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How to Use Facebook Video Ads to Grow Your Business

You know you need to run ads on Facebook, and you know video is the way to go.

At least, we’re assuming that you know those things since you’re reading this post. That means you’re ahead of the curve, because you’re right.

Facebook video ads are the way to go.

In fact, did you know that 500 million viewers watch 100 million hours of video content on Facebook daily?

That’s a huge potential audience, and that’s just counting people watching full videos, not video ads.

Let’s look at how to use Facebook video ads to grow your business. Come on in!

Because today, we’re going to show you how to use Facebook video ads for your small business.

Let’s get started!

Choosing Your Facebook Video Ads Objective Matters

On Facebook, objectives guide the ad formats and placements available to you.

Not every format supports video, so let’s look at that really quickly. We’ll go over available formats and placements for each objective later.

You can utilize Facebook video ads with each of the following objectives:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Reach
  3. Traffic
  4. Engagement
  5. App installs
  6. Video views
  7. Lead generation
  8. Messages
  9. Conversions
  10. Catalog sales
  11. Store traffic

We’ll talk about each objective in detail and the difference between them. Let’s start with brand awareness.

Brand Awareness

The brand awareness objective is best for you if you want your ads to show to people most likely to remember them.

This is measured using Ad Recall Lift, which measures how many people Facebook thinks would remember your ad if they were asked about it in 2 days.

These are best to use for top-of-funnel ads.

If you spend $30,000 on your campaign, Facebook will perform a Brand Lift Study, meaning they’ll actually ask folks if they remember your ad.

If you don’t have that kind of budget, you’ll get an Estimated Ad Recall Lift, which is Facebook’s best guess.

Either way, these are great for spreading the word.

Reach

If you choose the Reach objective, Facebook will show your ad to as many people as possible.

You’ll measure this with impressions or views.

Traffic

With this objective, Facebook will look for people that are most likely to visit your website (or any web page that you’re sending them to).

These people are most likely to click to visit outside of Facebook.

Results will be measured by cost per click, amount of clicks, or something similar.

What’s nice about Facebook objectives is that they are pretty self-explanatory.

Facebook has made it easy to start, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So just pick one of the objectives that we mentioned before, and you’ll be able to use video with each one of those.

Facebook Video Ad Types

You create a “video” with a combination of images and text. You can use images you own or you can use stock photos.

This option is great if you don’t have a ton of resources, and really just need to start driving traffic to your page or site.

These Facebook video ads show vertically, full-screen in the Stories feed, and Facebook has templates prepared for you to help expedite the creation process.

If you want to learn more, then be sure to check out our Facebook Stories 2021 post next.

This turns an existing post on your page into an ad that you can use to promote your business, product, or offer.

  • Carousel Ads (in Stories and on Desktop – both in FB and IG)

You can add multiple videos and images in a carousel (you can use up to 10).

How many you use will depend on your goal, available assets, and campaign focus.

Showcase a video followed by a collection of products you’ve made using your Catalog.

These Facebook video ads display in the news feed, Stories, and other places on IG and FB.

They’ll only show on mobile, and they are a full-screen, immersive experience.

These show mid-roll (meaning during the video) in original content within the Facebook Feed, Facebook Watch, and Audience Network.

When you’re planning these placements, keep in mind that they behave most like traditional television spots.

Most folks watching will watch with the sound on and stick around for the full commercial.

Where Does Facebook Show My Ads?

You have four main placements available to you for your Facebook video ads, depending on your chosen objective. Those placements are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Messenger
  • Audience Network

Where and how your ad is displayed on each network will vary, again, depending on your chosen objective.

However, let’s briefly go over every possible placement so you know what you’re working with, generally.

On Facebook, your ad can appear in:

  • News Feed
  • Stories
  • Marketplace
  • Right Column
  • Inbox
  • Video Feeds
  • Search
  • Instant Articles (available in the mobile app)

In Facebook Messenger, your ad can appear:

  • As a Sponsored Message
  • In Messenger Inbox
  • As Messenger Story

On Instagram, your ad can appear in:

  • News Feed
  • Stories
  • Instagram Explore
  • IGTV
  • Reels

Audience Network refers to third-party websites and apps that your ads may appear in:

  • Audience Network Rewarded Videos
  • Audience Network Native, Banner, and Interstitial
  • Oculus Mobile App Feed
  • Oculus Mobile App Search Results

Do I Have Any Control Over Where My Ad Shows?

While you don’t have as much control over what content shows beside your ads on Facebook, as you would in, say, Google…

…you do have some control over where your ads will appear.

There are a number of ways to control placements and adjacent content. We’ll briefly go over those next.

So, as far as where your Facebook video ads do and don’t show up, you have a say in a few things:

a. Opt-out of placements

You can manually manage placements in the Facebook Ads Manager.

b. Inventory filter

You get to choose either Full Inventory, Standard Inventory, or Limited Inventory.

This applies to placements on Audience Network, Facebook in-stream, Facebook Instant Articles, and IGTV video.

c. Topic exclusions

These apply to in-stream Facebook video ads. You can choose content-level exclusions from 4 different topics:

  • news,
  • politics,
  • gaming, and
  • religious & spiritual content.

d. Content type exclusions

You can choose to exclude your content from Live Streams and videos claimed by rights holders.

A video that’s been “claimed by the rights holder” is a video that was published by a third party who did not own a copyright.

The “rights holder” (copyrights holder) earns any revenue earned from views of the video, but the third party can keep the content on their page.

e. Block Lists

You can manage Block Lists in the Facebook Business Manager. Review places your ad has appeared.

If you don’t want your ad to show up on that publisher again, add them to the Block List.

Here’s how to do that: Create a block list using Publisher Lists in the Brand Safety controls interface:

  1. Go to Business Manager.
  2. Select 3×3 dot grid button.
  3. Select Brand Safety.
  4. Select Publisher List in the left column. You’ll see a list of publishers where your ads appear.

Use the drop-down menu to see publisher lists for each placement type.

For example, Facebook in-stream videos, IGTV videos, instant articles, and Audience Network.

  1. Tick the box next to the publishers where you don’t want your ads to appear and click “Add to block list”, then a pop-up will appear.
  2. Select or create the block list you want to add the publishers to.

How to Create a Video Ad in Ads Manager

Let’s go through the process in Ads Manager so you know exactly what to do when it’s time for you to launch your Facebook video ads.

facebook video ads

  1. In your Facebook Ads Manager, select the green Create button. A new window will open up.
  2. Choose your objective. For this example, we’ll choose Traffic.
  3. Now name your campaign, ad set, and ad. This is optional, but you’ll have to do this in the next steps anyway so you might as well do it now.
  4. Click Continue.

Now that you’re in the campaign editor, you’ll follow this flow to complete the settings for your ad, choose your audience, and upload your ad creative.

You’ll start in Campaign, then move to Ad Set, and then to the Ad. We’ll walk you through the rest of the process.

Completing Campaign Details

  1. Fill out the campaign name, if you didn’t do that in the last step.
  2. If your ad is in a special ad category (credit, employment, housing, social issues, government, or politics) then divulge that now.
  3. Review campaign details next and make changes if needed. If you’d like to set a campaign spend limit, select Show More Options.
  4. If you want to A/B test videos or versions of copy, you’ll do that now by selecting “Get Started”.

The version you’re currently editing will become version A, and Facebook will walk you through setting up version B after you publish.

  1. Campaign Budget Optimization is toggled off by default.

If you’d like to turn this on, do that here by clicking on the toggle. This will evenly split your budget across multiple ad sets.

We recommend starting with 1 ad set and up to 4 versions of your ad, so you can skip this step for now.

  1. Click the blue Next button in the bottom right

Now you’re working on your Facebook ad campaign set details, so let’s walk through that.

Completing Ad Set Details

  1. Name your ad set, if you didn’t do that during the previous step.
  2. Choose where you want to drive Traffic (or whatever your objective was).
  3. Select whether you’ll use Dynamic Creative.

We recommend this option for a lot of small businesses, but to keep things simple, we’ll leave this toggled off for now.

  1. Select whether you’ll have an associated offer or not.

We like to use the offer option for a lot of campaigns, but again, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave this toggled off for now.

  1. Set your budget and schedule. Choose either a daily or lifetime budget, and set your start and end dates.

If you want to just let your ad run and turn it off manually, don’t set an end date. If you want your ad to start immediately, don’t set a start date.

facebook video ads

  1. Choose your audience targeting next. Use a saved audience or create new audiences.

You can create lookalikes and custom audiences from here. Make location, age, gender, and interest targeting options next.

You can save this audience to quickly access it next time. Name it something that makes sense and will be discernible to the future you.

  1. Choose placements. Facebook recommends automatic placements, but you can manually select placements as well.

A lot of small businesses don’t see success on Audience Network placements, so that may be one you turn off.

  1. Change how Facebook optimizes your ad for delivery. This is how Facebook decides who to show your ad to.

If you optimize for clicks, they find the click-y people. If you optimize for calls, they find people who love calling other people.

You can also set a cost control here, if applicable. We rarely use this option for small business campaigns though.

  1. Click Next.

facebook video ads

Now you’re editing the individual Facebook video ads. Almost there! Let’s go through the final step.

  1. Enter the ad name, if you didn’t do that during the initial campaign setup.
  2. Choose the Facebook page and Instagram account you want to associate these ads with.

If you’re running ads for your own business, you don’t need to worry about the branded content checkbox.

  1. In Ad Setup, select Create Ad, Use Existing Post, Use Creative Hub Mockup from the dropdown. We’ll choose the Create Ad today.

Choose your ad format (single image or video, carousel, or collection), add a full-screen experience for mobile here, if you’ve made one.

  1. In Ad Creative, choose your image or video, add primary text, headline, description, choose destination, and enter website URL.

Add the call to action before moving on.

  1. Add languages, if you’ll be displaying your ad in multiple languages.
  2. Select tracking (or set it up) so you can track how well your ads are performing.
  3. Select the green Publish button.

Facebook will automatically publish your campaign, ad set, and ad as soon as it is reviewed.

The review process is automated, but it usually takes less than 2 hours.

If your ads are disabled for any reason, Facebook will notify you or you’ll see a message when you log into your ad account.

Now that you know how to set up your ads, let’s cover a few best practices so you can create the best Facebook video ads possible.

Even with all the proper settings, a bad video ad won’t convert. Take a little bit of time to follow these best practices

Facebook Video Ads Best Practices

Before you run video ads, you’ll want to make sure you’re following the recommended best practices so you can create a successful video ad.

Here are some of our suggestions for creating video ads:

1. Make sure your videos are ready for silent viewing.

According to Facebook (and corroborated by Instagram), 85% of videos on the platform are viewed without sound.

If your video doesn’t make sense without sound, you’re going to lose viewers and they won’t come back later.

How can you optimize your videos for silent viewing?

You’ll need your captions in a .srt file, which is supported by most video editors.

You need to follow a specific naming convention for your .srt file, which is: filename.[language code]_[country code].srt.

So, your fall fashion guide video would be fallfashionguide2021.en_US.srt.

There’s a full list of available languages and country codes in the Facebook Help Center.

facebook video ads

Once your caption file is named properly, you’re ready to add captions to your video. Here’s how you’ll do that:

  1. Begin to create your video ad.
  2. In the Ad Creative section, upload or create your video.
  3. After your video has loaded, click Edit Video.
  4. Click Captions.
  5. In the Video Captions section, click Upload Your Own.
  6. In the window that appears, click Select file and select the SRT file you want to upload.
  7. After you select the file, click Save. Your captions then upload to the video.
  8. Finish the edits to your video and finalize your ad.
  • Add Auto-Generated Captions

Don’t worry, you can review and edit these captions, so nothing strange appears on-screen.

Robots try, but sometimes they just don’t know what we’re saying.

Auto-generated captions are nice because they save you time from manually transcribing (which takes ages and ages).

  1. Begin to create your video ad.
  2. In the Ad Creative section, upload or create your video.
  3. After your video has loaded, click Edit Video.
  4. Click Captions.
  5. Select Generate Automatically.

Note that if your video doesn’t have sound, or if their system can’t detect sound from the video, you’ll only have the option to manually add captions.

  1. After they generate your captions, go to the Review Your Captions window and hover over the caption to edit or delete the text.

Hover over the time stamp to edit the length of time that the caption appears.

Click the plus sign to add a new caption.

Click the trash can to delete a caption.

Note that to keep the video from playing while you edit a caption, you can check the box next to Pause video while typing.

  1. Once you are satisfied with your captions, click Save To Video. Your captions will then be uploaded to the video.
  2. (Optional) Click Options next to your captions file to delete, share or download the captions to your computer.

If you share the captions, they generate a link to your captions that expires after 72 hours.

  1. Finish the edits to your video and finalize your ad.

2. Optimize your Facebook video ads for mobile.

Consider the mobile user’s viewing experience when optimizing Facebook ads.

The screen is smaller, and they’re likely using headphones, if the sound is on at all.

They could literally be anywhere; on their couch at home deciding what movie to watch, or running late for a job interview because they’re navigating a new city.

  • Keep videos under 15 seconds.

This increases the likelihood of the viewer watching the whole thing, and makes the video eligible for Instagram Stories and FB in-stream placements.

  • Capture interest in the first 3 seconds.
  • Use vertical video.
  • Show your product or brand early.
  • Optimize for silent viewing.

Now if you need more help with optimizing your video ads, we offer video SEO services that you can take advantage of.

3. Feature your brand or product in the first 15 seconds.

Actually, it’s 15 seconds if you’ve got a longer ad, 3 seconds for 15-second ads.

The key here is you want to capture their attention quickly and get the viewer to click or stop scrolling to watch more.

Now, you don’t have to do a full introduction, of course. This could be as simple as showing your logo somewhere on-screen (prominently if you can).

This is especially true if you’re targeting a cold, or mildly warm, audience. You’ll want to make sure your brand is evident.

After all, we know that it sometimes takes a handful of views before someone finally decides to click or buy.

4. Keep content to one topic per video.

It can be tempting to get the most bang for your buck and put a bunch of different products or services in your Facebook video ads.

But remember, you have limited time. You need to capture attention and pique interest, and you need to do it quickly.

That’s why it’s best to focus on one topic per video.

It also makes sense because you’ll be targeting a very specific audience (if you’ve done the “proper planning”), and that specific audience will have specific needs.

Now, it shouldn’t be tough for you to come up with one thing to focus on for your audience.

If it is, you need to revisit your audience and figure out their needs so you can hone your messaging.

Conclusion

Facebook video ads are one of the best ways for you to reach your audience and get those conversions you seek.

Videos are preferred by users, and most social media platforms favor video.

Instagram has even said (in the last week) that they are no longer a photo-sharing platform.

So we hope this helped you understand Facebook video ads and get some ideas for what you’ll do for your next campaign.

If you need more help, not just with your Facebook video ads, but with your Facebook marketing strategy in general, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Our Facebook marketing company loves helping small businesses like yours!

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About EagleView Consulting

EagleView Consulting is a full-service consulting agency that helps brands, retailers, and manufacturers launch, grow, and scale on Amazon. We create beautiful brands and help Amazon Sellers to dominate on the Marketplace.

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