Wondering if a Facebook video ad is better than just a static image ad? Video use is definitely increasing, but is it effective in getting better cost per click or cost per conversion?
The short answer is…it depends.
I have found in running ads across all different types of niches and at all different budget levels that in general, image ads drive cheaper clicks.
But I also have seen video ads outperform image ads in some cases.
Challenges coming to a definitive conclusion
One of the hard parts with saying for sure whether video is better than images in ads is there are so many variables:
- Different industries
- Different types of videos
- Hard to directly compare to an image unless the thumbnail matches
- Hard to get to a statistically significant result with lower budgets
Often we can compare the results in certain cases but unless we were running hundreds of tests with exactly matching video vs images, then the results are more “anecdotal”.
Examples of different comparisons between Facebook Video Ads and Image Ads
Agorapulse ran a test between a video ad and an image ad for a free trial. The video ad lead to 12 more free trials than the image ad. In their test they did match the video thumbnail and the ad image and tested each with the same budget.
AdEspresso ran a test between an animated video and an image ad for an optin. The image ad lead to 175 more leads than the video ad. They also matched the video thumbnail and the ad image and tested each with the same budget.
As you can see, people can run different tests and find different things.
Here is an example of a client who is running a short video that asks people to opt in to access a free webinar vs. a still image that advertises the free webinar.
The video ad was converting at $0.79/lead and the image ads were at $0.88/lead and $0.92/lead. But this test is not perfect as the video ad had not run at the same budget.
Also, the link click cost is slightly higher (although who cares since she’s converting more people to optin at a lower cost).
Another example is a recent Facebook Live I did where I talked about the issue of using the term “you” in a Facebook ad.
Again, this isn’t a perfect test because the thumbnail isn’t the same and the text is slightly different. I advertised this to the same audience and had a HUGE difference in cost per link click with the video ad giving me $3.33/link click and the image ad giving me $0.26/link click.
Another example from a client of mine who had a larger budget showed that in some cases the slideshow video out-performed the single images in some of the tests but not always.
In 2016, Facebook did their own test that they documented here: https://www.facebook.com/iq/articles/creative-combinations-that-work
In this case they were testing the combination of ads and found that running a video before a static ad lead to better conversions.
Biggest Benefits of Facebook Video Ads
In the end, it’s not about a one-size-fits-all recommendation. It’s about using video as part of your campaigns to help further your brand and your message.
The BIGGEST benefit of Facebook video ads is that they allow you to build an audience of engaged people.
You can use a Custom Audience to retarget people who have watched 3 seconds, or 10 seconds or some percentage of your video and show them another ad.
I typically like to use video ads in the beginning of a sales sequence as Facebook demonstrated and then use a single image ad later in the sequence to get cheaper clicks.
But as always, you need to test what works for YOU! And I’d love to hear what works for you in the comments below!
I have also updated my free course on Facebook Ads called: How to Get Highly Targeted Leads the Easy Way with Facebook Ads – go grab it if you want to know more!