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How To Create Facebook Video Ads

April 27, 2019

Knowing how to create Facebook video ads that convert is an important skill for digital marketing in 2019. With users spending five times the amount of time on video as they do on static content, Facebook and Instagram are ruled by the medium. If you can use video to your advantage, success on Facebook and Instagram is imminent.

Creating video is so simple that there’s no valid excuse to not. Any way that you can help propel your business forward on a mobile phone can’t be missed. Posting video on social media doesn’t need to take more than a few minutes with your iPhone, and in those few minutes you can share offers, feature your product, and deliver your brand message.

Video by itself can’t do everything, though. If you want to succeed on social media this year, you need to know how to create successful video ads on Facebook Ads manager. Once you’ve developed an understanding of the Facebook Ads platform, you can do overwhelming numbers.

Video ads currently appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook’s Audience Network. There are pros and cons to appearing on each, but understanding these placements is one of the keys to a Facebook video ad campaign. If you want to know how to create Facebook video ads that convert, you’ll need to understand the technical details.

While creative is a major factor, Facebook video ad campaigns live and die by their placement, targeting, and optimization. These are the kind of thing I cover in my Facebook Ad Training Course, because they are crucial to digital marketing success in 2019. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.

Best Practices for Facebook Video Ads

Before you even open Ads Manager, there are a few things you can do to learn how to create Facebook video ads that convert. This information is true for every Facebook video, but it’s especially noteworthy here because of certain features in Ads Manager. Optimizing your videos is a huge step towards making your campaign work how successful videos ads work.

The first thing you should be paying attention to is your video ratio. To create successful video, you’ll want a square or vertical 4:5 aspect ratio. These will work on both Facebook and Instagram, but you can use Stories for Instagram only ads.

Your video should also be designed for sound off. If you know how to create successful Facebook video ads, you know that most people are watching with no sound. Because of this, you’ll want to use strong visuals or captioning (if not a combination) – Facebook offers auto captions to make this easier.

Facebook video ads that convert the best are often centered around short videos. You should aim for a 15 second or less run time, which conveniently lets the creative also function as a Story. That said, you can use longer videos with Instagram supporting up to 120 seconds and Facebook and Messenger allowing 240 minutes.

If you do use a video longer than 15 seconds, you’ll want to feature your brand message within the first 15. Users click off quickly, so you need to get your message across ASAP. Similarly, you should aim for your creative to set a hook within the first 3 seconds.

Bonus points if you can get your message across and set a hook with no audio.

How To Create a Video Ad in Ads Manager

To know how to create Facebook video ads, you’ll need to know how to create video ads in the first place. The process is fairly simple, but there are some important decisions to be made within Ads Manager. If you make the wrong choices here, it could tank your whole campaign. Pay attention.

The start, of course, is to go to your Ads Manager profile. You need to have a business page set up on Facebook to do this, and if you haven’t already set it up now’s the time. Once you’re on your profile, head to the Create Ad button at the top of the page to get going.

Now choose an objective that supports video. There are a few to choose from here, each with their own unique benefits. If you’re looking for this video to drive immediate sales or send people to another page, you’ll want Traffic. For branding or growing your Facebook page, I recommend using the Video Views option.

Video Views optimizes your ad to be seen for a certain period of time, which can increase engagement and/or pump your numbers for social proof. You can choose to optimize for 2 seconds, 5 seconds, or the full video – but the full video option only optimizes for people who will watch up to 15 seconds. The 2 seconds option is great for social proof, and the full video is best for engagement on long videos. For general purposes, 5 seconds is the way to go.


After you’ve chosen an objective, you’ll have to decide what audience targeting you want. Anyone who knows how to run successful video ads will tell you that audience targeting is extremely important. Try narrowing your audience by location, age, and relevant interests – once you’ve run a few ads, Facebook can help with this.

At this stage you’ll need to place your budget. I hope you know how to do that.

With that set, you’re going to choose placements. Automatic placement is selected by default, but it’s rarely the best option. The biggest decision you’ll have to make here is which platforms your ads will be placed on.

Messenger is a good option but you often won’t want to use the same creative between Messenger and Facebook. Audience Network is also solid, but shows your ad off Facebook. This can be good for sales, but normally isn’t right for branding.

The major decision is whether your ad will appear on Facebook, Instagram, or a combination, and if so where. You can choose to show your ad on Stories, on Facebook Marketplace, or the feed, with the feed being the most obvious option. Another choice is what platforms you want to run your ad on – you can choose either or both of desktop or mobile.

With that done, choose Single Image or Video (or carousel if you have several pieces of creative) and upload your video. Select crop and choose 4:5 aspect ratio to optimize your visual, and click Customize, then Thumbnail to select a custom thumbnail. Click Confirm, and your ad is set to go.

How to Add a Call-to-Action Button to a Video Ad

In addition to branding purposes, it’s important to learn about call-to-action buttons when learning how to run Facebook Video Ads. CTA buttons can drive people to your content, website, or app. The CTA button is available for ads running on every platform.

Before you begin, you should know that you can’t add a CTA if you chose engagement as your ad objective or on a boosted post. You also can’t add a CTA to a Canvas video ad. If you want the Donate CTA, you need to be registered as a charitable organization on Facebook.

That said, to add a CTA return to your ads creative (or do this before you start running it). You can do this by selecting it from the Ads tab in Ad Manager. Go to the Links section of the Creative, and choose Call To Action. Finally, select an option and paste your link.

Boom! Now you know how to create successful video ads. The process sounds simple, but you’ve now opened the door to a lot of testing. As you experiment and learn more about how to run Facebook video ads, you will grow your brand significantly throughout the year.


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