Make a Facebook ad with an image or video?

September 18, 2023

When we want to make a Facebook ad, we have the choice of format between an image or a video for the majority of available placements. While some might say we go with one or the other depending on the media available.

Understanding the cost differences

If you use video to engage with users using the "ad engagements" format, Facebook will optimize with the number of engagements overall, so it will likely end up maximizing the number of views on the video, because one view is considered engagement by Facebook. So, you will be less likely to pay for a like, comment or share. On the other hand, using a photo, a user can also simply click on the photo and will be considered engagement by Facebook, so it is important to understand that this may not have a major impact on performance. So someone who just wants likes or comments should tailor their video to encourage that or have more chances by using images.

Understanding the differences in advertising consumption

A video is made for sitting down and watching. A photo is meant to sweep the eye away. (There will always be exceptions). So, a person who sees a video is less likely to click despite the fact that it is the same type of advertising (Link clicks ads) and that the space to click is the same. The user, generally speaking, will be less likely to click on an ad if it is a video, because they might be inclined to click on the video and not on the call to action. There will always be exceptions here and there, but that is what is widely accepted as a generality. If you want to check it out for yourself, it's pretty simple: an ad group with just two ads: the same video and image content.

Simply put: you want clicks, you have much more chance with an image.

Further read : Why should every business invest in Facebook ads ?

Understanding the differences in mobile advertising consumption

In addition, if your targeting is for mobile too, you must take into consideration that video consumption on mobile is different than on a computer. It is still a format that is not very suitable for mobile in different regions given the production costs, but I believe that it will be more and more common to have a format for mobile and a format for the computer. If you make a video for Netflix or Youtube, we can understand that the user does not necessarily hold their phone vertically, but for Facebook, an application that is not available in horizontal format, it is completely normal.

Understanding the differences at the retargeting level

I seem to be against video ads, but that’s not the case at all! Moreover, video format advertising has something that is very interesting for marketers: the possibility of retargeting people who have watched the ad for at least three seconds. (I explain here how to create personalized audiences with users who have seen your video.)

This therefore means that video advertising, used in any way (engagement or clicks) has a very interesting advantage when budgets allow to have a lot of impressions, therefore reusable audiences. Never forget that it is also super important to do your video advertising well! We wrote an article on how to create a good video ad for Facebook.

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