When I suggest making video ads to clients I am usually met with some initial resistance. People usually think that videos are expensive and time consuming to make. "We don't have the right equipment," is another thing I hear.
Forget about quality, think about content
The sneezing baby panda is NOT a high-quality video, but it has over 220 million views on YouTube. This is because people are willing to forgive a lo-fi production value if you have great content. Unless you are a videographer, or you hire one, you won't be able to produce a Clio Award-winning video. But that shouldn't stop you from using Facebook video to propel the success of your ad campaigns.
Why Facebook video ads work for e-commerce
When you're advertising on Facebook, you should think of your audiences as split between two categories of people: those who are familiar with your brand, and those who aren't. I don't advise targeting ads with a "BUY NOW" call to action to people who have never heard of you. You have to warm people up first! Video is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to a "cold" audience.
The real secret of Facebook video
But here's the real value of using video on Facebook: Facebook allows you to create custom audiences of people who have watched as little as 3 seconds of one of your videos. This means once someone has interacted with your video they're familiar with your brand and you can start using different targeted ads with them. In other words, once someone watches one of your videos, you can send them those BUY NOW offers.
You can post videos to your Facebook page, but unless a lot of people share them your reach won't expand far beyond your current Facebook fans. I suggest posting videos to your page, then boosting those posts, or creating separate video ads and using demographic targeting to get them in front of a larger audience who will then become part of your marketing funnel.
What kind of Facebook videos should I make?
Your goal is to stay on-message, showcase your product, and produce videos with some consistency. So pick a subject or story that won't overwhelm you production-wise and that can ideally be broken into a series of videos that you can produce regularly.
Here are some ideas.
Facebook Video Ad Idea #1: Interview a person who helps make your product
If you're manufacturing off-site or hiring others to make the products you design, do a video profile of someone involved in your manufacturing process. Often these folks have been at their craft for a real long time and love to talk about what they do. Who knows, you may discover a story there!
Facebook Video Ad Idea #2: Show how your product gets made
Remember that classic segment on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood where we got a behind-the-scenes peek at how crayons are made? Everyone loves to know how the products they use every day are manufactured. Use this curiosity to your advantage! Take a video of you in your studio creating, or do a video tour of the factory that makes your product. You could even make a simple video of you holding the product while explaining the manufacturing process. What may seem obvious to you can be fascinating to people obsessed with knowing where our stuff comes from.
Facebook Video Ad #3: Show how the product works
One of the easiest pieces of content to make is a simple video showing your product in use. My favorite setup for this, if your product is small, is a monochrome surface, shot from above, that shows hands interacting with the product. But you can also show your target demographic, like kids, interacting with stuff. This type of video is a MUST if you have a product that's hard to explain unless you see it (think: retail display and packaging challenges).
Facebook Video Ad Idea #4: Answer customer FAQs
Customer questions — and their subsequent answers — make for awesome content. By answering questions you get all the time about your product, you're not only eliminating some of the fears prospective buyers have, you're showing that you understand the buying experience from their perspective. That empathy goes a long way in setting you apart from the faceless corporate competition.
Facebook Video Ad Idea #5: Unbox your own product
Just as people are obsessed with videos showing how things are made, people love to see videos showing how things are packaged. Especially if your product has awesome package design or you're asking people to give your product as a gift, take a cue from the unboxing experts on YouTube like Subscriptionboxmom12 and do an unboxing video on your own product.
Facebook Video Ad Idea #6: Do a how-to video featuring your products
You don't have to focus solely on how to use your products, but do a how-to video featuring your products that would be of interest to your target audience. For example, if you're a pants company like The Willary and your pants work really well as all-purpose travel pants, you could do a Facebook video explaining how to pack the perfect suitcase.
Facebook Video Ad Idea #7: Use customer reviews
Take another cue from popular YouTube videos like this one from Shanna Moore and get your customers (or friends) to review your products on camera. These videos are simple, lo-fi and easy to make on your own, or you can solicit videos from customers if you have a big enough fan base. Bonus if you can get someone who is an influencer in your target market to review your product.
Facebook Video Ad Idea #8: Be a little provocative
You don't have to be Calvin Klein, but if you can think of a way to position your product in a situation where people think they're going to see something funny or a little bit sexy, you'll get more people to click. Use this tactic carefully! You still want people to ultimately have interest in your product after clicking, so make sure whatever controversy or hilarity you harness is still related to your brand.
The perfect is the enemy of the good here. Remember, the goal of your video content isn't to win an advertising award. It's to engage your potential audience so that you can advertise to them again. Experiment, have fun, and try to control that instinct to make everything look perfect!