With an audience the size of three Superbowls (300 million people per day), Facebook’s video ads should be making their way into your advertising plans this year. Savvy Facebook marketers are turning to Page post video ads to engage with their customers, introduce new products, drive traffic to their websites, send people to the store and much more.
Nanigans compiled a case study with a leading game developer across multiple desktop and mobile campaigns to understand the impact of Facebook’s Page post video ads. The results underscore how effective video is to advertisers’ Facebook marketing efforts.
The developer ran Page post video ads in the Facebook mobile and desktop News Feeds ahead of their latest game releases. Their objective was to build awareness and drive engagement with the ultimate goal of driving preorders either directly from the user’s device or in stores. Results are based on 270,574,233 impressions and $1,885,512 in ad spend.
Mobile vs. Desktop
Nanigans compared relative performance of Page post video ads on desktop and mobile.
Desktop Page post video ads delivered on average a 30% higher video play rate than mobile. The mobile video play rate was 77% as compared to 136% for desktop users. Of the Facebook users who clicked the ad, they played the video multiple times accounting for the greater than 100% video play rate on desktop. 2% of desktop users clicked through the landing page as compared to 1% of mobile users.
More mobile viewers clicked on the ads, (8% CTR), delivering a 2x higher CTR than desktop (4% CTR).
The higher mobile CTR resulted in a lower cost-per-click (CPC). CPCs were 65% lower on mobile as compared to desktop.
Strategy & Approach
The ads boasted a strong call to action (90 characters of text) along with a compelling thumbnail image that played the video when clicked. Ad content included highlights from the games, such as new features and levels. Video play times ranged from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Ads related to new game launches performed the best.
The same video ad creative was leveraged across desktop and mobile. This may be the reason why the desktop play rate is higher than mobile. We’ve found that content produced specifically for mobile performs better than media designed for other mediums. All ads included social context, driving Page likes, comments and sharing.
The game developer leveraged interest targeting, connections targeting and Custom Audiences (known users who have liked the company’s fan pages or previously purchased a game) to reach its coveted 18-34 year old male audience. Custom Audiences were divided into cohorts that included audiences that had purchased the title previously, audiences that had purchased similar titles, and audiences that had purchased anything from the site before. Overall, reach and bidding structures were focused broadly in order to achieve volume.
What’s important for advertisers to remember is that it’s not just about getting your audience to watch the video – effective engagement drives viewers to take action. By adding a call to action within the video, you can boost conversions by letting users sign up for an email list, buy a product or post on Facebook while viewers are emotionally invested in your product.
And don’t forget that engaging your mobile viewers is a whole different ballgame. Video ads for smartphones should be short, simple and to the point, and include location based information with a clear call to action. For tablets, larger screen real estate and WiFi access lend themselves to longer, more advanced creative executions. Advertisers are starting to produce videos exclusively for mobile consumption and early results have shown that they outperform content produced for other channels.
Based on the study results, there seems to be an obvious interest in viewing branded videos among Facebook users. The “sweet spot” for advertisers is to capitalize on the millions of users who actively check the site on a daily basis, including during the prime-time hours coveted by television advertisers. And don’t forget about the added benefit of tracking true ROI and engagement on Facebook.