Facebook renews focus on Video ads

Facebook users are reportedly watching over 100 million hours of video a day, one reason why the medium has been receiving lots of love from Facebook recently.


Last week Facebook gave marketers an early Valentine’s gift, releasing a batch of new video advertising and reporting features clearly aimed at anyone battling to make an impact with autoplay ads.

Say hello to automated captions, 100 percent in-view ad buying (now available globally), and new third party video reporting metrics.

With Facebook reporting that 80 percent of Facebook users react negatively when autoplay video ads announce themselves with loud audio, most advertisers have set their ads to be muted until the user opts to turn on audio. But Facebook says that adding captions can help increase video ad viewing times (by 12 percent, on average).

While it has been possible to add embed or upload captions manually, the new automated captioning tool simplifies the process. It automatically generates captions which can be reviewed, edited and saved using Facebook’s ads creation tool. Automated captioning will be made available to Ads Manager and Power Editor users in the coming weeks, but will initially support US English only.

Now out of beta and available globally, Facebook’s 100-Percent Viewability Buying option provides comfort to advertisers concerned that they pay only when their entire ads are on-screen. Facebook says that over 90 percent of ad impressions are already 100 percent in-view, but that this option gives brands more control.

The last of Facebook’s gifts to video advertisers came with the announcement that video ad analytics integration (with third party provider Moat) is now global. Moat will be used to verify that ads are 100-percent in-view, and will provide performance data on video views and view lengths, including the percentage of viewers who watched videos without sound.

Why should you care?

Advertisers wary of running video ads on Facebook now have reasons to reconsider their options.

With Facebook video ads needing to be relevant and entertaining for maximum impact, automated captioning will make it easier for marketers struggling to engage audiences in the first critical seconds of viewing time.

Third party video advertising analytics should help provide the data necessary to see quickly what’s working and what isn’t, and provide marketers with the confidence to make adjustments to audiences and video creative accordingly.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.