Affiliate World Conferences recently hosted a panel, “Facebook Creatives: Discussing the Future of Images & Video for CTR and Conversions,” asking for tips from expert media buyers about Facebook video strategies. Eric Dyck was the moderator, and panel guests were James Van Elswyk, Patrick Dermak, and Tim Burd.
James Van Elswyk is the owner of Purple Leads, a lead generation network that helps companies around the world increase their profits, get highly qualified leads, develop a successful sales campaign or develop a state-of-the-art online marketing campaign.
Patrick Dermak is the co-founder of Adbaker, a white hat Facebook performance marketing agency that delivers advanced social media marketing strategies for entrepreneurs, startups, and marketers.
Tim Burd is the founder of the Facebook group called Facebook Ad Buyers, the inspiration behind his Facebook ad agency today called Agency Y. He also plans to launch AdLeaks, a white hat community forum for digital advertisers.
Below are some of the questions asked along with brief summaries of each guest’s response.
Are static images dead?
Tim Burd: No. There is still a place for them in the market. However, there is less inventory of static images available for Facebook nowadays. Facebook certainly does prioritize video over static images, and so these days, you have to do video.
Patrick Dermak: The quality of images and videos in campaigns are primarily what Facebook looks at. Although images are not as influential as video, they can still work, especially for retargeting if combined with an incentive such as offers or discounts. They may also be effective if you use ad formats that incorporate multiple images, such as Carousel or Collection ads. However, the future of advertising is most likely going to primarily consist of video marketing.
James Van Elswyk: Video ads add a new element for targeting in the sense that they allow advertisers to gauge and quantify audience intent. Specifically, advertisers can create Lookalike Audiences based on how long users view a video. With an image, in contrast, advertisers only see whether or not users click on the image, which fails to give insight into the middle area of targeting that video ads provide.
What are your thoughts on the actual quality of the video?
Tim Burd: Both amateur, low quality and professional, custom-made video footage seem to work, depending on the situation. What it all comes down to is testing what works for your audience.
Patrick Dermak: Testing is key. A video made for testimonials may need to look different from a video about an actual product. Slideshow videos are also worth testing. Overall, it’s better to have a high-quality short video than a poor-quality video that’s really long.
James Van Elswyk: The trashier, the better a lot of the time. When users are on Facebook, they’re either socializing with their friends simultaneously or looking to socialize online—they aren’t looking to be sold. Users have developed a very anti-sold defense, so delivering native-looking content can encourage them to step into the funnel, at which point we can move them down the road. Otherwise, users may think stock footage, too glossy, too nice—I’m out.
What is the sweet spot for video length?
Tim Burd: It’s all dependent on a combination of complexity of the product, price point, and age of the viewer. The younger the user, the shorter the video should be. If the product is expensive, the video should be longer so as to convince the viewer that the product is a good buy. Duration should range from 30 seconds at the least and about three minutes at the longest.
Patrick Dermak: An average of 12 seconds works for e-commerce. Six to 30 seconds seems to work best—less than 30 seconds for mobile video. For videos through Audience Network, over 30 seconds generally works best—about two to three minutes to help gauge the audience genuinely interested in the niche and the product.
James Van Elswyk: Longer videos with a bouncing call-to-action at the end for about 30 seconds with a static image can be useful for those users who tend to scroll. So if the user watches the video, which may consist of 12 seconds of footage about the actual product, scrolls passed it, and then scrolls back up to the video, it’s still playing the call-to-action portion.
Do you build campaigns off of anything as low as 50 or 25 percent, or are you really focusing on people who watch 75 or 95 percent of videos?
Tim Burd: Literally every single one.
Patrick Dermak: Seventy-five percent or more for retargeting to the offer and between 50 and 75 percent for retargeting to content.
James Van Elswyk: All of them. You never know who’s going to watch the video and super convert. Run all of them and split test.
What are some of your best tactics when it comes to enhancing videos?
James Van Elswyk: An important element that’s often overlooked is the thumbnail. A thumbnail should be able to stop users from scrolling past them. Split testing the thumbnail is the step one key to catch the eye. Step two is, once users press play, it’s important to have some type of pop and movement as soon as the video starts. If you can grab their attention from the get-go, the longer they’re going to watch.
Patrick Dermak: Occupy as much space in News Feed as possible. You can do this with Canvas by making your video 1080 pixels wide and about 2000 pixels high, which requires about one and a half scrolls on a mobile device to pass by the video. You can then divide the video into three portions—the top portion plays the actual video footage, the middle portion contains the call-to-action, and then the lower portion displays the actual product in the form of a static image. As a result, no matter where on the video the users press with their finger when scrolling, they’re directed to the Canvas ad.
Tim Burd: Fast cuts during the first few seconds of the video really help to grab a user’s attention. Also, you can plug a short viral video at the beginning to kick things off without coming across as a sales pitch. Make your video vertically formatted—around 1000 by 1600—because this format tends to work better than traditional widescreen.
Additional Advice from the Panelists
Watch other advertisers’ video to get a feel for the competition, as well as to find inspiration for your own video creations. Also, whether you work with an in-house video graphics team or an affiliate team, video marketing is worth the investment, as the click-through rate will even it all out in the end.
To top it off, subtitles are useful in guiding viewers through the video, so be creative with them, even if there is no one talking in the video.
But one of the most important tips offered by all three Facebook video experts is to split test everything, as even the smallest alteration can make a giant improvement in conversions.