Facebook video ads yield amazing results for creators and marketers who leverage the platform effectively. I’m not just talking about fat stacks of cash either - whether your objective is to close sales, build a list, or win a whole bunch of new followers, fans, likes, and clicks, Facebook video ads provide an unmatched ability to target your ideal viewers with content they are sure to enjoy. But which Facebook video ad formats are the most effective?

In our research to find the top performing video ads on Facebook, the Videospot team looked at pages from national brands, media companies, and even local business. We evaluated the success of the video ads based on their publicly displayed views, likes, comments, and shares.

Most Effective Facebook Video Ad Formats

We made the assumption that businesses wouldn’t continue to pay for views that weren’t driving an objective and therefore a high view count reasonably assumed that the video achieves results. We discovered that all the best ads fit into 3 major video formats. In this article, I’ll examine those formats and break down the key takeaways from each so that you can expand your reach beyond YouTube to effectively engage an audience on Facebook. Let's take a look at the first format:

#1 Educational/Informational Shorts

These fast-paced, short-form instructional videos have been made popular by media giants BuzzFeed, Tastemade, and Food Network. Smaller Creators too have jumped in on the game with exercise videos, crafts, makeup tutorials, and even window cleaning versions of these popular videos. Known for audience retention, these videos are fun and highly shareable because viewers can watch the entire video quickly - exactly what the Facebook audience wants! This style may work well on Snapchat too.

Key Takeaways:

  • Average time of ad is 0:30.
  • Shoot your video either straight on or right above the object you want to bring the most attention to. Speed up the footage in premiere or use an intervalometer on your DSLR to create a time-lapse.
  • Use text and/ or images heavily on-screen so the viewer knows what you’re doing without having to turn on the audio. More on that later...

#2 Gifs

This video ad format refers to the animated Gif (pronounced: Jif, like giant or giraffe), and is an animated image or series of images that move like a video. The Gif leverages one of the web's most popular forms of viral media with sleek movements that wow the eye. Gifs engage the viewer as they tune in naturally to see what will happen next. Technically still video because it’s uploaded in MP4 or MOV format, this image-emulating style is made popular by Facebook Insights, Corona, and Time Magazine but has been seen for software companies, marketing agencies, and creative firms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gif animation software is easy to come by but the same effect is made possible using any linear editor.
  • Keyframing in Premiere or Final Cut works nicely while the camera in tool in After Effects can really set your video ad apart.
  • Popular Gifs use a collection of still images that are animated inside a larger context.
  • Use sound effects and stunning lens filters to create a sense of motion.
  • These videos generate a ton of views and they are easy to share. They are easier to produce if you have the right images.
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#3 Worksafe Ads

Worksafe videos use text or captions to tell the story without having to turn the volume on. This makes the video safe for work and environments where playing audio would be disruptive. This expands your viewership to those individuals (and groups of individuals) riding on the bus, sitting in a conference room, arguing with their spouse, or in otherwise precocious environments.

Made popular by media organizations like Business Insider, the worksafe format really started to compete with YouTube’s caption feature. As Facebook began to roll out captions savvy Creators like Buzzfeed saw opportunity to engage viewers by adding titles (aka on-screen text) and without audio at all. We are now seeing this style from a variety of organizations including Videospot but also Vimeo, karate schools, restaurants, and even YouTuber vloggers like Sarah Glide (who is actively involved in the deaf and ASL community).

KeyTakeaways:

  • These are not captions. Captions show us what the speakers are saying. Worksafe videos use titles to help tell the general story.
  • Will help you reach the deaf and ASL communities (note: the deaf community prefers the term deaf to hearing impaired).
  • Will help you reach an international audience of non-native English speakers.
  • Keep your shots wider than usual and shoot footage knowing that you will be adding titles
  • For closer shots, be sure to keep some look room (nose room) in the shot for your titles.
  • Titles will work for speaking videos too but the Worksafe model refers more to titles and less to captions.
  • You can fit captions in as well but remember the captions will appear in the same place (bottom center) of your video. Captions should be used for speakers only- not to tell the story. Be sure to edit knowing that you’re going to use captions and titles. Captions can be added in post-production through services like Ciela-24.

Always Choose the Right Ad Format

These top three video ad formats for Facebook perform incredibly well. While each of these formats are being used by major media corporations and brands, the style of video translates well for smaller businesses too.

While these three represent the top of performing ads we discovered, they certainly aren’t the only styles of video we’re seeing perform well on Facebook. However, as Facebook continues to mature as a video platform, the Creators who gain reputation early on will reap the rewards of being positioned early. We at Videospot plan to be one of them.

Are you seeing video ad formats on Facebook that you didn’t read about here? Post your observations in the comments below and be sure to tag me @owenhemsath so I can get in on the conversation.