In the sea of social media marketing, there’s no bigger fish than Facebook. Just look at the stats: Facebook boasts a whopping 1.62 billion daily active users, with nearly half of active Facebook users visiting the site more than once a day.

And while the site’s growing demographics have skewed older in recent years, it’s indisputable that Facebook remains one of the most widely used social platforms for keeping up with colleagues and friends, chatting with family, buying and selling goods and, of course, watching tons of video content. (More than 4 billion video views take place on Facebook every day, to be exact.)

But how can marketers and small businesses utilize this powerful medium to promote their brand? What makes a successful video on Facebook, anyway? How do you even make a facebook ad? Let’s dive deep into Facebook video advertising and talk through how you can start making (and running!) high-quality Facebook video ads of your own.

How to set up a Facebook video ad

While it might seem daunting, setting up advertising on Facebook isn’t especially difficult. In fact, the social networking service has doubled down on making its advertising platform one of its chief revenue streams and, as a result, it’s actually kind of fun to navigate.

We’ll dig into tips and tricks to make great Facebook ads in a sec, but before we do, here are the basic steps to help you set up your next Facebook ad.

1. Visit Facebook Ads Manager

For the first step, you’re going to want to log into your Facebook account and navigate to the Facebook Ads Manager page. You can also access it directly here.

This is a great home-base of sorts for all your Facebook advertising needs, including step-by-step instructions and guides for creating new ad campaigns, reviewing and adjusting current campaigns, and learning from real-time reporting on the platform.

Just a heads up: if you don’t already have a business page for your brand or organization, it’s best practice to create one before you run your ad campaign. We promise, it’s easy to set up.

How much does Facebook advertising cost?

CPC (or cost per click) varies by the industry. The industries with the cheapest CPCs include apparel, travel and hospitality, and retail. These industries have click costs ranging from $0.45 to $0.70.

2. Create your campaign and ad account

From there, you’ll be taken into the Facebook ad center to promote your business or brand. You’ll be prompted to choose the account you’d like to manage as well as whether you’d like to create ads or boost existing organic content.

Choose a new campaign and identify your goal. You’ll be given options to choose from: getting more website visitors, getting more messages, promoting awareness of your brand, securing more leads, and more. Choose whichever one best aligns with your business goals.

3. Select your target audience and placements

Once you’re actually working in your Facebook ad campaign, you’ll be presented with lots of options for how you’d like your content presented, as well as some very in-depth options for selecting your target audience and choosing your ad placements.

Facebook ad placements

There are tons of options when determining your Facebook ad’s placement, so let’s review a few of the most popular: 

  • In-feed: This option will display your ads in the desktop and mobile news feeds on Facebook and Instagram
  • Right column: This ad placement will display your ads in the right column across Facebook. (Right column ads only appear to people browsing Facebook on their computer.)
  • Stories: This placement will display your ads to people browsing stories on both Facebook and Instagram (if you so choose!). Check out your full options for Facebook ad placement here

Facebook audience targets

When it comes to selecting your target audience, there are lots of ways to define your audience. Here are your options: 

  • Location: If you’re looking to drive local eyes to your business, you can select specific cities, communities, and even countries, to make sure your ads hit the right eyeballs. 
  • Demographics: You can select your audience based on age, gender, education, job title, and more.
  • Connections: If you want to keep your targeting close to home, you can choose to include people who have already connected with your Facebook Page. (Or, you can exclude them entirely to build a new audience!)
  • Interests: Marketers can identify specific interests and hobbies of the people you want your ad to reach (whether that’s horror movies or quilting!) to serve your ads to interested parties
  • Behavior: If you want to reach only the most active users, you can also target ads based on consumer behaviors such as prior purchases and device usage. 

4. Set your budget and schedule

You’ll also be prompted to choose both your ad budget and schedule. Facebook recommends running your ads continuously on a daily budget, but you should be clear about your intended investment at the jump, and adjust accordingly as you see the results of your campaign. We suggest starting small and trying out different target audiences before increasing your daily budget.

Once you’ve chosen and reviewed all your settings, your Facebook ad is ready to schedule! To run your ads on a determined schedule, simply select the blocks of time you’d like your ads to run from a calendar in the ads manager itself to schedule your Facebook ad.

How long should I run a Facebook ad?

It’s best practice to run your Facebook ad for about two weeks. This is an ideal length of time to allow your ad to gain traction and deliver results while still maximizing your ROI.

Be sure to give your ad some time (four days at least!) before you start assessing its performance.

Tips on how to make a great Facebook ad

If you’re wondering what the most effective kind of Facebook ad content is, we’ve got the answer for you: video! (Did you see that one coming?)  Roughly 3 billion hours of video content is watched on Facebook every day, with individual users often watching over 16 minutes of video ads every month. Plus, these video ad views have been reported to outperform text and image ads by over 1200%.

But if you’ve held off making facebook video a part of your advertising efforts in the past due to bandwidth or budget, we’ve got some good news. Creating video ads is as simple as creating static ones with platforms like Vimeo Create, where you can use and customize video templates to tell the right stories for your businesses in a few simple clips.

The best part? The ads you design in Vimeo Create can be seamlessly uploaded through the Facebook Ads Manager using your Vimeo account. But before you start creating, here’s some crucial info to keep in mind:

1. Focus on your messaging and CTA

First things first, you’ll want to get very clear on what the goal of your video ad is. Whether you’re looking to create leads by prompting a follow, driving sales by directing straight to your website, or simply boosting brand awareness with a business story, make sure you know exactly what you want your video to do before anything else.

If you need a little inspiration, opt for one of our hundreds of Vimeo Create video templates, each of which come with a pre-loaded CTA. A perfect Facebook ad should include messaging that can quickly introduce your small business or brand, inform your audience as to what value you provide, and finish things off enthusiastically by prompting a click to learn more.

2. Research your audience and develop your strategy

The key to developing a successful Facebook ad is a deep understanding of who your audience is. But that comes with time: no business owner has a client crystal ball that shows them everything they need to know about their people. Luckily, Facebook ads are actually great for this, as its audience curation is top-notch for quickly defining your ideal audience by using profile information of those who interact with your video. 

Still, we recommend doing as much research as you can on your own. While you may not be able to identify exactly who is supporting your brand, you can make plenty of educated guesses.

Recognize the problems facing your clients and really focus on how your brand provides those solutions. Once you recognize some similarities between ideal clients, you can use Facebook to create new audience segments that you can specialize based on gender, age, location, and more.

How long can my Facebook video ad be?

While your Facebook video ad can be up to 31 seconds long, it’s best practice to keep your video between 5 – 15 seconds.

3. Think mobile-first

Nowadays, Facebook’s usage skews off the charts for mobile usage. As such, your Facebook ads should be focused on those skinny screens. When creating in-feed Facebook video ads, opt for 1×1 layouts to ensure optimal playback, no matter the device. (To achieve this, simply select “square” as your ratio in Vimeo Create.)

You’ll also want to be aware of the unique challenges of creating content for interacting with mobile audiences. Screen sizes might be getting bigger for smartphones, but depending on user settings, the text may not be. Opt for large and legible text whenever possible. 

Lastly, be mindful of Facebook’s auto-mute playback! Tailor your messaging to be effective whether or not your video is played with sound. Lean on text and strong visuals where you can, while making sure your audio still supports the user experience.

4. Prioritize headlines and copy

Creating a successful Facebook ad means juggling a lot of elements: including the written word. The headline for your Facebook ad should be both informative and snappy enough to stand out, so spend some time crafting a strong one. A solid Facebook ad headline should really only be between 3 to 6 words total. Keep it easily skimmable, strong, and active.

Your copy is often where you’ll get the biggest opportunity to speak directly towards your brand messaging (and likely where you’ll include your CTA), so write, write, and rewrite your video script to build a video with maximum impact. You can read more about writing a video script here. Here are some quick tips:

  • Keep the sentences short and succinct
  • Include language that’s active and upbeat
  • Define problems and offer solutions
  • Don’t bury the lede or the CTA

Facebook also includes a button label, which can be customized for whatever your CTA is. Consider testing different short action phrases to identify which bit of action language is most effective.

5. Don’t underestimate the importance of your imagery

Whether you’re making a video ad or a standard page ad, it’s vital you keep in mind your thumbnail. When uploading your video ad to Facebook, you’ll be prompted to choose the image that will show first in a user’s feed before the video auto-plays. This image is important, because it can be the split-second difference between a few precious minutes of user attention and an endless scroll.

You’ll have the option to upload a custom thumbnail image or choose one from your account or campaign. A successful Facebook ad thumbnail should have a bright and visually interesting image that clearly shows what the video is about.

While Facebook has removed a rule against using text in Facebook ad images, it still recommends to use as little as possible. Save the majority of your text for your headlines and description copy, and utilize sparingly in the thumbnail itself.

Make Facebook video ads in minutes.

Vimeo Create helps you create high-quality videos perfect for social in no time.

6. Keep analytics top of mind

Facebook advertising is incredibly handy when it comes to isolating data and information on the performance of your videos. With Facebook ad manager, business owners and marketers are able to trace where every dollar of their campaigns has been spent. You can also track how successful the campaigns have been in terms of reach, engagement, and click-throughs.

This data is key to determining just how much money you earn from Facebook ads and is incredibly helpful when it comes to deciding how much you should spend in the future. If you’re someone who feels comfortable with a bit of coding, you can dive even further into your business’s Facebook analytics by working with the Facebook pixel to further track conversions and design even more dynamic ad campaigns.

As always, be smart about your spending. Consider running tests of slightly varied ads to determine the most effective format, and carefully monitor your videos’ successes (and failures!) to figure out your next move.

Facebook video ad templates to get you started

An ideal Facebook ad should be unique to you, your brand, and your specific needs. But you can’t start determining success until you start running your video ads! Here are four of our favorite Facebook ad templates perfectly designed to make your ad strategy stand out.

Highlight a use case

When it comes to short in-feed or story video ads, you’ll want to jump into the action, fast. Showing your products in ways that your customers will actually use them can be incredibly effective when it comes to capturing audience interest. Consider advertising a product by showing it in use by actual people to help boost eyeballs.

Introduce new items

Announce your next product rollout in style. Running a series of Facebook ads centered around a new rollout or sale is a great way to send users to your site and get customers adding items to carts.

Spell it out 

If your product or business needs a little bit of punchy copy to really drive home a value statement, add it to the video itself! Stating your value right up front can help build initial buy-in. Plus, it makes for an ad that’s heavy on impact but light on runtime.

Target users nearby

If you’re targeting your ads to users in a specific location, use that to your advantage in the ad itself! By customizing your language to speak directly to a specific group, you’re able to create a video that feels much more immediate (and intimate) than a generalized one.

Make your Facebook video ad

Now that you’ve reviewed our video ad pro-tips, learned how to set up a Facebook ad yourself, and peeped our multitude of templates, you’re ready to make your video ad! To get creating, watch the video above, or review these steps to make a video you’ll be proud to put money behind.

Make a Facebook video ad now