Facebook has billions of monthly users and, combined with Instagram, is the most popular social media platform in existence. Any online business looking to drive conversions or improve engagement across the board should be advertising on Facebook, especially if they operate in a competitive or niche market.
But you can’t just place any old ads on Facebook and expect success. Facebook video ads are some of the most popular choices because Facebook users prefer video content to static content. Plus, videos allow you to get more information across to your users than images anyway and provide them with more entertainment.
If you haven’t ever used Facebook video ads before, you’re in luck. This detailed guide will break down everything you need to know about Facebook video ads, including where to place them, what you need to include in your ads, and more.
Requirements for Facebook Video Ads
Before making your own video ads or hiring a video marketing agency to create stellar content for your brand, you need to be aware of Facebook’s video requirements and recommendations. Failing to follow these requirements could result in your video being disapproved by Facebook (i.e., not being shown to your target audience) or looking odd when it is finally displayed.
Note that different types of Facebook ads (more on those below) have different requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the video specifications you should keep in mind:
- You can use various file types on Facebook, but MP4, GIF, or MOV files are recommended due to their versatility.
- If you decide to make an in-feed ad (see below), aspect ratios of 16:9 or 9:16 (also known as portrait mode) are supported. Facebook itself recommends a ratio of 4:5. However, this will prevent black bars on either side of your videos. Naturally, different ad placements may have unique aspect ratio requirements.
- Videos can range in length from 1 second to 241 seconds, though it varies by video placement location.
- 4 GB is the maximum file size for all ad placements.
- All video ads must have a minimum resolution of 1080 x 1080.
These are only the most important specifications to keep in mind. Work within these constraints, and your Facebook video ads will look fantastic when you finally post them.
The Key Components of a Facebook Video Ad
As you develop the core concept of your Facebook ads and (maybe) work with a marketing agency to generate informative and entertaining content for your target audience, remember the major components that each Facebook video ad needs to include.
You’ve chosen to advertise on Facebook for a reason: The platform has arguably the most reach of any other social media platform. So you should take advantage of everything Facebook has to offer by including these core components in every video advertisement you create.
The headline, despite its name, is displayed beneath the bottom visuals of your video. Still, it’s the video’s title and can help give viewers a quick understanding of what your ad will be about and whether it’ll be relevant to their needs.
Headlines can be between 1 and 40 characters – if the headline is more than 40 characters, it may end up truncated or invisible. The beginning of your headline should be bold and attention-grabbing. Remember, Facebook users won’t wait around for you to convince them to watch your ad.
Each video ad will also include a link to your Facebook account located at the top left and corner of the ad display. Since it’s an ad, it’ll also have a “sponsored” tag beneath it to inform users that they are watching an ad rather than organic content.
Be sure that the link accurately goes to your Facebook business profile so you can draw in traffic efficiently.
Each Facebook ad allows you to add some primary text above the main video view screen. The text can be up to 125 characters long before it gets truncated, after which point viewers have to click “read more” if they want to see more of your message.
For this reason, keep your ad length below 125 characters, if possible. If you can’t, include the most pertinent or attention-grabbing information in the first 125 characters, so you inspire viewers to read the full text and watch the entire video.
Naturally, each video has a main video view screen beneath the account link and primary text. Your Facebook video ad may play automatically or pop up as a still image depending on the preferences of viewers who get your ad.
Lastly, your Facebook video ad should include a call to action: a clickable button located in the screen’s lower right-hand corner. Facebook allows you to choose from a list of CTA options, making this aspect of ad creation quick and simple.
If you decide to use an “in-feed” ad, your ad will also show engagement metrics, such as likes or comments, in addition to the other aspects described above.
Placing Your Facebook Video Ad
We’ve talked a lot about Facebook video ad placements, but what exactly does that mean?
In short, your video ad’s “placement” is the location where the ad is displayed, which can also affect its overall type. Facebook provides five different placement options, which may be more or less effective depending on your marketing goals and the types of video ads you create.
- In-feed ads are easily discussable as organic posts. As their name suggests, they pop up when someone scrolls through their newsfeed. Ads are recommended to different users’ feeds based on their activity, browsing data, and other collected analytics.
- In-stream Facebook video ads are shown in the middle of other videos, like organic content provided by a user’s friends or family. These will only show up on mobile devices after around 60 seconds of primary video content. After the first 15 seconds of your ad, viewers are allowed to skip the ad entirely or watch it until completion. Because of this, your Facebook in-stream ads need to have exceptional quality for the first 15 seconds to get people to stick around for the duration of the video.
- Facebook Marketplace ads are ads that show up when users are browsing the Facebook Marketplace. They typically show up on the right-hand side of the screen, and you’ll see the best results if your Marketplace ads have excellent imagery up front to draw the eye away from whatever a user is browsing for the first place.
- Stories ads are posts that pop up between organic Facebook Stories. Much like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories ads only run for 15 seconds before splitting into different ad “chunks” that play between separate story segments or cards. Ads are displayed for three cards before Facebook allows the viewer to return to organic Stories content or finish the ad. Again, frontloading the beginning of your video ad with the best content is vital if you want to keep a viewer’s attention.
- Video Feed ads are video ads that display in between organic videos on the Video Feed. These are similar to regular feed ads and typically follow the same quality guidelines if you want people to engage with your ads as regularly as possible.
So, which placement should you choose? It all depends on the type of content you’ve created and where you are targeting your users.
All of the above placement options can be effective. But in-feed or in-stream ads effectively generate regular traffic or conversions, especially if your targeting data is on point. Stories ads can be excellent if you are targeting specific users in highly competitive industries, like apparel.
Meanwhile, Facebook Marketplace ads are suitable if you want more audience engagement and brand awareness–people on the Marketplace are in the mood to shop.
Ultimately, your video marketing agency or marketers in your company can help you determine which placement choices are best for your campaign or developed ads.
Facebook Video Ads Best Practices
Knowing the technical specifications for your Facebook video ads and where to place them is just the start. When you advertise on Facebook, you’ll be competing against hundreds or thousands of other companies in your niche, depending on how competitive your industry already is.
Your video ads have to stand out. To ensure that they do so, you’ll want to keep several best practices in mind to make your Facebook video ad content entertaining, informative, and memorable.
Always Add Captions
Always make your ads with captions. Why? Most Facebook users scroll through their feeds without having sound enabled. That means they will first see your ad without any vocal dialogue or music. You still need to capture these scrollers, so add captions so that people can understand what your ad is talking about before deciding whether they want to enable sound.
Close caption subtitles can be added relatively easily. As a bonus, doing this will enable you to convert users who may be hard of hearing anyway. So there’s no downside to adding closed captions beyond a little extra work.
Optimize for Mobile Users
It’s also a good idea to optimize your Facebook video ads for mobile users. Most Internet traffic comes through mobile devices these days, so you need to take mobile users into account and predict that most conversions you get from your Facebook ads will be through a phone or tablet.
What does this mean for your video content? A few things:
- Your videos should be as short as possible and deliver your message while being entertaining and memorable. Shorter videos are more manageable for mobile devices to load and also work well with the shorter attention span of Facebook users.
- Make your video with vertical orientation in mind. Most videos are viewed vertically on smartphones rather than horizontally.
- Add closed captions (again). Most mobile users do everything with sound off to avoid making a lot of noise in public.
The great thing about optimizing for mobile users is that desktop users will still get to see a high-quality ad without doing anything else. It makes no difference if your ad is optimized for mobile users when a desktop user views it, but the reverse is not true.
By optimizing for mobile users, you’ll cast a wider advertising net than you would if you optimized for desktop users.
Pay Special Attention to the Beginning of Your Ad
Earlier, we made it clear that many Facebook ad placement options put a lot of weight on the first few seconds of your video ad. Indeed, the beginning of your ad should be the section you pay the most attention to, as it’s what everyone who receives your ad will see before they choose whether to see the rest of the ad or move on to other content.
This isn’t to say that the middle and end of your ad can be junk. Those parts also have to be high-quality. But the beginning needs to have a big hook that builds a connection with your target audience and promises a solution to a pain point.
Facebook video ads could be a staple part of your marketing campaign. When leveraged correctly, they can potentially boost engagement and conversion for your brand far more than almost any other online marketing strategy.
It’s true, nonetheless, that making high-quality video content that converts is very difficult, especially if your brand has to juggle many other responsibilities. That’s why you might consider partnering with a real marketing agency like VisCap Media: media marketing experts that can help your brand achieve new success.
Check out our portfolio and contact us today to see how we can start helping your company ASAP!