Video ads are a very effective way to get messages across to target groups in social media and are an important format when it comes to engaging the user. According to Facebook, studies by Analytic Partners shows that one dollar invested in social online video on average leads up to 39% more sales than the same investment in static content.

The format is a winning concept. But creating an engaging video is easier said than done and there is a lot to think about. We often remember certain video ads more than others. Why we have a higher ad recall on some video ads depends very much on the content and quality of the video itself but also the format which does play an important role. It is important to test what works best for your own product or service.

Facebook has now revealed 11 ways to improve video ads. They have divided them up into two groups: “Best Practice” and “Highly Recommended”.

Best Practice 1-7

1. Adapt for Mobile. Most people use social media on their mobiles, so it is important that your video content is adapted for mobile devices and built in the 4:5 vertical format for Facebook and the 1:1 square format for Instagram.

2. Sound off. Facebook videos are muted until the user chooses to turn on the sound. It is therefore crucial that the video message can be viewed and understood without the sound on.

3. Showcase the product. Make sure that you highlight the product in the video.

4. Focus on a single message. Communicate clearly by focusing only on one message in the video. This makes it easier for the user to understand the message

5. Highlight the brand early. By clearly showing the brand at the beginning of the video, you ensure that it is perceived even when users scroll on after a few seconds – users do tend to scroll a lot in social media!

6. Be straight to the point. Make it clear to the user what the purpose of the video is by highlighting the message as soon as possible – preferably within a few seconds.

7. Include movement & fast edits. Movements and fast edits early in the video tend to attract the users’ attention and will increase the likelihood for them to continue watching the entire video.

Highly Recommended 1-4

1. Short and sweet. As most users viewing social content tend to scroll a lot on their mobile devices, a video with a short message and shorter video length is more likely to be effective that a longer creative.

2. Reverse Storytelling. Video ads should arouse interest by placing major events and important messages at the beginning of the video, unlike traditional storytelling that always have a slow start, peak in the middle and then the resolution.

3. Use consistent twists and surprises. Use unexpected surprises and events throughout the video to increase the likelihood of the user watching to the end.

4. Visual Impact. Be sure to use bright colors and zoom in on specific details and features as this will capture the users’ attention and be more effective on mobile devices.

All data and insights from the report can be found here.

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