Preparing for Facebook Premium Video Ads

Lindsey Weedston Digital Advertising, Online Video

Facebook Video Ads

Last month, Facebook rolled out its new Premium Video Ad feature, which allows advertisers to buy space to run 15-second ads on the ultra-popular social media platform. These ads will work like the standard new video feature, which auto-plays short videos as users are scrolling by. They start playing once the video is in full view on the screen, and can be automatically stopped simply by scrolling further down the feed.

This type of video advertising is a whole new ball game. It’s nothing like the intrusive video ads that will autoplay randomly as you’re trying to read an article on a news website, or those annoying YouTube ads that make you wait five seconds to skip before you can view the content you want to view. They don’t even automatically play with sound – users have to click a Facebook video ad in order to view it in full screen and activate the sound.

Despite the unusual nature of these video ads, Facebook is structuring the payment system for these ads in much the same way as typical TV ads, requiring companies to purchase time slots. Because the structure of these ads is so different from the norm, there are a few things that any advertisers looking to try out this new platform will need to prepare for:


1. Videos That Catch Attention Without Sound

If your ad relies heavily on an ominous soundtrack or funny voices to get attention, you’re going to be out of luck on Facebook. Make an ad with vibrant colors or just something that you wouldn’t expect to see, like a cat drinking out of a toilet. If you can make an ad that works well without any sound at all, you’ve got it made. But if you can make it even better with sound, well, even better. Just make sure to catch attention in the first five seconds, because that’s as much time as you’ll have before most people lose interest and scroll by.

I’m looking forward to seeing Facebook video ads that take advantage of the lack of sound. Maybe someone pounding on the screen as though they’re screaming for help, or a mime.

No Audio Icon


2. Keeping it Short

Most online ads are either 30 or 15 seconds. It looks like Facebook ads will all be limited to 15 seconds, so you’ll need to be prepared to cram a lot of message into a very short period. Don’t mince words, and keep the number of messages down to one. If you want to communicate multiple ideas, you’re going to need to create – and pay for – multiple ads.

Alternatively, consider creating an ad series. Ads with cliffhangers have fared well in the past. Run one ad that tells a story that leaves the viewer with questions that they’re eager to have answered. A few weeks later, run the harrowing conclusion.


3. Media Buying

Media Buying Widget
Media buying involves a lot of research. Each slot costs money, so it’s imperative that you pick the one that’s going to maximize your return. You need to know when your target demographic is most likely to be on Facebook as well as what time they’re most likely to be in the mood for engagement. Often these are two different time slots. Choose wisely.

It’s not yet clear whether negotiation will be a factor in buying ad time from Facebook. If so, and negotiation isn’t your thing, you might need to consider hiring a professional media buyer to get you the best deal. They’ll also handle the research and everything else involved in the process.


4. Planning Everything, A Lot

This is something every business should be doing before any and all marketing campaigns. Besides determining the target demographics of each ad, you should be setting concrete goals and thinking ahead to plan for every possible public reaction. This is especially important with online ads. It’s real easy for people to capture whatever you put out there and spread it around, so make absolutely sure there’s nothing in your ad that could give you a bad reputation.

It’s unlikely these ad spots will be cheap, either. So if you’re going to try putting out a Facebook video ad, make sure it’s worth every penny.