Video is the king of online content.

More and more we see it used by brands to market their products, and it will only continue to grow as the preferred way to share customer-targeted messages online.

At MotionCue, we have ten years of experience working on hundreds of explainer videos, app promos and corporate presentations that are published on websites and social media. Most of these were part of advertising campaigns to create hype, foster engagement, and guide users to take desired actions.

Interested in checking out our work? See it all here!

Through making this content, we’ve learned some things to do, as well as things to avoid, when making video ads for Facebook. Today we want to share six of the most common mistakes advertisers make, so you don’t repeat them.

  1. Rambling and impractical content

Don’t make video ads just for the sake of it – Your ads should have a purpose and contain both concise and informative content. Using a video ad to go on and on about how great your business is will lose viewers fast. Show the viewer that the video has a point, and they need to hear that point. Share the offer, benefits, and other content clearly and properly.

Your video ads are their own content – Don’t just recycle content from other videos. Each video ad should be relevant to the audience you are targeting and should show that you put effort into creating it. The purpose of video ads is to direct viewers somewhere else, but the ad must still be engaging, otherwise viewers will stay far away from your other content.

Short and sweet is the way to go – 30 seconds to a minute. That’s the length you should be going for if you want your audience to get the maximum impact of your message. Don’t squeeze in too much information and don’t leave out too much. Even if the viewer is engaged for a full minute, you don’t want to overstay your welcome and end on a bad note. Get in, get out, get the customer on their way to your business.

Autoplay is great, but don’t rely on it – Your video should be appealing enough to earn a click. Many marketers have started to become comfortable with Facebook’s autoplay feature (when a video automatically starts playing after appearing on your newsfeed). This feeds into a satisfaction with “fake views” where a video only gains a view because the viewer looks away from the newsfeed, the video starts playing, and they click away after a few seconds. The view counts, but the engagement is over.

Make the content count – your ad should stop your audience in their tracks and prove why you deserve their full attention and continued engagement.

  1. Pinching your advertising pennies

Creating videos for advertising campaigns on Facebook is a serious business. This is one of the foremost areas where you cannot skimp on quality. Your audience can tell when you do. Whether it’s a live action or animated video, invest properly. Choose an explainer video agency that can create a beautiful, handcrafted video for you and don’t settle for someone that will give you a more affordable, but low-quality video. Saving money is great, but this is not the time or place to do it.

Low Quality means Low Engagement
If you skimp on the budget and make a low-quality video, you can get the engagement you want, but for all of the wrong reasons. Every day, a new brand is made famous and mocked for videos with out-of-touch writing and poor production quality. While you don’t want to be fearful when posting video ads, it’s important to respect the power the internet has to judge brands.

However, if you are bootstrapped for money and want a video, here’s something we wrote on how to create video content on a tight budget.

A bad video is a bad investment. Video ads cost you money, money you don’t want to waste. If you want a good quality response from your audience, invest in good quality videos.

  1. Wasting the first 3 seconds

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to video ads. The first 3 seconds of a video are critical to gaining the interest of the viewer. Use them wisely.

A typical newsfeed is filled with more posts than any one user can view. Thankfully, video stands out among the memes and copy pastas. How do you make your video stand out among other videos, though?

Bring your story to life as soon as possible.

Most advertisers fail to do this. If a video ad has brilliant content, but no “wow” factor in the first three seconds, users will skip it.

To ensure you keep viewers from clicking away, add something that piques your target audience’s interest in the very beginning.

Put work into your thumbnails – Thumbnails are like book covers or movie posters; make them engaging enough and it’s all a viewer needs to want to watch.

Use your logo – If you have an impactful and interesting logo, put it at the front of the video. Bonus points for getting it animated!

Start with a great hook – Begin the video with out-of-context content that will be explained later. Your viewer is used to watching generic, cookie-cutter videos; surprise them with something that catches them off guard!

Remember, users will decide quickly whether or not your ad is worth their time. To ensure they don’t skip your ad,  grab their attention right in the beginning.

  1. Relying on sound

As we discussed with Facebook’s autoplay function, videos which come across the newsfeed start playing automatically. The reality is that some viewers will watch a video of yours in its entirety without ever clicking on it. While this may not seem like a problem, it can be, due to Facebook keeping videos muted unless they are clicked on. This means that, while sound is an essential part of video, visuals take top priority if you want to share your message effectively on Facebook.

Enticing users without sound is daunting, but there are tips and tricks you can use to make sure you engage with or without it.

  • Aesthetically rich images and video clips are enough to attract users and keep them on your video.
  • Subtitles are your friend. Add them so that anything that cannot be explained through visuals, can be relayed through subtitles.
  • Prompt users to turn on sound. The thumbnail, post description, or video overlay with a simple graphic of a speaker provides a subtle sense of urgency and encourages the viewer to turn on
  1. Not re-engaging with your viewers

Facebook video ads allow you to easily retarget those that saw your ads. This is important, as your videos can serve as a funnel for other content; make sure you have a place the funnel feeds into.

Use Facebook Custom Audiences to see who watched your video for more than 3 seconds and re-engage. If you successfully continue engagement with a viewer, you will quickly earn their trust and a new customer.

  1. Not innovating

You don’t want to make the same video over and over again. Experiment! Find what works until you have a proven strategy for success. When you find that proven strategy it will most likely consist of using a few different variations for your videos.

Try different colors – Stay consistent with your branding, but don’t be afraid to spice up the visuals (we recommend using color theory as a guide)!

Different lengths – While it’s important to stay short and sweet, try different video lengths with more content. See how a :30, 1:00, and 1:30 compare with viewer engagement.

Use different ad copy – Test how viewers react to different language you use in your text.

Test CTA placement – Put your call to action at different parts of the video and see how viewers respond. Try pairing it with particularly impactful moments in your video.

There is a lot right and a lot wrong you can do with video ads on Facebook. Social media users have become pretty good at sniffing out businesses with a casual attitude, so a focused approach is critical. While making successful video ads can be intimidating, it’s important to stay positive and have a plan.

If you treat your audience with respect, put effort into every video, and keep in mind our 6 mistakes to avoid, you can become king of the king of online content.

TL:DR – we created a nifty infographic that you can share with your colleagues:

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