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November 4, 2020 - By Hawke Media

Facebook Video Ads: Tips for Optimizing Your Campaigns

As we mentioned in yesterday’s post about YouTube advertising, digital video ad spend is on the rise. Along with YouTube, Facebook video ads take up the lion’s share of this spend.

Though marketers and brands should take advantage of both platforms’ video ad opportunities, they should be aware that video ad strategies differ greatly from one platform to another.

Here are the key things to keep in mind when designing your Facebook video ad strategy:

1 – User Intent

Whereas YouTube users head to the platform to actively consume video content, Facebook and Instagram users consume content more passively. Without the ability to target intent on these platforms, brands should focus their Facebook video ads on generating brand awareness rather than direct response.

That’s not to say brands should leave direct response entirely out of their campaign strategy. Awareness ads that seamlessly and organically weave in brand value props and product benefits can generate direct response action.

2 – Target Audience

Facebook is an awareness platform and awareness requires engagement. What makes an ad engaging? That depends on your target audience.

For millennials and Gen Z users, bright colors, over expressive messaging, memes and emojis tend to work. For older audiences, tapping into customer problems or fears tends to elicit a better response.

In any case, you only have about three seconds to catch a users attention before your video ad is scrolled, swiped or tapped away. And, because Facebook charges by impression rather than by view, you better get their attention right away. Think about what resonates most with your target audience and play to that.

3 – Format

While YouTube video is viewed horizontally, the different aspect ratios of Facebook’s various platforms require ad creators to adjust their assets to fit properly across each. The majority of Facebook users are on mobile devices, so it’s crucial that you have vertical videos for mobile as well square or horizontal videos for desktop.

4 – (Lack of) Audio

Consider the circumstances in which users are consuming Facebook content. Remember what we said about active content consumption on YouTube versus passive consumption on Facebook? Facebook and Instagram users often scroll through their feeds in public places to pass the time (think the bus, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc.). This means it’s far more likely they’re viewing content without sound.

Audio is a major component of video ads, but it’s not essential to delivering the message. Ensure your ads are effective without sound by adding subtitles and clear storylines that don’t require audio to get the point across.


While all marketers should include video ads in their strategy, it’s important to remember all video ads are not created equal. The platform on which you’re advertising changes the game. YouTube ads and Facebook video ads serve different purposes and require different approaches.

As interruptive ads, what they do share is the need to grab attention right away and keep viewers engaged so they don’t skip past.