Surprising Discoveries from Using Facebook Video Ads

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8 billion. In addition to being the number of times the entire U.S. population checks their phones in a day, it’s also the average number of daily video views Facebook reportedly hit in November, 2015.

That would definitely explain why overall spending on video ads grew 41 percent quarter/quarter in Q4 of 2015, according to a recent Nanigans report.

But it wasn’t just Q4. For the first time ever, average daily time spent watching digital video on mobile devices in the US surpassed desktop time in 2015, according to eMarketer’s recent report, “The Essentials of Digital Video Advertising: Seven Best Practices for More Effective US Campaigns.” Data also shows that, by 2017, mobile time will be almost double its desktop counterpart.

This massive shift toward smartphone and tablet viewership shouldn’t come as a surprise. Publishers and consumers alike have been talking about it for a few years now. This makes sense, of course. As more people have access to their own personal viewing devices, they’re using them to consume all content — including video — at an increasing rate.

So, why should you care? Because advertising follows viewership, and today’s viewers are spending a lot more time watching videos on their mobile devices.

The Social Scene

Facebook in particular has become increasingly video-oriented and their video ads are proving to be quite effective in reaching and engaging target audiences.

Facebook has actually been developing many new ad products. In the fall of 2015, they unveiled several mobile-focused ad products to attract a greater share of TV monies.

Most notably, Facebook introduced a way for advertisers to plan, buy and measure its video ads using total rating points (TRP) – a metric that any TV ad buyer would be familiar with.

Expect to see a lot more research and “how-tos” on the topic of video and mobile this year, especially with regard to Facebook, Instagram and the like. In the meantime, I’ll share some learnings from a recent Facebook campaign.

Watch and Learn

A few months ago we worked on an extensive Facebook ad campaign for a client. The client’s product is very fun, visually pleasing and engaging, so we thought our ad selections would be a slam dunk.

We tested a variety of static ad images, audiences, messaging, calls-to-action, etc. and were genuinely surprised when each ad kept falling flat. After more evaluation, we realized that people couldn’t really tell what the product was from the static image ad.

We came up with the solution to create a short, six second video of a person simply opening the product. The result?

We crushed it. The ad performed really well and our client was super happy.

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The idea of video can be intimidating to many marketers, but even a rough, non-professionally made video can knock your Facebook ad performance out of the park. If an image can be worth a thousand words, sometimes a video can be worth a million.

To learn more about how Facebook video ads might work for product or service offerings, reach out to our Paid Marketing team.

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