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How to Make Facebook Video Ads that People Actually Like

Piotr Smietana
Piotr Smietana
10 min read
Tips and examples of Facebook video ads

You know ‘em. You’ve seen ‘em. You tolerate ‘em. That’s right; we’re talking about Facebook video ads.

It’s no secret that people are watching more videos online than ever before. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, video now accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook, and Reels ​​is the most significant contributor to engagement growth on Instagram. They also tend to perform better than image ads – generating more engagement and click-throughs than their static counterparts.

But be honest – how many video ads do you watch all the way through? Video content may reign supreme on social, but how do you create video advertising that people actually like?

Fortunately for you, we know a thing or two about making great Facebook video ads, so we compiled our best insights for you below. The cherry on top? As a part of our Ad Designpalooza event, we held a fireside chat with Adam Lisagor, founder of the Los Angeles-based video agency Sandwich. Creating video advertising that people like is kind of their specialty (and ours too!), so we included some of his expert insights here as well.

Ready to get creating? Let’s dive in.

Watch Ad Designpalooza On-Demand

11 sessions, 15 speakers, and 6+ hours of content covering topics like this one with Adam Lisagor, Founder of Sandwich! Hear from Adam about what it takes to create a video ad that people actually like. Watch on-demand >

How Do I Make a Good Facebook Video Ad?

When creating video ads, Adam compares his agency’s role to that of a great teacher.

“Our job is to convey the value of a tool or a platform or a product so that people can understand what it’s like to use it and the emotional experience, and we do that using the tools of filmmaking,” says Adam.

But before you even think about picking up a camera, you need to have a clear goal and target audience for your Facebook video ad.

Ask yourself: what do you want people to do after they watch your video?

Do you want them to:

  • Make a purchase?
  • Start a free trial?
  • Learn more about what you do?
  • Share your video with their network?
  • Remember your business?

Your answer should dictate what type of video you create. For example, if you want to educate your audience, an explainer video could work well. On the other hand, if you’re looking to drive sales, a customer testimonial video can help build trust with your audience.

You also need to consider who you’re looking to reach with your video – and get as specific as possible. Good video advertising should speak your audience’s language, and if you cast too wide a net, you risk losing their attention.

Check out this Instacart ad from Sandwich, for instance. While pretty much anyone could see the value in a grocery delivery app, the ad visuals focus on working parents specifically and highlight the app’s value proposition (“They’ll bring it to your door – fast.” “It’s like having another you.”).

If you’re a working parent, we’re sure this ad would be a lot more compelling to you than a more generic one that simply shows a grocery delivery, and that’s the power of knowing your audience.

Once you’ve figured out your goal and audience, you can move on to scripting and storyboarding your ad.

10 Video Ad Tips to Follow

If you want to the create best video ads of all time, then follow these steps. From our experience, the best Facebook video ads all have the below features in common:

1. Have a Strong Hook

You only have a few seconds to reel viewers in, so make them count.

For example, you could include text that quickly explains your company’s unique value proposition or lead with a compelling visual or dialogue. Just don’t leave your best stuff to the end.

2. Build Strong Brand Awareness Early-On

It’s not a golden rule, but Facebook has found that viewers are 23% more likely to remember a brand if it is featured in the first three seconds of the video.

Every touchpoint should help to build your brand in the way that you want it to be built.
Brent Stirling, VP of Sales and Growth at Shoelace

3. Tell a Story

You've definitely heard this one before—but that's because it's very important.

Features and benefits are cool and all, but if you really want to capture your audience’s attention, you need to tell a story. For example, what was your customer’s life like before they used your product or service, and what’s it like now? Showcasing that transformation is key.

4. Get People To Do Something

While you want your ad to stand out from the crowd, you never want to be so clever that your audience doesn’t know what you want them to do after watching. Don’t forget to include a strong CTA, so people know where to find you.

5. Make People Feel Something

A good ad should be entertaining, inspiring, relatable, educational, or some combination of the four. Whatever route your ad takes, just ensure that it's connecting with the viewer on some level.

Hint: knowing your audience and personas really well will help you here!

6. Blend In

Aim to make your ad relevant to its surrounding context. For example, if you’re running Google video ads on YouTube, consider creating a specific version for beauty tutorial video placements and another one for commentary videos.

7. Stand Out

This might seem contradictory to our last point, but we mean that the creative should feel fresh and exciting. The best way to do that is to look for inspiration outside of other social media ads.

If you want to make something great, don’t look around at what everybody else is doing right now. Look at what nobody else is doing right now.
Adam Lisagor, Founder of Sandwich

8. Make it Work With or Without Sound

Though it's less likely for YouTube video ads, these days, most people watch videos with sound turned off. Try to get your message across with or without the sound. Speak with visuals!

9. Look Good on Mobile

It’s super simple – your viewers will most likely be watching your video content on their smartphones so think mobile first. Consider various vertical formats when you create the ad.

10. Spend as Much Time (or More) on Your Landing Page Design

There's nothing worse than seeing an incredible ad, only to be sent to a dull landing page. These two creatives should blend into each other like an art piece!

So, don't make the mistake of putting all of your time and creative juices into the ad creation without spreading the love to your landing page design as well.

What Does a Good Video Ad Look Like?

Need to see a few more examples to get what we’re talking about? We got you. Keep reading to check out some real Facebook video ads and get our two cents on why they work so well.

ClickUp Ad

Why this works:

  • Strong hook: You’re probably familiar with the “How it started/How it’s going” meme, and the recognizable framing device immediately hooks in its internet-savvy target audience.
  • Strong brand awareness: The video prominently displays the company’s name and logo within the first five seconds, helping viewers immediately understand what the ad is for.
  • Storytelling: The ad has a clear narrative arc, visually showing how the main character’s life has gone from overwhelming and stressful to calm and collected thanks to ClickUp.
  • Get people to do something: The ad ends with an enticing promise (“Save one day every week. Guaranteed.”) and a strong CTA (“get started”) to drive people to take the desired action of signing up for a subscription.

Superside Ad

Why this works:

  • Strong hook: The ad leads with a simple question (“Do you need design help at work?”) that clearly and directly speaks to the problem our platform solves.
  • Blend in: By using emojis, social media fonts, and real people in the video, the ad doesn’t disrupt the social media viewing experience or stand out too much from Facebook’s newsfeed.
  • Stand out: Fun transitions and motion graphics help highlight the service and make the ad memorable without detracting from the ad’s native feel.

Looking for a marketing design service to get great video ads like this one? We've got the creative talent to tackle of your design needs.

Abreva Ad

Facebook ad example from Abreva

Abreva Facebook Ad

Why this works:

  • Blend in: Creating multiple versions (celebrity gossip, beauty) of the same ad concept makes the ad feel more personalized and relevant to its audience.
  • Tell a story: The ad uses a straightforward, almost fill-in-the-blank narrative (“You can’t get rid of X but you can get rid of cold sores” “Keep X, but lose cold sores”) that can be adapted to multiple audiences while still telling a relatable story.
  • Get people to do something: The ad’s final call to action (“Get rid of cold sores in 2.5 days”) highlights the product’s value proposition and gives viewers a solid reason to purchase.

Sandwich Ad

Why this works:

  • Stand out: The vibrant color-coordinated scenes feel almost more like a magazine spread than your typical video ad, immediately catching the eye.
  • Works with or without sound: The ad has no dialogue, only background music and visuals, so it can be easily understood with or without sound.
  • Strong brand awareness: The ad breaks up the videos with intertitles that feature the company’s logo both at the beginning and end of the ad.

Great Video Ads are Like Great Sandwiches

Creating a good Facebook video ad is a little like, well, making a sandwich. You can’t have too much of one thing, or it will throw the whole balance off. For example, if your video is too clever and creative, it might be fun to watch but won’t drive results. Too informative, and you risk losing your audience’s attention.

According to Adam, a great video needs to have “the right ratio of creativity, directness, respect, brevity, [and] conciseness.” “The outcome of our job is not to be clever, he says. “It’s, ‘Did it help people understand and then do something with that new knowledge.’”

If your Facebook video ad checks all the boxes above, then you’re on the right track.

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Published: Aug 9, 2021
Piotr Smietana
Written by
Piotr Smietana
Piotr is a Marketing Creative Director at Superside, based in Cracow, Poland. He's a video marketing expert with over 9 years of experience in digital marketing, advertising, gaming and the film industry. When not at work, you can find him flying his drone on an epic adventure, jamming on the electric guitar, or hitting up a nearby music festival.

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