The competition for Facebook™ users’ attention is mounting day by day. Some businesses resort to Facebook™ ad campaigns for Messenger or strictly for the mobile app. Others try to make the most of the insights they have from their Facebook™ page and the Pixel to target the best qualified leads.
And Facebook™ itself is trying to find new ways to fight ad fatigue and ad blockers. The latest thing they have come up with is called in-stream video ads. This article will tell you everything you need to know about them and how to use them.
What Are Facebook™ In-Stream Video Ads?
Think of the way YouTube shows ads to users. Some of them are shown before the actual video starts and others during the video. This is similar to commercial breaks during movies on TV. And this precisely how Facebook™ in-stream video ads work.
These video ads cannot be skipped. If the user wants to finish watching the video, they have to sit through the in-stream video ad, as well. This is extremely important, because the key issue with regular video ads is that many users start watching them, but never until the end. You may be charged for the impression although you will not get a conversion or even a further step down the traffic funnel.
A Few Technical Specifications
Just like everything related to Facebook™ advertising, you must play by the rules in terms of the technical specifications of the video file you want to use. Facebook™ in-stream video ads must be between 5 seconds and 15 seconds long.
Other specifications are:
Maximum video file size: 4 GB;
Orientation: landscape (16:9), vertical (9:16) or square;
Good audio quality;
Recommended (but not mandatory): add captions to your video.
These ads will be delivered inside a video after the Facebook™ user has been watching it for a minimum of 60 seconds. This is a critical moment – when the user is engaged in the video and you have their full attention, at least for the first few seconds.
Setting Up Facebook™ In-Stream Video Ads
The process is quite simple and straightforward. The first step is to go to the Ad Creator and select the Create button.
1. Set Up the Basics of Your Ad
Select the Video views campaign objective and give your ad campaign a name. Click on Continue and you will reach the Placements section. Here, select the Edit Placements option.
Next, choose the In-Stream Videos option under the Facebook™ platform.
2. Exclude Categories
This is very important because you do not want your ads to appear in the middle of just any video. For example, a video about casinos or about sensitive social issues (abused women, immigrants) are not the right choice for ads about diapers or senior care products.
You can exclude the following types of video categories:
Debatable Social Issues
Tragedy & Conflict
Supplementary, you can block your ads from appearing on specific websites and apps. Create the list as .csv file, import it into Facebook™ and use the Apply Block Lists option.
3. Refine Placement
In the Specific Mobile Devices & Operating System section in Ads Manager, you can select to show your videos only to audiences who are connected to Wifi. This has a double benefit. One is for the users, who will not have their data plan drained (and they will appreciate this).
The second is for you: if your viewers have a low mobile internet speed or are in an area with poor signal, your video ad will appear pixelated or take a long time to load. In both cases, the user will be frustrated and stop watching altogether. Yet, you may be charged for the impression.
And now your Facebook™ in-stream video ad is set! Make sure you tell users a great brand story that is worth watching even as an ad break!