A Guide to Facebook Video Ads: Can a Small Business Benefit from Them?


photo credit: facebook

When Facebook officially promoted auto-play video ads in 2015, most users were confused by the videos playing out of nowhere. Although there was a certain dose of resistance during the beginnings, we all got used to the auto-play feature; and business owners agreed that Video Ads were a great opportunity for them to market their brand to the right audience.

Facebook did its best to explain how the users can create video ads, so it’s not that hard to understand the straightforward concept. The main benefit you’ll get through such marketing campaign is greater reach. Your ad will be presented to the right target audience, so you can expect more likes and conversions.

Here is the main problem: if you’re still new to this (and we all are), it won’t be enough for you to read Facebook’s instructions for posting videos. You need a strategy that will help you gain the greatest advantages from this opportunity.

Before we get into details, let’s answer the question from our headline: can a small business benefit from Facebook Video Ads? Definitely! This is the simplest way to explain how the ads function: you upload your video, you set the budget, and you allow Facebook to promote it to your specific audience. You’ll get relevant views that can easily convert.

The Auto-Play Feature

If you’ve used the traditional paid Facebook Ads before, you already know how great they are. They reach your target customer and you’re constantly getting likes on your page when the ads are active. The Video Ads are much better, mainly due to the auto-play feature. As the Facebook user scrolls down the feed, your ad suddenly starts playing and you get a chance to capture their attention and show exactly what benefits they will get from your business.

The user will either watch the actual video with sound, or he will keep scrolling down without paying attention to your offer. What makes the difference? It’s all about the uniqueness and quality of your ad. Let’s see how you can achieve the best effect.

Practical Tips for Creating Effective Facebook Video Ads

1. The first few seconds are crucial!

Remember: the viewer can easily neglect your ad if it isn’t impressive right from the start. You need to grab their attention from the very first second. You can use a funny or inspiring quote or scene, or anything else that would work well for your target audience. The viewer should experience some kind of emotion: fear, excitement, pleasure, curiosity, or anything else that will keep them watching the video.

2. There is no sound, so focus on the visual effect

The viewer sees a muted version of the video unless he clicks on it. Thus, you need to focus its visual effect. Find a beautiful actor, design colorful graphics, start with an intriguing quote written over an attractive background, or think of another way to grasp the viewer’s attention.

3. Make the sound perfect!

When the viewers like what they see, they will click on the video. At this point, you mustn’t shock them with loud, nerve-wracking soundtrack, unless you think your target audience would fall for that effect. If there is a voice presenting your products and services, it has to be pleasant, authoritative, and clear.

4. Make it short and spectacular

It would be best to keep your ad shorter than one minute. You can make it a bit longer if it’s really spectacular, but make sure it keeps the viewer’s attention to the very end. If you have many things to say, it would be best to shoot few videos and promote them as separate ads.

You can easily check if the ad is as long as it should be: ask few of your friends to take a look at the video before you publish it. Consider their feedback and make adjustments if necessary.

5. Create value!

Online marketers are aware of the fact that they need to present unique value to the users, but they often forget about this element when creating Facebook Video Ads. Why should your target consumer watch your video? Will they learn something new? Will you help them solve a problem? These ads are not meant to be just fun; they need to show how your company is better than the competitive brands.

6. Don’t forget the call to action

Okay, a Facebook user just watched your Video Ad. Now what? What action should follow? You need to guide them towards a specific direction, such as finding more information about your product/service at your website, liking your Facebook page, joining a contest, or anything else you have in mind.

You Must Be Wondering: How Much Will the Video Ads Cost?

Don’t worry; you won’t pay more than you’re ready to spend. Facebook lets you control your budget – you set your limit and the ad will be promoted to your target audience until that limit is reached. If you don’t think this campaign is producing the expected results, you can put it on pause and change something to make the video more captivating. If you notice it’s extremely successful, you can update your budget once it’s spent.

As far as the video filming is concerned, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it. There is no need to hire prestigious actors or rent a fancy studio. A small business can achieve great effects with cool graphic content, which costs much less.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to create your brief and attention-grabbing Facebook Video Ad? If you make this campaign really effective, it will help you build brand awareness and boost the popularity of your business.


Maria CastleMaria Castle is a freelance writer and social media expert. She writes articles and creative essay samples for Essays Scholar Advisor, education portal for students. Maria is passionate about writing, travelling and tech.

How To Determine Which Online Channels are Delivering Sales Online and Off

photo credit: Ashleigh Brown

photo credit: Ashleigh Brown

The beauty of online advertising, unlike various other forms of advertising such as TV or radio, is that it is nearly completely trackable. When using Google Analytics as your platform, it is possible to see where website traffic has come from, whether it is from a paid ad on Google, Facebook advertising, an organic listing or referred from another website – the list goes on.

Google is now making that information a lot less complete with the encryption of search terms for organic clicks, so it’s more difficult for website owners and their marketing agencies to know which keywords drove the organic traffic to their site. Some would argue this is to protect privacy online, while others believe it merely encourages advertisers to use Google AdWords. It’s the only way you can see exactly what keyword was entered before the clicks that result / do not result in sales – I guess we’ll never know…

Cross-device tracking

There are parts of the online journey, however, where things do become a little hazy and it’s harder to track exactly what attributed to the final sale. For instance, online to offline sales and also cross-device customer journeys.

Mobile searches are becoming more and more influential within the buying cycle, with 40% of smartphone users’ purchases being influenced by a mobile search, ie. 40% of users who do research on their phone go on to make a purchase.

A huge 90% of people use multiple screens when spending money online, whether that be making a purchase or booking a service. Also, 87% do research online before entering a store to potentially make a purchase and 82% do research on their phone whilst in a store, looking at an item.

This shows that mobile search can be extremely important within the buying cycle, even though it might not convert there and then. That person might visit your shop to complete their purchase or return to your site via desktop to buy. Either way, mobile still attributed to that sale.

But how do we track this? Well, Google is now providing cross-device tracking within the AdWords interface so that advertisers can see how cross-device activity attributed to online sales. Google calculates cross-device conversions using its algorithm to compare the behavioural signals of a sample of signed-in users with a sample of non-signed-in users to estimate other occurrences of cross-device conversions. This information is then reported when Google is 95% sure that the data is accurate – a 95% confidence level.

Advertisers can see this information by adding the ‘Cross-device conv.’ column to their AdWords data.  According to Google “Cross-device conversions happen when a customer interacts with an ad (for example, by clicking on a text ad or viewing a video ad) on one device then converts on a different device or browser.” This allows advertisers to see how many conversions have been influenced by visits on multiple devices.

Store visit conversions

Google is always referring to the micro-moments, which are basically the important moments along the customer’s journey toward conversion. Google’s estimated total conversions across devices was an overall figure and insight into the many different forms of conversions other than just one-click purchases (ie. store visits, phone calls, downloads, sales), something it now refers to as ‘All conversions’.

Toward the end of last year, Google announced that they’ll now be able to better track offline store visits: “… advertisers can get a more detailed view of offline measurement with the ability to breakout store visits at a keyword or ad group level, and the ability to view visits by day, week, or month to better inform bidding and campaign strategy.” – Google Adwords on G+

There are requirements that you need to meet to be able to use store visit conversions:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.

To find out if store visit conversions are available in your location you can ask your Google account manager.

How does it work? It is based on anonymous, aggregated statistics created with modelled numbers using both current and past data on the number of people who click your ads and later come in store. This can’t be linked to individual ad clicks or people – Google uses industry best practices to ensure the privacy of users.

The truth is that we will never be able to be 100% accurate when tracking customers or know exactly which ‘micro-moments’ helped persuade someone to purchase or sign up, but these latest developments from Google means we’re getting closer and closer.


Ashleigh Brown - Browser mediaAshleigh Brown, Head of Biddable Media at Browser Media Ltd, a specialist digital marketing agency. Born in 2005 as a search engine marketing agency, Browser Media still offers search as its core service but provides so much more than just tinkering with meta tags.

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