Video Advertising on Facebook: Best Practices You Should Know

Facebook advertising needs no introduction. Everyone knows about Facebook ads and everyone has an opinion, especially after the onslaught of scandals back in April. Love them or hate them, Facebook ads have rightfully been a go-to marketing tool for marketers for years now, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

Even while many advertisers are moving to platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube, Facebook remains a valuable video marketing channel simply because of the sheer number of people you can reach on Facebook – over two billion, to be exact. Not to mention, because Facebook owns Instagram, there’s a lot of integration between the two platforms, including the ability to launch video ads on Instagram Stories through Facebook.

Here’s a breakdown of how video advertising and distribution on Facebook works and why it should be a crucial part of your video marketing strategy.

How Do Facebook Video Ads Work?

We’re focusing exclusively on Facebook’s video ad options, of which there are many. The majority of Facebook video ads fall into one of two main categories: in-feed and in-stream video ads.

In-Feed Video Ads

In-feed video ads reach viewers directly in their newsfeeds, where they spend the majority of their time. These are the ads you typically see while scrolling through your newsfeed and usually range in length, but typically work best when kept shorter. For mobile viewers especially, Facebook reports videos have higher completion rates when they’re 15 seconds or less.

Here are the main types of in-feed Facebook video ads you can create, along with a few things to keep in mind about each.

Carousel Video Ads

Source: Facebook

Carousel ads allow you to show up to 10 videos in one ad on both Instagram and Facebook, and each video can come with its own link, allowing you to showcase multiple specifications, products, services, or promotions.

Why Carousel Video Ads?

  • Can be interactive
  • Highlights different angles, features, or aspects of a single product
  • Facebook reports that “many campaigns see a lower cost per conversion or click”

Vertical Video Ads

Source: Facebook

Vertical video ads are ads optimized for mobile consumption. Typically shorter form content, these Facebook video ads show up larger in the newsfeed and capture in-feed scrollers better than most.

Why Vertical Video Ads?

  • Viewers consume video content faster on mobile than on desktop
  • Viewers recall mobile in-feed content after viewing for just a quarter of a second
  • Seven out of 10 vertical video ads increased brand lift and led to a three- to nine-point increase in ad recall

Instagram Story Video Ads

Source: Adweek

Instagram Story ads are vertical-format full-screen ads that show up in a viewer’s Instagram Stories feed. They function similarly to vertical video ads, since Instagram stories are viewed on mobile.

Why Instagram Story Ads?

  • Instagram Stories’ autoplay functionality makes viewing easy for users
  • Optimize Instagram Story ads for reach, views, conversions, brand awareness, app installs, or mix and match your metrics
  • Content can mimic the type of user-generated content already found in stories

Then there are the more complicated in-feed video ads that combine video and image ads together in an immersive advertising experience. We won’t cover these in detail, but click to learn more about canvas video ads and collection video ads.

In-Stream Video Ads

Source: Instapage

In-stream Facebook video ads play inside videos that viewers click to watch from custom publishers and popular digital content creators, either in-feed or through Facebook Watch. These ads are non-skippable, typically don’t appear until the video has played for 60 seconds or longer, (when the viewers are already engaged with the content,) and can be up to 15 seconds long.

Why In Stream Video Ads?

  • Captures audience attention better
  • Reaches viewers who are already watching content
  • Opens opportunities to create content with more intricate storytelling or tackle more complicated topics thanks to the non-skippable format

Bonus Tip: Because in-stream ads function like traditional TV commercials and aren’t interactive, there’s no way to promote a landing page or click-through like there is on YouTube. However, you can link to landing pages via the Audience Network, so don’t overlook the added reach and potential ROI.

Why Use Facebook Video Ads Instead of LinkedIn, YouTube, or Instagram?

Besides the reach that comes with Facebook’s gigantic audience, (not to mention the reach when you add Instagram,) there are a lot of good reasons to use Facebook video advertising.

For starters, according to Facebook, their video ads reach 37 percent more millennials than traditional TV advertising – no surprises there, of course, as millennials have been leading the cord-cutting charge for years now. On top of that, Facebook has been a leader in the digital ad space and continues to play with emerging video styles, including 360 video and virtual reality.

Additionally, an independent study showed that, between YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, Facebook had the highest on-target impression rate, meaning Facebook had the highest accuracy for delivering video ads to their intended audience. That’s because in order to use Facebook, you have to be logged in and share a large amount of data. Good or bad, Facebook users opt in to sharing a lot of specific information with Facebook, which brand advertisers can then use to create highly specific audience demographics.

Best Practices for Facebook Video Advertising

Video Ad Specs

Here are the specs for a traditional Facebook video ad that would appear on the newsfeed.

  • Video Ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • Recommended Resolution: Highest resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits
  • Video File Size: 4GB max
  • Video Length Minimum: 1 second
  • Video Length Maximum: 240 minutes
  • Video Captions: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Sound: Optional, but recommended
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Video Thumbnail Images: 20 percent text or less – any more, and video ad may experience reduced delivery
  • Vertical Videos: Aspect ratios taller than 2:3 may be masked to 2:3
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link Description: 30 characters

Want more specifics? Check out our video ad specs, where we break down how video works on every social platform.

Are Facebook Video Ads for You?

Whether you want to invest a lot of your ad budget or a little, with all of the format and targeting options available, there’s no real reason not to use Facebook’s video ad platform as part of your video advertising strategy. We highly recommend dedicating even a marginal ad spend on Facebook video ads when you’re promoting your video content.

We provide a variety of video options perfect for whatever your advertising goals might be, and even work with agencies looking to expand into video content marketing. Schedule a call today to kick around ideas with one of our creative producers, and begin your video marketing success story today!

Grant Harvey

Grant Harvey