Video is still the most powerful tool for getting your message across, short of a face-to-face conversation. The strength of this medium is no secret, and companies who are serious about being heard turn to video.
Whatever your business goals happen to be, investing in video ads can be a giant leap forward for a variety of objectives — like selling or demonstrating a product, explaining your services or convincing people to visit your site. Anything is possible if you know how to make a video ad that people want to watch — and how to position it successfully on Facebook.
In case you haven’t heard, Facebook’s social media community is huge (2.23 billion monthly active users as of Q2 2018), and expanding at an impressive rate: 11% year over year. It’s a place where your customers spend a fair amount of their time and, without a doubt, a place where you should be interacting with them.
People use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family, but this online community also offers them the opportunity to connect with brands they like or want to learn more about. In fact, as many as 49% of users like a Facebook page to support their favorite brands! It’s not uncommon for Facebookers to make purchasing decisions based on content or ads they’ve viewed in their feed, sometimes following links to buy right on the spot.
So if your business still doesn’t have a Facebook presence, you’re behind the curve.
- 29.7% of Facebook users are ages 25-34 (and though the 60+ demographic is smaller, Facebook is number one for this age group).
- 85% of Facebook’s daily active users come from outside the U.S. and Canada, which means you have the opportunity to expand your reach worldwide.
- Facebook has 70 languages available to reach a global community. Use your analytics to see where your fans live, and target your posts by location or language.
- Not only are there a ton of potential customers on this platform, but Facebook’s own research found that all users are no more than 3.5 degrees separated.
Keeping in touch with your current customers is one thing, but staying relevant (and profitable) means you need to figure out how to engage a huge pool of potential customers regularly – and one of the most straightforward ways to do that is through Facebook ads.
Want to improve sales to women age 30 and over? Or tell West Coast millennials about a new product? Advertising on Facebook gives you the ability to reach people with very specific demographic profiles. And with an average conversion rate of 9.21%, Facebook ads are pulling their weight:
Facebook videos get 8 billion views every day – and 100 million hours of video are viewed daily – so using video for your Facebook ad is a sure way to stand out in cluttered feeds. Unlike photos or text posts, video ads allow you to tell a story, explain your product or show how your brand fits with a certain lifestyle.
Here are a few more reasons why video is king of content:
- Facebook branded videos have an average engagement rate of 6.3% – compared to just 3.2% for YouTube videos and a mere 0.2% for Instagram videos.
- Watching and sharing videos has become significantly more popular: the appearance of Facebook videos across news feeds has increased 360%.
- Videos native to Facebook also show an impressive organic reach of 13%.
Facebook auto-plays your video, but you still need to capture a user’s attention enough to stop them from scrolling on by. If you can get your main point across in the first three seconds of your video, your odds are better. A recent Nielsen experiment showed that 74% of a video campaign’s impact can be achieved within the first 10 seconds, so try to keep your creative as short and sweet as possible.
Once you have your audience’s attention, the best way to keep them watching is to tell a good story. If you engage your viewers with a plot, characters, etc., they’re much more likely to keep watching ‘til the very end.
Here’s a great example of an attention-getter that works – the Google Chrome Speed Test video:
In the opening, we see a quick montage of powerful and literally explosive images (lightening, red paint splashing on a fake ear, a combusting potato). The audience is drawn in by close-up footage of experiments with dramatic lighting: Chrome Browser vs. Potato, Chrome Browser vs. Sound Waves and Chrome Browser vs. Lightning.
The three challenges show the raw speed of Google Chrome without the need for wordy explanations. It’s a “show don’t tell” scenario that leaves a definite impact on the viewer. Finally, the video ends with a “Test It for Yourself” challenge to its audience. Brilliant!
Another stellar example of how to capture interest right off the bat is How to Use a Raw Egg to Determine if Your Mattress Is Awful:
Purple Mattress (the company) uses a very unique stunt style to demonstrate the main value proposition of their product: support and comfort.
They use the playful theme of children’s stories (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) to get their message across, including a host that embodies a character from this tale. The styling of the environment and costumes of the actors are extremely unusual, and the humorous stories embedded with product features make it very hard to stop watching.
Considering that 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound turned off, it’s crucial that your video ad work even when muted. After the influx of auto-play videos that caused most people to switch to sound-off mode in their settings, your video ad needs to capture attention with or without sound.
Here’s how to do that:
- Use bold titles and graphics. When a Facebook video ad is muted, you can still tell your story using text and graphics. You may have seen styles like this used by media companies such as NowThis or BuzzFeed with great success.
- Tell your story visually. Oftentimes, you don’t even need text or graphics to get your point across. If Charlie Chaplin could do it, why can’t you? Make sure the story is told with strong imagery.
- Add animations. Animations are super visual by nature, which work great for videos that are muted. Think about creating your script, and entire concept for that matter, to work without a voice-over, and it will work great for Facebook video ads.
- Add subtitles. Subtitles may not be the sexiest way to make your Facebook video ads work on mute, but if you are limited in storytelling tools, at the very least make sure to add subtitles to ensure that your message is loud and clear.
- Add “tap for sound” reminders. Polls suggest that 80% of Facebook users are annoyed when videos automatically play sound, which makes them think negatively of the brand. Instead, design yours with a “tap for sound” style, and be sure to include graphics to remind your viewer to engage the sound when they are able to.
In this video Introducing the Lily Camera Drone, the producers creatively show the appeal of their drone product by designing the video to convey the messaging without words:
Set to music, we meet the aerodynamically designed drone up close, and then fly along with it as it tracks a snowboarder, kayaker and hikers on their adventures through picturesque landscapes. Clean, white text tells us the specs and capabilities of the drone’s shots, with special call-outs for certain features like the tracking device with waterproof casing. This exceptional muted design (with music optional) shows not only the product in action, but it lets the viewer feel like he or she is right there at the controls.
During this Introducing Skyroam Solace: Your 4G LTE Global WiFi Hotspot and Power Bank ad, we see a dynamic example of a video that tells its story visually (with a great descriptive name, by the way).
The concept is simplicity itself, with no distractions, just product imagery and need-to-know information. The producers artfully detail the core messaging with visuals and text that communicate the features and benefits, without relying on the audio component. You’ll see that the video unfolds almost in the style of a product brochure, giving each key point the proper attention.
Generally, advertising is something that gets in the way of the program or video that users really want to see. So why not “skip the ads and start telling stories“? That’s what the best ads do. Advertising gurus “know the key to winning over consumers is to share stories that are worthy of their time.”
- Tell a compelling story. Who doesn’t love a good story?! Once you have your audience’s attention, the best way to keep them watching is to build on a theme and infuse elements of story such as emotional appeal, relatability and sharability. Think of the story behind your service or product and then show it rather than just shove the service or product in the viewer’s face and tell them why it’s great. Studies show that only 5% of people will recall statistics, but 63% recall stories.
- Showcase testimonials. Whether it be a video testimonial or a fan’s glowing comment in quotes, using a real-life customer testimonial is a great way to quickly build trust with your audience and potential customers. If you have testimonials from big companies or clients, it can even get people excited to work with your team or purchase your product.
- Work with influencers. You can use popular influencers to pull in the brand equity that they have built. Think about how to leverage their likeness to make something that feels familiar to a new audience and open up a market that your brand hasn’t touched yet.
This Facebook ad from Organic Valley – Save a Bro You Know: The Brononymous Hotline – is an excellent example of great storytelling and attention-grabbing content:
In this video ad, the primary vehicle is humor, lending itself to a storyline in which muscled “bros” chug protein shakes filled with “questionable” ingredients. Enter Organic Valley’s hero product to “save the bros” from synthetic protein and make their workouts worth more!
It’s clever and engaging, and even involves “secrecy” testimonials playing on the stigma of organic protein, with a Brononymous Hotline that actually invites readers to engage with social media for coupons to try the product. It’s an entertaining twist that has plenty of features and benefits embedded, with an easy-to-swallow format. Keeping the metaphor going, the story ends by inviting viewers to visit SaveTheBros.com!
Another great example is this video from Airtable entitled Airtable – Glormax Returns:
The company does a commendable job of giving the viewer an engaging storyline that holds their attention from the get-go, while promoting the product — a collaboration platform to help grown-ups work more efficiently. By using child actors to detail the product’s features, it feels less like a commercial and more like a mini movie.
One thing’s for sure, it’s definitely hard to turn your attention away once you’re invested in what the talented kid characters have to say! It’s cute, funny and interesting to watch.
In a Facebook feed, especially on a mobile device, square videos take up more screen real estate than traditional-sized, horizontal videos. Going square is also a great way to make sure your videos are primed and ready for Instagram ads, too.
Often if viewers don’t understand the hook of a video right away, they’ll read the title or description. Make your title compelling and descriptive, and write a description that is intriguing and informative so that viewers stay to watch. Sometimes a preview of the content can be just enough to get them excited.
After you’ve tested your Facebook video ad for a few days, go back and review how it is performing. You may want to change up your target demographic to the audiences that are most engaged with your video — or even test some new creative in the title, description or video copy. Keep playing with the variables until you hit your original advertising goals!
Your Facebook video ad is pointless without a “next step” for viewers. Make sure your target knows what you want from them by including a simple but clear call to action at the end, such as “Click to shop”, “Get started with [product/service]”, or “Visit website to learn more.”
If you are not making good use of your Facebook presence, you’re missing out on a huge resource (2.23 billion monthly active users and an average conversion rate of 9.21%, to refresh your memory!). Since so many people spend so much time on this social media platform just scrolling through their news feed, it just makes good business sense to create Facebook video ads.
Keep these tips in mind and be sure to review these and other compelling Facebook video ads to ensure success for your business:
- Create Attention-Grabbing Content
- Make Sure Your Video Works Muted
- Tell a Story and Use Social Proof
- Choose the Square Video Format
- Don’t Forget a Title and Description
- Evaluate Your Analytics
- Include a Strong Call to Action