more seconds to decide you’re worth it.

12. Don’t Forget to Put an Enticing Thumbnail

Thumbnails are the little picture that you see without playing the video. Facebook automatically generates thumbnails for you. However, a custom thumbnail is always better. For one thing, Facebook thumbnails are chosen without regard to your video content. So, you could get a talking head as a thumbnail when that’s only a small piece of the story.

On the other hand, an attractive thumbnail encourages people to hit play. Consider a dedicated thumbnail with your company logo or similar graphics. These work on YouTube as well, so if you’re using an adapted version of a YouTube video then you might also “borrow” the thumbnail too. Remember, repurposing content can be highly effective.

13. Keep Testing and Experimenting

Keep Testing and Experimenting

It’s hard to nail Facebook video ads in your first attempt. After all, between content creation, targeting, and format there are a lot of variables. Keep experimenting with your campaigns, as you would with other platforms and formats. In addition, try to do A/B testing if you can. Over time, you’ll get better at creating and targeting these ads for maximum ROI.

Further Reading: The Top 16 Facebook Ads Tools You Didn’t Even Know Existed

14. Check Out Your Competitors’ Videos

It’s always a good idea to see how your competitors are making the most of their video ads. Their technical differences are similar to yours, in that they have the same variables to manipulate. There’s always something to learn from your competitor, even if your ROI is very high. Remember, they’re analyzing you too. Therefore, you always need to stay on top of the competition, so they don’t supplant your efforts.

15. Keep Up with the Current Best Examples of Facebook Ads for Inspiration

Keep your eyes out for ads that check all the boxes on the best practices and are getting a lot of engagement. Not only can you learn what they’re doing well, but you can always get some inspiration. For example, during the early days of the pandemic, there were a lot of work-from-home jokes, “helpful” hints for keeping the kids busy, and other ways to address customer pain points in real-time. Most of these were put together quickly, but they were highly effective.

Analyze why they are doing well and implement what you learn. While you don’t want to make copycat Facebook video ads, you can stay ahead of trends and counter messages that your competitors are the best. This requires continual research.

Further Reading: Facebook Ads Strategy: 15 Powerful & Effective Strategies for 2022

5 Examples of Facebook Ads That are Crushing it in 2024

Now that we’ve talked about Facebook video ads’ best practices, let’s look at some great examples. Each of these has a different approach, but they’re all highly effective. You can be sure that they got great ROI for the brands in question.

1. Puma Facebook Video Ad

This ad features a pair of sneakers that were produced in a collaboration with NASA. It also was aired about the time that SpaceX sent their first manned spaceflight to the International Space Station. In just nine seconds, the ad makes a point very clearly and easily. In short, the ad features a pair of NASA-themed sneakers coming out of a spacecraft, then starting to float away.

Puma also pairs these sci-fi images with the type of trippy music you usually associate with spaceflight — and sci-fi films. However, this is just an enhancement to the overall message for people who can play sound. Either way, these basketball shoes are presented in a gravity-defying way. Which is the point.

2. Mayple Hiring Platform

I’ll say this upfront – the advertiser broke my length rule, with a 2.5-minute advertisement. However, the storytelling is excellent, and it really grabs your attention. Which is to say, there’s an exception to every rule.

Mayple is successful with this ad because the story is so strong and employs some offbeat humor. Because let’s face it, finding the right marketer really CAN be difficult, especially in a niche business. By featuring caricatures of marketer types, you can laugh. Plus, it makes fun of a relatively un-funny situation. And finally, the ad uses bright colors to emphasize the humor and make a point.

3. Ultimate Ears

Let’s face it: speakers can be boring. It’s only recently that we could get them in any color besides black. However, Ultimate Ears wants to offer people a speaker with bright patterns and muted contrasts. To make their point, they show off different styles available, including different fabrics and color combinations.

Surprisingly, even though the ad is for a speaker, it’s designed to be watched without sound. Sure, the sound is great (if you play it) but you’ll get the point either way. Most importantly, though, the dance moves in the video are perfectly positioned to appeal to their young and hip target demographic.

Best of all, this ad efficiently highlights the brand by including the speaker in every frame-while changing configurations to match.

4. Kleenex

Why is this ad great? It’s based on Father’s Day, so it’s contextual and relevant and likely to grab a lot of eyeballs. In particular, the ad shows dads playing with their kids and cleaning up their messes. As parents, we all understand those “messy moments” when kids sneeze or blow their noses. Kleenex talks about this topic in a way that’s cute and funny. At the same time, the ad presents Kleenex as the solution to this common parental problem.

Finally, this ad has a catchy CTA – Grab Kleenex. Along with the CTA, there’s a hashtag #GrabKleenex, to share with other people. This way, the ad has a better chance of going viral.

5. SleepBand Sleep Headphones

This ad is a low-budget production yet effective because you can see the point immediately. Plus, the message isn’t one where adding a lot of special effects would convey the message any more effectively. The background music is soothing, which matches the product, but it makes no difference if you hear it or not.

As far as the storyline is concerned, this SleepBand ad keeps it simple because it highlights a problem and offers a solution. Not only that, but the problem is easy to see (not to mention common). Finally, there’s a strong CTA at the end with incentives to click (50% discount and free shipping). Here, the hope is that you’ll buy more of the product for everyone you know, or share with other people. Because who doesn’t want better sleep?

Conclusion

It isn’t always easy to design Facebook video ads. After all, many of us are more used to creating content that doesn’t move. However, it’s much easier when you realize that you can repurpose other video content, or create something simple without spending a lot of money. Like anything else in marketing, trial, error, and research is king once you know where to start. Luckily, these best practices and advertisement examples can help you start with video ads on Facebook. Once you try them, you’ll see their value.

Hero Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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