Last updated Jul 5th, 2021
Today’s consumers spend more time on mobile watching video than they do watching television. They are using social media for their shopping decisions. In fact, according to IAB, more than half of all online sales in North America are influenced by social.
Have you ever wondered how successful brands are able to get so much exposure on Facebook? Well, it’s because they know the power of video ads on Facebook and Instagram.
In this article, we've asked some of the top-rated e-commerce experts to share their secret Facebook video ads strategies and the results they got. These experts have worked with over $50M+ ad spend on paid social - so they know what they're talking about!
Let's find out how you can take your Facebook video advertising to the next level.
The most essential strategy for Facebook Video Ads is to create content that your targeting audience will connect and respond to, so you´ll have to know whom you are reaching, which platform they are using, and how to grab their attention. The majority of people on Facebook have their sound turned off automatically, so you have to optimize the video for no sound. Find a way to grab the attention within the first 3 seconds so they want to watch the whole video and possibly make a conversion.
That would have to be using feed-based advertising ads for customers. Using feed-based advertising has made it possible to scale up the advertising and ensure more relevance in the messages to the audiences. Feed-based advertising makes the customer get more out of the budget spent, it is extremely cost-efficient and we saw a bigger effect in click rates, traffic, and conversions.
In order to fully leverage the power of video ads, you need to make sure that you have the right strategy and all the assets. The right strategy will enable you to make the best of your video campaigns. When we take a look at video ads, they aren't some click-monsters, CTRs aren't usually high, and CPA tends to be high. This doesn't mean that the ads aren't performing well, their CPM is usually really good, but the number of performance actions isn't that high, so looking at it from a purely ROAS perspective without having a bigger picture isn't going to work.
However, if you use video for what it's best, and that is to build quality audiences then you can really do great things.
Creating custom audiences based on quartiles or playthroughs is just a start, you can look at engaged audiences across the channels, build lookalikes, or approach this from a point of storytelling.
The video format is unique in the fact that it allows you to tell your story sequentially, so you build audiences based on video viewers, then show them the next video, and so on.
In order for this to work you need to know why you're doing it, and you need to have great production. You should have videos in the right formats. Prepare your designs, make sure they are designed for the format (story, vertical) and then build them (don't just crop your regular video).
Also, be mindful of duration, 6, 15 seconds tend to work best. Do a combo of bumper and product placement, or lifestyle and product placement to see what works best.
If you can afford it, definitely go with the contextualized video. And remember, the first 2 or 3 seconds are crucial in grabbing user attention.
We ran a campaign for PG Tips (brand of tea) which was supposed to generate an uplift in demand but also score better on ad recall and performance (CPM, playthrough rate). In order to achieve this, we've identified a couple of important triggers, such as time of the day, age group, weekday vs. working days, and started rolling out videos based on that parameters.
Tea flavors were selected to match each of the triggers, and we've run something close to 120 creatives (which adjusted for format came up to 360 ads). Results were amazing, we've seen improvement across all KPIs (CPM, Ad recall, ad score).
This kind of a rollout is a challenge if you're relying on classical means of production (direct renders, agency production, etc..) but with dynamic creative, it's really something that can be done smoothly so you can focus on strategy and results, rather than on production time and costs.
In short - precise targeting, personalized video ad content, and the right timing. As with all other advertising, it's essential to show highly relevant ads to the best possible targeted TA, across all screens, at the right time. If we manage to reach the right person exactly at the moment he or she needs an exact product or service, we will get ourselves a new customer or user. By showing personalizing ad content, we become more relevant, and relevance means higher ROAS.
One of the best campaigns that I worked on is the Societe Generale E-banking campaign, which had results up to 5 times better than the market average. Results across all digital channels were exquisite. This was the first time that we used our innovative technology to directly connect local display, Facebook, and Google campaigns, get the unified audiences and metrics and deliver the lowest possible cost per result. This campaign received the IAB MIXX award 2018.
We work relentlessly with our clients to better understand which are the triggers at every level of the funnel. Video for us is a standard building block for a comprehensive brand building/positioning effort in the upper-level funnel. Many clients are overly focused on late funnel performance, we believe that video is a great way to mix storytelling with data-driven strategies to maximize ROAS and find new audiences to love the brand value proposition.
DC Shoes is a great example of a Global Brand that is constantly feeding us with cutting-edge video content that we use to grow the baseline of our audience. Striking visuals, edgy concepts, and great storytelling leave us with a greater intent to work within mid and lower funnel strategies.
Having a hook is super important, you need to really engage people in the first few seconds with a hook. This can be an emotion, question, suspense, shock, education/fact, etc.
A brand we work with YogaClub has a great hook on its videos as it users customers and influencers to educate people on the value of the product and compare it to paying full retail. It also has a shock factor in that it shows off what comes in the boxes and all the value.
Brands need to create thumb-stopping videos that have a person take the action that they want. People are fed so much advertising and noise that you need to go above and beyond what is average. The video needs to have your product front and center, which feels odd to say but I see so many ads where I'm not sure what the product is. Ads featuring your customers and or their reviews are a great way to add UGC and bring a video to life. Focus on your hero or top-selling products.
For more top-of-funnel video ads. We spend a lot of time working with clients to figure out what their customer review 50/50 ad is going to look like and be. We don't always focus on the hero products. Sometimes we focus on the products that draw someone into a store and have them look around. We have done a lot of this work over the last year with LARQ and making sure people truly understand what makes our product unique. This has led to more sales and a better profit margin.
We need to understand that people are not on Facebook to buy, so we need to create something really "thumb-stopping" in order to achieve our goals. We should ask ourselves "which need/desire I'm answering to with my products/services?" and developing our video strategy around it in a way that is fast, engaging, with a strong CTA at the end of the video encouraging action. Don't say you're the best, prove it!
In my experience, it works amazing short videos (especially if you want people to take action ex. purchase) with product reviews, real examples of product/service in action, testimonials, supported by captions.
Keep in mind that 85% of people on Facebook are watching videos with no sound, so it's paramount to guide them through the video story with a bit of text.
Pro tip: once you've run the video campaign, create a Custom Audience made by people who watched the video at least at 25% and retarget them with other campaigns. Sometimes they need a further push to buy, why miss this chance? ;)
One of my best performing campaigns (it's been online since 2019 and still working with an average 21.1X ROAS!) is a catalog sales campaign made by a video + a collection of the products sold by the brand. The video shows how the product works and it's told to the user its main features, why he should buy it, and what kind of issues it's solving. It's been the best creative in terms of ROAS among many, so it's something I also tested in other markets.
To begin with, you should probably know that I am a former UX designer and that I focus a lot on my audience and on the user experience.
When I start a campaign, I conduct upstream research on my audience and get to know them perfectly. Then, I capture as much data as I can, and optimize the campaigns based on these insights.
In parallel, I grow an email list, so I can display my ads to a "Lookalike » audience and I also use the "Remarketing" strategy that involves showing my ads to users who have visited your digital channels.
These strategies are some particularly cost-effective ways to increase your ad performance because you'll reach out to potential clients you know or who have already expressed interest in your products or services.
I recently ran some FB campaigns for my brand Gurvi Movement, a platform of mentorship & training.
I organized a series of brand advertising to build a strong and long-term relationship with my audience, and communicate my brand values and mission: reduce the gender gap in the tech industry and in entrepreneurship.
In short, we created ads that stood out in users’ feeds, with clear CTA's. Then, we directed our leads to a specific landing page to ensure that they are instantly provided with the most relevant information related to our ad.
The three key components that are required to deploy a successful Facebook Video Ad strategy include:
Segmentation and Targeting – Know the specific audience you are trying to speak to on a granular level. The more targeted your message is...the more impactful it will be on the campaign's ROAS.
Iterating Creative – Testing multiple marketing messages are critical to building on early success on Facebook. The ability to iterate captivating images at scale is directly linked to how a campaign performs.
Personalized Experiences – Among the deluge of marketing ads served to customers, the delicate art of serving relevant ads that delight and hold a customer's attention is often missed. However, connecting with a user with an ad that matches their position in the buying process will leave a positive and lasting impression.
At the beginning of the pandemic, our e-commerce brand AmScope, the #1 supplier of microscopes and accessories, saw our customers shift from mostly B2B customers to more direct to consumers. Parents were flocking to our website in order to demand “learning at home” solutions. By taking full advantage of segmentation, iterative creative, and personalized ads on Facebook we were able to generate 81% more transactions year over year with the same marketing investment. In addition, a 53% increase in revenue for the second quarter of the year.
We attribute this success directly to the adoption of a new marketing channel with Facebook/Instagram Ads.
People don't browse Facebook to watch your ad, they don't watch YouTube to watch your ad, they don't watch TV, read a magazine or listen to the radio to see/hear your ad.
This being said, you better provide them with something since you're going to interrupt them from whatever they're doing.
Facebook video ads are not different from any type of video ads marketers used before. This means of course that the essential tips to getting them right are the same: create a piece of video content that is either entertaining, funny, emotional, or provides the watchers with real value
As we're only doing PPC I can't take credit for anyone else's creative work, but there was one time when a client simply didn't have the creative capabilities to give us a video. What we did was creating a 15s video which was stock images, copy, and simple transitions. Just by using a video ad, (even though the video was nothing spectacular) our results went up significantly.
The takeaway here should be that you should always at the very least test video as a format because the algorithm favors this type of content.
Video ads have a few rules of thumb that will always improve performance. First, most viewers will be watching your video vertically on a phone. Make sure the video is easy to watch in that format.
Second, most viewers will be watching your video on mute, so add subtitles. Without them, you'll be wasting a ton of ad spend.
Finally, most viewers won't watch the whole thing. In fact, most people won't watch past the first 3 seconds. So make sure your brand is identifiable at a glance. All that may seem obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many video ads I see while scrolling around Instagram that is missing all three.
It was a huge lead-gen campaign! I created a lead magnet (16-page ebook), a landing page with a ~60% conversion rate, a Facebook campaign that averaged about $1.20 per lead, and grew the mailing list by over 400%. The leads were cultivated using content marketing and Facebook retargeting campaigns.
The video should not be longer than 15 seconds in order for many people to watch it completely or at least the most part of it. For example, the video can show your shop store or your branding stuff.
When you have more than 1000 people that have viewed the 95% of the video - that's a cracker. Use that data to make a Facebook lookalike audience that has 1.000.000 people in a list and target them with your ads. Then with this audience, you can make another 15 seconds video with a "call to action", or with a discount that lasts 72 hours and convert the audience to the web.
I worked a few years ago for one brand that was selling comics and movie thematic t-shirts. They had good organic traffic so what I did was retargeting segmented by: audiences of the funnel by days, and by the best-selling themes. With that strategy, ROAS jumped increasingly.
Account structure is crucial. Simplification, consolidation, and larger audiences led to a higher ROAS. With the FB AI so advanced, we heavily relied on machine learning and saw huge gains in efficiency (CPA costs) and volume.
In one of my past companies, we focused on our creative strategy only and found UGC ads (3s hook, reviews, and shorter variations) had a 3X higher return than any other ad formats.
The first question to ask is what your business is trying to accomplish with video. At each stage of the funnel, ask yourself what your potential customer needs to learn in order to move closer to buying.
I have seen many brands create longer and longer content as users become more connected with the brand, and I personally think this is a mistake. Usually, as the user knows more about your business, they need less information to be more confident to move forward.
So, in general, you should test longer videos at the earliest touchpoints and shorter videos towards the end of the funnel.
Several years ago, while working with a client, we tested mostly long videos for our ad campaigns. I suggested testing shorter-length video content. We tested a 3-second-long video, and it was the top-performing ad, driving over 10x ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). What we have found is that any user has a set time they will concentrate on your offer. From the time they see your ad until the time they scroll by you only have a limited time to convince them to buy. If your video is several minutes long and your landing page takes a long time to read, you are likely losing sales because the potential customers have lost interest and moved on. It is worth testing the length of your videos to see how that can impact your conversion rate, by allowing users to move from Facebook to your landing page and eventually to buying your products or services!
The ad design with all its visual parts (text, video, effects) plays a really big part in increasing campaign performance. As we all know, getting someone's three seconds of attention is very easy, but "buying" someone in those three seconds is what and where the real challenge is. If a creative isn’t good enough, no matter how good the campaign strategy is, clicks as a final target just won’t happen.
The use of video format in automated campaigns for the casino segment, in particular, proved to be a great choice - a very appreciative visual playground combined with the video format itself resulted in a very good CPA. Also, playing with video in different types of campaigns gave us a lot of insight and material for comparative analysis, thanks to which we know how to further optimize the strategy for the brand.
While running a video ad it's important to monitor the reach and frequency of the ad. Typically, the reach of a video ad is usually higher as Facebook counts as a valid view if the ad was seen for at least 3 seconds. Hence, it's important to monitor the ad performance on a reach and frequency curve to see how effective it is at what level of frequency. Typically, the frequency should be between 1 and 2 for optimum results. For re-targeting purposes, the Engagement Custom Audience available by Facebook to advertisers can be used to their advantage. Re-targeting audiences based on the duration of the video they saw can help brands reach out to audiences that are likely to interact with their products and become potential customers.
I improved the lead generation performance of Facebook and Instagram ads of a food delivery start-up and got the cost per lead to as low as $2/lead. I did this by making the targeting hyper-detailed and relevant while using a cost cap bidding strategy. This helped me in increasing the lead gen campaigns when the client's budget was extremely tight and KPIs were strict.
Are you kidding? Being a Top eCommerce performer is a full-time gig.
Back before the stay-at-home economy took over, it was already clear that e-commerce and social were made for each other. Ecommerce + Paid Social: a truly modern romance.
Because of the pandemic, social is a more valuable commerce partner than ever before. And that strengthened the bond for good. Great Facebook video advertising helps brands and consumers make better connections, with testing, personalization, localization, and messaging — all enabled by technology — creating new possibilities for conversion.
Good news! You’re all invited.
Only for Paid Social marketers