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Facebook Advertising: Exactly What Makes a Video Engaging?

David Bosley

Facebook is perhaps the most powerful platform available today for digital marketers. As of last spring, there were over 2 billion active users each month on Facebook, with over a billion active daily users. That’s more than Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat combined! Beyond that, Facebook has always been on the cutting edge of advertising by providing marketers incredible tools, such as their lead generation ads.

Now when it comes to Facebook, no advertising tool is more powerful than videos. Every single day, Facebook users watch over 8 million videos, the majority of these views coming on mobile devices. Videos are engaging and memorable, providing a great source of conversions and leads.

Understanding how important Facebook video ads are, the big question then becomes “what exactly makes a successful, engaging Facebook video ad”? How do we encourage somebody to stop scrolling through their feed and give us their attention? While these are loaded questions that cannot be captured in a simple, succinct answer, there are plenty of things we should consider when designing and launching a Facebook video ad campaign. To start, here are four important tips:

1. Include Captions and Visual Clues

Audio is important for most videos, but on Facebook is the exception to the rule. An incredible 85% of all Facebook videos are actually watched with the sound off. Most users simply scroll down their feed, and pause to briefly watch a video if it catches their fancy. If they’re at work, school, or spending time with somebody else at home, they probably don’t want their volume blasting. If you’re able to quickly capture their attention without using any sound, you’ll have a leg up on your competitor’s video content.

2. Make the First Three Seconds Count

When leads first scroll past your video, the first thing they see is your video’s thumbnail. If their interested is piqued enough, they may stop long enough for autoplay to kick in and they’ll catch the first two or three seconds. This is where you need to capture them. Don’t kick your videos off with text, a soliloquy, or a company logo they aren’t familiar with. Use an image that encapsulates who you are and grabs attention. If you’re a restaurant, show a sizzling steak. If you’re a gym, show a couple of trainers working out. You don’t want to waste these precious first few seconds, as they’re the only opportunity you get to make a first impression.

Capture Attention While Scrolling On Phone

3. Keep it Short and Sweet

When somebody is scrolling through their Facebook feed, they’re typically looking for short, digestible content. The longer your video is, the less likely people will be to finish it and get to your amazing call-to-action. In fact, they very well could be less likely to start it in the first place. Think about it – if you didn’t want to spend two minutes watching a video, why would you even start in the first place?

4. Focus on Great Text, Too

When it comes to enticing somebody to stop and watch your video, the text accompanying it is just as important as the actual content. After all, if they don’t actually watch the video, it doesn’t matter if it’s the single greatest Facebook video ad to ever grace the platform. Create a short, snappy video headline that will stop people in their tracks. Think of it as an email subject line. If you’re not sure what’s going to grab your audience’s attention, throw a bunch of headlines together and do some split testing.

Creating a compelling Facebook video ad is tricky, but not impossible. If you’re able to follow the advice discussed above, you should see an increase in performance with your existing and new campaigns.