Add3 – Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Seattle & Portland


In our post last week, we discussed the benefits of utilizing Facebook Video Ads in an integrated marketing campaign. For example, the fact that Facebook posts with video offer 135% greater organic reach than Facebook page posts with photos is a testament to how video on Facebook can increase reach in users’ News Feeds.

However, we also recognized that one big factor consistently holding marketers back from leveraging video is a lack of understanding around video creative best practices, and how to best build Facebook advertising campaigns that will work. With social video ad spend on the rise, Facebook Video Ads should be at the top of every marketer’s list, to stay competitive and drive results in today’s video-centric environment. Today’s post will cover a list of best practices to ensure your Facebook Video Ads are created and placed strategically so you can achieve your marketing goals.

Through extensive training and first-hand paid social experience, our team members at Add3 have uncovered a variety of insights and established best practices that we are excited to share with you. It’s also worth mentioning that some of these ideas can also be applied to Instagram, which is now an extension of Facebook’s advertising platform. This is especially true if you take advantage of Facebook TRP campaigns.

However, it is important to first emphasize that this list is not exhaustive. The goal of this post is to give you a great starting place to improve the way you approach Facebook Video Ads.

Tip 1: Use Targeting Tools Effectively

In 2016, targeting and personalization are the name of the game, and Facebook allows brands to maximize the tools available to reach potential customers. Alongside typical demographic indicators (e.g., age, gender, geo), marketers can target users based on so much more. Targeting can include affinities, behaviors, interests, life events, relationship status… The list goes on. The ability for brands to leverage 2nd-party and 3rd-party data is unparalleled.

This also includes hyper-targeting capabilities that can be applied broadly or narrowly. For example, a toy company could target women ages 21-45, who are parents interested in purchasing toys, and live in the Pacific Northwest region—or even a specific zip code in Seattle or Portland. This audience could be further segmented based upon a number of variables in order to drive learnings and optimizations. Segmenting Ad Sets allows marketers to identify their exact audience based upon campaign results.  

Facebook also offers the ability to create a Custom Audience that cross-references Facebook users based on 1st-party data. 1st-party data is data that a brand owns. This includes email addresses, phone numbers, GAID/IDFA, or cookie data you’ve acquired on your own. Speaking to cookie data, the Facebook pixel allows brands to remarket their ad to Facebook users that have visited their website. Because Facebook can match users based upon log-in data, marketers can now reach users across devices when remarketing on Facebook.

Using 1st-party data, it is also possible to segment and target users based upon cohorts. For example, you might leverage 1st-party data to activate brand advocates, cross-sell or up-sell customers, or drive new users through the purchase funnel. Consistently refreshing and updating 1st-party datasets helps marketers sustain success using this tactic.

Another powerful tool is the Facebook Lookalike Audience model which aggregates variables from 1st-party data and then identifies audiences similar to the inputted set of data. Building Lookalike Audiences on Facebook allows marketers to reach new customers with their marketing message.

Targeting the right user on Facebook is an important element for success for any Facebook Advertising campaign, and it is certainly critical when it comes to Facebook Video Ads. The next section builds upon the sequential messaging tactic, and building the right audience pool for sequential messaging is how you will be successful in remarketing to video viewers.

Tip 2: Take Advantage of Remarketing to Video Viewers

Using the Facebook Power Editor, brands now have the opportunity to remarket to Facebook users who have viewed at least three seconds of a given Facebook Video Ad. With best-in-class analytics and segmentation available for Facebook Video Ads, marketers can create a custom audience based on video views. The advertiser has the ability to input rules to build these audiences. By leveraging this capability, you can drive continuous, deeper engagement with the right audiences for your brand.

Of course, what is the reason a user would actually engage with your content? Well, it’s all about the creative.

Tip 3: Get the Creative Right… for Your Audience, the Platform, and Your Campaign Goals

Most marketers know this by now, but it’s an important stat to reiterate: you have five seconds or less to capture a user’s attention. Users have the ability to easily skip or close out videos immediately, so positioning thumb-stopping content in the front of a video is a must.

You might be familiar with YouTube’s “skip” function for video ads leading into a content video. Well, Facebook has taken this one step further: Facebook’s “View” metric is a mere three seconds, and that’s because at least 47% of the value for a campaign is considered to have been delivered in that brief amount of time. Of those users who watch for three seconds, 65% will watch for 10 seconds, which accounts for 74% of the value delivered as part of a campaign. It has been shown that Facebook users recall content from their News Feed after just a quarter of a second of exposure. As marketers, we need to positively position our brands and nail the message right away, and we don’t have very long to do that.

Because of all this, it is absolutely critical to develop compelling video creative. As with most marketing creative—it can make or break your campaign, no matter how well placed or calculated it may be. Below are just a few of the top best practices to keep in mind when developing creative for a Facebook Video Ad. Moreover, we suggest working with professionals to be sure you are covering all the best practices and developing creative that is positioned to get results. Contact us if you’d like to see sample work!

Facebook Video Ad Creative Best Practices:

Your Facebook Video Ad shouldn’t look (or feel) like an ad. The most successful Facebook Video Ads enhance the user experience. Successful video content should have a goal of educating, entertaining, or demonstrating. An important question to ask yourself when developing creative: Does your content stand alone enough so that it is shareable?

In this hyperconnected digital era where content is abundant, users don’t want to be “sold to,” they want something of value. Taking it one step further, Millennials want a value exchange, to feel like they are receiving something in return for their time or click.

Be sure to entertain while you educate or demonstrate. Again, the magic really lies in having an effective ad that isn’t simply a pitch. It should also follow traditional advertising creative best practices by tapping into emotions, speaking to an audience’s pain points or needs, and drawing them in somehow. Remember: you only have a few seconds to capture a user’s attention.

Have a concise value proposition and call-to-action. Think about video as an exchange: what does the user get in return? Making it easy for a viewer to act can create the type of urgency that drives consideration, intent, and purchase. The CTA, or offer, used should directly correlate to the content within the video. Too much dissonance limits recall and can even impact favorability. Align your video content with your brand, and help the user take the next desired action.

Tip 4: Test, Learn, Optimize, Rinse, and Repeat

Actionable A/B testing can be the key to digital marketing success. Facebook Advertising is a dynamic, multi-variable environment. The inputs for Facebook Video Ads are numerous: Preview Creative, Headline, Body, Button, Placement, Content, Length, Targeting, and Engagement can all impact the effectiveness of a campaign. By identifying the right variables to test, marketers can make data-driven optimizations that can significantly increase results over the lifetime of a campaign.

While at Add3 we emphasize the value and importance of testing, it’s also important to note that testing just for the sake of testing is a rabbit-hole you don’t want to go down. It’s critical to identify your variables, and develop a roadmap to test the right inputs in order to avoid wasting time and money. More importantly, you must understand that identifying your campaign goals and matching campaign data against those goals is how to truly drive ROI. From the first Facebook Video Ad that users will encounter to the final remarketing message that drives a conversion, goal-based attribution will help you make better and smarter decisions.

Effective testing and optimization ultimately means that a marketing team has put the best version of advertising and creative into the marketplace in order to maximize success.

Tip 5: Have a Strategy with Clear Goals and Communication in Place

While this is the last tip in our post today, establishing marketing goals and a corresponding strategy really should be the first step taken when launching any digital marketing campaign. The importance of having a documented strategy with clearly defined goals simply cannot be overstated. Facebook Video Ads can deliver everything from brand engagement and video views, to site traffic, app downloads, registrations, and purchases. By first identifying which metrics will best show a successful campaign, marketers can then create a strategic roadmap for how to achieve those goals.

Keeping the right stakeholders apprised of the goals and progress towards those goals is also important. Which members of your team will need to be aware of the various components of your campaigns? Does the creative director need to know daily performance, or is that team member better positioned for success with a weekly creative analysis? It might be important for your Paid Search team to know the flight dates and key pushes for campaigns, as it is likely Branded Search will benefit from a large marketing push that includes Facebook Video Ads.

This doesn’t mean that internal marketing team members shouldn’t be very closely involved in the development of a Facebook ad campaign and it’s goals, but it does mean that involving the right members of the team at the right time can drive better performance. It’s also important to look in the mirror. Is the learning curve worth the time and investment that an expert agency partner would be able to save you?

Building a strategy—specifically for the Facebook Video Ads platform—with goals and best practices in mind will help to ensure that your business KPI’s are met. With a winning strategy, Facebook Video Ads continue to be a tremendous Facebook Advertising tactic for our clients.

Final Thoughts

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and your efforts always need to come back to how Facebook users (i.e. your potential customers) are responding to your advertising and impacting your bottom line. While it’s true that anyone can create videos for Facebook advertising—and the platform has certainly made it easy for brands to do so—that doesn’t always mean they are Facebook Video Ads that work.

At Add3, we have the expertise and insights to help brands develop exceptional ads for exceptional success. We understand how to leverage all of Facebook’s options, from TRP to remarketing, with storytelling segments that drive users down the path to purchase. Contact us today to find out how we can help you effectively incorporate Facebook Video Ads into your marketing plans.

Contact us to talk about opportunities with   Facebook Video Ads for your business. 

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