Apply the Power of Video Ads to Your Business

Have you been thinking of exploring video ads for your business? You’re not alone. While I mentioned the rise of live video earlier this year, I didn’t touch on the importance of video overall. Facebook has seen the power video can play in a brand’s success and continues to increase its paid offerings for video. Here is an overview of recent Facebook updates for video.

GIFs Supported in Ads Manager

If you’re Ads Manager savvy, you can now upload GIFs directly into Ads Manager as a video format. GIFs are engaging short-form videos that delight and encourage engagement.

Use high-quality images or animations with subtle motions. Facebook recommends thinking of GIFs as part of a larger, multi-faceted campaign to drive objectives rather than one-offs to get the most bang for your buck.

Other best practices from Facebook include:

  • Use GIFs in a series to tell a bigger story
  • Not grainy but visually captivating
  • Avoid heavy flashing or colors
  • Text policies are the same as image ads – 20% text only

I’ve seen mixed success of using the GIF tactic in the newsfeed. As with everything else I recommend testing. In this case, try testing a static image and a GIF with the same audience.


Flip the Camera

With people spending an average of 3 hours on their phones per day, are you considering their video viewing experience? Facebook worked with brand advertisers to test the impact of vertical videos against horizontal and square video ads. Results showed 70% of participants experienced an incremental increase, including a three- to nine-point increase in ad recall, from vertical video ads.

Because of its success, Facebook is rolling out the vertical video format across Instagram, Facebook Live and Facebook’s channel view. Facebook recommends shooting video vertically from the start rather than modifying existing horizontal creative.

There are considerations around what the rise of vertical video means for your owned media channels:

  • What percentage of your audience is viewing your site on mobile?
  • Are you on platforms where vertical video is the new norm?
  • If so, does it then make sense for you to create vertical video?
  • Does the video live outside of the platform it was created for?
  • If so, how do you account for desktop? Does it matter? 

When planning video projects, keep orientation in mind as you determine how to make the best video viewing experience for your audience.


Bring stories to life with more sound

Historically, videos in Facebook’s News Feed have played silently by default. After testing sound controls in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, Facebook is slowly bringing this experience to more people. With this update, sound fades in and out as people scroll through videos in News Feed if the volume on their phone is turned on.

Facebook recommends building videos for sound off, deploying captions whenever possible to drive longer view times and get your message across, but enriching an experience with sound.

Read more about Facebook updates on the Facebook for Business Blog.


Instagram Stories 

After a beta testing period, Facebook is expanding availability of reach-based ads to appear between people's stories.

Over the coming months, they will continue to expand availability to more ad objectives including video views, website clicks, website conversions and mobile app installs / mobile app engagements. Furthermore, building on the strong community behavior to engage with stories — with 1 in 5 stories receiving a direct message — they will soon introduce the ability to add links to ads in Instagram Stories.

In just six months since its launch, more than 150 million actives use Instagram Stories every day. With this launch, you'll be able to target the people that matter to you, reach as many of them as possible, and access Instagram's existing measurement & reporting capabilities to know what works.

For more information about this update, Instagram for Business Blog.

How are you feeling about using video in your business? Any areas you'd like additional information or guidance on? Let me know if the comments.