BREAKING: Facebook to Launch 6-Second Video Ads

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, has announced that Facebook is working with some of its advertisers to create video ads that are only 6 seconds long. Video and mobile advertisements have been the driving force behind most of the increase in Facebook’s ad revenue. This latest push seeks to continue to improve those profits as well as enhance user experience.

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Most of Facebook’s audience scrolls through their News Feeds very quickly – faster than many other platforms. However, the majority of Facebook advertisers are serving ads from anywhere between 15 seconds to up to a 1 minute— and Facebook is encouraging them to get to the point quicker. The social media company recently did a test with Tropicana, comparing ads that were 6, 15 and 30 seconds long. They discovered that 6-second ads were the optimal length for the platform— and they’re not the only online medium encouraging social media advertisers to create shorter ads. YouTube and Fox also are pushing the 6-second video format.

What Does It Mean for Marketers?

For companies looking to boost their Facebook marketing strategy, this is a momentous change in perspective. Most advertisers still believe in the 15 or 30-second spot since it allows more time to get their message across. Dramatically reducing the length of ads is going to take a lot of adjustment.  There is also prime opportunity for marketers to engage programmatic video buying, both on Facebook and beyond, that function as pre-rolls. Mid-page video ads are also highly effective— especially if you gear your content from an educational standpoint to engage users. And don’t forget about Instagram, either! Videos created for Facebook can easily be tweaked and customized for Instagram use, too.

It’s now more important than ever to ensure that your ads are the proper length for the medium on which you are advertising. Luckily, producing videos that meet those specifications isn’t as difficult as you think. Here are three tips to make sure that your videos are the correct length:

  1. Use your existing assets: No need to film a whole new video! You can now seamlessly create videos from a series of still images. With tools like Lightroom, Animoto and more, you can quickly and easily convert photos into videos.
  2. Add text: Skip the sound! Adding text allows users to engage video in quiet settings like the workplace. Educational content drives highly engaged audiences, and you can easily communicate relevant facts and figures with effective use of text overlay.
  3. Add a Callto-Action: You won’t have enough time to lay out your entire pitch with only 6 seconds. Add a “learn more” CTA so viewers can visit your website or landing page to get more information on your product, service or offering.

Facebook is still trying to figure out how to make video ads work on their platform, and this is simply the latest push to make ads better fit the News Feed and its audience. Ad inventory is at a premium on Facebook, and video could change how people use it. Expect more changes in the days and years to come as Facebook works to make video ads more profitable for itself and its advertisers.