Mobile Video Advertising – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

Luke Gorski on Social Media Marketing

Mobile VideoNow that you’ve learned about content marketing, we’ll take a deep dive into how content marketing can improve your advertising efforts. Specifically, running a video ad to buyers on mobile devices.

In this lesson, you will learn how to combine your video advertising with content marketing principles to effectively reach buyers on mobile devices using video ads. You will learn:

  • The importance of using content marketing in your advertising

  • How to run video ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

  • Where to place your ads on the mobile screen

Why video advertising?

Videos are the most consumed form of digital content today. Consumption of video continues to climb across each social platform and across every demographic.

How can you use video advertising to reach your buyers on mobile devices? The answer is to go where your buyers are: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

On each platform, your video ads will appear in between organic posts and videos. To make your video ad native to the platform (so that it doesn’t look out of place) you must adopt the mindset of being helpful and providing real value.

Enter content marketing…

Video Advertising and Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to the practice of creating helpful written content, audio content, and video content for your buyer. To read more about this, read our guide to content marketing here.

For this lesson, we will focus on video advertising. When it comes to video ads, Facebook and Instagram are the most effective channels for reaching mobile users with your video ad.

YouTube, although built for video consumption, may not (yet) be the best place for advertising because ads interrupt your buyer’s YouTube experience, whereas Facebook and Instagram doesn’t have to.

Your ads may appear in your buyers Facebook Mobile Feed or as a suggested video, both of which are easy to scroll past if desired. It is this ease to scroll past ads that makes Facebook video advertising so effective. Users know they control what ads they watch, so an ad is less “threatening” to their Facebook experience. Because of this, your buyers are comfortable consuming video ads as they scroll Facebook or Instagram feeds.

So does this mean your buyer will take action after watching your video ad? Probably not. At least, not right away. In order to help your buyers take action, you must show them a series of videos. To do this, you must sequence your video ads.

Sequencing your video ads

Chances are that no matter how good your video is, most buyers won’t make a purchase after watching just one video. It may take a number of positive engagements before they consider your product or service as a solution to their problem.

A sequence of video ads creates a series of positive engagements that increase the likelihood your product will be considered for purchase.

Facebook and Instagram allow you to create a sequence of ads and show them to a buyer. If your videos bring value, you buyer will experience several positive engagements, increasing brand familiarity with your product or service.

For sequencing to be effective, each video in your sequence must provide a valuable piece of content. Let’s look at creating video ads for Facebook and Instagram.

Creating a Facebook Video Ad

100 million hours of video are consumed on Facebook every day. A staggering number! At least half of these video views occur on mobile devices.

Use the guidelines below to optimize your video ad for buyers viewing your ad on Facebook:

1. Make your videos helpful

Instead of simply showcasing your product or service, make your ad stand out with a video that brings value. For example, you can use video to bring to life the pains of not having a feature unique to your product or service. Don’t make the mistake of selling too early. Remember, you are creating a sequence of videos.

2. Make your video square or vertical

To make the most of your buyer’s mobile screen, make your video ad square or vertical. This makes your ad appear more native to the mobile Facebook experience. If you are starting with a horizontal video, consider cropping your video to a square (1:1) or vertical (2:3) frame. As a best practice when shooting your video, shoot your video ad vertically as well as horizontally.

3. Keep your video short

On average, your buyer will spend 15 seconds watching your video ad. If those 15 seconds don’t offer them value, and don’t feature your brand, your buyer will scroll past your video ad without associating your brand with valuable content. Your main message should appear in those first 15 seconds of the ad.

4. Optimize your video cover image

A good cover image will entice your users to click on your video. To optimize your cover image, you may use a still from the video itself or upload a unique video cover image.

5. Optimize your landing page

When your buyer clicks your video ad, their screen will transform into a grid. The top half of the grid will feature your video, and the bottom half of the grid will feature your landing page. Ensure your landing page is relevant and mobile optimized.

6. Choose video ad placement

When choosing placement of your video ads, select Feeds and Suggested Videos. You may also consider In-Stream Videos. Keep in mind In-Stream videos will perform better when in horizontal form.

Optimize your Facebook page

After your buyer sees your video ad, they may visit your Facebook page. To make the most of your video ad, make sure the content on your Facebook page aligns with your ad.

During days your video ad is running, adjust your content strategy so buyers who visit your Facebook page as a result of seeing your ad see relevant video content, written content, and audio content. You may also want to update your Facebook cover with a video that relates to the ad they just saw.

Creating a video ad on Instagram

Creating a video ad on Instagram is done through your Facebook Ads Manager. Although Facebook and Instagram ads are managed in the same place, there are distinct differences in video consumption behavior between the two platforms.

Use the following guidelines to ensure your video performs well on Instagram:

1. Video ad placement

You have two options when selecting your video ad placement: Instagram feed and Instagram stories. Video ads placed in the Instagram feed can be horizontal, square, or vertical (in our experience, square videos work best). When placing your ad in Instagram stories, your video ad must be vertical.

2. Make your videos helpful

Don’t feel pressured to sell too early. Focus on adding value in your first ads. Because you will be sequencing your video ads, you will retarget buyers who have seen your video ad with follow up videos. As a buyer progresses along your video sequence, make your final video(s) a call to action.

3. Keep your videos 60 seconds or less

Instagram videos are limited to 60 seconds. Instagram stories are limited to 15 seconds per story. On average, your buyer will spend 5-10 seconds watching your video ad. If those first few seconds don’t offer any value, your video ad will likely underperform.

5. Optimize for sound off

When placing your video ad on Instagram, your ad will auto play without sound. To help your buyer understand your video content, embed captions directly into the video.

Do I need an Instagram account?

Although we recommend an Instagram Business account, it is not required. Your call to action can link your buyers to a landing page. Even though an Instagram account is not required, you will need a Facebook business page to run a video ad on Instagram.

Optimize your Instagram Stories

If you have an Instagram account, make the most of new traffic from your video ad by having relevant Instagram stories for buyers to view.

Instagram Stories are vertical videos and photos that appear on your Instagram story feed for 24 hours. Your buyers will quickly recognize you have a story feed because your profile photo will be outlined in purple.

Creating a video ad on YouTube

Should you run your video ad on YouTube?

For most organizations, we might advise against it. Instead of using YouTube’s ad platform, you will likely see a higher ROI by focusing on organic distribution through collaborations with other content creators in your space. You can learn more about collaborating on YouTube here.

Your buyers are likely watching YouTube to laugh, listen to music, catch up on news and pop culture, and learn something new. Even better, they are doing so on mobile devices, meaning they can consume content virtually anywhere at anytime.

Why would you not want to run ads on YouTube?

Because an ad on YouTube interrupts users consuming content they are eager to see. In fact, YouTube Red, YouTube’s subscription product, promises an ad-free viewing experience, making any ads on the platform seem even less desirable.

Because most of your buyers on YouTube are only waiting to click the Skip Ad button, we recommend taking your ad dollars and placing them on Facebook and Instagram for the highest ROI.


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