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
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.
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
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.