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Facebook’s guide on how to create videos with stills for ads

With time spent on mobile increasing, more and more brands are looking to engage with consumers through the platform. In a mobile world, brand building and direct response (DR) campaigns live side by side as mobile attention doesn’t differentiate between these two. On mobile, video is becoming more and more popular and by 2020, 75 per cent of all mobile data will be video.

On Facebook, the number of advertisers using video in direct-response campaigns across increased 3.8X. To help advertisers leverage Facebook’s ad formats well for video, the Creative Shop team at the social media giant came up with a production approach called ‘Create to Convert’ to create better DR ads for the platform.

According to Facebook, campaigns which have static plus video have a positive impact for DR advertisers on lower funnel metrics. Campaigns that combine both static and video assets achieved a conversion lift at a 6 per cent higher rate than static assets alone. Create to Convert is an easy framework to add lightweight motion to still images to create more compelling and effective direct-response ads.

On an average, people spend three hours per day on their phones and check them up to 80x per day. Statistics also show that 79 per cent of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page.

As part of the ‘Create to Convert’ framework, there are four types of ads that brands can create:

Basic motion: Animate a still image by adding only one or two elements of motion in a few seconds and include a call-to-action (CTA) card at the end to drive the desired business outcome.

Brand in motion: Bring the elements of the brand or logo to life in a few seconds to promote brand recognition and then add a CTA card at the end to drive action.

Benefit in motion: Bring the key benefit or message of the ad to life through animation in a few seconds. This could be a product benefit, a special offer or discount, a testimonial or product variety. Highlighting the benefit will illuminate the value to the brand’s audience and adding a CTA at the end will enable them to easily take the next step toward conversion.

Demo in motion: Focus motion on demonstrating how the brand’s app, website, service, product or feature works. Show people how to navigate the brand’s offerings and include a CTA at the end to enable them to seamlessly take action right from the ad.

Sixty-nine per cent of brands that used these methods saw a positive outcome according to 49 studies conducted with brands by Fcaebook. For example, Shopback used the Create to Convert method and saw a 5.5X better conversion rate and a 5.7X lower cost per registration from its video ads compared to using still ads alone. On average, brands using both still ads and video ads saw a 17 per cent higher rate of conversions compared to brands using only still ads.

“While video continues to play an increasingly important role in mobile advertising, for direct response advertisers, creating video ads can be intimidating due to perceived production and performance barriers. But by simply layering branding, basic graphics, clear short messages — and whenever possible a demo of the product or service — marketers can create lightweight video that’s both easy to create and effective. Through our research, 69 per cent of direct response campaigns using this framework achieved higher conversion lift or lower costs per incremental conversion by adding videos to their static image campaigns,” said May Seow, Head of Creative Systems and SMB in APAC, Facebook Creative Shop.

With the help of Create to Convert, over 1632 videos made in average three hours or less. There was a 27 per cent average lift in the number of DR videos post C2C.

Speaking on the results of the campaign, David Lee, CEO, Shakr.com said, “Mobile video advertising is a fast-moving medium that many advertisers struggle to keep pace with. Facebook’s performance video production approach clears the clutter and helps advertisers quickly and effectively create video using techniques we’ve seen advertisers achieve great success with. Shakr implemented Facebook’s approach in ready-to-use video ad templates for our clients, making it easy for any brand to create lightweight video ads for Facebook campaigns that convert.”

Carousell was another brand that tried out the approach. Discussing the benefits of ‘Create to Convert’, Arun Kumar, Head of Digital Marketing, Carousell said, Facing stiff competition in the Philippines, Carousell needed to effectively appeal to sellers on Facebook and increase app downloads, so it wanted to experiment with a differentiated approach. By introducing video on Facebook for product marketing, Carousell successfully increased efficiencies and conversions. We scored a large increase in seller listings and even buyer offers through mobile-optimised video.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.