YouTube is not the only video sharing platform you should care about anymore. Facebook has become a strong competitor to Google’s brainchild in recent times.

What’s more, it was found that the average engagement rate of Facebook video posts is 6.01% (2018), the highest when compared to photo, link and status posts. Also, the average cost per reach of Facebook videos is remarkably lower than that of TV ads.

This pretty much explains the importance of Facebook video ads. They are not only engaging but also cost-effective.

Whether you are working with native videos or video adverts, Facebook should be at the forefront of your video marketing campaign. If you are yet to realize the ground realities, then it’s time you wake up and leverage Facebook’s amazing reach to boost your video advertising campaigns.

If you don’t know where to start, fear not – we have got your back! In this blog post, I’m sharing a step-by-step guide to leverage Facebook videos like a pro.

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1. Pick the right advertising objective

First things first.

What do you want to achieve through Facebook video ads? Do you want targeted traffic to your website? Are you trying to transform your more visitors into leads?

Or are you trying to increase your brand’s awareness?

Regardless, you need to define an objective before launching your campaign.

Facebook guides you through by asking “What is your marketing objective” (Awareness, Consideration, or Decision). Based on what you want to do, the platform will then suggest types of campaigns you could set up.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Stages

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2. Build custom audiences

This is a must unless you’re willing to shoot in the dark and waste your money.

A custom audience is a set of people who are already aware of your business from various sources. Targeting your Facebook video ads to custom audiences will significantly improve your ad performance and ROI. Targeting is the art of getting your ads showcased to the right people who are the most likely to drive conversions.

Once you have created at least one video ad, you can group the users who have shown interest in your content and create a list of custom audiences. You can retarget a specific group of users while launching your next video ad campaign. Retargeting is an excellent way to spread brand awareness and generate engagements.

You can create your own custom audiences by following a few simple steps:

Visit Ad Manager > Assets > Audiences.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Audience

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Click on Create Audience.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Audience 2

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Next, from the dropdown menu that pops up, click on Custom Audience.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Custom Audience

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You will be presented with 10 different options from where you can source the audiences.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Custom Audience 2

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You can now choose the source which suits you the most, and follow the instructions that follow to create your own custom audiences.

3. Hook your audience in the first few seconds

Today’s social media users have a very short attention span. For a video ad, you roughly have a few seconds to convince the viewer to watch your advert.

You need to hook people immediately.

Either you entice the users, or else lose your opportunity. Thus, say no to a long intro or animated logo. Come to the point immediately and grab the viewers’ interest right from the get-go.

Here is a perfect example on how it is done. This video ad by Apple makes the right use of graphics, motion, and light-effects to grab the audience’s attention immediately. The use of text is just perfect that keeps all the eyes hooked to the video.

To help you understand the things better, here is an example by Perry Ellis in which things are not done right as they should be. Although the video has a gripping story line, and outstanding depiction, this video ad still fails to keep the users hooked, especially in the first few seconds. And believe us, the first few seconds are very crucial to retain viewers. Make sure that they are gripping and engaging enough!

4. Add captions

You will be surprised to know that 85% of Facebook users watch videos on mute? Out in public? Attending a seminar? Traveling? Oh come on, you won’t like to view videos with sound under such circumstances, until and unless you have earphones plugged in.

That’s why Facebook recommends adding captions to your video ads. So, stop relying on a voiceover in delivering key information. Use of captions with graphic overlays can make sure that your message gets across even with the sound turned off.

Adding captions to your Facebook video ad is easy. You can either upload your own captions, or ask Facebook to generate them automatically for you.

To add them manually, you will need to upload a SubRip (.srt file) with captions. You can create a such a file easily with the help of video editing software like Flimora. Care should be taken that your caption file is named properly. Ideally, it should have the format — filename.[two-letter language code]_[two-letter country code].srt. For example, filename.en_US.srt.

Here is how you need to add captions manually:

  • Visit Ad Manager and click on Create.
  • Define your objective.
  • Click on Continue.
  • Define your targeting, placements, and budget, and click on Continue.
  • Next, choose between single video and slideshow from the Formats
  • Add a video of your ad either by uploading it fresh or by choosing from the media library.
  • Next, head on to Video Captions, and click Upload Your Own > Select File.
  • Once .srt file is uploaded, click on Save.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Video Ad: A 6-Step Guide - Captions

That’s all!

5. Optimize your title and description

Curiosity is the mother of discovery. Pick a headline teaser that the viewers can’t ignore. More often than not, a compelling title is what makes a video advert hit home.

No, we are not promoting click-bait. Your title and description must be relevant – otherwise, you may win the initial battle, but lose the all-important war – which is to make the viewers go through your entire video ad. So take time to be creative with your title.

Don’t forget to include relevant keywords in your title and description to gain SEO advantage. Split-testing multiple headlines can be a good idea to feel the pulse of your target audiences.

You can use various tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, LinkBait Title Generator, Portent’s Content Idea Generator, and so on. You can also effectively pick the keywords relevant to your niche with the help of tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and the like.

6. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)

Call-To-Action is an essential element in any marketing campaign. There’s no point in doing an advertising campaign if there’s no compelling call to action. At the end of the day, it’s the tangible result of watching your video ad that matters the most. So think of something that your target audience can’t resist and include it in your video as CTA.

Placement of CTA is also something to ponder about. While in the case of textual content, the tradition is to keep CTA at the rear, video ads are different. Most of the users may not watch your video till the end, so that will be a lost opportunity. Placing it right at the beginning is also out of the question as the first few seconds are vital for grabbing their attention.

That leaves us with not much to choose from. The middle of the video can be the ideal spot to place your CTA. By that time you would have captured the viewers’ attention, so placing CTA mid-roll can lead to more leads and conversions. Not surprisingly, mid-roll CTAs boast of the highest conversion rate (17%), followed by post-roll (11%) and pre-roll (3%) CTAs.

Here is a good example by Headspace, for instance. Too little text, simple graphics, yet a powerful CTA that convinces audiences to take action almost instantly.

Enough of the theoretical stuff and academic discussions! Let’s get some inspiration through some great, practical examples.

8 examples of Facebook ads to follow

Here are some of the most effective, impactful and successful Facebook video ads that took social media by storm.

1. Dropbox

You seldom come across such a complete video ad, so congratulations to Dropbox for producing the masterpiece video marketing campaign. They came up with a beautiful storyline coupled with a smooth voiceover to connect all the dots to demonstrate Dropbox’s team feature. The captions below ensure that the message gets delivered even when the sound is turned off.

Take away: Don’t rely on graphics alone; make use of captions to hook those viewers who prefer to browse social media on mute.

2. Slack

Pointless meetings are always a pain in the back – that’s a universally accepted truth. Slack touches the pulse of people while delivering this simple, yet effective message through a short video clip while promoting their digital communication platform that can reduce F2F meetings by a whopping 25%. The video has a subtle, playful tone that makes collaboration at work easy and interesting. Last but not least, a well-positioned CTA is a lesson for every digital marketer.

Take away: This advert effectively demonstrates how to place your CTA to grab maximum attention. The video is also an eye-opener when it comes to putting your point effectively, yet precisely!

3. GoPro

If the idea is to showcase your product in an exciting way, then this video ad from GoPro can provide some useful cues. This particular advert is about how a certain product performs in unfavorable conditions. A brand that promotes extreme sports actions, their video ad is understandably full of drive and enthusiasm. If your brand shares a similar philosophy, now you know how to get the viewers hooked.

Take away: Stay true to your business philosophy and be creative to capture the viewers’ imagination.

4.Samsung

Electronics giant Samsung took an entirely different route to promote Galaxy products through a Facebook video ad. The advert focused on staying connected even when people are far away. This simple 30 seconds video ad is convincing, and captivating at so many levels, all at the same time.

Take away: Focus on how your product can make lives easier for your customers.

5. Salesforce

Salesforce has come up with a unique concept that effectively demonstrates the change of dynamics in the sales field.

Their tool- Pardot that can offer your sales team new perspectives to unlock result-driven sales methodologies. If your product/service has something new to offer, then it’s an excellent example of how to make your brand stand apart from other run-of-the-mill competitors.

Take away: Concentrate on what extra your product can offer over the competitors. And yes, don’t forget to take a leaf out of their book when it comes to adding humor to an otherwise serious video. 

6. ShaktiMat

ShaktiMat’s Facebook video ad shows a series of artistic-style graphics with subtle overlays accompanied by a voiceover. It reiterates the fact that simplicity can still be a winning formula – if done in the right manner. A powerful storyline, easy-on-eye animation and to the point message can do wonders to keep the viewers engaged.

Take away: Recipe for success – introduce the problem, offer a solution and explain how your product can bring the desired results.

7. Promo by Slidely

This is basically a conversion campaign with the objective of getting new user registration. They ditched the usual formal tone and decided to make it enjoyable by delivering the message through a cute kid. Innovative?

Sure it is, but at the same time, it is a bold and brave idea. Introduce the problem and provide an effective solution – that’s how simple the concept is, but what makes it stand apart is the implementation. Check it out and see if you can utilize a similar approach to promote your own business.

Take away: Don’t be shy of experiments. Being bold often helps in delivering a distinct message.

8. Grammarly

If you are interested in spreading brand awareness and adding a human touch, then you must check out this Facebook video ad by Grammarly. It tells a fascinating story and links it with their product in a convincing and natural manner. It uses text animation and background music to deliver some powerful and inspirational messages.

Take away: Want to build trust and reach out to a wider audience? All you need to do is to follow the cues from this Grammarly advert.

Wrapping up!

In today’s age of social media, not leveraging the full potential of a platform as big as Facebook is like missing the woods for the trees. If you are yet to incorporate Facebook video ads in your SEM campaign, then you are missing a trick. The best practices described in this article can help you get off the mark. If you need to inspire your creative mind, take a look at some of the most successful Facebook video commercials.

Hopefully, this compilation has given you a bagful of ideas to create a great Facebook video advert for your own business.

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Koushik Marka is the founder and CEO of Studiotale, a video production company. He is passionate about helping brands grow with video and has expertise in video marketing, 2D animation, and vector illustration. When he is not working, he loves playing video games and traveling.

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