- Facebook outlined in a blog post several video consumption habits and how its video ads work to reach different audiences. For example, people use its Watch platform for “intentional viewing,” which consists of planned, longer sessions that last 5x longer than for the News Feed, where users engage in unplanned, shorter, but more frequent, sessions. Attention on a video ad for consumers age 18-24 is 75% of that for people age 65 and older, which is also the same for TV ads.
- Internal research on in-stream ads revealed that ads longer than 15 seconds had a higher abandon rate. Interrupting content with ads was deemed more acceptable when there was a “value exchange” with consumers. This led Facebook to limit in-stream ads to 15 seconds and to place them only in video content that was at least three minutes long, the post said.
- Attention research showed that it takes longer in Instant Articles for viewers to notice a video as they scroll through text and that playing videos before people finished reading felt distracting. The videos previously auto-played when 50% of the pixels were on the screen, but tests of auto-play videos when 100% of pixels were on screen showed better retention.
Marketers continue to invest in video, but Facebook's blog post underscores how video consumption is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Instead, it varies based on age, type of content, length of ads and other factors. Facebook’s insights into how people watch video content, who’s watching and other behaviors could help marketers create more effective campaigns and invest more on the platform at a time when Facebook is doubling down on a range of video offerings, including long-form, original, short and live streaming. Facebook represents 46% of all video ads created, according to research from Clinch, which also reveals that 75% of marketers adapt TV commercials for digital video campaigns, rather than tailoring them to the platforms.
In-stream ads may be best suited for longer storytelling to introduce a new product or provide information, while stories is best for sneak peeks or unfiltered videos to educate or entertain viewers, according to Facebook. Audiences age 18-34 spend 43% of their time consuming media digitally, with one-third of the time on smartphones, according to Nielsen data included in the post. Shorter ads, of around six seconds, may be more effective in reaching this audience. And, the ability to measure business outcomes, like brand lift and online and offline conversations, can help marketers better determine ROI.
Facebook recently unveiled a new set of tools to help marketers create mobile-first videos, as “mobile-first creative” is 27% more likely to drive brand lift and 23% more likely to drive message association, according to a separate post. The social network has made a number of changes to its advertising platform to help marketers create more interactive campaigns. Earlier this month, the company unveiled Create to Convert, a production framework that lets creators add lightweight motion to still images.