Everything You Need to Know About Making Facebook Video Ads

Facebook Video Ads

Last updated on October 26, 2020

You already know that Facebook has over two billion monthly users and incredible targeting tools.

But, did you know that Facebook is now the king of online digital video views?

Since, 2015, Facebook has had more daily video views that YouTube.

Plus, viewers engage more with Facebook video ads than with the exact same content on YouTube.

Facebook users are more emotionally engaged with the platform.

If you’re serious about using to video to connect with customers, Facebook is too big to ignore.

The world’s largest social media network has invested a lot of money in its pivot to video, and all that investment is paying off in a big way for businesses just like yours.

Facebook Video Ads

Why Use Facebook Video Ads Instead of Just Images?

Facebook has quietly become the world’s most powerful online advertising company.

Businesses large and small use the network to build brand awareness and to reach customers all over the world.

Why should you use Facebook video ads when regular image ads are so much easier to create?

The short answer is video ads work much better than image ads.

People See Image Ads—They Respond to Video Ads

We are used to seeing image ads as we scroll down our news feeds.

We see them, but we often don’t pay attention to them.

Just like you mostly ignore the sponsored ads at the top of every Google search, a lot of people don’t engage with image ads anymore.

But, video ads are different.

Video ads get more likes and shares that image ads.

Users treat video ads more like content.

Image ads are just ads. But, videos pull viewers in.

Several studies have found that people remember content they’ve watched 59% better than content they’ve read.

Facebook video ads allow you to get inside your prospect’s hearts and minds in ways that simple image ads can’t.

Facebook video ads turn your customers into your brand evangelists. Click To Tweet

Image ads can’t do that.

Video Drives More Organic Traffic

Video drives more organic traffic than image ads.

It isn’t even close. In 2017, Facebook video ads drove 135% more organic traffic than image ads.

Facebook video ads are doing more than just giving your business a quick spike in traffic.

They can deliver sustained traffic over time because people still see videos as content.

They may know that are watching an ad, but they respond psychologically like they’re watching content.

You may not be invested in Facebook, but the odds are your competitors are, which helps them and not you.

Video Ads Deliver at Lower Cost-Per-Click

Many critics of video advertising claim that video marketing is still too expensive.

But, now that your phone can take high-quality video, and you can use the headphones that came with your phone as good-quality microphones, video is cheaper than ever.

Even more important, video ads deliver a 3% lower cost-per-click than image ads.

There is less competition in the video ad world, and video ads convert better.

There is no excuse not to use Facebook video ads as part of your marketing campaign.

How Facebook Video Ads Stack Up Against Other Social Media Video Ads

Facebook video ads aren’t the only game in town. It’s important that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

But, if you have a limited advertising budget, Facebook video ads give you the best return on your investment.

For starters, Facebook video ads don’t just run on Facebook.

Through the Facebook Ad Manager, you can also run your video ads on Instagram.

Facebook vs video

Instagram doesn’t yet have the massive reach that Facebook does, but it is the social media channel of choice for several key demographics of Millennials.

Twitter video ads are often less expensive to run, but the platform doesn’t engage viewers the same way Facebook does.

The average video ad completion rate on Twitter is 2%, while it’s 32% on Facebook.

YouTube video ads tend to perform at about the same levels as Facebook video ads.

Audiences watch more ads on Facebook, but they finish a slightly higher percentage on YouTube.

NOTE: When choosing between YouTube and Facebook you must consider where your audience hang out.

A person looking for relief from an embarrassing condition is not on Facebook.

They will be looking on Google and YouTube for help.

Use a bit of common sense mixed in with a dose of research when choosing the right platform.

Facebook Video Ads: The Basics

Facebook video ads give markers a tremendous amount of freedom.

Ads can be as long as 45 minutes, but videos between 15-30 seconds outperform other lengths.

You can use landscape, portrait, square, or 360 videos.

You can have a single video or a video carousel with multiple videos.

You can also choose where your video ad should run. Your options include:

  • Mobile news feed
  • Desktop news feed
  • Instagram feed
  • Right column

As for specs, Video Marketing Insider has its own infographic for you that you can use here: https://videomarketinginsider.com/social-video-media-specs/

Alternatively, for Facebook alone, you can find these requirements in the Facebook Business ad guide.

How to Create a Facebook Video Ad

If you are familiar with Facebook image ads, creating a video ad follows the same basic steps.

You can create a video and then use the Ad Manager to build and launch your ad, or you can actually create a video in the Ad Manager.

Most brands will get the best results by shooting their own video.

Tools You Can Use

To actually create the video you can sign up to a service like videoblocks.

Here you’ll get a large number of clips you can edit or splice.

For audio, try audioblocks.

For cheap offers such as a t-shirt, you’ll be fine with a short 30-45 second ad of someone putting it on or modeling it.

If you are trying to sell a  thousand dollar product, you’ll need something much longer.

For most folk though, 2 minutes is the max you’ll need.

shooting video ads

Another great choice is Twine.

This is if going down the freelancer route of obtaining royalty-free music is something that interest you.

With over 370,000 registered freelancers, Twine is definitely worth considering. 


New marketers are always surprised to see that the first step to a successful video marketing is to set up your targeting.

But, you will make a better-quality video, and your video ad will earn a higher return on investment if you are clear on the intended audience before you shoot a single frame.

When working on the targeting for your video consider:

  • Creating a video as a custom retargeting for warm leads
  • Using custom audiences
  • Focusing on narrow audience size

One of the most powerful aspects of Facebook video ads is that ability to target the viewers that watched all of one of your videos.

You already know these people are engaged with your content.

Showing them a second video to this small slice of the audience can boost conversions and supercharge your ROI (we will expand more in this later).

Marketing works best when it’s narrowly tailored.

We all like to think we’re special.

The most effective ads feel like they’re speaking directly to one person.

You can improve your ads by manually uploading your own contact database and creating a custom look-alike-audience on Facebook.

You also want to make sure that you are targeting a small audience, not the entire world.

The Ads Manager has an easy to read meter that helps you make sure you aren’t targeting too large or too small of an audience.

For local marketers you can even target zip/postal codes.

Go to the Ads Manager & Create New Ad

Once you’ve made your video and figured out your target market, it’ time to build your ad.

You need to access the Ads Manager.

Before you can run any ads on Facebook, you need to have a business page.

You can access the Ad Manager from your profile page by using the pull-down menu and selecting “Create Ads”.

Choose Campaign Objective  

Next, you will be asked to select your ad campaign objective.

If you have a specific outcome in mind, pick the objective that best fits your strategy.

We recommend either PPE (Page Post Engagement, Video views and later on perhaps traffic as your campaign objective).

If you’re uncertain, click “video views” this will make sure that your ad is designed to get people to watch your video.

If your video is optimized, you should find that this leads to people responding to your call to action.

Define Audience

After you choose your objective, you will need to define your audience.

This is where you need to input the targeting work you did earlier.

Facebook allows you to save different audiences or build new audiences for each ad.

Options for Creating Your Video Ad

Now, it’s finally time to actually build your ad.

Here you will either upload our video, select from a video you’ve already uploaded, or create a slideshow video from your images.

You also need to choose where you want your video to appear.

The location of your video ad will determine the aspect ratio and size of the video you should use.

You can also choose to use carousel ad with several different videos instead of just a single video.

Add Your Copy

Once you’ve uploaded your video and decided on where on Facebook and Instagram you want your video to run, you will need to add your copy for the headline, or video title, and the copy for the body of the ad.

Since you’re using video, it’s usually best to make your copy brief.

It’s not the star of the show here.

The copy’s primary purpose is to draw attention to the video and provide a reminder of the call to action.

Preview & Revise

You’ve already put a lot of work into your video ad.

But, you’re not done yet.

Before you launch your campaign, you need to preview your video ad and make any changes.

It’s tempting to just give your video ad a quick once-over and call it good.

But, you should take your time to make sure every element is perfect before launching.

There’s no bigger morale crusher than to find a typo or realize you’ve uploaded the wrong version of your video until after the video ad campaign has launched.

Facebook Video Ad Best Practices

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to zero-in on a handful of best practices that will make your Facebook video ad stand out from the crowd and get the kind of results you’re hoping for.

Make Ads That Work Without Sound

By default, Facebook ads are muted in the feed.

Most people won’t watch your videos with the sound on.

Most of your ads will be watched on a mobile device.

Your video needs to work just as well with the sound off as it does with the sound on.

This means using captions or having a video where the images communicate 100% of your message.

There are a few ways to do this.

You can use a service such as rev.com

Or you can use a specific software that will allow you to add embedded captions.

Grab Attention in the First Three Seconds

People aren’t looking for your video ad.

They aren’t hoping to find a great video ad in their feed.

Most likely, your prospects are just scrolling through their feed because their bored.

From the moment your video ad appears on the screen until the typical user scrolls past, you have 3 seconds to grab their attention.

Make it count!

Make the Ad Shorter Than You Think

Shorter ads do better.

People watch them all the way through.

You need to make sure your message is simple and compact.

15-30 second videos outperform all other lengths of video ads if you are promoting a cheap offer such as a t-shirt. 

You need to grab the attention of your audience and direct them to take a specific action.

You don’t have time for an elaborate metaphor.

Selling something more expensive, then you’ll need a minute to 2-minute video with a strong intro/hook.

Optimize Headline and Description

The video is the most important part of your video ad.

But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your headline and description.

Your video ad copy can enhance and reinforce the message of your video.

This text shouldn’t be direct. Tell the viewer exactly what they should do.

Go Vertical or Stay Square

While you have a lot of choices of formats, the best performing Facebook video ads are vertical videos or square videos.

There are many softwares that allow you to create square Facebook type videos. 

One reasonably priced option is reviewed well here.

Use Your CTA Twice

Your ad needs one call to action, but you should use it twice.

Most people, even with short videos, won’t watch the whole thing.

Have your call to action in the middle of the video and at the end of the video.

This gives you the best chance of planting the seed with your audience.


Once you have your video up you need to make sure you set up your custom audiences for future remarketing.

In short, within the Facebook ads manager you can make a list of everyone who has viewed a portion of your video.

To do this you need to go to your Ads Manager and then to Audiences.

Step 1: Create a new audience and choose engagement.

Step 2: Choose video from the next list of options.

Step 3: Choose one from the drop down and give the audience a name. For example, 3 seconds pug t-shirt video.

Step 4: Click on choose videos and from the next page you’ll see your list of fan pages and videos you’ve uploaded.

How many custom audiences per video?

There are differing viewpoints here. 

Some feel it is not worth creating an audience of people who watch 3 seconds as those people are mainly scrolling through and may have stopped on your video only for a tiny amount of time before moving on.

The other school of thought is that you should create the audience as it does you no harm.

We believe that you should create as many audiences as Facebook allows as the more data the better.


Once you have enough data (views) you can try a sequencing campaign.

Simply, you create a second video and only show this to people who have watched (for example) 50% or more of the first video.

You then create audiences of the second video and carry on doing this over a  several video period.

By the final video, people will have watched several of your videos and be really interested in what you have to offer.

This is a more advanced technique though so if you are a beginner, do not worry too much about it.


Your business and audience are unique.

You can never know what will work best for you until you test.

This means you need to keep track of how well your ads perform. Track views, view completion, clicks, and conversions.

When testing, only test one variable at a time.

If you try and test more than one variable, you’ll never know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Facebook Video Ads Summary

The most important part of running a successful Facebook Video ad campaign is actually running a campaign.

You can research best practices and video hacks all day, but until you start actually running ads, you won’t connect with a single customer.

You can’t revise and iterate until you’ve put something out there.

You now have everything you need to run a killer Facebook video ad campaign.

It’s time for you to take the most important step and actually launch your video ad campaign!

PS…Are you using Facebook Video ads? Did you like this post? Please let us know with a share.


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Comments on Everything You Need to Know About Making Facebook Video Ads

  1. LaVette says:

    Such an excellent article. I used to believe that people had to watch at least 50 percent of my video to count as a view. Now I see that I have been neglecting a large group of potential prospects. Thank you for this article!

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks LaVette. I used to do that too but there are many reasons why someone may not watch the whole thing and it’s worth building as many audiences as possible. Thanks

  2. DigitalDave says:

    Thanks, Adam…great coverage on producing FB Video Ads and what it takes to be effective.

    But, with all great advice, it’s only effective when taking action and implementing.

    Those reading this who are not part of VMI should consider giving it a look. You’ll find a great deal more where this came from.


    1. Adam Payne says:

      Hi Dave,

      100% bang on about the taking action. Then testing and tweaking.


  3. Nigel T says:

    Excellent post

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thank you Nigel.

  4. Hooda K says:

    Great post, Adam and very detailed. I have done Facebook video views in the past and had some great engagement and results. Also, they cost next to nothing (if done right) and are very effective.

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks Hooda. Done right is the key. People should not take thier YT video and upload it to FB and expect the same kind of engagement.

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