It’s 8 p.m. and you open your Facebook feed for a quick scroll. Before you know it, it’s 11:30, and you’ve spent the past few hours engrossed in the platform’s never-ending montage of funny videos.
We’ve all been there.
Video and Facebook are a match made in heaven—one your ecommerce brand can capitalize on by running video ads on the platform.
So, how can you create successful Facebook video ads that people stop their scroll to watch? This complete guide shares the answers, alongside 10 Facebook video ad examples to inspire your next campaign.
Table of Contents
What are Facebook video ads?
Facebook video ads are an excellent way to show off your product, service, or brand. From Meta Ads Manager, you can create video ads or boost a post with a video from your Facebook page.
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Common Facebook video ad length
The maximum length of a Facebook video ad is 240 minutes, though shorter videos are more likely to achieve higher watch times, which can affect how well your ad performs. For this reason, Facebook says videos fewer than 15 seconds long tend to perform best.
How to create Facebook video ads
Keen to experience those benefits for your online store? Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating video ads using Facebook ads manager.
- Choose a campaign objective
- Define your target audience
- Select an ad placement
- Produce the video
- Run A/B tests
1. Choose a campaign objective
Before starting any new advertising campaign, be clear on what you want to achieve off the back of your video ads. Facebook calls this the campaign objective.
Choose one of the following objectives that best reflects your overarching business goals:
- App promotion
A new business likely needs a small trickle of sales to prove its product sells. In that case, the campaign objective should be conversions. Yet an established ecommerce brand with a loyal customer base could lean toward a more sophisticated model—like retargeting people who’ve engaged with its Facebook page, with the goal of increasing video views.
2. Define your target audience
Next, figure out the type of person that would help you achieve your campaign objective. Facebook’s advertising algorithm filters out those people. You’ll only be charged when you reach your target market.
Play around with targeting options such as:
- Job title
- Hobbies and interests
Also experiment with retargeting at this stage. Use the Facebook pixel to create custom audiences—people who’ve visited your website (or specific URLs on it). If someone visits your dog food product page, for example, you can show them a retargeted review video ad of a previous customer raving about it.
3. Select an ad placement
Next, select where you want your videos to appear across Facebook and/or Instagram. Options include:
- News feed
- Facebook marketplace
- Instagram Reels
- Instagram explore
- Audience network
- In-stream video ads
If this is your first time experimenting with Facebook video ads, select automatic placements. The algorithm will put your video in the placements it knows are most likely to perform best. You can always fine-tune this once your ad starts to get traction.
4. Produce the video
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to produce your video.
Best practices for producing a Facebook video ad vary depending on the target audience. New customers will have wildly different expectations on ads they expect to see from a toothpaste versus a bicycle brand. So, start with customer research.
- Examine old video ads. Which messaging did people enjoy last time you ran an advert? Which format had the highest engagement rate?
- Analyze customer surveys. Pull out pain points your existing customers solved when they purchased your product. Use that as the foundation for your video campaigns.
Many marketers fall into the trap of producing horizontal videos for Facebook advertising. In many cases, you’re editing the video on a desktop computer.
Yet 98.5% of Facebook users open the app on their mobile device. Horizontal videos don’t claim as much real estate on vertical screens—therefore making them easier to scroll past. Instead, produce square or vertical ads. They demand more space on mobile screens.
Finally, add subtitles to your video. As Stephen Light, co-owner and CMO of Nolah, explains, many Facebook users “autoplay on mute, which puts into focus a couple of best practices: including captions so that your audience can still engage with the narrative—which also increases accessibility for the hearing impaired—and producing visual storytelling that’s captivating with or without sound.”
5. Run A/B tests to optimize your campaigns
The first Facebook video ad campaign you put together isn’t necessarily the one that gets the best results. Experiment with your ad creatives—especially the video you’re promoting—to see whether one outperforms the others.
Let’s put that into practice and say you’re running two Facebook campaigns with the same goal (conversions), reaching the same audience. The only difference? One is an unboxing video, the other is a product tutorial.
After A/B testing both options, the unboxing video has a higher video-watch rate. The product tutorial generates the most clicks.
Running both videos simultaneously is a waste of money. You know that product tutorials do a better job of achieving your goal. The smarter option is to build a digital marketing funnel that shows different videos based on their previous interactions.
In this case, change the campaign objective for your unboxing video to be video views. The goal is to reach as many people as possible and raise brand awareness.
Then, retarget people who’ve watched the unboxing video with a customer review video. The goal is to drive people to your website to purchase the product on show—a job made much easier when the potential customer already knows your brand and the product you sell.
“The biggest mistake I see people make when testing ads: they don’t test multiple variations of the same creative," say Savannah Sanchez, founder of The Social Savannah.
"Just changing the variables slightly (with the same footage) can have a huge difference in performance. Variables I like to test are different hooks, voiceover versus no voiceover, etc. I often find that one version will dramatically outperform the other, so it’s incredibly important to test multiple versions.”
10 Facebook video ad examples
Need inspiration for your next video marketing campaign? Here are 10 types of Facebook video ads to experiment with, complete with examples to show you how it’s done.
- Product tutorials
- Review videos
- User-generated content
- Stop-motion videos
- Product reveals
- Before and afters
- Reaction videos
- Unboxing videos
- Comparison videos
1. Product tutorials
Earlier, we mentioned that videos lend themselves to product tutorials. Educate potential customers by showing them how easy, fast, or enjoyable it is to make the products you’re selling.
Huel, for example, runs a Facebook video ad that walks potential customers through how to make their food. The brand’s unique selling proposition (USP) is fast, healthy food. The Facebook ad proves to potential customers scrolling through their news feed how easy its meals are to make.
Combine that with a bold call-to-action (“Shop now”) and you’ve got a winning formula.
2. Review videos
Running Facebook video ads to drive sales? Include reviews in your creative. Almost nine in 10 online shoppers consult reviews before purchasing a product.
BestSelf, a brand that sells journals, uses this strategy with its Facebook video ads. It shows a customer using the journal, labeling it as its “#1 tool to be more productive.”
The ad also builds social proof with its mention of 500,000 other customers who share their journaling tips. It builds the fear of missing out (FOMO): if half a million other people are loving their BestSelf journal, they should buy one, too.
To add even more confidence to the Facebook users who see this video ad, BestSelf promises free shipping for orders worth more than $55 and 24-hour delivery turnaround. Both of those elements help potential customers overcome common obstacles and purchase through the CTA button.
3. User-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is exactly what the name suggests: content created by anyone other than your business—most often, your customers.
“Don’t feel the need to spend thousands of dollars on a slick, highly produced video when often a user-generated clip that didn’t cost you a penny could potentially perform much better,” Stephen Heffernan, digital specialist at The Connected Narrative, says.
“Start asking your customers to film themselves using, opening, demonstrating, or wearing your products. You may need to incentivize them with a discount or freebie, but you’ll soon have a ton of priceless content to start using right away.”
Send a follow-up email a few days after a customer’s parcel arrives. Invite them to share their experiences on social media, tagging your brand (or using your brand hashtag) so you can find it.
This example from Olipop shows a customer explaining that its soda contains 35 calories per can and two to five grams of sugar. Both are things OLIPOP’s target customer would want to know before clicking through to the Facebook video ad.
You could also combine this video format with influencer endorsements. Ship free products to influencers and include an information pack in their parcel. Not only will it be cheaper for you to collaborate with influencers (since you replace their fee with the cost of a product), but any partners will get the USPs across in the video.
Originally created by Instagram back in 2015, many social media users are familiar with the boomerang video. It’s a short, repetitive GIF-style video that pivots back and forth to show an object moving. Build a sense of familiarity by using them as the foundation of your Facebook video ad.
Warby Parker, for example, uses a short boomerang video in this Facebook ad. Customers see what its glasses look like when their parcel arrives in the mail. It’s much more engaging and eye-catching than a single static image.
The beauty of the boomerang video is that they’re incredibly easy to create. Simply open the Instagram app, create a new story, and hit the boomerang button. Record yourself interacting with the product for a few seconds, then save the boomerang video and use it as your Facebook ad creative.
5. Stop-motion videos
Speaking of easy-to-create videos you can use in your Facebook campaigns, the stop-motion video is a series of images that appear in slideshow fashion. Each frame comes together to look like the objects are appearing on the screen by themselves.
Need inspiration? Here’s an example of the stop-motion Facebook video ad from Partake Foods. A new cookie appears every second until there’s a large stack at the end.
(Note: This works fantastically well with the vertical video format. Those viewing the ad on a mobile device have cookies stacked across their entire screen. Talk about making your ad scroll-stopping.)
6. Product reveals
Launching a new product is exciting. Build hype around your new line by releasing a series of engaging Facebook video ads that show your new product in action.
Fitness brand Bo+Tee, for example, ran a short Facebook video ad to showcase its new clothing line.
The video itself is only seven seconds long—relatively short (even in the online world, where short-form video content is the norm). But it works when teasing new product lines. The new products pique someone’s interest, then divert them to the website to see the full collection.
7. Before and afters
Promoting a product that has noticeable improvements on someone’s life? Demonstrate it with a before and after video.
Snow uses the before and after format in this particular ad. Its target customer sees the before and after results of someone who’s used its teeth whitening kits. The difference is stark and captures someone’s attention within just a few seconds of seeing the ad in their news feed.
The before and after comparison is followed up with a short tutorial on how the product works, and a final pain point aggravator its target market wants to achieve: “I can’t stop getting compliments on my teeth.”
8. Reaction videos
Humans are wired to love reaction videos. More than 820,000 people search “reaction” on YouTube every month.
They’re the perfect content for Facebook video ads because potential customers see themselves in the person reacting. If the star of the video is visibly excited about receiving your product, potential customers see themselves having the same positive reaction if they purchase it, too.
PupSocks, for example, shares this video of a customer reacting to being given its product. The brand kills two birds with one stone since its target market can be on either side of the video. Facebook users either envision themselves as the person giving the gift or as the excitable recipient opening their new dog socks.
9. Unboxing videos
Unboxing videos are a popular type of online video in their own right. Popular YouTubers like ItsYeBoi share unboxing experiences with millions of subscribers.
Much like reaction videos, Facebook users vision themselves being the one to unbox the parcel. But anyone watching the video needs to purchase the product you’re promoting to experience it themselves.
Take it from The Adventure Challenge, which uses unboxing videos as the foundation for Facebook ads. A couple record themselves opening the parcel and following the prompts outlined in the adventure journal. The final portion of the video reinforces the idea that its journal helps couples improve their relationship—a shared goal of its target customers.
10. Comparison videos
Online shopping makes it easier than ever for customers to compare different products throughout the buying process. That’s why your business’s USP needs to be front and center in your video advertising campaigns. Comparisons do exactly that.
Here’s a great example of the comparison videos Kitty Poo Club is using on Facebook. Its existing customers come to the brand because they’re frustrated with messy, smelly, and heavy cat litter from other brands. So, Kitty Poo Club shows how its cat litter boxes are better than the others, complete with a 20% coupon code to nudge Facebook users toward its website.
Facebook video ads best practices
Marketers ranked video ads as the second-best advertising format on Facebook—beaten only by single-image ads. Let’s take a look at four best practices to follow.
Start with a video template
Running your first Facebook video ad can be tricky. You might not know where to start. That’s why you want to use a video ad template for your first ad.
Check out Visme’s expansive library of Facebook video ad templates for a range of options to fit any industry or ad intent (and it’s simple to customize each template to match your specific vision).
Capture attention right away
“By using striking visuals and sound, video captures our senses in a way that no other ad format really can—which is why making use of video ads on social channels has been proven to be hugely beneficial for engagement metrics,” says Stephen Light, co-owner and CMO of mattress company Nolah.
Aim to capture your viewers’ attention within the first three seconds of your video ad.
Follow the Facebook ad specs
To help your video ad look amazing, adhere to Facebook’s ad specs. Viewers have high expectations when it comes to ad creative, and you must hit all the right marks to avoid rejection.
The file size, format, resolution, and number of frames per second must meet Facebook’s standards for each type of ad.
Videos naturally lend themselves to tutorial content. Customers can see someone else interacting with a product, helping them overcome a huge barrier of online shopping: not being able to see the product in the flesh. (It’s the driver behind 22% of all ecommerce returns.)
“With today’s busy consumers, they simply don’t have time to read through your offer or click through to your website. However, they are more likely to watch engaging videos," says Austin Dowse, CEO of Aimvein.
Select the demographic that would be most interested in your product and educate them—how to use it, what it looks like, and why they need it—through an engaging video.
Re-engage lost website visitors
Whichever method you’re using to drive qualified traffic to your online store, the unfortunate fact of the matter is not everyone will exit your website having made a purchase. The average conversion rate for an online store is just 2.86%.
Use Facebook’s retargeting feature to show those otherwise-lost potential customers a new video. Product tutorials, explainer videos, and celebrity endorsements could be the nudge they need to revisit your website and buy the product they were originally interested in.
“Video ads are a great opportunity to have a two-way dialogue with your customers, so don’t waste it. Consider how you can use the video ad as a spot to show real people using the product or service," says Darren Litt, co-founder of Hiya Health.
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Make your own Facebook video ads
Video production can seem like an unnecessary expense when running online ads. But they don’t need to be overly complex. Simply record yourself interacting with a product—or even better, have customers and influencers do it for you.
Start by experimenting with the Facebook video examples we’ve shared here. Whether it’s a product review or short boomerang, you’ll soon start to experience the power of video advertising on the platform.
Facebook video ads FAQ
How do Facebook video ads work?
How much does Facebook charge for video ads?
How do I get video ads on Facebook?
- Choose a campaign objective.
- Define your target audience.
- Select ad placements.
- Produce the video.
- Run A/B tests.