TubeMogul, the online video distribution, analytics, and video ad network, has released a new report comparing video ads on Facebook to comparable click-to-view video ad units on publisher sites—in other words, they compared video ads on Facebook to video ads that typically stand alone.
The comparison was for cost, viewing time, and other factors. The results… are very intriguing.
Bottom line: Facebook video ads rock. They had 5.4%-9.43% higher completion rates, and ¾ of the sampled Facebook units had lower average cost per view. And those are the sort of numbers that make advertisers take notice. Quickly—what two things to all advertisers want? Answer: cheaper ads, and more engagement/conversion. And TubeMogul's making it sound like Facebook is offering both things to video advertisers.
The study compared 25 major video ad campaigns that ran identical video ads on Facebook and also on standalone ad units. The brands included Hyundai, 20th Century Fox, Microsoft, and Symantec (as well as others). The Facebook ads measured included in-application display ads, interstitials, virtual currency placements, and the official "Sponsored Video" units. (In other words, a variety of video ad types within Facebook were examined).
Let's rundown TubeMogul's reasoning on why you should care about video on Facebook.
It's where the viewers are, and where they are going
As comScore recently showed us, Facebook is a top-ten video site without even trying to be—which we wrote about last week. We also wrote about how Compete shows Facebook to be one of the largest referrers of traffic to video sites.
Video viewers on Facebook are more engaged
Facebook's viewers are more engaged than viewers found elsewhere. TubeMogul's findings suggest that Facebook viewers watch more minutes-per-view of video ads, putting the social network ahead of Bing, Yahoo, Google, and Twitter in that regard.
Facebook gives you more options for video ads
Facebook video ads offer a ton of variety in form and placement. More variety in ad type and location means more reach for your video ad. And almost all of those varieties outperformed the competition in terms of completion rate. Check it out:
Facebook videos are shared at higher rates than standalone video ads
This makes perfect sense to me because Facebook users—more than any group on the web—need very little training or encouragement to start sharing. They're there… to share. TubeMogul found that, with the exception of Facebook Interstitials, Facebook ad units were shared more than standalone display video ad units.
TubeMogul saved the best selling point for last: price. While Facebook's "in-banner" video ads are wildly expensive in comparison to the control group, the vast majority of Facebook video ads were cheaper per minute viewed and per view. Since advertisers are typically bottom line people, this stat ought to motivate some companies to branch out further into Facebook video ads.
Consider using Facebook video ads. Granted, the report compares Facebook only to standalone video ad units, which limits the hard conclusions one can draw. But if these numbers can be trusted, and I have no reason to assume they cannot be, then there's very little excuse left for not at least dabbling in Facebook video ads. You can potentially save money, get more viewers, have your ads clicked on and shared more often, and have viewers that are more engaged—and therefore more likely to become customers. There's actually very little bad news for Facebook videos in this report.