The Ultimate Guide to Creating High-Performing Facebook Video Ads in 2024

Facebook has long been a powerhouse in digital video advertising, and it‘s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, video ads are expected to make up nearly 70% of all Facebook ad spending by 2024, according to eMarketer.

It‘s not hard to see why. Facebook video ads have proven highly effective for driving key business goals. 70% of marketers say video ads have increased their brand awareness, 60% say they‘ve increased engagement, and 48% have directly driven sales, based on data from Wyzowl.

But with over 4 million businesses advertising on Facebook as of 2024 (Statista), standing out with video is increasingly challenging. In this ultimate guide, we‘ll break down exactly how to strategize, create, and optimize high-performing Facebook video ads that cut through the noise this year and beyond.

The Facebook Video Ad Formats and Placements You Need to Know

Before diving into creation, get familiar with the main Facebook video ad formats at your disposal in 2024:

In-Stream Video Ads

These video ads play automatically before, during, or after video content in Facebook Watch and the Video Feed. Because they reach people already primed to watch video, in-stream ads tend to have high view and completion rates.

Best practices:

  • Keep ads between 5-15 seconds for non-skippable or 15-30 seconds for skippable
  • Get your key message across in the first 5 seconds
  • Use eye-catching headlines and captions optimized for silent viewing

Stories Video Ads

Over 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand/product after seeing it in Stories (Facebook). To capitalize on this fast-growing format, create video ads in the immersive vertical Stories template that seamlessly blend with organic content.

Best practices:

  • Use the first few seconds to grab attention and pique curiosity
  • Add interactive elements like polls and stickers
  • Feature a clear CTA telling people what action to take

In-Feed Video Ads

The classic video ad type shown in the main Facebook News Feed, where people spend the majority of their time. In-feed video ads autoplay silently as people scroll, then expand to full-screen with sound when tapped.

Best practices:

  • Optimize the silent autoplay with eye-catching visuals and captions
  • Hook viewers from the first frame with action or emotion
  • Experiment with different aspect ratios like square (1:1) or vertical (4:5)

Instant Experience Video Ads

Formerly called Canvas, these interactive video ads instantly load into a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience when clicked, up to 15 seconds long. Instant Experiences are ideal for showcasing products and driving conversions.

Best practices:

  • Feature your most compelling video content in the first few components
  • Keep text short and skimmable with plenty of white space
  • Include clear CTAs throughout to guide people toward your goal

You can also run video ads in Facebook Marketplace, Stories Archive, and across the Audience Network which includes third-party apps and mobile sites.

"Think strategically about your video ad placements based on your objectives and target audience," says Tory Wenger, a Facebook ads specialist at digital agency KoMarketing. "For example, if you‘re trying to drive traffic, place videos in the feed with prominent links. For app installs, use full-screen formats like Stories or Audience Network to immerse viewers."

Your Step-by-Step Process to Facebook Video Ad Success

Ready to start crafting your own standout Facebook video ads? Follow this proven five-step process used by top social media advertisers.

Step 1: Set Clear Goals and Metrics

Like any marketing campaign, your video ad efforts must be grounded in well-defined goals that support your overall business objectives. Common Facebook video ad goals include:

  • Increasing brand awareness and ad recall
  • Generating leads and email sign-ups
  • Driving purchases and revenue
  • Encouraging app installs or free trials
  • Promoting engagement and loyalty

"The key is choosing a primary goal for each campaign, then relentlessly optimizing every element of your video ads to achieve that one goal," says Sam Kusinitz, Marketing Director at HubSpot. "Trying to accomplish too much with one video is a common pitfall that hinders results."

Assign concrete success metrics to your goal so you can accurately measure performance. For example:

Goal Key Metrics
Brand Awareness 3-second video views, ad recall lift
Consideration ThruPlays (15-sec. views), click-through rate
Conversions Purchases, sign-ups, installs, cost per acquisition

Step 2: Define and Research Your Audience

Facebook‘s unparalleled audience targeting capabilities are a major draw for advertisers. You can reach people based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections – down to granular details like favorite celebrities or recent life events.

To make the most of these options, develop an in-depth understanding of your ideal customer:

  • What are their key characteristics – age, gender, location, job title, etc.?
  • What are their pain points, challenges, and goals?
  • Where do they spend time online and what content engages them?
  • What influences their purchase decisions?

Organize these details into audience "personas" – fictional profiles that represent your distinct customer segments. Give each persona a name, photo, and detailed description. Then, match your video ad campaigns to the personas they‘ll best reach and resonate with.

"When you know exactly who you‘re creating your video ads for, every decision gets so much easier – from creative and messaging to budget and bidding," Kusinitz says. "Audience research should be an ongoing process that you enhance with your own first-party data over time."

Step 3: Develop Engaging, Goal-Driven Creative

Now for the heart of the matter: Creating video ads that stop the scroll and spur action. Above all, your video needs to quickly capture attention and communicate your key message before viewers tune out.

Some universal tips:

  • Limit text and create for sound-off viewing
  • Open with an intriguing hook – a question, stat, or eye-catching visual
  • Show your product or service in use and delivering benefits
  • Use authentic, relatable creative featuring real people and customers
  • Incorporate different content types like interviews, animations, and testimonials
  • Add an end card with your CTA, logo, and URL in the last few seconds

"With Facebook video ads, you‘re not just competing with other marketers, but with people‘s friends and family content," says Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at communications platform Nextiva. "Your creative needs to fit seamlessly into the user experience and deliver genuine value – be it entertainment, education, or utility."

Indeed, far from a megaphone for blasting promotional messages, video ads should adopt a generous, audience-centric approach.

"The best Facebook video ads feel more like content than advertising," says Sophie Pinkoski, Social Media Manager at home goods brand Parachute. "They quickly answer the viewer‘s question: What‘s in it for me? Why should I keep watching? Make every second count."

Step 4: Set Up Your Video Ad Campaign

With compelling creative in hand, it‘s time to build your video ad campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. For each new campaign:

  1. Choose your objective, such as video views or conversions
  2. Select your audience targeting attributes
  3. Set your budget and schedule
  4. Pick your video ad placements and optimizations
  5. Upload your video and add copy, links, and captions
  6. Preview your ad and ensure it meets all specifications

A few expert tips for the setup process:

  • Select Automated Placements to optimize delivery across Facebook properties
  • Set a frequency cap to avoid oversaturating your audience
  • Test multiple video variations with different copy and CTAs
  • Use the Facebook Brand Safety tool to control your content adjacency

Step 5: Monitor, Measure, and Iterate

Your Facebook video ad strategy should be an ongoing cycle of analysis and adjustment. Rather than simply unleashing your videos into the wild, keep a close eye on performance and proactively refine your approach based on data.

The Facebook Ads Reporting dashboard provides a wealth of insights on your video campaigns, including:

  • Views, 10-second views, and completed views
  • Average watch time and completion rate
  • Click-through rate and landing page views
  • Cost per 1000 people reached (CPM)
  • Purchase and revenue data if applicable

"Monitoring the right metrics is key, but even more important is knowing how to interpret and act on that data," Wenger says. "Your analysis should always ladder up to your primary objective and inform clear optimizations to your creative, targeting, placements, or bidding approach."

Some metrics may be more meaningful than others depending on your ad type and goals. For example, ThruPlays (views to 15 seconds) are most important for longer video ads optimized for reach and recall, while click and conversion rates matter more for shorter direct response campaigns.

Successful analysis also requires a test-and-learn mindset. Regularly run A/B video tests to discover the tactics and attributes that move the needle for your unique audience. Some elements to experiment with:

  • Video length (15 seconds vs. 30 seconds)
  • Aspect ratio (1:1 vs. 4:5)
  • On-screen text vs. none
  • User-generated content vs. professional
  • Product-centric vs. lifestyle creative

"Every audience reacts differently to videos, so a one-size-fits-all approach won‘t cut it," Masjedi says. "The fastest path to Facebook video ad success is constant experimentation – as long as you have the right measurement framework in place and a bias towards action."

Inspiration: 5 Brilliant Facebook Video Ad Examples

Looking for ideas to fuel your own video ads? Get inspired by these real-world examples from leading brands:

  1. Mailchimp: This email marketing platform hooked viewers with adorable claymation characters and a relatable small business story. The unexpected visual style made Mailchimp stand out in a crowded category.

  2. Fenty Beauty: Rihanna‘s cosmetics brand showcased its inclusive foundation range with close-up product shots on diverse models. By putting its mission front and center, Fenty built an emotional connection with viewers.

  3. Squarespace: The website builder packed a wealth of tips and social proof into a punchy 15-second carousel ad. Leads were seamlessly driven to a dedicated landing page with a discount offer.

  4. Airbnb: This home rental giant compiled user-generated travel footage into a moving film set to music, ending with a clear CTA to book. The authentic creative struck a chord with people‘s pent-up wanderlust coming out of the pandemic.

  5. Masterclass: The online education platform featured bite-sized clips of its celebrity instructors to pique curiosity. The famous faces and suspenseful storytelling stopped scrollers in their tracks.

"At the end of the day, there‘s no magic formula for a perfect Facebook video ad," Pinkoski says. "It‘s about deeply understanding your customers and crafting authentic stories that speak to their needs, interests, and emotions. And of course, a whole lot of testing!"

What‘s Next for Facebook Video Advertising

If one thing‘s clear, it‘s that video will only become more central to the Facebook ads ecosystem in the coming years. As formats and tools evolve, some key trends and predictions to watch:

  1. Interactive and immersive video: From playable ads to AR filters, video will become more of a two-way, participatory experience. Brands that invite audiences to interact and co-create will stand out.

  2. Shoppable video: Facebook is doubling down on social commerce with features like Live Shopping and product tags. Seamlessly blending video and shopping will be key, especially for D2C brands.

  3. Personalized creative at scale: Thanks to advances in machine learning and dynamic creative optimization, serving hyper-relevant video ads to individuals is becoming more achievable. But brands will need robust data strategies to capitalize.

  4. Shorter and more viral: As Facebook Reels and Stories gain steam, ultra-short, platform-native video ads will be crucial for capturing increasingly distracted eyeballs. Think TikTok-style rawness and trends.

  5. Values-driven storytelling: 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values (Havas). Video will be a powerful tool for communicating brand purpose – but only if it‘s genuine and consistent.

"Facebook has always been a fast-evolving platform, and video advertising is no exception," Kusinitz says. "But through all the shiny new formats and targeting capabilities, the basic principles of creating great video will remain the same."

Focus on telling simple, captivating stories that put your customers first – then optimize the heck out of your distribution. With tenacity and a test-and-learn approach, your Facebook video ads can drive real business results this year and well into the future.