Facebook Video Ads: How to Stop Scrolling Shoppers and Engage Them With Your Ad

Illustration of a Facebook feed on a phone with a bar graph to show measurement of Facebook Video Ads

It’s 8 p.m. and you open your Facebook feed for a quick scroll. Before you know it, it’s 11:30 p.m., and you’ve spent the last few hours engrossed in the platform’s never-ending montage of funny videos. 

We’ve all been there. More than 1.25 billion people consume video on Facebook every month, accounting for almost half of the time people spend using the app.

Video and Facebook are a match made in heaven—one your ecommerce brand can capitalize on by running video ads on the platform. Use them to capture a viewer’s attention and divert potential customers to your online store. 

So, how can you create successful Facebook video ads that people stop their scroll to watch? This guide shares the answers, alongside 10 Facebook video ad examples to inspire your next campaign. 

The benefits of Facebook video ads

Marketers ranked video ads as the second-best advertising format on Facebook—beaten only by single image ads. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you should invest in them.

Improved engagement

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to spend more time online than ever. But social media users aren’t just staying connected with friends and family. Data shows that the average person spends 18 hours watching online videos every week. That’s a two-hour increase from the year prior. 

So, where do people go to consume content? YouTube is the most popular channel for video marketers, which makes sense—the platform is designed for people to watch and upload videos. 

Facebook’s second-place spot on the list, however, is impressive. The social network isn’t a video-sharing platform by default, but this type of ad is proven to get the highest engagement amongst its users. The average native Facebook video accumulates more than 221,600 likes, comments, and shares.

“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.”
Stephen Light, co-owner and CMO of Nolah

Educated potential customers

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.”

Facebook’s 2.6-billion-strong user base likely has a large overlap with your potential customers. Select the demographic who’d 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.

No wonder almost 60% of marketers say video ads outperform single images on Facebook.

Re-engaged 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.”

How to create a Facebook video ad

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

Before starting any new advertising campaign, get 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:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • Video views
  • Messages 
  • Conversions 

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.

Creating a Facebook Video Ads campaign

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:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location 
  • Job title
  • Income
  • Hobbies and interests

Creating your audience for Facebook video ads

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. 

Carolyn Lowe, CEO and co-founder of ROI Swift, says, “With Facebook and Instagram videos, they know who watched your video and how much. It can be great for top-of-funnel advertising, where you can choose video views as your objective.

“Then, you can only retarget those that watched your whole video. They are great for awareness, since video views are very cheap. We’ve gotten them for as little as $0.01 to $0.02 for highly qualified audiences.”

Select an ad placement

Next, select where you want your videos to appear across Facebook and/or Instagram. Options include:

  • News feed
  • Stories
  • Marketplace
  • Instagram Reels
  • Instagram explore
  • Audience network

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.

Choosing Facebook video ads placement

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. Customers will have wildly different expectations on ads they expect to see from a toothpaste versus a bicycle brand. So, start with customer research. Look to:

  • 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. 
“Your video does not have to be a high-quality production. Instead, it should be something that fits into the feed organically and provides genuine value for the end user.”
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 videos. 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.” 

“Thinking of ad concepts can be daunting. However, I find it easier if I can nail down what I want the first three seconds to be. Focus your ideation on what the ‘thumb-stopping’ first frame and headline is, then the rest of the ad is much easier.”

Read more: Edit Videos Like a Pro: The 13 Best Free Video Editing Software for 2022

Run A/B tests

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.

“Build your video assets like Lego blocks so that you can test, test, test. If one hook doesn't work, try that ad with another hook. If one testimonial is really strong, replace it in another position within the ad. Always test and try to find a new best ad.”

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 video 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. 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.”
Savannah Sanchez, founder of Social Savannah

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. 

  1. Product tutorials
  2. Review videos
  3. User-generated content
  4. Boomerangs 
  5. Stop-motion videos
  6. Product reveals
  7. Before and afters
  8. Reaction videos
  9. Unboxing videos
  10. 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—which shows how each their meals are to make—proves that to potential customers scrolling through their news feed. 

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 uses this strategy with its Facebook video ads. It shows a customer using the journal, labelling 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/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 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.

Sarah Haran, for example, collaborates with Anthea Turner—an influencer its target market follows—to show three different ways a customer can use its handbag. The video is both an endorsement and tutorial combined in one.

4. Boomerangs

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 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 this format in its Facebook video 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.

“I would imagine when we’re watching people react, it's such an easy-to-translate response. When you watch someone react to something with a big response, it’s much easier to empathize with them because you know exactly what they're feeling.”

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’ 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.

“We’re focusing our ads now primarily on that, and we only do videos. Facebook videos are way more effective than static videos, and Facebook will even tell you that.”

Are Facebook video ads worth the investment? 

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 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

Can you use videos for Facebook ads?

Yes—Facebook allows advertisers to promote branded videos in a user’s news feed. Many ecommerce marketers use them to raise awareness of a product, generate sales, or retarget past visitors to their online store.

How much is a video ad on Facebook?

The cost of a Facebook video ad varies depending on the goal of your campaign, who you’re targeting, the format you’ve selected, and the engagement rate once your audience sees it. Expect to see results from as little as $5 per day.

Are video ads better on Facebook?

Six in 10 marketers think video ads drive more engagement on Facebook. They tend to perform better than text-only, single-image, or carousel ads because they’re more engaging.

How long should a Facebook video ad be?

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.