Should I use video ads or static ads for my Facebook campaigns?
With over one billion Facebook users, it’s no surprise that large companies are funneling significant amounts of money into research on optimizing advertisements for their social media audiences. Facebook constantly updates its formats and policies concerning advertisements, so keeping up with the latest trend can be difficult. A common discussion is the effectiveness of video ads versus static, still picture ads. Although the results have varied on other social media sites, Facebook has finally published conclusive, positive results for video lovers. In the last years, Facebook has experienced a steady rise of effectiveness both for the click through rate and purchase rate of your video advertisement. This means that not only are video ads on Facebook more likely to funnel viewers to your homepage, but those visitors are more likely to ultimately make a purchase. Using video advertisement for your campaign can greatly advance your progress, but before you start filming, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of Facebook video marketing.
How policy effects numbers
When Facebook first began noticing the increase of interest in video marketing, the company changed its policies to encourage the trend. Now, in 2017, Facebook algorithms are promoting videos like never before. Your videos are prioritized in a viewer’s newsfeed, and with automatic playback, these videos are being viewed at higher rates than in previous years. This push of videos has changed outcomes for marketing campaigns significantly. Currently, video ads are achieving an organic reach which is 135% higher than that of a link, status update, or photo post. While a static photo ad may only experience an average click through rate of 3.7%, videos are now boasting an 8.7% CTR. These statistics are encouraging companies so much that new predictions suggest 2017 Facebook advertisements will consist of 69% videos.
Video views have also proven to be for more than just entertainment. A study by Adobe proves that video ads are achieving the sales results hoped for, as shoppers are 1.8 times more likely to purchase an item after viewing a video ad opposed to a non-video post.
Using a video instead of your traditional photo advertisement does not immediately guarantee success. In fact, replacing your photo ad with a poorly developed video will damage your campaign. It’s important to understand the factors effecting a video campaign’s success rates.
Move quickly: The reason video ads were initially thought to be less effective was because companies were not designing videos to promote their campaign within the first couple seconds of playback. While a photo ad immediately provides all information, video ads were taking up to 30 seconds to really address the purpose of the advertisement. This has changed as companies now understand their errors. Videos are being viewed more than ever before, but studies still show that if you fail to catch the attention of your viewer within the first three seconds, you may lose them for good. Start off your video with a bold statement of purpose. Speak directly to your audience, engage in their interests, and introduce your call to action. If you engage your audience in the first 3 seconds, you are more likely to convince them of your message.
Limit the length: Regardless of how incredible your opening seconds are, the social media community still suffers from short attention spans. Keep your videos interesting and information dense. Once you’ve engaged with your audience, presented the needed information, and encouraged your call to action, end the video on a positive note. The longer the video lasts, the less likely your audience is to stay until the end.
Create the perfect thumbnail image: Facebook now allows you to choose which still shot of your video will be used as the thumbnail. This gives you the advantage of using static ad techniques within your video advertisement. Instead of searching through your final product for the best shot, design your ad with the thumbnail in mind. Create a picture-perfect moment within your video to use as a thumbnail, counting on the fact that people who chose not to watch your video will still see this capture.
Videos are now achieving a greater reach than any other post on Facebook, and developing Facebook ads for your company will definitely be within your best interests. As much as you’ll enjoy the increase in your CTR and purchase trends, videos present a unique difficulty in tracking your statistics. For the marketing gurus among you, you know that testing multiple ads and tracking statistics is of utmost importance. For video ads, however, this can be more difficult. Facebook will offer you your CTR as it would in any static advertisement. It will also offer you a viewing number: the total number of views your video received. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to know how many views are active and how many are passive views. If a video plays for 3 seconds, it’s counted as a view. For those of you who use Facebook, you know how common it is for a video to playback in your hand or when your phone is left on a table without you being aware. These passive views are common, yet nobody knows exactly how common. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid this issue. You will need to take multiple statistics on your video ads and realize that the view number is far from an accurate reading of how many people actively engaged in your advertisement.
In the end, designing your advertisement depends on a huge number of factors. What works for one company may not work for another company with an entirely different goal and audience. You will want to try many different advertisement techniques, both video and static, and track your statistics to better understand what works for your company.