11 Powerful Best Practices to Optimize Facebook Video Ads
Facebook video ads are a scalable way to reach a huge pool of potential customers. Over the years, Facebook has added new video formats, like live streaming, interactive video, and dynamic vertical video formats. But navigating these changes, and competing in this crowded space takes strategy.
So, how do you make video ads that convert? We’ll show you how to optimize ads on Facebook with 11 best practices.
1. Keep It Short and Focused
If you’re asking yourself “How long can video ads be on Facebook?” you’re asking the wrong question. Just because you can create a 4-hour-long ad, (yes, really) doesn’t mean you should.
So how long should facebook video ads be? 15 seconds or less.
That may not seem like a lot of time, but remember, your goal shouldn’t be to outline every benefit of your product or service. You’re just trying to grab attention. Short, eye-catching ads will outperform longer-form content pretty much every time.
2. Nail the Technical Specs
The best video format for Facebook ads is MP4, MOV, or GIF with a maximum file size of 4GB. Video dimensions for Facebook ads are greater than 120 pixels square with a resolution of at least 1080 by 1080.
Keep in mind that the recommended aspect ratios change depending on your ad placement.
- Facebook Feed: 1:1 for desktop or mobile or 4:5 for mobile only
- Facebook, Messenger, or Instagram Stories: 9:16
- Instagram Feed: 4:5
- Instagram Reels: 16:9
- In-Stream: 16:9 or 1:1
- Marketplace: 1:1
Understand key aspect ratios so you can create an ad that looks great.
2. Optimize Facebook Video Ads For Mobile
More than half of total web visits come from mobile phones and tablets. A study by Google even found that ad viewability on mobile was 83%, compared to 53% for desktops. That means that people are more likely to see your ads if they’re on mobile.
That’s why most ad placements, as well as live video streaming capabilities, are optimized for vertical video first.
3. Optimizing your video for vertical viewing is just a good idea.
Here are a few quick tips for making vertical videos:
- Fill the whole space
- Avoid quick pans and sideways motion
- Speak directly to the camera
- Define Your Target Audience
Whether you’re making animated Facebook ads or live-action content, you should start with a customer persona. The best videos are made for a specific audience. You can carry that same understanding of your audience into your ad targeting.
Facebook has a robust set of ad targeting options to help you focus on the audience you’re hoping to reach. These include:
- Location: the city, area, or country where your ideal audience lives
- Behavior: target audiences that use particular devices or exhibit certain consumer behaviors such as searching for a product or service similar to yours
- Demographics: age, gender, education level, job title, and other identifiers
- Connections: Include or exclude people who are already connected to your Facebook page.
- Interests: hobbies, favorite movies or shows, or topic areas
Advanced targeting tools for Facebook Video Ads
- Retargeting: Used to show your ad to audiences who have interacted with your website, app, or other online properties. You’ll need a Meta Pixel to do this.
- Lookalike audience: Build an audience of people with profiles similar to your existing followers or the followers of your competitors.
- Custom audiences: Upload a list of your customers or website visitors to find those users on Facebook.
- Capture Attention Immediately
You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of a user on Facebook. Your ad will autoplay as the user scrolls, so that first image has to be eye-catching and scroll-stopping.
The best video ads for Facebook pack a visual punch in the first three seconds. Keep in mind that:
- Movement grabs attention
- Your logo should be visible but not overpowering
- The on-screen text helps viewers engage.
In short, choose the first frames of your video carefully. Even if users keep scrolling, you want that first image to lodge in their minds so your brand begins to feel familiar.
- Plan For The Sound of Silence
In the previous tip, we didn’t mention anything about using sound to grab attention in those first few seconds. That’s because about 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Even on desktops, most people tend to keep their videos muted.
Design your ad so that viewers can understand what’s going on without unmuting it. That could mean adding captions or just creating a highly visual ad without voiceover. Make use of motion, on-screen text, and other visual cues to convey your message.
- Include A Clear CTA on Every Facebook Video Ad
Just watching your ad isn’t enough. In most cases, you want viewers to take action, too. That action could be to click on your ad, follow your page, sign up for your newsletter, or place an order. The best way to make sure viewers will take the right action is to tell them exactly what to do!
In both the ad copy and the video itself, you can encourage viewers to take action with a compelling call to action.
Steps to a clear CTA:
- Choose a goal
- Define the problem, then offer a solution
- Create a sense of urgency
- Choose a CTA format that fits your video
Every Facebook video ad includes a button in the banner below the video. Your button text can go beyond general CTA’s like “learn more” and “shop now” to encourage a more specific action like “buy tickets,” “get quote” or “order now.”
Facebook will give you a list of options to choose from. Select the one that best matches your goal for this ad. Common goals include: awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, and sales.
- Use Your Words
A highly optimized video is a great start, but don’t forget about your ad copy. The text you put around your video can help viewers decide if they really want to follow your CTA.
Here are some best practices for video ad text:
- Keep it short and informative.
- Match the tone and style of your video.
- Use emojis (even if it just checks marks or colorful bullets).
- Bullets make the longer text more readable.
If you use the Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll get more text customization options including a multiple-text option that allows you to mix and match your primary text with different headlines and descriptions.
- Keep Brand Top-of-Mind
Your ads represent your brand. When creating a Facebook ad you don’t just want to sell your product or service, you also want to deepen their awareness of your brand. That doesn’t mean you need to hit people over the head with your logo or repeat your tagline five times every video.
Great video branding is usually a lot more subtle than that. The right color, tone, and style can go a long way toward branding your video. To get this right consistently, make sure you have video branding guidelines in place. All ads should use the fonts, colors, logos, and characters users associate with your brand. Animated Facebook ads should use character designs and animation styles that match your brand.
- Aim for Authenticity and Quality
The best Facebook video ads balance authenticity and quality. Your goal should be not just to sell something, but to build a relationship with current and potential customers. You do that by delivering quality videos that allow your brand’s unique personality to shine through.
How to be authentic in ads:
- Highlight brand principles and values
- Tell real stories
- Be original
- Keep it simple
Simple doesn’t equal low quality. You still need to meet technical standards and deliver clear audio.
- Choose the Right Bidding Strategies
Although the internet seems infinite, there are only so many ad spots available on Facebook. You bid to earn one of those spots. Since bidding happens in fractions of a second behind the scenes, your job is just to pick the right bidding strategy to achieve your goals.
Unless you’re a Facebook Ad pro (in which case, why are you reading this post?) you should probably stay away from manual bidding, but there are still plenty of options. The chart below offers a quick look at the automatic bidding strategies:
Smart marketers use a bidding strategy that matches their key performance indicators. So start with the goal and match your bidding strategy to it.