Earlier this year, Facebook started offering advertisers a golden opportunity: to place their ads directly within live and on-demand videos on the platform.

Dubbed “in-stream video ads,” they bring visibility and ROI to a new level.

According to the site, “more than 70 percent of in-stream video ads up to 15 seconds in length are watched to completion — most with sound on.” Additionally, Facebook says in-stream ads deliver an average on-target rate of 89 percent.

TV network SYFY recently used the ads and saw an 11-point jump in ad recall and a view-through rate of 83 percent — numbers any advertiser would be happy with day or night.

Interest piqued? Let’s dive in and look at this new ad placement in more detail.

What are Facebook In-stream Video Ads?

facebook instream video ads

Video ads are nothing new on the site.

Before now, marketers could run stand-alone video ads that played in users’ news feeds, but given that many news feed users are mid-scroll and on the go, viewership rates aren’t as high as most advertisers would like on these placements.

According to Digiday, not even a third of these video ads is viewed for 2 seconds or more.

And viewership with the sound on? That’s even lower.

But news feed placements will still be available for video ads, just with in-stream placements thrown into the mix as well. Advertisers can opt for one or both placements, depending on their unique goals and target audiences.

Consider in-stream ads like a commercial break for Facebook videos. Put simply, they’re five- to 15-second advertisements that brands can place “mid-roll,” while users are watching videos – both live and on-demand ones.

Advertisers can pick and choose their target audiences for in-stream ads, just as they would any other Facebook ad placement, and the ad will be played directly within the video content, where the advertiser chooses to place an ad break.

It’s important to note: not all Facebook videos are up for advertising space. According to Facebook’s Advertising Help Center, “Only publishers and creators who meet strict requirements are eligible to place ad breaks in their video content.”

How Do In-stream Video Ads Work?

From a set-up standpoint, advertisers can place Facebook in-stream video ads on both Facebook and the Audience Network, which includes hundreds of sites, apps and other platforms. Advertisers can also optimize their in-stream campaigns for the following objectives:

  • Video views
  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Post engagement

You can also intentionally exclude your in-stream ads from appearing in certain video categories, including those labeled “Debatable Social Issues,” “Mature” or “Tragedy and Conflict.”

This is a good option if you’re worried about associating your brand with touchy subjects or scandal.

facebook in stream video ads

You can even block your ads from appearing with certain video publishers, though the number of blocks you can do in one year is limited.

Apparently, by the end of 2017, Facebook plans to give advertisers a “publisher list” when setting up their video campaigns.

The lists will detail which sites, apps, articles and video publishers an ad may appear with – before you hit the live button.

Billing, analytics and reporting will all operate the same on in-stream ads as they do for traditional, news feed videos. There will also be the option to only pay if a video is viewed for at least 10 seconds or more.

Facebook In-stream Video Ads vs. YouTube Ads

At the moment, Facebook in-stream video ads vary from YouTube ones mostly from a content standpoint.

Facebook’s videos have historically been shorter, bite-sized and more shareable, while YouTube ventures into longer, more episodic and original content – something that statistically lends itself to more focused, sound-on viewership.

With the launch of Facebook’s new “Watch” platform though, those differences are slowly going by the wayside.

instream video ads

“Watch” is Facebook’s foray into the world of original programming and will give users access to streaming TV shows, live sporting events and more long-form video content that advertisers can capitalize on.

Presumably, as “Watch” grows over the coming months (it’s still in limited release right now,) it will expand the in-stream advertising space that’s available exponentially – both in volume and in variety.

This will allow the platform to compete even better with YouTube, Hulu and other streaming apps currently on the market.

To learn more about Facebook in-stream video ads, email tara@cpcstrategy.com.

 

How Facebook Users Engage With Your Ads

The Facebook Consumer Survey 2017
 

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.