Video Ads – A Guide to Facebook & YouTube Video Adverts

In this blog we are going to look at Facebook video ads and YouTube videos ads and why they are worth while for brands to use in their online video marketing campaigns.

Facebook Video ads

What is a Facebook video ad?

Facebook video ads are very similar to normal Facebook ads which you may be familiar with, except these ads use video content rather than images and text.

Facebook users love engaging content and there is nothing better at this than a well produced video that provokes some sort of emotional reaction. Here is a great example from Apple that uses celebrity status and humor.

Facebook video ads can be placed in various areas of the Facebook UI and also on Instagram. You can choose from the following –

  • In-stream – These ads can run from 5-15 seconds and appear before other videos, similar to an advert on TV.
  • Standalone – These ads also run from 5-15 seconds and appear in a users news feed on their own.
  • Right hand column – These ads appear in the right hand column of the UI but only appear when viewing Facebook on a desktop computer.
  • Instagram – These ads appear in a users news feed and as stories.

6 second adverts perform very well on Facebook, because they are so short they have to be to the point and as the user is scrolling down their feed it won’t make them have to stop for long to see your message. However you can upload an advert anything from 1 second to 240 minutes, the only limiting factor is the file size which can’t exceed 4GB.

Why are Facebook video ads worth while?

Facebook video ads can be incredibly good for brands because Facebook is the most popular online social meeting place, after all they have over a billion logins a day!

Facebook video ads

Because Facebook has so many users they therefore have an incredible amount of data and this data is perfect for their ad targeting. Acxiom executives have stated that Facebook’s database alone contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with an average of 1,500 data points per person. What this means for you is that you can target your video ad to the exact people you want to see the video. With layered targeting you whittle down your audience by selecting behaviors. demographics, and geo-location among others. Once you start using multiple layers you really can target the exact group of people you want to. In order to achieve this you need to know your target audience and you have a good video advert. As well as putting the video in front of the correct audience it will also save you money because there is a greater chance that the viewers will act on your call to action and the audience spread will be smaller. This saving and the higher chance of conversion should make for a much better ROI.

Another interesting area on Facebook is targeting using life events. If you produce wedding rings you can target people who have recently got engaged, your perfect target audience. Because Facebook is a place for friends to keep in touch and to converse about their lives all of the different life events are shared so it makes targeting them very precise.

How much does it cost to advertise on Facebook?

Their isn’t one answer for this I’m afraid as it depends on a lot of factors. The cost will rise and fall depending on the time of year, the day, hour, the placement you choose, relevance and the audience you are targeting.

What I can tell you about pricing is that you’ll be charged when a user views at least 10 seconds of your video, or 97 percent of your video if it’s shorter than 10 seconds, unless you selected the cost per like option instead.

It’s important to set a daily allowance, this way you will be able to keep track of what you are spending. It will take a bit of trial and error though and you may need to tweak your  daily allowance a fair bit until you find the sweet spot. One of the main reasons for not getting enough engagement is because the daily allowance is set too low, this means that your video ad isn’t being played enough so you would need to gradually increase your daily allowance until your engagement starts to match it.

The key here is to decide whether to be charge per click (CPC) or by impressions (CPM). Charge per click is pretty self-explanatory really, you will only be charged when someone clicks on a link within your ad, if you choose to be charged per impression then you will be charged every time your ad is displayed, even if there has been no interaction with it, the price is calculated per 1,000 impressions.

How do I choose which one I hear you ask?…Well, if you’re new to Facebook advertising, don’t have a huge budget and don’t have the knowledge to tweak and monitor your campaign then CPC is for you. It’s easy to set-up and to see how much it is going to cost you. The drawback is if you get a high engagement you will be paying for every click so it could start to get expensive very quickly. CPM is a great option if you’re running a well optimised campaign and lots of ad variations, but if your ad is performing badly it can be extremely costly. However, if your ad is performing exceptional well and you are receiving a high click through then you will be beating Facebook’s recommended CPC because you will still be paying a cost calculated per 1,000 impressions.

Setting up a Facebook video ad?

Setting up a Facebook video ad is very simple to do. Facebook’s UI is very easy to follow and it takes you through step-by-step. Here’s a brief overview of the stages –

  1. Select what your marketing objective is – this includes things like raising awareness, increasing traffic or video views, conversions and engagements.
  2. Name the campaign and select your budget.
  3. Decide where you want the traffic to be sent to.
  4. Narrow down your audience. You can use demographic, geo-location, job title, interests, age, gender and more to narrow down your audience.
  5. Set your ad schedule, spend limits and how you are charged.
  6. Select the right business Facebook page and Instagram page if you have one.
  7. Choose the format of the advert. Single video will be option you want.
  8. Upload your video file and fill out the link, headline and description
  9. Then confirm and watch it go live.

What to consider during the production of your video ad

Producing video content for social media is a little different when compared to the traditional specifications used for video and TV. The main reason is because 95% of Facebook users view the social platform on their mobile phone so it’s important to take into consideration the dimensions of a mobile phone screen. As I’m sure you know video is typically captured in a landscape format, for HD it would be 1920×1080, an aspect ratio of 16:9, but for mobile an aspect ratio of 1:1, 4:5 or 9:16 for Instagram stories because these sizes use the most amount of screen space available.

In 2017 Facebook made some changes to their video platform and one of these was to start playing videos with the sound on but you can go into your app settings and turn this setting off so it’s important to consider this during the pre-production stages as it’s a good idea to devise an idea that can work without sound, but if spoken words are required then subtitles must be included.

Make sure your call-to-action is placed in the middle of the video, this is because the majority of viewers won’t watch a video through to the end, sad I know but they just don’t have the attention span anymore.

Keep your video ads snappy, because of the short attention span it is recommend that video ads are between 15-30 seconds.

For a more detailed guide on the production process check out our video production guide.

YouTube Video ads

What is a YouTube TrueView ad?

YouTube video advertsTrueView video ads come in two forms. in-stream ads play before the video that the viewer has selected to watch and discovery, or in-display ads play in the right hand column above playlists and YouTube suggested videos. The beauty with these is that they are opt-in, the viewer gets to choose whether or not they want to continue watching it. For in-stream ads once the video has played for 5 seconds the viewer will be have the option to skip. Because they are opt-in you aren’t restricted by length. This means that you can experiment with the type of video you use as an ad, they could be the traditional 30 second style TV ad or they could be a longer product demo, a how-to video or a customer testimonial video. It also means that you will only be charged if the viewer watches for at least 30 seconds or to the end, which ever is shorter. For in-display ads a view is registered when the viewer decides to watch a video. If you’ve done your research well and your targeting is on point then TrueView ads can be a very efficient and lucrative way of advertising.

TrueView ads are ideal from branding and views rather than clicks. This is important to know as a branding video is very different to a sales video.

What are pre-roll ads?

Pre-roll ads are non-skippable and are charged per click. They should ideally be 15-20 seconds and optimized for clicks. This means they are particularly good for sales videos and therefore work out cheaper per click compared to TrueView ads being used for clicks.

What are bumper ads?

Bumper ads are non-skippable and are charged per view like TrueView ads. They are limited to 6 seconds and like TrueView ads are perfect for branding campaigns. They work out cheaper than TrueView ads but you have to be creative as you only have 6 seconds!

Why are YouTube video ads worth while?

Advertising on YouTube is a fantastic option because YouTube has an average of 1.9 billion active users a month and 5 billion videos videos are watched daily.

Well made YouTube video ads that are targeted well will help increase engagement with your brand and channel and improve organic listings. The more popular your videos and channel is the more benefits you receive from YouTube so if video marketing is valuable to your business YouTube is definitely worth a look.

Another reason advertise on YouTube is because of their targeting options. You can target your audience based on location, language, gender, age, parental status and in some countries household income (unfortunately the UK is not included). 2 to 3 targeting options are optimum and the more targeting you use the more your cost-per-view will cost.

How much do YouTube video ads Cost?

There isn’t a definitive answer to this question as YouTube’s pricing depends on a multitude of factors and as it is an auction the cost can vary depending on who wants to pay more per view.  On average YouTube charges $0.10 – $0.30 per view of your video advert, but remember if you are running a TrueView ad it isn’t considered a view until the video has been watched for 30 seconds or to the end, which ever is shorter.

When setting up a YouTube video advertising campaign you have to decide on your maximum daily budget and your maximum cost-per-view. In the UK most businesses start with a daily budget of £6. The actual cost-per-view you’ll pay is based on factors such as your targeting, the quality of your video ad and your overall goal.

Once you’re up and running it’s important to monitor your campaign and to keep a close eye on the view rate of your ads and the click-through rate. If the campaign isn’t performing your advert may not be compelling enough or you may need to increase your click-per-view (CPV) bid or maximum daily budget as you might be being outbid for the best advertising positions.

Setting up YouTube video ads?

Setting up a YouTube video ad is very straight forward thanks to the clean and simple step-by-step UI that YouTube uses. Because YouTube offers a range of campaign options it’s a little tricky to write a step-by-step guide. During the set up process in Google Ads you will need to –

  1. Select your campaign type
  2. Type in a campaign title
  3. Set your daily maximum budget
  4. Set start and end dates
  5. Select your bid strategy
  6. Choose which networks you want your video ad to appear on
  7. Select the language(s) your audience speak
  8. Set you location
  9. Choose the inventory type. This decides what kind of content is excluded from where your ad will appear.
  10. Type in an ad group name
  11. Choose the demographic you want to target. Options include gender, age and parental status in the UK. In some countries you can choose household income. The more targeted the better as you will not waste money by your ad being shown to people who have no interest in what you have to say.
  12. You’ll then move onto audiences. This is a chance to narrow down audience even further.
  13. Add keywords that are relevant to want your advert is about. This helps YouTube understand your video advert better so it can placed in the right areas.
  14. Add topics.
  15. Set you maximum CPV amount. This can be changed once your video advert goes live.
  16. Then you need to add your video. Search for it or copy and paste the YouTube URL.
  17. Select your video ad format. This is where you want your video advert to be played within YouTube.
  18. Add the URL of where you want to viewers to be taken to at the end of the video advert
  19. Add the display URL.
  20. Add a call to action if you wish to.
  21. Choose how the companion banner image is gathered.
  22. Then click save and continue.

What to consider during the production YouTube video ads

The important thing to understand about YouTube compared to Facebook and Instagram is that users will have gone to YouTube to specifically search for and watch video content. Unlike Facebook where video is part of the wider social interaction. YouTube uses 16:9 video players so uploads should follow the standard HD and 4K dimensions, 1920×1080 for HD and 3840 x 2160 for 4K, as well as anything in between. Sound is important on YouTube unlike Facebook and Instagram because viewers will more likely watch a well produced professional advert, something more like an advert you would find on TV.

Adverts should be professionally produced as this has a bearing on your cost-per-view. The ideas you choose need to be memorable, this can be achieved by tugging at the viewers heart strings, surprising them, making them laugh and shocking them. Here are a couple of examples of YouTube adds that performed very well –

Clash of the Clans: Revenge – this video is a very clever parody on the Taken film series staring Liam Neeson. When Liam Neeson is revealed in the video it really is a surprise and you can help but chuckle during his monologue. It’s a great example of how to make a video memorable.

The following video really tugs at the heart strings. At the beginning you are left feeling sorry for the main character as none of his kids can make it for Christmas. It then gets very sad when news breaks about the funeral but you are left with a sense of joy when its shown that the funeral was an attempt by the main character to get all of his family together for Christmas and in actual fact he was alive and well and has prepared a Christmas feast. It may come as a surprise to know that the advert is for a large supermarket chain in Germany, so it’s a great example of creative thinking and the use of emotion in storytelling.

If you are looking to have an advert produced for a social media campaign then we would love to discuss it with you. Please give Will and Andy a call on 01273 911345 or send them an email here.