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Facebook Video Ads: Money Pit Or Opportunity?

Published: January 14, 2015

Author: Kristina McLane

Video ads in Facebook have both advantages and disadvantages. They look and behave like normal page posts. The ad displays all the account information, description, comments, and number of likes typical of all News Feed ads. Video ads are News Feed ads. The only difference is that there is a video that plays directly in Facebook.
In this post, we’ll break down some pros and cons of Facebook video ads to help you determine whether they’re something you should explore using. Let’s dive in.

Advantages: People Love Them

People love to interact with video ads, and in ways more than just viewing the video. People like to comment, like, and share video ads in ways that most News Feeds ads miss out on.
When compared over the same time frame, and with an identical call to action and description, my video ad garnered far greater engagement metrics than my regular News Feed ad. The only difference between the ads was that one had a video and one had a traditional image. The data:
My page received 287 page likes, 1,076 post likes and 100 comments, while in the same time frame my regular News Feed ads received zero of those metrics.

Disadvantages: Conversion Volume Can Be Unenthusiastic

This all sounds great! Video ads have great engagement metrics, significantly higher than regular ads. However, there is a downside. Unless the goal is brand awareness, most advertisers want to see direct results. We want conversions. And video ads have significantly lower conversion rates than the other ad types.
In the chart below, you can see the click-through-rate for the video ad is significantly higher than the sidebar and News Feed ads at 2.14%. It is important to note that Facebook counts a “click” on Facebook as any interaction with the ad: expanding the description, comments, likes, shares, or video views. A high CTR does not mean a high CTR to the website.
image004 In fact, my video ad in this study had significantly lower website CTR than the News Feed ad. But of the viewers who actually did click through to the website, 55% of them converted.
If conversion rates are your focus, video ads in Facebook might not be the best ad type. You need to go in expecting high engagement and low conversion volume. The advantage to video ads is high engagement and brand awareness, while the downside is the lack of conversion volume.

When You Love Video Ads, But Can’t Get Conversions Out of Your Mind

If you still want to give videos a try with the focus on conversions, here are a few tips that I found can help increase conversions for videos:

1. Videos should be short.
2. Call-to-action button is a must.
3. Video has to be engaging or a viewer might quit halfway through.
4. Sell your video with the ad’s headlines and descriptions.

Knowing what to expect is important when starting with Facebook Video ads.  I like to think of it as a boost to my brand and an opportunity to reach potential new customers.

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