Do Instagram Facebook video ads work better than static image ads?
In my experience, each of the different Facebook ad types has their time and place. Sometimes, video ads can get people’s attention when static ads fail to interest your audience.
On the other hand, Facebook video ads often have higher CPC and CPA than regular image ads (the same is true for carousel ads v.s. image ads).
If you haven’t tested video ads in your Facebook campaigns just yet, there’s not much to lose. Video ads are just as easy to set up as image ads.
The primary obstacle that marketers come across when creating video ads for their Facebook or Instagram campaigns is the lack of skill and know-how.
If you want to create a simple image ad, there are many online and offline design tools to design ad creatives. From Canva (online) to Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch.
But what about video ads?
Before I created my first video ads, I had a number of questions:
- What are Facebook video ads’ best practices?
- How long should the ad videos be?
- What should these videos feature?
- What tools are used to create video ads?
- Do we need an agency to create the ad videos for us?
I’ll do my best to answer all of these questions for you in this article.
Moreover, I did some research on my personal Instagram and Facebook feeds to check out what types of video ads other brands are doing.
So… Sorry guys, but this video ad showcase is largely a showcase of the ads targeted at my personal Facebook account. 🙈
Luckily enough, there are also some fine contributions from friends and other marketers.
Anyway… Let’s take a look at X Facebook video ad examples and uncover what makes them work and which best practices can be applied to your campaigns.
The Instagram video ad by VSCO showcases their product features in a simplified 15-second video. Here are some key takeaways for you to consider:
- The first 3 seconds matter most – Notice how the first few frames are using a bright color to lead people’s attention to the the ad copy “transformative tools” and get them hooked to watch the rest of the video.
- Video ads ≠ no copy – In fact, it’s a good idea to keep copy in your ad video to better explain what’s going on.
Yeah, Facebook is advertising on their own platform and they’re pretty good at it. Here’s what’s nice about their ad:
- The ad asks a question – there’s a highly visible question always visible in the ad video that catches the viewers’ attention.
- Video & message match – Notice how the message “Need a push?” matches with the moving car’s message.
- Simplicity – a video ad does not have to be 30-seconds long and take days to create. You can start testing with simple animations that are simple yet catch people’s attention.
Monese’s video ad explains how their product works and shows their app in action. Here’s what’s noteworthy about this ad:
- Display your product – on the one hand, you won’t need as much new content. On the other hand, people will get familiar with how your product looks and feels. It’s a win-win.
- End with a call-to-action – don’t leave people hanging after watching your video. Tell them what’s the next step to take. In this case, it’s “download the app.”
This Instagram video ad by Squarespace is another nice example of simple video design in action:
- Show small changes – showing small changes such as the growing numbers’ count in this ad is a good trick for catching the viewers’ attention.
- Show you logo – It’s a commonly known best practice to show your logo throughout the video ad (that’s also a suggestion in Youtube’s video ads’ playbook)
If you’re working with a lifestyle or eCommerce brand, your audience might appreciate more story-focused ads. Nike’s ad would make for a great branding video.
- Make it look high quality – if you plan to film your Facebook video ads, make sure you’re using a high end camera.
- Mix video footage & copy – seriously, having some copy in your video ads makes them a lot more comprehensible and having a powerful impact on the audience.
#6: Web Summit
Here’s another example of a story-specific ad, showing how a conference venue is being set up in the matter of hours (being compressed into a 30-second video).
- Tell a story – our brains are hardwired to look for patterns and follow stories, leading your audience being hooked to your video ad
- You don’t need a fancy agency – Web Summit’s video ad could easily have been recorded by a camera set up by a crew member and edited by another crew member. Easy.
This ad is not really a video ad but a Slideshow consisting of AppSumo’s product reviews. Here’s what I like about it:
- Creating it took 5 minutes max – you can create a similar ad by uploading 3-5 images to Facebook and creating a Slideshow ad.
- Showcase testimonials – third-party testimonials increase trust in your product. This ad could be shown in a Facebook retargeting campaign to nudge people to make a purchase.
Mango’s Facebook ad is like a tiny movie that combines nice views, a celebrity model and the brand’s products.
- Use video ads for branding – while this ad doesn’t invite you to buy any specific product, it reminds you about the brand.
- Work with influencers – if you’ve got enough cash, having an influencer (that’s loved by your target audience) in your ad videos doesn’t hurt.
- Animate simple messages – even making a word blink or change color can help increase your ad’s click-through rate.
- Use the right ad formats – when creating video ads for Facebook and Instagram, you can upload ads in multiple sizes. Check out all the current Instagram ad specs here.
#10: The New York Times
This is one of my all-time favourite video ads. Seriously, I think it’s genius.
- Create unique ads – The NYT video ad is unique in that it only uses text to tell a story, But it’s super catchy at that.
- Know your tools – I created a similar video ad for a client by using Photoshop only (creating video ads is easier than you think).
The top 10 Facebook and Instagram video ad examples were my favourites. Up next, you will find more video ads for even more inspiration.
But before you check out the rest, here’s a list of tools that you can use to create video ads:
- Photoshop for GIFs + Illustrator to create icons, etc.
- Sketch + Flinto/Kite
- Adobe After Effects
- Record videos on your own
- Buy video footage on Stocksy or other stock photo sites
BeUnsettled’s video ad is quote basic in terms of video content. However, they’ve combined video footage that looks like stock videos with copy, giving it more substance.
The nature-movie-like frames also fit perfectly into anyone’s Instagram feed, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on whether the ad manages to catch the target audience’s attention.
This is another example of a Facebook video ad using average video footage, but using the correct medium to tell the story.
Here’s a good Facebook video ad example for marketers with small budgets that want to test our some kind of video animation.
You could basically take a static image and pair it with an animated loading icon – you’re guaranteed to get people look and wait for your ad video to load, without this ever happening. But then again, you’ve already got their attention, so they might as well read the rest of your ad.
Playing around with text is the easiest way to create video ads. You could do a similar video on Photoshop in around 10 minutes. (+ the hours you’ll spend to come up with a good message and unique value proposition ideas for your ad).
If you saw this ad as a static image v.s. a GIF ad, which one would catch your attention?
Try turning some of your existing static Facebook ad designs into GIFs to find out if it helps to increase the CTR and lower the cost-per-result.
Here’s an example of an Instagram ad that probably required a high budget to create. This is definitely appealing to a lot of luxury goods buyers.
However, spending tens of thousands of dollars on video creation does not always mean your ad is 10 times more efficient. Make sure to think who your target audience is before buying a video from an agency.
For a leather goods brand like this one, creating a video ad to showcase their products makes a lot of sense. However, I would always suggest that you pair your video ads with image ads to see what works best.
#19: DRM Bracelets
This is a completely random campaign by some drop shipping brand. But I have to give it to them – using the country name in the ad is a nice personalised touch.
Notice how this Instagram video ad example by Trvl combines images, copy and colorful backgrounds to create a video-like effect. In fact, there’s no video footage in this ad – another proof that you don’t need a large budget to create marketing videos.
I’ve always been a fan of slightly animated video ads (we also test a lot of them in Taxify). The reason these animations work is that they catch people’s attention but don’t lead the focus away from the ad’s main message.
Alright… We’ve reached the end of our video ad showdown.
Here are some key takeaways to remember:
- You need to test video ads – there are brands whose audiences love video ads. But there are also Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns where image ads work best.
- Creating video ads is doesn’t have to be expensive – take a look at all the examples in this article. Many of them could have been created in a couple of hours. Expenses do not equal results in the case of Facebook ads.
- There are many video ad hacks – from catching the attention on the first 3 seconds to ending the video with a clear call-to-action, there’s a lot you can do to double or even triple your video ads’ conversion rate.
P.S. if you’ve got some cool Facebook or Instagram video ad examples, send them over and we’re happy to include them in this list.