Beyond the View Count: The True Value of Facebook Video Ads

Beyond the View Count: The True Value of Facebook Video Ads

Online video is a key component of marketing campaigns for brands in 2016. The addition of video ads to campaign primarily made up of display advertising is a proven strategy to improve performance and overall ROI. But what does video add to your bottom line when judged on it’s own merits? A recent study by Facebook and Nielsen found that video ads make an impact on brand lift, ad recall and purchase consideration from the first impression and that users did not have to watch the entire video to be impacted by the ad.

What counts as a video view on Facebook?

On Facebook, a view is considered a 3 second play of the video inside the newsfeed. Facebook has been widely criticized about the brevity of their view count. For comparison, YouTube counts ‘around’ a 30 second time period as a view. On Twitter, a video view counts after 3 seconds but also must be 100% in view for those 3 seconds. Instagram, owned by Facebook, also takes the 3 second standard but does not publish view counts. Instagram instead counts by unique user views.

The Impact of a View Under 10 Seconds

If a Facebook video ad is in view for less than one second, essentially functioning like a display ads as no video is shown, users are still impacted by the ad. In fact, views under the 3 second minimum drove up to 47% of ad recall, 34% of brand awareness and 44% of purchase consideration.

At the 10 second mark, views drove 74% of ad recall, 64% of ad recall and 72% of purchase consideration.

Past the 10 second mark, campaign metrics continued to improve; however, the data surround a less than 10 second view tells a compelling story about the power of video, even for a few short seconds.

Facebook Video View Impact
Source: The Value of Video Views for Brands, Facebook Insights

Opportunities for Creativity

Marketers can take creative inspiration from this data. The nose of the video, the first 2%, is key to a successful strategy on Facebook. The value that the user will derive from the content — entertainment, information or inspiration — should be stated upfront and be obvious. Subtlety will get you nowhere on Facebook.  

Marketers can tell stories through sequential storytelling, combining video ads and post ads into a narrative that engages and drives conversions.

Key Takeaways

  • Video views are a high level metric that should not be considered in isolation when analyzing the value of a video ad
  • The impact of a video view on Facebook begins immediately after the ad impression. Ad recall, brand awareness and purchase consideration value are all driven by the length of view, improving with increased viewing time; however, users do not have to watch the entire video to impact the total campaign value positively.
  • Brands should explore shorter ad creative and play with sequential storytelling.