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Facebook Releases New Video Ad Features, Including Automated Captions
Plus more research and tips on making the most of video campaigns on Facebook, where most visitors are watching on smartphones.
As Facebook’s usage continues to skew more mobile, the company has been closely analyzing how behaviors on mobile differ from those on desktop.
On Wednesday, Facebook announced several new features to make buying and measuring mobile video ads more effective. Facebook also laid out findings from internal and external studies on how video content is being consumed on the social network and offered suggestions as to how advertisers can get the most out of their campaigns.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the big stats Facebook has shared on video usage and performance:
- Users watch more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day (Facebook data).
- People consume content faster on mobile than on desktop (Facebook and Twitter study with Nielsen).
- 47 percent of the value in a video ad is delivered in the first three seconds; 74 percent is delivered in the first 10 seconds (Facebook and Twitter study with Nielsen).
- 80 percent of users react negatively to video ads autoplaying with sound on when they aren’t expecting it (Facebook data).
- A study of Facebook video ads found 41 percent of videos were basically meaningless without sound (Facebook data).
- Captioned videos increase view time by an average of 12 percent (Facebook data).
Graham Mudd, director of ads product marketing at Facebook, told Marketing Land by phone on Tuesday that it’s important to embrace the differences between mobile and other advertising channels. “Those that do see better performance — more views and stronger brand metrics. How quickly users make decisions about content and how quickly they consume it on mobile is fundamentally different,” says Mudd.
Following are today’s three feature announcements for mobile video.
Ability To Add Captions To Facebook Videos Automatically
Adding captions to Facebook videos has been possible, but not simple. Advertisers had to embed captions or upload their own caption files.
But soon, advertisers will be able to choose to have captions added automatically. A new tool generates captions for video ads and delivers them to the advertiser within the ad creation tool to review. Advertisers can edit the auto-generated captions and save them to their video ads.
The automated caption tool will be available globally in Ads Manager and Power Editor in the coming weeks. Initially, captions will only be available in English.
Moat Integration Is Now Complete
Advertisers have been pressing Facebook (and others, like Google and Twitter) to support third-party measurement and audience verification. In September, Facebook announced it was partnering with Moat for video ad analytics. That integration is now live globally.
Moat will be used to give advertisers performance data on Facebook video ad views and view lengths.
Asked how he sees measurement evolving on mobile specifically, Mudd said “There’s a real opportunity for us to determine on the fly which audiences a piece of creative is resonating with and then deliver that to similar audiences. We can improve the outcome in ways that [haven’t] been possible on TV where everybody gets the same message. To not embrace some of digital’s capabilities is a missed opportunit[y].”
Mudd adds that Facebook has been working with Millward Brown and Nielsen to measure not just who sees a video, but brand metric outcomes. “We’re working on scaling up measurement on brand campaigns. Our goal is to have 100 percent of campaigns have measurement tied to them and give advertisers metrics to improve.”
100-Percent Viewability Buying Now Global
Moat is also powering Facebook’s viewable impression buying. Advertisers will now be able to buy video ad campaigns on a 100-percent-viewable basis, based on Moat data instead of taking Facebook’s word for it.
Facebook has also said that Moat technology will eventually be used to verify other News Feed ad units and ads on Instagram, but that is yet to come.
Tips For Improving Mobile Video Performance
As advertisers try to navigate the still relatively new landscape of mobile, “education is really important,” says Mudd. Facebook is learning along the way, too, he adds, but with the bonus ability of being able to analyze thousands of campaigns to see trends.
Based on many of the findings above, Facebook is continuing its efforts to share best practices recommendations for brands aiming to connect with Facebook’s massive audience. Among the suggestions outlined today:
- Establish a connection immediately to capture attention within the first few seconds.
- Design videos to be watched with the sound off.
- Continue testing and experimenting, since there is no one solution that will be the magic answer for all brands on mobile video.
For case studies and more details on the product releases, see Facebook’s blog post.