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.

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Facebook Video Ads Rock   Cheaper, More Engaging minutesperview

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 Video Ads Rock   Cheaper, More Engaging completion rates 600x285

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.

They're cheaper

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.

  • mnwebco

    It's not terribly easy to find info on creating these ads.  I recently put together a how to video covering how to create facebook video ads.   It can be found here .

  • mnwebco

    It's not terribly easy to find info on creating these ads.  I recently put together a how to video covering how to create facebook video ads.   It can be found here .

  • Andy Bird

    How do you create a video ad? I still see them every now and again but can't find the option to use a video instead of an image when creating my ad.

    • Chase Buckner

      I'm having the same issue. Anyone have any insight?

  • Haidy Fayed

    is this option still available?

  • Kelly Watt

    I see a lot of confusion over "how to create a facebook video ad", and there is little online in terms for helpful direction to create such ads. This is likely due, in my opinion, to the testing that Facebook is doing with the video ads, and the difficulty in reviewing all video content produced by advertisers. You could image the problems related to pornographic, or no-related brand information falsely presented in a video ad. At the moment, you will only see big brands doing video ads, and its unfortunate for many of us advertisers who are keen to be involved. Please correct me if i am wrong. 

  • Celeste Chaney

    Do advertisers need to go through a third party online video distributor to put ads on Facebook or can they upload video ads directly through Facebook's current ad service? -I didn't see the option.

  • Josh Schwartz

    Found after reading this article. Go Here:

    • Mark Robertson

      yeah - not much help there either... Thanks Facebook ;-)

  • Josh Schwartz

    Create. Facebook. Video. Ads. Where? Knowing where to create Facebook video ads would be tremendous!

  • Chris

    Still no idea how to create Facebook Video Ads...?

  • Patrice

    so.. where do we create these ads on FB??????

  • Custom Software Development

    Congrats! There is no doubt in that. Facebook is the top social media website.

  • David Corman

    Enlightening post! Where can you create a video ad from the Facebook Ads interface?

    • kylegraham

      I'd like to know this too...seems like an awesome opportunity!

    • alexander zagoumenov

      Great question! I can't find the place where you create those. Please help!

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Don't know why but now-a-days on ReelSEO I get to see my mug shot only some of the time... I guess I'll need to pay more attention as to "how" I post my comments!

  • Ronnie Bincer

    I missed where the Facebook video ads are compared to YouTube video ads... or is that impossible to do? i.e. One might ask is it cheaper/more effective to put a video ad on Facebook or YouTube?