How can PR pros leverage Facebook's video ads to deliver content?

Giving brands the option to promote video around shareable online conversations allows them to create content and put it in front of their desired audiences.

Michael Kelly, media and consumer comms manager, American Licorice Co.
Video ads on Facebook are part of a greater effort on behalf of the platform to encourage advertisers to create relevant and interesting visual content to deliver to users, keeping them more engaged on the social network for longer periods of time.

Video content already receives higher organic reach on the platform than other high-engagement content, such as pictures. Combine this reach with autoplay and Facebook is painting a clear picture that it knows video is a big part of how users consume content and is looking to position the platform as a go-to site for video.

Advertising products where brands can deliver video content to targeted audiences help the brand with their engagement and help Facebook as a platform.

As services including Vine and Instagram Video increase in popularity, user expectations around quality and timeliness of video content from advertisers are changing.

Giving brands the option to promote video around shareable online conversations allows them to create content and put it in front of their desired audiences. 

It’s an important ad product for Facebook, as it’s another way for them to monetize media on their platform and it’s an important option for brands as they look to keep their current fan bases engaged and reach new users with their content.

Any brand can now have a viable video campaign strategy on Facebook, which continues to level the playing field and bring new advertisers into its network, not just the heavy hitters with massive digital marketing budgets. As those budgets increasingly shift from TV to the Web, social networks such as Facebook are ideally positioned as distribution platforms for marketers to run existing video assets.

Brendan Reilly, video director, March Communications
Compelling visuals are critical to the success of any piece of video content, but this is even more the case with Facebook’s new video advertisements.

These ads are designed to be unobtrusive when it comes to the Facebook user experience, meaning that, while the video starts playing automatically, there is no audio unless the user chooses to click on it.

You have to give users a reason to engage with your content and that means powerful visual aesthetics from start to finish.

A random, unknown person speaking to the camera is not going to cut it. You need strong visuals that will catch the eye, pique curiosity, and make the user choose to click your video and watch it through. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to develop a unique visual style for your content that makes it stand out from the plethora of online videos saturating the Internet.

To get people to view your content, you first have to get them to notice it. Facebook video ads are going to be all about creativity and production values. What you shoot,
how you shoot it, and what you can add in terms of post-production polish will determine whether people make the choice to click and view your content, or just scroll on by and ignore it in their newsfeeds.

If brands want users to pay attention to their Facebook video ads, they have to be able to show creativity and production values from the very first second, and do it without relying on audio to explain everything. It is challenging, but it also has the potential to really bring out the best visual storytelling that brands are capable of.

Adam Rosenberg, senior account supervisor,
digital west, Edelman
Just as Facebook helped brands leverage simple and non-intrusive storytelling through photos, the same will need to be done for video. Facebook is very tuned in to preserving an ecosystem where users are only served branded content – paid for or not – that they are likely to engage with.

The popularity of sharing stories, with a journalistic standard for relevance and entertainment, means that the level for successful videos on Facebook will be well
above most brands’ TV commercial assets.

Still, video ads are focused on reach and Facebook provides that alongside highly sophisticated audience targeting. The goal of a video ad on Facebook should be to prompt users to share it, otherwise there are cheaper means of buying reach. It is key to realize that sharing brand content on Facebook requires that the user publicly advocate the brand to their network.

Above all, the content must hit an emotional sweet spot. With the bar of best in class constantly being reset, successful ads will require high-quality production and need to be timely and trending to capture users’ attention. Effective Facebook content comes from brands that connect so deeply that you forget they are brands. 

Brands need to remember why people are on Facebook – to talk to friends and express their identities – reasons that come before engaging with a brand. Some of the most successful brands on the platform are those that respect newsfeeds, posting – and amplifying – only the content with the highest potential for welcome engagement.

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