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Facebook Ads: What Makes Videos and Pictures More Effective

Using visual content is critical in this day and age especially on social media. According to Brain Rules, people only remember 10% of information that they heard three days ago. However, if that information is paired with a relevant picture, people retained 65% of that information three days later.

But what about the rise of video content? According to Vidyard marketers who use video, grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. Additionally, according to Adobe, 51.9% of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best R

OI. A Facebook executive predicted that Facebook's platform will all be video by 2021.

Though you shouldn’t assume that video ads are the magic solution for all marketing campaigns, you should consider whether video is the right medium for your target audience or your messaging. What makes a photo or video better for Facebook marketing? HubSpot also reported that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. But does video truly win over other visual content all of the time?

We found a few experiments that vary in results and will explain how you can figure out if video is the right  method for your marketing efforts. Additionally, we included the best-suggested practices for both photos and videos.

Hubspot Test

HubSpot put video ads versus image-based ads to the test. They conducted A/B testing comparing which videos and images did better on Facebook. The results might surprise you. Most of the time they found that the video content they used to promote a blog was outdoing the photo content. After further optimizing the images, they discovered that one image ad was doing better than one of the videos. However, their optimized video still won with the most clicks and a lower average cost per click.

Facebook Test

Facebook helped an advertiser test different sequences of ads that had a mix of images and videos to see which combination was best at achieving their goal. Their control was comprised of people who didn’t see any ads from the advertiser.

They noticed that two static images were better at driving visits to the marketer’s site than the control. When the video was promoted first and then a static image, it was most effective at driving online conversions than the control. Finally, a static image being promoted first and then a video also drove more visitors to the marketer’s site, but not as much as the two static images did.

The Takeaways

Prioritize the overall campaign objective:  First, identify the metric that matters most to your business goals. To create the strongest campaign possible, make sure all of the components of the campaign (creative, target audiences, bid type) are all in sync with the same objective.

Be willing to learn and grow: Since media is always changing; it’s hard to have a permanent process. Try adjusting your creative palette when trends change. You might find new techniques that connect with your target audience. Experiments like these help you get a better understanding of what resonates.

Think outside of the box: The strongest campaigns have multiple ad formats to tell the message that needs to be communicated. Don’t be afraid to add variation to have a well-rounded campaign.

How to Test for Success

Have you tried experimenting with visual content that would work best for your target audience and for the material you are promoting? It’s easy. First, you will need to upload several image and video ads to Facebook.

Once the results start coming in, you can start optimizing the visuals that are doing better than others. You might find that different types of videos or photos do better than other similar visuals with slight differences.

The differences and variations you should test for include copy, colors, fonts, different video clips and text within the video. A big question to ask yourself when testing is if your CTA is clear. Make sure to think of your objective and how different CTAs can come into place when testing.

Another consideration is video length. You might be under the impression that the shorter the video, the more video views. But with HubSpot’s testing experiment they found that their middle length video had the best performance. Is the length of your video appropriate for the social network that you are conveying your message on?

Always double check that your budget and target audiences are the same while testing material against each other. This way you will eliminate any other factors that might be affecting the video views or other results.

Soon you will learn what resonates with your audience in order to promote the content that is best suited to reach your goal. But what makes excellent visual content? Let’s take a look.

Tips on Creating Successful Visual Content

How To Create Better Image Ads For Facebook

The images you use for any ad should be clear and related to what you’re promoting. Images that don’t connect to the messaging will only confuse your viewers. These images should also be eye-catching to stand out in the news feed and those that include people are usually more relatable.

If your image is covered with text, Facebook might not run it as often, meaning less reach and impressions. There is a simple tool that Facebook provides which allows you to check that the text overlayed on your images follows Facebook’s guidelines.

Check out the Facebook image tester.

Images should be cropped accordingly to the correct Facebook dimensions. Always double check that you are using the highest quality images as blurry ones will detract users.

If you are not using original images, it’s crucial you are using copyright correctly. Not all images on the web are fair game. Violating copyright can be a pricey mistake.

Infographics: If you feel that single static images are not enough to get your message  across, you might want to consider infographics. Infographics are a great way to get a lot of information across in a straightforward way. Canva and Piktochart are two great resources to use when exploring infographics.

How to Create Better Video Ads For Facebook

According to Small Business Trends, a tip for creating the best marketing video would be to focus on the mission and less on the product. Ensure the video is both creative and informative, especially if your product helps to solve a problem. So explain how you are creating the solution to that problem in a new way. Add value to your promoted posts by creating something that viewers will want to share.

In terms of format, HubSpot reported that square videos have a better Facebook ad performance than landscape video. They also recommend that you showcase your personality by having charismatic coworkers behind the camera, especially during live broadcasts. You can also showcase your brand by showing behind the scenes views of your company with live video.

Even if you need multiple videos to tell your full story, you will want to end each video with a clear CTA.

Read More: How to Tell Stories and Grow Your Business with Social Video 

Animated Images: How to Use GIFS

What about a combination of images and video? According to ClickZ some benefits of using animated images or GIFS are that they are easy to consume and very visually appealing. Some consider that they are better than images while being cheaper than video. Additionally, GIFS can help companies think outside of the box and be creative in a short amount of time.

GIFS can be effective in email marketing, to inform people about new announcements, for example. This format is a fun way to increase engagement on content that might seem dry. Plus GIFS can be viewed from a mobile device.

If you can’t make your own, there is a significant amount of stock GIFS that are available to use. Just make sure you are using the correct copyright.

Remember not to overuse GIFS and make sure to use them in context. You don’t want to seem as if you are trying too hard to be apart of a trend.

Final Thoughts

Though live video and video ads have become very popular on Facebook, you never want to assume what is going to resonate best with your target audience. Use these tips next time you want to experiment with visual content. Do you want more information on other ways to create content for your target audience, contact us today!

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About the Author: Brianna Zantman

Brianna Zantman

Brianna Zantman is an advertising professional who has experience in digital marketing, radio and print-publication media buying, video project management, paid media, social media marketing, public relations, graphic design and photography (Adobe Creative Suite), SEO optimization, campaign and creative strategy. Brianna holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Journalism with a specialization in Advertising and a minor in Art from San Diego State University.