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How Businesses Can Leverage Video Ads Across Facebook & YouTube

Every month, an estimated 2.27 billion users interact with videos on Facebook, and over 1.8 billion users watch videos on YouTube. According to a March 2017 Google study, 50% of these people can recall the contents of a Facebook or YouTube video better than if they had read the same material.

Given this massive reach and higher recall, video ads present an enormous opportunity for businesses to generate awareness and sales. Additionally, Facebook and YouTube offer robust audience targeting capabilities, so video ads can target the right people at the right time and minimize wasted ad spend.

What Makes A Great Video

As easy as it may be to make a video on iOS and Andriod devices, producing a great video that successfully connects with the viewer remains challenging. Here are four best practices to connect your message with your audience:

  • Invest in production - Whether you use a camera phone or a production team, secure the best available creative resources, and set a realistic production schedule and budget. People are more likely to watch and remember videos that are well-crafted and designed to play on every device.

  • Use the first few seconds wisely - Bring your story to life quickly so your video quickly piques people’s interest. Many video ads don’t do this successfully, which results in low engagement and poor outcomes. As illustrated in the below graphic, average video view durations drop drastically in the first few seconds, and only 33% of people completing a video on average because most videos are bad.

  • Focus on storytelling - Video length is less important than telling a cohesive and concise story. Your video ad shouldn’t be longer or shorter than it takes to tell your story well, so create a storytelling arc from the first frame to the last that keeps your audience engaged along the way.

  • Tell your story with and without sound - Since videos often autoplay with the sound off, it’s important to make sure your video ads entice viewers even when they’re muted. When the sound is off, beautiful imagery and on-screen text can help tell your story. When enabled, your video’s sound should offer additional value to viewers and further bring your story to life.

Video Ad Opportunities On Facebook

Facebook’s ad units with the right video are a great way to capture the attention of your target audience. With people gazing five times longer at video content than static content on Facebook and Instagram, you can share the experience you offer, feature your product or service in action, and deliver your message with video.

Here are six video ad opportunities across Facebook’s properties:

  • Short Videos and GIFs- Capture short bursts of attention in Facebook and Instagram feeds with these snackable videos.

  • Vertical Videos - Get scrollers to pause and pay attention with edge-to-edge fullscreen video ads.

  • Instagram Stories - Draw people into your business story with these immersive video ads. Command the screen with an edge-to-edge vertical format, and personalize your content with text and graphics.

  • Carousel - Give people the opportunity to swipe and view multiple video units with this format.

  • Collection - Pair video ads with product images to let people explore your products and services.

  • In-Stream Video - Reach people who are already engaging with video content on Facebook by displaying your ad during video breaks.

Video Ad Opportunities On YouTube

Facebook is not the only platform that serves video ads. YouTube has multiple ad opportunities, and it claims its ad units have the highest viewability on the web (95% versus a 66% industry average).

Here are three advertising opportunities for videos on YouTube:

  • YouTube Trueview In-Stream - TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube. Viewers can choose to skip the video ad after 5 seconds. If they choose not to skip the video ad, the YouTube video view count will be incremented when the viewer watches 30 seconds of the video ad or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Advertisers will only be charged when a video view is counted (video ads skipped or not engaged with within 30 seconds are free). The return on this unit can be very effective because people who choose to watch a video ad are 75% more engaged than those who watch a traditional pre-roll.

  • YouTube 6-Second Bumper Ads - Bumper Ads are 6 second, non-skippable video ads, and according to a study from 2017, 9 out of 10 viewers were able to recall the brand later. A thousand served ads typically costs between $6 to $8.

  • YouTube TrueView Discovery - Use TrueView discovery ads to reach users beyond watching a video pre-roll. When somebody does a search, a sponsored video could be recommended for the user to watch (a third of YouTube users will search for a video to watch). Additionally, sponsored videos may be recommended for the viewer to watch next after they finish watching their regular content. (20% of YouTube users will watch a recommended video)


By the end of 2021, video is forecasted to make-up 82% of all Internet traffic. Businesses will need to “follow the eyeballs” to engage with consumers accordingly. These ad units are great opportunities to accomplish this. Additionally, since these ad units can target users based on factors like past online behaviors, demographic information, location, and more, this can be done in a way that will generate strong returns on investment.

For more information and to find out how you can get video ad units created and online, reach out to us today!


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