MTV debuted their new TV channel at 12:01 am on August 1st, 1981; they showed “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. This prophetic choice foreshadowed the influence and effect video would have on advertising for decades to come.

In recent years, video has evolved from shaky-handed amateur videos to high-gloss animated brand-storytelling digital videos on Facebook that drive traffic to a product page with a ‘must-buy’ opportunity. Over 4 million people watch videos on Facebook per day. So savvy advertisers want to know how to break into that promotional forum to make lasting impressions for their brands and drive traffic to purchase through digital video ads on Facebook. 

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Some may ask, why video ads? The answer is simple: video ads work. In 2020, 96% of consumers increased their online video viewing, and they’re predicted to watch more in 2021. Television watching is also deteriorating as 6 out of 10 viewers prefer to watch online videos over TV. Others ask why put video ads on Facebook specifically? Facebook is a widely received and enjoyed social platform with over 2.8 billion monthly active users, with 1.84 billion active users per day. 

Animated person clicking on Buy now button

Why advertise on Facebook at all? Facebook has the audience, but it also makes many forms of advertising for brands and companies easy to create, use, and reach those desirable customers directly. Facebook video ads also have that stickiness in the customer’s mind, with 97% of consumers being more likely to purchase with an upbeat video advertisement experience.

How do brands and companies make a successful Facebook video ad campaign? This Facebook video ad guide will show you how to do just that.

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

Start Your Ad: To create an ad, go into your FB Business Manager account. Then, in the left corner right under resource center, click the green button that says, create. From there, you can select the campaigns that you want to run.

Select Campaign Objective: To create ads, choose your campaign objective to get video views. Objectives to select from are brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, conversions, store traffic, and catalog sales.

facebook business manager

Create Facebook Pixel: Pixel is a special code added to your website that tracks customer activity on your website. For example, when a customer visits your website and adds something to their cart, clicks a button on your site, submits a form, watches a video, or resizes a window, the pixel code activates and sends information to Facebook Ad

Manager, who responds on how best to assist the customer while they are on your site. Facebook Ad Manager then analyzes the traffic and how your website responds to the customer and retargets your ads for better conversion rates.

Never created a Facebook Business Manager account? Click here to get instructions: 
Pro tip

When creating your ideal audience, first start with your own customers.

Build Your Audience: This is a crucial step in your video advertising campaign development. By choosing the location, age group, gender, income level, single or married, education level, and other significant details, you can target a particular audience that would be highly receptive to ads about your business. The more targeted your audience, the better chance of hitting your ROI bullseye.

While you’re building a target audience with different demographic information, you should also build lookalike audiences. A lookalike audience is defined as a group of social network members who share similar, if not the same, characteristics. Facebook first introduced this feature in 2013. When you create this audience, you select a source audience from your Page fans, customer lists, behavior patterns, buying habits, and specific identifiers like phone numbers, zip codes, and email addresses. 

By dissecting this information and other variables provided by existing customers and increasing the size of the source audience (500 to 50,000), Facebook finds those potential customers outside your existing customer base. Facebook also recommends quality over quantity, though. Choose your best customers out of all your customers to attract better targeted customers.

One seed you can plant for your lookalike audience is the customer lifetime value based on past purchases, spending, and length of relationship with that customer. Another seed is value-based for those customers who use a mobile app, list, catalog, software development kit (SDK), and/or a custom audience built from a customer value relationship over time. Lookalike audiences are a great way to expand your existing and potential customer base both, qualitatively and quantitatively.

animated picture of audience

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

What TYPE of Ad?

Facebook for Business offers different video ad options: slideshow, carousel, stories, live videos, 360 degrees, and collections for various ad goals. For example, you can choose from your own images, videos, stock images with slideshows, and stories. 

Facebook Ads offers four video ad templates in Facebook Tools, with two other types of ads. These templates help form the video ad in terms of size (aspect ratio) and placement. 

Let’s break down the six different video ads so you know what your video ad options are.

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This is one of the most non-technical video ads you can create. They can be cost-effective for a brand or business that wants to make ads without studio or production expense. When creating a slideshow, size does matter.

Use 1,080 x 1,080 pixels for best visual results and adjust the aspect ratio of either 16:9, 2:3,  or 1:1. To maintain size consistency,  Facebook Ads Manager automatically crops differently sized images to 16:9 or 1:1. These videos also can’t go over 15 seconds. You can add your logos to images in these ads, plus use text overlay, and decorate with sticker graphics. Images can also be shortened and add fade transitions for better image flow.

Use high-quality, high-resolution photos and videos. Start with three pictures and videos. Then, you can add up to 10 images in total. You can also add music that you have permission to use and create a fully immersive experience that you can make from your smartphone. Another benefit of slideshow ads is they can reach customers with lower bandwidth and highlight the benefits of your business or you can brand by highlighting one. Then, pair the image with consistent text, so each print is different but has the same layout.

Slideshow Video

Ad Guidelines:

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Number of images: Between 3 and 10

Pixels: 1280 X 720 pixels

Aspect ratio: 16:9, 1:1, or 2:3 (automatically crops to 1:1 if each image is a different size)

Duration: Maximum 15 seconds. The duration options will change depending on how many images are used.


File type: MOV or MP4

Duration: Up to 15 seconds


File types: WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC, and OGG formats

You can use stereo AAC audio compression, 128 kbps.

Carousel ads combine up to ten different videos and/or still images highlighting various aspects of products or just one product in a single ad, each with its own headline, description, link, and call to action. People swipe on mobile or click arrows on their desktop to scroll through a carousel ad. The carousel format can benefit various businesses and their needs, such as showcasing real estate properties, service offerings, events, and more. 

In addition, carousel ads can feature multiple products that link to different landing pages, giving customers more options and help raise clickthrough rates. This video ad shows different product angles and features and can educate customers better on the product(s) to enhance sales and understanding. 

Carousel videos are great for storytelling and brand narrative–imagine a flipbook from start to finish, showing a horse race. Each page shows the same horse in different stages of the race, with the last page/image showing the horse winning the race. You can also guide the viewer on how your business works, step-by-step, involving the potential customer in your business process, so they know what you and your brand represent.

carousel ads

With the multiple images of this video ad, you can create one large picture using multiple frames in a panorama. In addition, carousel ads can help you sell the benefits to new customers using combined images and videos. If you’re in a service industry business, This type of ad works best in a square aspect ratio (1:1). Adding external links for products featured in the ad fosters sales when linked to the product landing page. 

A storytelling carousel ad uses all available components: witty headlines, concise descriptions, and call-to-action buttons. Next, make sure your images and videos flow together coherently, with the best ones at the beginning of the ad. Then, as your ad plays, you can check your metrics to review what images (or cards) perform better and remove images that don’t work. Finally, make sure the product link is the best possible landing page for better sales if you’re selling products.

Carousel Video Ads Guidelines

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Recommended image size: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels

Minimum width and height of 600 pixels (minimum 254 x 133 pixels for Messenger Home Carousel Ads).

Minimum 2 cards and max of 10 cards per Carousel Ad.

Recommended ratio: 1:1

Max image size: 30MB

Recommended image formats: JPG and PNG

Important: Images with 20% text or more could increase the chances of failed delivery.

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

story video ads

Stories video ads are an excellent option for businesses who want to reach a specific audience who enjoy watching Facebook stories. The ads themselves go between the actual stories but won’t disappear after 24 hours. Story video ads are 5 seconds or less and can only be a single video or carousel format. Still, you can add stickers, texts, filters, gifs, boomerangs, and other creative tools to make an eye-catching video. 

Story ads are a great ad option for auctions, reach, and frequency, with many call-to-action options. Brands expressing themselves creatively in stories connect with the customer. It also encourages customers to engage with other viewers and the brand itself. A customer appreciates an insightful snippet inside an otherwise unknown brand that they can personally relate to. One of the most responded-to Stories video ads includes sales and promotions, especially when the ads are new and different.

Stories Video

Ad Guidelines:

story video ads


File Type: MP4, MOV, or GIF 

Ratio: 9:16 

Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+

Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels 

Video Captions: Optional, but recommended

Video Duration: 1 second to 2 minutes

Maximum File Size: 4GB

Minimum Width: 500 pixels

Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 1%


Video Sound: Optional, but recommended

Consider leaving roughly 14% (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the video free from text and logos to avoid covering these key elements with the call-to-action.


Primary Text: 125 characters

Headline: 40 characters

Live ads help break up a live stream video. This can be any type of preexisting ads that are boosted or created and enabled for in-stream insertion. You can also boost a video using Live Producer inside the Facebook Ad Manager section. You can boost your ads as well in Live; you can’t boost a post, video, or ad until AFTER the live feed has ended. These ads also need to be between 5-15 seconds long.

facebook live video ads

These ads can be highly beneficial for brand exposure, audience expansion, and viewer interaction. For example, imagine debuting your new can opener to help those with hand and wrist injuries open cans without pain. You begin the live feed where you show someone can open a can with carpal tunnel syndrome. 

After the initial can opening, a thoughtfully placed video ad enters and tells viewers exactly how to purchase this new can opener. Cut back to the live video, and purchasers who love this product testify. Video ad comes on after a few minutes, again telling viewers how to purchase. After viewers watch the live stream, they’ve seen how to purchase your wondrous new can opener several times and are now inspired to buy it. Message reinforcement in this manner is crucial to the buyer’s journey and process.

Live Video

Ad Guidelines:

facebook live video ads


File Type: MP4, MOV, or GIF 

Ratio: 4:5 

Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+

Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels 

Video Captions: Optional, but recommended

Video Sound: Optional, but recommended

Video Duration: 1 second to 241 minutes

Maximum File Size: 4GB

Minimum width: 120 pixels

Minimum Height: 120 pixels


Primary Text: 125 characters 

Headline: 40 characters 

Description: 30 characters

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

360 video ads

360 video ads are more active, immersive and lead to the exploration of a product or service. This type of video ad can be on desktop and mobile and get priority placement in Facebook feeds. Going 360 degrees can involve the viewer in many different experiences, like traveling to the Serengeti and watching wildlife surrounding the camera from a safari truck or a behind-the-scenes tour of your favorite Broadway show. Other brands have used 360 degrees to show how a favorite treat is made and what it’s like to drive a tank from all angles. 

A few things to consider when creating a 360-degree video are finding the horizon line stabilizing the camera–rapid movement in the image and a shaky hand can cause motion sickness in the viewer. Minimizing edits and cuts to the raw video can also maintain stability and a more accessible viewer if it’s one smooth shot. If you include people in your video, drop the Fourth Wall completely and make sure the people aren’t out of proportion; paying attention to distance can help. During filming, use the sounds around you so the viewer hears the lion’s roar and sees it and feels part of the landscape. After editing, add music and graphics to enhance the viewer’s experience.

360-Degree Video

Ad Guidelines:

facebook live video ads


The resolution and aspect ratio depends on the type of content:

Monoscopic: 5120 x 2560 maximum, aspect ratio 2:1

Stereoscopic: 5120 x 5120 maximum, aspect ratio 1:1

Recommended max file size: 10GB.

Recommended video formats: .MP4 and .MOV.

Maximum video length:  30 minutes.

Recommended frame rate: 30 fps.

story video ads

Transforming the viewer to the buyer can be smooth through a collection video ad, especially mobile. A collection ad starts with an initial video accompanied by four product images in a grid. Then, when someone clicks on a collection ad, they’ll see an Instant Experience—a fullscreen landing page that drives engagement and nurtures interest and intent. 

After the customer clicks on the first video, they automatically go to an instant experience that can lead to a customer experience with instant storefront, instant lookbook, instant customer acquisition, and instant storytelling templates that help with engagement, traffic, brand storytelling, and product sales. All these templates drive traffic to your website or app for direct sales and engagement. 

Creating a collection ad can be a lifestyle video of the products you’re trying to promote and sell to a particular audience with product shots and links to buy underneath. Showing your products in real-life situations, viewers can see how your products look on a person and imagine themselves in and with your products in their lives.

Collection Video

Ad Guidelines:

collection video ads


Image Type: JPG or PNG 

Ratio: 1:1 

Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels 

Image Maximum File Size: 30MB

Multiple Images: Up to 20 images are supported.

Width: Full width is 1080px @3x.1

Height: Full height is 1920px @3x.

Sizing: Images have two sizing options

‘Fit-to-width’ ensures the image is full width and allows for variable height.

‘Fit-to-height’ forces the image to fill the screen top to bottom. In addition, if the image has horizontal overflow, ’tilt-to-pan’ behavior will occur.

File Type: png and jpg supported. Use video to emulate an animated gif.


Video File Type: MP4, MOV or GIF

Video Maximum File Size: 4GB


Primary Text: 125 characters

Headline: 40 characters

Landing Page URL: Required


Next, it’s time to create content to go above the video to introduce it and preview your complete video ad.

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

pro tip

Facebook Video Ads are a great storytelling tool to engage viewers. Build value by highlighting the transformation a customer will experience with your product.

Pro tip
Manual placement ads give you the ability to create highly targeted 30-second ads for Instagram.

Now that we’ve discussed the basics and mechanics of your Facebook video ad, then let’s look at where these video ads go to achieve your advertising goals best. Placement is as crucial to your advertising success as the ad itself. You can have a beautiful ad that tells your brand’s story perfectly, but if you place it where your customers and potential customers can’t see it, your ad will not have the legs it needs to create conversions.

How to place your video ads

First, you have a choice between automatic placement and manual placement.

Automatic ad placement will tell The Facebook Ads Manager delivery system to place your ads in specific places based on what you selected when you built your audience and where Facebook thinks your ad should go. Thus, automatic ad placement can help develop your initial performance. However, if the Facebook ad manager chooses your ad placement, you could lose money if the ad placement is wrong for your business.

Manual ad placement allows you to control where your video ads go and allow for one ad to become several ads by creative customization. Manual placement will also let you strategize your ad exactly where you want it to go and concentrate your budget on one specific platform or space. In the case of manual placement, putting your ad dollars towards a more customized audience can see higher conversions and lower ad costs, but you have to ask if you know who your audience is first.

Where to place your ads?

Choosing where your video ad actually goes on Facebook is almost as important as what goes into the video itself. Different placements attract different demographics, and you want to make sure your ad is in the right place at the right time.

The ad placements are Facebook Newsfeed, Facebook Instant Articles, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook In-Stream, Facebook Stories, Facebook Search Results, and Facebook Video Feed. Each placement can have different objectives and formats. 

Facebook Instant Articles

This is a mobile format that publishers (newspapers and magazines, specifically) use to post fast-loading content and add video ads into the content. The video ads only show up when your audience loads the article to view. There are some restrictions for this type of video ad, one being it’s basically only mobile, ads can only make up 15% of the actual content, and third-party ads must go below the fold. Additionally, this type of placement allows for more than 30 seconds of video but only if it’s under 15 percent.

Facebook Newsfeed

Because your newsfeed is constantly updating itself with new information, posts, news, pages, groups, and, of course, advertisers. News Feed is an excellent placement to show your product, service, or brand in new ways in video with sound and activity that can quickly grab a viewer’s attention to tell your brand’s story or see the details of the product. These video ads are usually 15 seconds, or less so the viewer can get back to the newsfeed and not feel obstructed by an unwanted intrusion.

Facebook Marketplace

The viewers in Marketplace have identified themselves as interested in buying something. Showing a video of your product with unique details might make the person miss it if it weren’t a video ad. It will also be placed among similar products for relevant searches as a viewer scrolls down the Marketplace feed with a sponsored tag at the top of the video. Video ads in Marketplace can be longer than other video ads-some last up to a minute if it’s a short product demonstration.

Depending on your product or service, experiment with time on these particular ad placements because your product’s sweet spot may be longer or short than others. The main message of the video ad still needs to be in the first three seconds for a truly lasting impact.

Facebook In-Stream

This is a video-only environment on Facebook. People go to Watch to see how dirty their favorite Aussie Samoyeds are, updates on 80s hair bands, catch up on TV shows they can’t watch in their country, news clips, boil water, and other desired content in short and long-form. With both forms, video ads are part of the experience. People who watch Live also see in-stream video ads, but only on mobile devices, in a select group of approved partners in sports, gaming, and entertainment 60-seconds after the initial start of the live feed. These ads, in particular, are mini-commercials and can go longer than 15 (up to 10 minutes if desired) seconds. Still, after 15 seconds, the viewer can tap ‘continue watching’ to see the rest of the video they’re watching or continue watching the video ad in its entirety.

Facebook Stories

Placing a video ad in Stories can be more creative than the others because of what you can do to your ad. Use emojis, stickers, and other artful elements for a more lively, energetic video ad when between organic Stories your friends make. These are also more prominent ads as they are full-screen verticals. During the full video, Facebook Stories play video ads that are 15 seconds or less.

If they are longer than 15 seconds, they will be split into cards that are 15 seconds each, up to three cards automatically. After this, Facebook gives viewers the option to tap Keep Watching to see the remainder of the video ad. Stories ads can be between 1-2 minutes long. Another recommendation for this placement, leave 14% (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the video free from text and logos, so the call to action is more prominent.

Facebook Video Feed

In Facebook Newsfeed, viewers can click on videos, leading to seeing more videos in the Video Feed relevant to what they were watching initially. When you place your video ad in Video Feed, organic videos go for a more natural flow.

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

golden key

What are Keywords? A keyword in digital marketing describes a word or a group of words a customer uses to perform a search in a search engine or search bar. Keywords are essential to any search function because they are how customers find your product or service on a particular platform. As you develop your video ad, carefully consider what words customers would use to search for a solution your product provides. Use those words in your video ad copy and script so you reach them.

Facebook Search Results: Millions of searches happen on Facebook every day, using keywords and brand names in those searches that give marketers insight into what viewers and customers are looking for. To optimize these searches into opportunities, video ads reach and connect with receptive audiences already in the buying mood. Video ads in search results can be up to 4 minutes, but 15 seconds will get your product or service brand message across and show the potential customer you value their time.

Pro tip

Keywords are crucial for your audience to find your business. Use your Facebook Page Insights, Audience Insights in the Facebook Ads area, and Suggested Keywords in Detailed Targeting to find keywords you may not have considered.

Congratulations on making your Facebook video ad! Watch it again and ask yourself, are we addressing their pain point? Is your solution clear? Is it viewable on mobile? Did you place it where your audience will see it? Are your keywords relatable to searches by customers? Here are some tips and tricks to fine-tune your video.

With what you’ve learned here, you can make Facebook video ads that are visually appealing, clear in brand messaging, placed where your ideal audience can see them, and increase awareness and interest in your business.

KISS: Keep your video ad simple, personal, and direct. With all these videos, people can become overwhelmed with too much information. One clear message with bright graphics or animation that communicates your brand will engage and interest the potential customer within the first three seconds. Add a CTA button to the end of your video so the customer feels inspired to be engaged and not being sold.

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square image of a persons photo

KISS: Keep your video ad simple, personal, and direct. With all these videos, people can become overwhelmed with too much information. One clear message with bright graphics or animation that communicates your brand will engage and interest the potential customer within the first three seconds. Add a CTA button to the end of your video so the customer feels inspired to be engaged and not being sold.

SOUND OFF: With so many videos being watched on mobile devices and to accommodate the needs of the disability community, adding captions and descriptions are a necessity. Write for the eye, not the ear, and customers will hear your message, loud and clear.

GO NATIVE: Directly uploaded Facebook native videos are prioritized instead of a shared video from another source. These videos are automatically played on Facebook and make for a more accessible, more straightforward experience. These videos also get more shares and higher engagement.

BULLSEYE: One of the benefits of using Facebook ads is targeting. Once you’re ready to upload your video, take advantage of Facebook Ad Manager to designate the location and other demographics to show your video to the right audience.

ROI written in a bullseye

Making a video ad for your business may seem a bit daunting, but implementing some of these proven tips will help your video ads stand out from the rest and attract more customers who are loyal and excited about your brand and product offerings.

Call DBB to get a Free 30-minute
Facebook Video strategy consultation.

Not ready to talk to strategy just yet? Read some of our other blogs for more information about advertising strategies and how to make video ads work for you and your business.

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