Facebook Video Ads Rival YouTube

heinekin-neil-patrick-harris-hed-2014Facebook video ads are quickly beginning to rival YouTube for video advertising in terms of return on investment. Video ads on Facebook were first available in March, 2014 to a select group of advertisers. The ads are bought in a similar way to standard TV ads, where delivery is based on Targeted Gross Rating Points in order to reach a specified audience over a specific (and short) period of time. The ad’s delivery is measured by Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR), which is an independent third party, ensuring advertisers fairly pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.

The fine line Facebook must constantly walk is ensuring their platform is user-friend while at the same time not inundating their user base with a plethora of ads. Therefore, the platform takes extra measures to ensure the sponsored content they present is content that their users would find interesting and engaging. It is for this reason that Facebook chose to work with a video agency to ensure that the videos are engaging and the creative is solid before sending the videos live on Facebook. Once the ads are approved, and ready to send live, the next step is for the video to appear on users’ timelines. The video ads auto-play soundlessly in users feeds unless the user clicks the video to bring it full screen and with sound.

Fast-forward nine months, and we find that brands are quickly learning that Facebook video ads are worth their weight in digital gold. For example, Heineken USA’s senior media director of marketing stated that “YouTube and Facebook are equal players now, or at least close to it.” The brand finds that Facebook video ads have a higher reach count and a higher engagement rate than similar ads run on YouTube.

Heineken Light ran their video ads to 21 to 34 year olds in the U.S. in October, 2014. Over the course of three days, the videos reached 35 million user’s newsfeeds. Of those individuals that the ads were served to, 5.5 million users clicked the ad to view it, resulting in a 16% conversion from reach to view.

Everyone has heard, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Then what is a video worth? Digital advertising via video media has become more and more popular with marketers because companies are continuously finding video ads to have a strong return on investment. We believe the reason for this is multi-faceted. Videos are expensive to produce, so marketers have to pull out their A-game if they are going to take on a video project. Therefore, the end result is typically well thought out and as good as it can possibly be. In turn, users are intrigued by a video that can make them feel something, or improve their lives in some minute way.

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