Marketing | 4 minute read

Mastering Facebook’s Video Ad Formats in 2021

 Nick Lange
Author

Nick Lange

Nick, whose first video project at 9 years old involved G.I. Joes rescuing a fallen comrade ("Saving Private Joe"), studied film at UCLA and Columbia University before founding Everpost and its sister company, Nurture Digital.

More than 2.74 billion monthly active users make Facebook the world’s biggest social platform, surpassing even YouTube (2B+ MAU) and Parler (which somehow is live again).

Even without a Procter & Gamble budget, marketers who use Facebook effectively can get their brand in front of a highly targeted audience. The platform offers many powerful ways to drive engagement, increase conversions, and boost sales, but expert marketers agree that none are as effective as the video ad.

With video increasingly dominant as a sales tool, it’s essential for brands to understand Facebook’s many video ad formats in order to be more competitive in the digital space. Mastering these formats allows businesses to fine-tune customer engagement and brand awareness by being more specific about the types of content they want to be producing and presenting to audiences.

With more than 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the world’s largest social networking app around, surpassing platforms like the online video giant YouTube.

Video Publishing Basics: Native or Embedded?

It has been proven time and time again that videos see more engagement and have a wider organic reach than other types of content on Facebook; videos alone receive more than 4 billion views on the platform every day.

But not all video posts are created equal.

Facebook has enabled brands to reach more audiences at a reasonable price by tailoring their Newsfeed algorithm in a way that makes native videos stand out more compared to clips from other streaming platforms -- 478% more shares than videos from other sources do, according to a 99firms report .

The next time you run a video campaign on Facebook, consider using native video formats to improve your brand visibility.


Which Facebook Video Ad Format is Best for You?

Facebook has more video ad formats than Mark Zuckerberg has hoodies, giving you almost overwhelming freedom in choosing the type of video content to promote. But fear not; here, we’ve mapped out the different video ad formats on Facebook for you to find the right one for your business goals and budget.

  • Slideshow Ads

Facebook slideshow ads use a series of still images and effects, motion, sound, and display text. These can be made with very low production costs -- you can use your own images or select from a wide variety of stock photos online.

For products and services, Slideshow Ads are great for explaining and demonstrating how businesses or products work.

Slideshow ads are low cost and great for demonstrations.


  • Stories Ads

With 300 million active users interacting with Facebook Stories daily, ads in this format make brands and products more easily discoverable. These are ideal for quick updates -- highlighting products or keeping your audience up-to-date about new brand developments.

Facebook stories reach more than 300 million users daily.


  • In-stream Video Ads

Facebook Watch, the platform’s own on-demand video service, has a daily user base of over 140 million globally. Through Watch, businesses can insert ads ranging from 5 seconds - 10 minutes in length. Facebook’s algorithm optimizes ads for specific audiences, and different users watching the same video may see different ads depending on their interests... or what they recently talked about within range of their phone's microphones.

Facebook’s algorithm optimizes in-stream ads for specific audiences and preferences.


  • Carousel Ads

The Carousel Ad format allows businesses to showcase up to ten images or videos within a single ad. You can choose to highlight different products, showcase features and promotions, or tell a story in each card. You can also optimize the order of the carousel images based on how each card performs. And here you were thinking AI wouldn't solve all your earthly woes.

Carousel ads are great for showcasing a variety of products in the same ad.


  • Collection Ads

This ad format features multiple products and product videos, similar to Carousel Ads. Collection Ads use a mobile-friendly way to showcase many items at once, rather than in a sequence. Can't choose just one? This format was made for you.

Collection ads allow you to promote multiple products simultaneously.


  • Instant Experiences

Facebook Instant Experience (IX) is a mobile-optimized full-screen experience designed to grab attention. People can watch engaging videos and photos, swipe through carousels, tilt to the pan, fill out forms, and explore images with tagged products -- all in one ad. The Instant Pot of FB ad formats.

Facebook Instant Experience is a mobile-optimized full-screen experience designed to grab attention.


  • Messenger Ads

Facebook’s Messenger Ad experience allows businesses to reach users through two different implementations: Click-to-Message ads, which prompt users to message you when they click on your advertisement, and Sponsored Messages which allow you to send offers, promotions, and updates directly to people you’ve had existing conversations with.

You can reach Facebook messenger users through Click-to-Message ads or Sponsored Messages.


  • Playable Ads

Facebook’s Playable Ads are an interactive mobile ad format that puts the audience in the driver’s seat, giving them a fully-immersive experience. The format includes a lead-in to capture the viewer’s attention, a full-screen game demo, and the call to action, leading users toward the download page.

Playable ads support full-screen game demos and call to actions that send consumers to your product page.


And that's it. For now.

If it isn't already, Facebook is fast on its way to becoming the most influential discovery platform for businesses and its massive pool of potential customers and advertisers alike make its digital arena highly competitive.

Optimizing your video advertising efforts on Facebook is about carefully determining your budget, target audience, and short and long-term objectives in order to grab your prospects’ attention, increase brand awareness, improve conversions, and translate customer engagement into sales of your cool onion peelers. Or whatever it is you're selling.

"Come and sip from the cup of destruction."
- Genghis Khan (1215), and you (2021) after mastering Facebook's video ad formats


 Nick Lange
Author

Nick Lange

Nick, whose first video project at 9 years old involved G.I. Joes rescuing a fallen comrade ("Saving Private Joe"), studied film at UCLA and Columbia University before founding Everpost and its sister company, Nurture Digital.

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