Facebook Video Ads 2019 (6 Tips To Avoid When Creating Facebook Video Ads)

By Paul Ramondo on

Today, we’re talking about Facebook Video Ads 2019. We’re going to cover SIX of the most common mistakes Facebook advertisers make when using Facebook Video ads – and how to avoid them.

Facebook Ads Summit 2019 – Social Media Examiner

Click here to learn more about Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Ads Summit 2019 (affiliate link).

Common Facebook Ad Mistakes:

Facebook turns 16 in 2020. And like most teenagers, it’s grown up A LOT in the past few years. This growth has brought about a lot of change, both internally – e.g. how the algorithm works – as well as externally – how people now consume video ads in the Facebook feed. This evolution of consumption behaviour – specifically around video ads in the Facebook feed – fascinates me.

In a mid-2019 world, your Facebook feed is like a highway where…

Your audience’s thumbs are the cars and…

Your video ads are the billboards they speed past.

If you’re speeding down a (literal) highway at 65mph, you’ve only got about 10 seconds or so to pay attention to any given billboard. The same rationale applies when you’re speeding down the Facebook feed with your thumb. That is, you’ve only got a limited amount of time to pay attention to a video ad before you continue your journey to the next dopamine destination.

Naturally, this begs the question; how do you get people to slow down and pay attention to your video ad?

First and foremost, your videos must be optimised for the correct format. This may sound like a no brainer, but I’m still surprised at the amount of advertisers who still don’t optimise their videos for the platform or device in which they’re being shown. My team and I have found that video ads which adhere to the following guidelines are positioned to perform best:

1. Optimise Your Content For The Placements You Choose:

The name of the game has and always will be ATTENTION. So naturally, ads that demand more attention will have a higher chance of stopping people thumbs in the feed. Therefore, customise your creative variable to the placements you’re running your ads on. I recommend Facebook’s official video requirements cheat sheet which you can find here.

2. 2019 Means 1080p HD:

Most of us carry around a 4K camera that shoots at 60fps in our pockets. Which means not only can we capture content in 1080p HD, we can also view 1080p HD content in full resolution. In case I need to spell it out for you – you should ALWAYS upload the HIGHEST resolution content you have available. If you’re spending money on running video ads, the last thing you want is to have a potential customer blind your ad because your content is pixelated. Facebook has an incredibly comprehensive guide to the creative specs and technical requirements for video ads and more – check it out here.

3. Optimise Your Repurposing Workflow

Clients always agree with my team and I after we explain the first two points. Nine times out of ten this agreement is followed by “we just don’t have the time to action all of that creative”. I’m sympathetic to this disposition – a lot of clients are trying to fill the role of a full service creative studio either by themselves or with a very small team. That said, there are ways to be smart about this, and it starts with your workflow. Marshal Carper wrote an article for SME this year on how to create video for multiple platforms – I strongly recommend you check it out to learn how to better optimise your workflow.

4. Video Ad Thumbnails Matter (No Really, They Do)

This next thing I can’t even call a mistake, it’s really more of an oversight. The necessity of well made and captivating video thumbnails are SO underrated. Your thumbnails MUST DEMAND ATTENTION. You ought to even go as far as customising the thumbnail to the avatar you’re running ads to. For example, if you’re running a video ad campaign targeting women, your thumbnail will most likely perform better if it contains a woman in the thumbnail (ceteris paribus).

And to those reading that are thinking “thumbnails don’t matter because video’s autoplay in my feed”. I’d like to remind you that YOU are NOT your AUDIENCE. Many users turn off the video autoplay feature on Facebook mobile to save their data… So what do you think those members of your audience see instead of your video ad autoplaying?

5. The 20% Text Rule For Thumbnails

What’s the ultimate ‘no no’ in thumbnails? Don’t go over the 20% text rule – but why?

If your thumbnail includes more than 20% text and the ad gets approved, it’s likely the ad will have a decreased reach due to the adverse effect the text has on its relevance score. Additionally, Facebook will actually charge you more to run these ads to your audience compared to the same thumbnail with LESS than 20% text.

Want to check your text overlay percentage? Facebook has a super handy tool here.

6. Subtitles MATTER

Finally, we need to talk about subtitles.

We all know the feeling of wanting to watch a video in a public place but not doing so because we forgot our headphones. Or we choose to watch without sound, but then thumb our way back to the feed because the video we were watching didn’t have subtitles.

It’s no surprise that over 85% of Facebook users watch their videos without sound on. This is a significant hurdle. What’s the point in creating beautiful content if no one is going to listen to it? The solution to this challenge is (you guessed it!) subtitles – or, SRT files for my fellow nerds out there.

Wanna know the best part about adding subtitles to your videos? It’s a super easy way to increase viewer retention AND they’re super easy to create. We use a website called Rev that does $1 per minute for transcriptions (from real human beings). For those on a budget, Temi is an AI based transcription platform that creates .srt files for 10c/minute – talk about a steal!

Finally, for those wanting to go meta with their subtitles (so that they can’t be hidden by the viewer) you can hard code your srt subtitles into you video before exporting so that they always remain visible.


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