July 27, 2020
We Analyzed Facebook Video Ads That Generated $10M+. Here’s What We Learned
When running Facebook ads, your video creatives will make or break your ads.
Even if you have an amazing targeting strategy for who you want to show your ads to, if your creatives don’t persuade your audience to take action – generating sales will get very expensive to say the least.
And that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this article.
Wondering how to level up your Facebook video ads game? What type of creative angle works best and when? How to make sure you’re targeting the right people and you’re hitting the right pain points, every time?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll ALSO show you some of our best Facebook video ads for eCommerce that generated $10M+ in sales, lessons learned, best practices, our ad checklist, and more.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Facebook Video Ads Campaign Structure
- Facebook Video Ad Specs You Should Know in 2020
- 5 Step Targeting Process To Scale Your Video Creatives From Start to Finish
- 5+ Creative Angles to Dominate the Video Format Based on Proven Results
- Analyzing 4 eCommerce Video Ads That Generated $10M+ in Sales
- The Perfect Video Ad Checklist
- 30+ More Facebook Video Ad Tips For 2020
This is going to be a long one. So, get some tea/coffee/drink of your choice and set aside some time if you’re going to read it all the way through.
Ready to get started?
Here’s what you need to know about Facebook video ads in 2020, starting with:
First off, it’s super important to have a system in place for your Facebook ads.
Ads you create in Facebook Ads manager have three parts: individual ads, ad sets, and campaigns.
Knowing how the parts work together will help you run your ads the way you want to and get them to the right people.
Here’s how we do it:
We have a separate campaign, which we test it on the ad-set level and test every video with 2 different copies.
We start testing at around 1.5x of our target CPA and leave it for three days to test.
After a day or two of testing, we trim down the ads that have a high cost per landing page views (e.g. ~$20+) and leave the ones that are within an acceptable range.
Once the test phase is done (three days later), we do either of the following:
- Create new campaigns with all of the new creative testing winners.
- Move them to campaigns that have a high ad budget, but ad sets aren’t working.
As for the structure of the campaign, we use Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO), three ad sets, and 3-5 winning ads.
Something like this:
Note: We’re using this structure spending $100k/daily across three accounts. If you’re only spending a few hundred dollars, this might not be suitable for you.
If you’re going to be spending money on Facebook video ads, you should make sure your content fits the Facebook ad sizes.
Video continues to reign supreme on Facebook.
Video ads excel at driving reach, engagement, conversions, and can be used pretty much anywhere a photo ad can.
And here’s what kind of video format you should be using.
Facebook video ad specs
The design recommendation Facebook suggests are as follows:
- MP4 or MOV format is recommended, but most file types are supported. Full list here.
- Recommended to upload the highest resolution that meets file size and ratio limits.
- Recommended video ratio is 9:16 to 16:9.
- Maximum video file size is 4GB.
- Maximum video length is 240 minutes.
- Minimum video width and height ratios are 120×120 (both for mobile and desktop).
Feed ad character limits:
The video ad character limits recommendations are as follows:
- Headline: 25 characters
- Description: 30 characters
See the full list of Facebook video ad specs here.
Facebook video ad tips
With that said, here’s what we recommend to make the most of these ad specs:
- Try to use little or no image text. Facebook has found that images with less than 20% text perform better. Try to avoid using too much text in the thumbnail too.
- Use high-color contrasts for your videos.
- Make sure your first 3-5 seconds of the video are eye-catching, this part is often going to be the most important section of the entire video.
- Make your videos accessible with subtitles. Automated captions for video ads have also been proven to increase video view time by an average of 12%.
- Try to optimize your videos for sound off. Most videos on the mobile feed are played on mute.
- Use Facebook’s image text checker to make sure you’ve got a good text-to-visual ratio.
- Shorter videos (up to 15 seconds) have a higher completion rate. Try to share your message in that timespan.
Remember, a video is supposed to tell a story and a message.
And we’ll show you the exact steps and real-life examples below..
But for now, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people.
Here’s how to do that:
One of the most important steps in running Facebook ads in general (video or not) is finding the PERFECT audience.
That sweet spot where everything is on point and you’re converting at 2x ROAS minimum.
Here’s the 5 step process we use that allowed us to get ROAS anywhere from 2x to 55x.
- Do your research
- Test the audience
- Test the creatives
- Create the videos
- Scale your ads
Let’s break down the steps a bit more.
1. Do your research
As a general idea, you should have some clue as to who your target audience is at this point.
But it’s important to flesh out your research if you want your videos to convert.
For this, you can borrow this research sheet by Keith Krance and fill it up with info from the research phase.
- Go to Facebook’s Audience Insights tool and enter interests your customers may be interested in.
- Review the general demographics of the customer’s audience.
3. Go to the Page Likes section, review other interests your audience might have.
4. Then, scroll down to see the Page Likes to find even more interests.
5. (Optional): You can also go into these pages one-by-one, manually like them, and then Facebook will give you a bunch of other pages that are related to the one you liked.
6. Then, go to the Ads Manager platform, go to Ad Set level and enter the names of the brands and some of the related pages from above.
7. Finally, the most important step is to now check the audience overlap.
- Save the audiences found in the research phase.
- Go to the Audience section of Business Manager, and check the existing overlap between them.
From this example, the overlap is only 16% – so, we can go forward with them as separate audiences.
As a rule of thumb, if the overlap is 50% or above, you should try to recreate better groups.
2. Test the audience
Now, it’s time to test the audience for your video ad.
- Split the audiences into separate ad sets – use the Conversion campaign objective.
- Use no more than one interest, behavior, lookalike audience per ad set.
- Once you start seeing some traction – move the ad set to high-budget campaigns.
Nowadays, our method is as follows:
- Once we find audiences that work, we combine them and put them into one CBO campaign. LLA into one ad-set, Interest/Behavior into another and have a broad ad-set.
- Set a minimum and maximum budget, so that in the first 3 days, they get approximately the same budget.
- After 3 days, kill the video ads that are not performing well. Increase the maximum budget limit and start scaling the CBO.
Another thing you can do to test your audience is to stack them on top of each other and leave it in the same CBO (instead of testing them one-by-one).
So, for example, instead of having 18 audiences spread out, we’d have only 4-6.
Because Facebook keeps most of its data on the ad-set level (other part in the ad account), we want to have as little ad-sets as possible so the data accumulates and machine learning works in our favor.
To actually determine whether we should leave the ad-set or kill it, we usually wait to spend 3x of our target CPA and look at the same metrics as we do for creative testing:
- Cost per IC.
- Cost per Add to Cart.
- Cost per Landing Page View.
3. Create the video creatives
This could be a whole separate article on its own.
But if you’re not sure where to start with creating video creatives, you can spy on your competitors to see what type of video creatives work best.
You can then use this as ‘inspiration’ and then create even better ads for your brand.
Good artists copy; great artists steal.
Once you have a video angle down, you can change some of the elements (e.g. copy, visuals, products, etc.) to create something original and better.
There’s a number of different ways you can do this.
But probably the easiest is to start with Facebook’s built-in Ad Library tool.
Simply type a brand name (your competitor’s page, for example), and you’ll get a list of their ads, filtered by country, impressions, platform, and more.
Then, do this for more of your competitors, create a swipe folder full of winning Facebook ads, and you’ll have a good idea of what killer ads look like in your niche.
Few other tools you can use for this:
- AdEspresso – You can use AdEspresso’s Ad Gallery to research what your competitors are doing.
- AdSpy – Searchable database of Facebook and Instagram ads.
- UnicornAds – Discover Facebook Ads by the niche.
- Swipe.co – More general copywriting and marketing ads from a lot of different niches.
4. Test the creatives
At this point, you should have enough ideas to start building creatives and prepare for testing.
Testing creatives is the single most important thing you can do to scale your video ads and business in general.
So, to make the most out of this step, we recommend testing one thing at a time.
- Different first shot.
- Video ad angle.
- Different headlines.
- Video ad CTA (e.g. ‘Install Now’ vs. ‘Download’).
- Ad format (e.g. video ad vs. carousel ad with two videos).
- Product, visuals, format, offer, and more.
Once you know what you’re going to test, you should start tracking CPLV (cost per landing page view), Cost per Add to Cart, Cost per Checkout Initiated, Cost per Purchase, ROAS, and the number of times these events occurred.
If you have a low budget, aim for 2-3 ads on your ad set with a $5 daily budget.
For a higher budget, use 1 ad per 1 ad set structure.
Let’s say we have 5 Facebook video ads, with 4-5 versions with different captions for every ad.
This means out of 5 ads, we’d have around 30 variations.
To increase video ads volume and test more creatives, the variations will always come in handy.
Then, we also need to gather some of our top-performing copy as well as the headlines for the videos.
Once we do that, we can start testing the variations of these ads with the copy and the headline that is most relevant to the video.
Then, after we find 1-3 variations of the ads that can work, we test even more different variations with the copy and headlines and start moving the ads to our top-performing ad-set to the cold audience.
We test the ads on our best or second-best audience and start with an $80-100 daily budget.
If we get the expected ROAS straightaway with 3-10 purchases, depending on the account, we start scaling them.
Here’s what we’re looking for in terms of the metrics:
- Target ROAS and CPA.
- Cost per landing page view, cost per add to cart, cost per initiate checkout.
- Relevance score. We’ve seen a massive correlation between the CPMs and this metric. If the video ad is below average – the CPMs can be 2x higher.
Though, it should be noted that these rules are not set in stone and a lot depends on the account.
Sometimes, there are more or fewer variables to deal with.
So, you’ll have to go with your intuition and see what works best based on the context.
It’s important to note that the more you spend, the more your video ads are going to be seen – and therefore, the more you’ll be using up your audiences.
This can lead to ad fatigue.
To fight that, consider:
- Expanding your audiences and going international, if you’re not doing that already.
- Creating a lot more creatives, with different angles.
At this stage, the name of the game is testing.
Because, once you’ve found the winning combination, it’s time to scale your ads quickly.
5. Scale the creatives
WHEN, exactly, should you scale your ads?
When scaling, we only look at ROAS, cost per landing page view, and cost per ATC.
Now, every decision from here on out should be based on hard data and stats.
To start scaling our ads, we look at the following data:
- Website purchases conversion value.
- Purchases ROAS.
- Website purchases.
- Website checkouts initiated.
- Website adds to cart.
Then, we check if ROAS and CPA are below our KPIs. If they are, we’re off track and need to identify the problem.
Usually, it’s one of these 3 things:
- Creatives – Your image/video should stand out and stop people from scrolling past them. If your video does not have a pattern interrupt, chances are, no one will click on it. See if your video passes our perfect video ad checklist below.
- Copy – Do you understand your audience’s pain points and desires well? This is the only way your copy will be compelling to cause action. You’ll have to test a few different versions to find the winning one.
- Targeting – You could have the best videos in the world, but if the targeting is off, none of this matters. Check out our guide on scaling Facebook ads profitably for more info on the 4 steps we take for retargeting audiences.
Once everything checks out, we measure the performance of our ad based on a 1, 3, 7, 14, 30-day window.
And we check the breakdown by Country, Region, Platform and Device, Placement, and Device.
If you want to scale your ads – having the right info on your audience is essential.
Another really underrated to scale is to use Google Analytics.
The best part?
Almost no one does this and it’s incredibly easy.
So, here’s how you can use GA insights to easily get ahead of your competitors.
How to scale using Google Analytics
We’re going to be analyzing a few different sections here.
Here’s what we’ll be looking at:
Then, divide revenue against the sessions. Like so:
With this data, you’ll see exactly which country performs best and how much you can spend on a session for each country.
One big mistake many eCommerce stores make is that they’re targeting whole countries with their ads – instead of specific regions.
This is why we can use secondary dimensions to determine which states are worth more than others and then concentrate on them.
As you can see – New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland stand out from the rest.
Now, we calculate how much each session is worth from these regions.
This way, we can make more data-driven decisions targeting specific ads to specific regions.
You can even use the region targeting within your copy (e.g. call out citizens of a specific region) to boost your CTR.
For example “Based in Queensland? You might be interested to hear about our house cleaning service because…”
Note: This is completely optional and we don’t use it as much. But if you want more clarity or ideas, you can also use Google Analytics to see what devices are pulling in more revenue for you.
Click Overview under the Mobile section.
And then, calculate the session value for each.
You can even see the exact devices your audience is using:
Based on this, you can make better-informed decisions based on hard data.
This will be useful for targeting and designing your video ads for your audience’s favorite platform (more on this later).
Want to make sure that your message resonates with your audience?
You’ll need to approach your video ad with the right angle.
Here are a few of our favorite creative angles that worked for us in the past:
Testimonials are the most common form of social proof and they’re extremely powerful when it comes to pushing people to buy your product.
According to this Word of Mouth Report, up to 83% of consumers say these recommendations make them more likely to purchase a product or service.
They’re amazing at persuading people who are on the fence because it builds trust, credibility, and inspires action.
This creative angle has been the most powerful for us so far and some of them have even generated over $500k in revenue.
The structure for video testimonials usually goes something like this:
- Preview: Have an eye-catching first 3-5 seconds. Something clickbait-y or even dramatic so that the viewer wants to continue watching. E.g. “I thought I was about to die…”
- Intro: Introduce the influencer and their pain points in the video. E.g. “I’m 28 years old, I’ve tried dermatologists, NUMEROUS times, tried different face wash products, but nothing worked…”
- The before: Zoom in on the customers’ main pain points and really agitate the problem. E.g. “I was miserable, I had no self-confidence, and I wasted A LOT of money on other products…”
- How they found out about the product: Explain how they came across and started using the new product. E.g. “I saw an ad on Facebook a bunch of times and read all the comments saying how this product worked for them when nothing else did.”
- The after: How did their life change after using the product? E.g. “But ever since I started using product x, I’ve been waking up every morning with glowing skin and I’m able to go out and meet my friends again.”
- (Optional) More proof: Wrap up the video by mentioning how many other customers the product has helped, show all the reviews, other social proof (E.g. “Don’t just take our words for it…”), and include a call to action.
Starting to sound something like the hero’s journey?
Then you’re on the right track. Because your influencer in this case should be seen as a hero (or ambassador) for your brand. So, if the testimonial video even has some storytelling elements in it – you’re golden!
This format partly also follows the proven copywriting formula known as PAS:
And then, by providing an outcome at the end, you should be hitting all pain points and concerns in the video.
User-generated content also works well here. Especially if it’s coming from an influencer within your industry.
Now, we’re not going to discuss influencer marketing here.
But if you’re interested in the topic and how it can tie in into your testimonial ads, be sure to check out the podcast with our influencer marketing manager Kristaps here: How We Generated $350k/month And Growing With Influencer Marketing.
Story video ads
Your video needs a narrative hook to grip the reader.
Storytelling has been proven as an effective marketing tool time and time again. No matter where you look, it’s effective in just about every industry (as well as real-life!).
The bottom line is: people love stories. And video tells a better story and message.
Do this right, and your brand will appear more trustworthy, human, and memorable.
A few tips here:
- Your video needs to grab the viewer’s attention as soon as possible – ideally within the first 3-5 seconds.
- Be authentic, show off your personality, and what makes your brand different. Video ads should relate to your potential customers more if done well.
- Include a hero and a desire. The hero will be the “protagonist” of your video and should be easy for your viewers to relate to. The purpose of a hero is to give your viewers perspective in the story you create and then, have the viewer feel the desire and emotions through their eyes.
If you want to develop strong relationships with your customers, you need them to remember your stories.
They can come from customers themselves or even from the business owner (e.g. what they started the brand and what they seek to accomplish).
When we survey clients and ask what’s their number one reason for buying the product – they’ll tell us the owner’s story resonated with them so well, they wanted to try the product.
If you’re not sure where to start here, consider applying some common storytelling formulas to your videos.
Advertorials and video demonstrations
This is basically a “how-to” type of video that demonstrates the product in action to the user base.
These types of videos also convert really well across all industries because it’s not a hard sell. Instead, it’s a demonstration and people are genuinely curious to see the before-and-after journey.
For example – for a protein coffee brand, this could be a video showing how to make a certain type of coffee, in under 60 seconds step-by-step (while highlighting the benefits along the way).
Educational content also works here.
Competitor comparison video ads
This can be a bit tricky.
Because, you can’t just call out your competitors in your videos and say how your product is better.
If you did that – no one would trust you, and you could get in trouble legally.
So, there are two ways you can do a comparison video ad:
- Mention and compare your competitors by name – You can only do this if you’re in the same industry and you’re comparing the same things (e.g. factual information about the products. Things like calories, sugar content, caffeine, etc.). Just make sure you’re 100% accurate.
- Be vague – Safer option. Just don’t mention your competitors by name at all. Let your audience use their imagination. For example – “Other skin care products use only 4 active ingredients. While we use over 100 all-natural ingredients that work together to provide the results you’re looking for…” (something like that).
We’ve tested A LOT of creatives in the past.
And listing them all would take forever.
So, without making this guide any longer than it already is, the top-performing video creative angles that generated >$100k in revenue for us are as follows:
- Benefits Without the Sacrifice.
- Video Testimonials.
- How-to Video Demonstrations.
- Five Day Vlog.
- Graphic Gif.
If you’re looking for more info on the above creatives, including specific Facebook video ads examples, and an analysis of why they work so well – check out our Top Facebook video ads value bomb here.
If there’s one section you’re going to read in this guide, it should be this one.
You can even bookmark this section and use it as a swipe file when you’re creating video ads.
However, before we start analyzing the ads in question, you should know that behind every video we’ve created, there are A LOT of hours spent doing customer research, researching our competitors, doing copy mining, and also creating the content.
We’re analyzing 4 videos here. But for each one of them, there were AT LEAST 5-10 videos that didn’t convert at all.
We can’t say.
We used all the same principles and followed the same checklist we’re sharing with you here.
But something just didn’t click.
It could’ve been:
- The first 3 seconds of the video.
- The benefits we were focusing on.
- The story in the ad itself.
- The copy, the headline, or something else entirely.
And this is why it’s so important to test everything – to find THAT ONE winning combination ad that will work perfectly.
This is 80/20 principle at it’s finest.
Note: We can’t show some of the brands we worked with and the full videos here. So if you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown check out our top Facebook video ads here.
With that out of the way, we can now dive deep into the meat of this guide.
Here’s a breakdown of each video ad that performed best by the industry:
This particular ad has generated over $1M in sales over a 6 months period with a ROAS of 2.5x (~$300k spent).
Let’s analyze the ad by each component.
The first sentence of the copy has the main keyword – acne.
After testing many ads, we’ve found that mentioning the main keyword in the beginning converts better.
We also used emojis for the bullet points to emphasize the features of the products.
And we also used similes (“like a mama bear protecting her cubs”) that resonated with our customers.
In the headline (“No wonder why 8356+ women have bought it…”), we wanted to achieve 3 things:
- Make it super-specific. We used the exact number of women who used the product.
- Give social proof by showing other women are using this product.
- Spark curiosity (why did these women buy this product?)
All this is of course based on a lot of copy mining and analyzing similar ads in the industry.
In the video, the founder of the brand explains the solutions and her personal struggle with acne (tried many different products, none of them worked).
The ad opens with an interesting image along with copy that addresses both a problem and a solution. It also has a “meme banner” at the top with more copy to grab the viewer’s attention (emojis also help here).
The story on the ad also resonated very well with our customers, as they experienced the same thing.
This builds incredible trust between the company and the viewers going through similar pain.
Throughout the video, we also highlighted some benefits in the video itself (“doesn’t rub off on the pillow”) which is very important for women using these products.
We call this a “Unique Mechanism” ad, as we show why the current solutions don’t work. And then, explain how WE came up with the perfect solution, and how it works.
Some social proof at the end of the video also contributes to its success.
Finally, the video also has some nice music in the background. Though most viewers watch video ads with no sound, this is still a nice touch.
And the upbeat and engaging editing style with fun animations and transitions helps viewers stay engaged.
The Secret Sauce:
Here’s another reason this ad performed so well.
This particular video ad has collected many comments from our customers (we used a PPE campaign for our warm audiences to collect it).
Some women even posted pictures of how the product was working – which gave us even more social proof and a massive boost for social engagement.
Though, unfortunately, we had to turn this ad off because our creative team used a Kardashian GIF in the video and we started getting people messaging us that we shouldn’t do that anymore.
Ah well, lesson learned!
Let’s move onto the next ad:
This brand came to us when they were making $150K in monthly revenue and they wanted to expand into the U.S. market.
However, after testing the market, we realized that CPMs wouldn’t make sense for them to focus on the U.S. market.
Instead, we focused on the European market and scaled them to $1.5M in monthly revenue.
Here’s the ad:
After producing this ad, we were able to scale the account to $300K in monthly revenue, slowly but surely. Eventually, we managed to scale it to $1.5M on a monthly basis.
This ad has spent over $500K and generated over $2.5M in revenue in total. Which means it performed at 5x ROAS over the time of running it.
Let’s break it down.
It’s short, catchy, and has one of the power words – FREE in it.
We also included the link directly in it as this makes it easier for customers to click on it.
As for the headline, after researching other brands, we saw that ads with an exclusivity aspect worked better.
That’s why we included “New Collection” in it.
We also experimented with “Brand New” and “Exclusive Collection” here and they all worked equally well in other ads.
The copy was nothing special to comment on here – but it’s simple and it works.
What else can you ask for?
The video tells the story behind the brand, while highlighting the main benefits (“gives women energy and strength”), quality, and the ultimate goal to make women feel strong and empowered.
It ends with some social proof, customer comments, and a tagline that encourages the viewer to find their strength and be their own hero.
All this, over super high-quality footage of women in wearing the activewear in a sports-y, and nature outdoors.
This is the strongest part of the video – the visuals.
The brand is investing a lot of money to get beautiful models and professional shots for them, and it shows.
The video has very bright colors, which makes it stand out on the feed itself.
The first line sparks curiosity and gets viewers to keep watching. And the bright orange color behind the text was key to accomplish this.
It also highlights that the brand is from Sweden. This is important because when people think Sweden – they think quality.
We also highlighted the benefits of the sportswear by showing off their functionality (paired with the copy on the video ad).
When showing each benefit, or function, we wanted to highlight only that specific benefit. And we did this one-by-one for each benefit.
For example, we wanted to show the flexibility of the fabric. And to do this, we chose close up shots on how the fabric stretches.
People don’t just want to read about the benefits. They want to SEE them.
In other words – show, don’t tell.
The Secret Sauce:
When creating this type of videos, we’re talking in the 3rd person. This way, it doesn’t sound like the brand is bragging about itself, but rather, someone else is doing it for them.
It also helps to keep the video much more engaging (language-wise, as well as the visuals which are all over the place).
By doing that, we actually get more people to trust the brand and stay engaged the whole time watching the video.
This beauty brand came to us when they were making around $150K in monthly revenue.
After working with them for 3 months, we managed to scale them to $1.2M in monthly revenue.
This video ad, in particular, has brought in over $2M in revenue with a 3x ROAS (we spent around $750K on it).
Here’s the actual ad:
So, what’s so special about this ad?
The copy itself could’ve been used as the headline but this works just as well. It’s super specific and speaks directly to the customers’ desires.
The customer who would buy this product is an impulse buyer and they are constantly looking for something new in the market.
We’ve tested many different variations here, and no other angle has outperformed this one.
The same goes for the headline. It’s specific and curiosity-driven. It also shows that a lot of people must be buying this product if it’s been sold out 3 times already.
The video introduces the product, magnetic liquid eyeliner, and shows women effortlessly putting it on the first time.
High-contrast, bright colors, and a woman looking directly at the person scrolling down their feed.
Another important angle here is that the product (magnetic eyelashes) is brand new in the market.
Because it’s new, the first line of the copy forces viewers to ask more questions.
It’s shocking and interesting.
Viewers immediately want to ask – How? Does it actually work? Is it safe? Is it right for me?
When viewers ask questions. They will stay for answers.
It also solved a big pain point for the customers.
Usual glue lashes are hard to put on and are messy. This is a common problem for many women.
In the video ad, we showed how easy and effortless it is to actually put the magnetic eyelashes on and demonstrate them using different models.
The Secret Sauce:
Making it look easy was key here.
Then, the viewers will ask themselves – Yeah, but does it actually stay on?
To answer this question, we included benefits like “wind-resistant”, “harm-free”, and most importantly, “reusable up to 30 times”. These concerns were also huge for customers.
We would see the same questions come up in all the posts and FAQs.
So, it was important for us to address them in the video ad too.
No doubt the product was something that was disrupting the market and has great benefits.
Which made Facebook ads an even more ideal platform to scale their business.
This is probably the most interesting video ad on the list.
This brand was one of the first ones we managed to scale to solid 6 figures in monthly revenue.
They came to us when they were just starting out and were generating just under $1k in monthly revenue.
The owner gave us his last $10k for ad spend (and covered our fee) to “make it or break it”.
And make it we did.
In the first month of working with them, we managed to sell ALL of his inventory and generated around $100k in revenue.
After the second round of inventory came in, we started generating $400k in monthly revenue.
The ad generated 2x ROAS on a cold audience, and the entire funnel converted at 3x+ ROAS.
Here’s the ad that’s responsible for 60% of the sales:
We did a lot of research here and made sure to start off in a way that hits one of the customers’ main pain points:
“High-quality without a high price tag”.
From research, we’ve found that this angle worked for many other brands in other industries, and after testing it – we discovered just how well it worked here.
We also have the scarcity element in the copy
The headline also reinforces the price angle and has another power word – FREE in it.
Overall, the copy is pretty straightforward here. But we’ve tried multiple variations and this worked best so…
Besides, the video was arguably more important here.
If there’s one word to describe this video, it’s “shocking”.
The first image greatly impacts the results of any video ad.
For this one, we showed a shirtless man stretching sunglasses really far apart… without them breaking!
We know this was an important part of the video because of how many people pointed it out in the comments.
Then, the glasses get run over by a car and are also smashed with a hammer.
This helps keep the video more engaging. While also demonstrating just how durable the glasses are.
By showing how durable they are in a shocking, fun, and engaging way, people started tagging their friends and sharing the video.
The video went viral while demonstrating the product’s main benefits in action. Couldn’t have asked for better results!
The Secret Sauce:
The video shows exactly the ideal customer we were after with this video ad.
Travelers using glasses in real-life situations, on the beach, swimming pools, in the desert, climbing, and so on.
The people also look like real people (and not Instagram models or actors), which made the whole thing more relatable and established trust.
Finally, we also used customer video testimonials for social proof and to increase the reliability of the brand.
Oh, and most importantly, we included a dog and a horse in the video…
SO, what now?
Based on our best-converting ads above, you can plug them into your own business and start testing to find the winning combination that’ll take your business to 7-8 figures+.
You can largely follow the same templates and approach, as long as they fit in your reach.
Remember: it takes a lot of testing to find the winning combo.
Don’t forget about the 80/20 rule.
But why stop there?
Instead of relying only on Facebook video ads, you should also think about the entire ecosystem of your eCommerce store.
Things like email marketing, Facebook ads, CRO, influencer marketing, and other growth-hacks.
Want to dive deeper into those topics? Check out our podcasts where we cover everything that worked for us, case studies, the exact step-by-step workflows, our SOPs (standard operating procedures), and more.
Here are a few key podcasts to get you started:
- 2+ Years’ Worth of Knowledge in Creative Ads and Running Sugatan
- How to Generate $12M In Monthly Revenue Using Facebook Ads, Mindset Change & Mental Health
- Attribution Models, PR and Getting From 8 Figures to 9
Oh, and also be sure to join our Facebook group and get all the important eCommerce insights (on videos, ads, marketing, etc.) daily. As well as discuss the above podcasts.
Alright, shameless plug over.
Let’s get back to talking about Facebook video ads.
Speaking of, here’s how to make sure your videos are perfectly optimized and are hitting all the right notes:
As mentioned above – it can be hard to guarantee results with video ads.
Something that looks super high-quality and beautiful might not be converting at all. Meanwhile, a video that looks like it was recorded on a phone can be one of your top-performing ads.
But with that said, it’s still important you’re putting your best effort in your ads so that they’re hitting all the right notes.
For that, here’s a checklist you can follow for each section of your ad:
✅ Is your first sentence shocking in some way?
✅ Does each sentence make you want to read the next one?
✅ Do you pose a big enough question so that the viewer will want to sit through to get an answer or a resolution?
✅ Do you clearly express benefits, comparisons, or reviews that the customer will care about?
✅ Does it directly relate to the customer’s problem(s)?
✅ Does it give a clear resolution?
✅ Is your CTA correct and enticing?
✅ Does the first shot stand out in your customers’ feed?
✅ Does it make you feel strong emotion or reaction?
✅ Is the thumbnail the most interesting shot out of the whole ad?
✅ Do you have a pattern interrupt every 10 seconds to keep the viewers engaged?
✅ Is your logo in the corner of the video? (Low opacity is ok)
✅ Is your text extremely easy to read and look at?
✅ Does it stand out and is in sync with the overall visual themes?
✅ Is it highlighted or bolded?
✅ Does it have an engaging and simple animation that’s easy to follow?
✅ Does it make the viewer ask a strong “How?”, “Why?”, or “What?” question that’s related to their problem?
✅ Is it specific and emotional?
✅ Is it related to the customers’ pain points and problems?
Looking for more info on creating the winning video ad?
Listen to what our video ad director, Holly, has to say about creating the winning video ad here.
Here are some of the other insights Holly shares in it:
💡 People should be surprised by your videos. But not so much that they’re confused and lost in the ad.
💡 You should always be testing everything. Even a tiny detail of the video can cause it to go viral, or for it to flop.
💡 Your video should blend in, so that it doesn’t look like an obvious full-blown ad. But it should also stand out among the blended in. If it feels like an ad, people will scroll past without giving it a thought.
💡 And more! Listen to the full podcast to hear what Holly has to say on creating video content that resonates with people, going viral, the most important reasons why certain ads don’t work, and so on.
Looking for more general eCommerce sales hacks instead? Check out our comprehensive guide to 84 hacks to boost your eCommerce sales here.
So, by this point, you might have realized that Facebook video ads are some of the most effective advertising formats at your disposal.
Ready to start creating Facebook videos that stand out and wow your audience?
Here are some more tips and best practices to keep in mind when creating video ads:
1. Use the right CTA
Facebook offers numerous CTA options.
The more common ones include: “Send Message”, “Apply Now”, “Download”, “Learn More”, and so on.
Every small detail on a Facebook ad can have a huge influence on the results.
AdEspresso ran a $1,000 experiment where they created one single Facebook ad, copied it four times, and A/B tested only the CTA button.
Here’s what they found:
In their case, “Download” worked best as the CTA. Likely because the ad provided enough information for the user to make a decision. And then download gave the indication they just needed to click through.
However, the main takeaway here is that you should test as much as you can.
So, look at your video CTA in the scope of what stage of the funnel your ad is in and how much information the user needs before making a decision.
2. User-generated content wins
Here’s the thing:
You can spend a ton of money on creating a super high-quality video and hiring the most expensive influencer models.
Only for your video to be a total flop.
Your video creatives need to be relatable. And sometimes, micro-influencers can provide the highest ROI here. As long as it seems more natural, is based on the opinions of people your audience looks up to and is not salesy.
Here are a bunch of brands crushing it with user-generated content on Instagram.
3. Write a killer headline
This is one of the main things you should be testing in your video ads.
Without getting too in-depth about copywriting, here are some steps you can take today to start writing better headlines:
- Go to Google, find magazines in your niche (e.g. Reader’s Digest, Money Magazine, Psychology Today, etc.), and copy their headline structure. A lot of these headlines are very clickbait-y and spark curiosity. All you have to do is follow their template and plug in your words.
- Be extremely specific. Use numbers, and use digits instead of words (e.g. “10 ways to…” instead of “ten ways to…”).
- Use emotional words. It’s been proven that using emotional words in your headlines increases the engagement level. Consider using this emotional marketing value headline analyzer tool to see if your headline is more intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual.
Ideally, your headline should be satisfying at least some of the points on this checklist.
- Evokes curiosity.
- Calls out pain points.
- Promises solution.
- Is extremely specific.
- Is simple.
- Is credible and addresses skepticism.
- Includes time frame to achieve results of promise.
And this brings us to the next tip:
4. Use power words
What’s a power word?
Essentially, any kind of word that triggers a strong emotional response and packs some serious punch – getting us to click on ads, share blog posts, or buy from sales pages.
BuzzFeed is particularly good at this.
The writer is specifically telling you that these images will make you feel something powerful.
Explicitly communicating what the reader will get from the article in the headline (“will make you feel like you’re 99 years old”). Similes and metaphors also work great for ad headlines.
Meanwhile, some of the most popular power words include:
Here are 189 more powerful words that convert you can use.
5. Use high contrast colors
When it comes to color techniques, the use of contrast is particularly important.
High contrast is the best choice when it comes to important content because it’s most easily seen.
Few other design tips to make your videos get people to stop scrolling:
- Use a range of colors.
- Use grayscale.
- Make the most of the white space around your product. For example, if there’s a lot of space around the product, people will be naturally drawn to it.
- Use happy, smiley, and friendly people. Sounds obvious, right? But ads with happy people attract attention and customers will associate happiness with the ad. Just make sure you don’t overuse “happy-people-in-office” stock content that’s so overused and cliche these days.
- Our eyes are used to seeing objects vertically or horizontally. By having something in a different angle, it attracts our eyes.
6. Test the first 5 seconds
The first 5 seconds of your videos are the most important.
It’s when the viewers decide if the rest of your videos are worth watching.
Which is why it’s the best place to start with testing your videos.
You can make a bunch of variations and test the following sections of your video:
- The headline text.
- The colors of the text and the background.
- Image saturation.
- The first line of the copy.
- Different visuals and graphics.
- And more.
If all variations flop, you can safely assume the whole ad approach was a flop and start over with that in mind.
7. Improve your video marketing game
Here are a few tips that apply to all video ads regardless of the industry:
- Make your first 3-5 seconds eye-catching.
- Use high-color contrasts.
- Show close-up shots of your products.
- Disguise your marketing in a narrative/storytelling format video angle.
- Add a banner bar at the top of your video that grabs attention and tells the viewer what to expect (with emojis, main quote, or idea of the video).
8. Have your thumbnail stand out
The first frame is what matters the most.
Imagine someone’s scrolling through their feed and comes across your video. But it’s paused.
Will your first frame pull them in to watch the rest of the video?
- Use creative graphics.
- Use contrasting colors.
- Use header text.
- Use emojis.
- Use an action shot.
- Use clickbait.
- And more.
9. Always reply to the comments on your video ads
Here’s an obvious one.
When should you reply to the comments on your ads?
Even if it’s a simple “nice video!” comment, you can chime in and either thank them for the comment or ask what their favorite part was.
The idea is to encourage conversations and get more comments!
This further increases your reach boosts your social proof (overall more comments on your ads), and even decreases your CPMs!
You have no reason not to be answering your comments.
10. Use testimonial reviews
We briefly covered this above.
But testimonials don’t always have to be long videos with influencers talking about their experience.
Instead, you can just put up regular customer reviews over video footage of your product in action.
The review will work as social proof, even if it’s not from a famous influencer.
11. Always add subtitles to your videos
Here’s another no brainer.
You should always add subtitles to your videos, if there’s dialogue of any kind.
Up to 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.
While most videos include narration or some form of background music, subtitles will pretty much always come in handy.
12. Include an ending text tagline
Make sure your videos end on a high note and inspire action.
“Visit our site to learn more” or “Purchase Now!” can help guide your audience from your video to the next step of your campaign.
If you’re using your videos to show a bit of personality as well, the closing text can also align with your brand’s value proposition.
This kind of branding repetition can strengthen the relationship between your brand and your customers over time.
13. Keep your videos short
Most people will tune out quickly.
So what’s the ideal Facebook video length to tell your story?
For in-stream video ads, Facebook recommends an ad length of 5-15 seconds.
And for standalone ads in News Feed, Facebook recommends creating ads that are 15 seconds or shorter.
There is also an increasing trend in mobile-first advertising to making tight and snappy 6 second ads
14. Crap converts
This is another pro tip from the podcast with Holly on creating the winning video ad.
In it, Holly explains that quality isn’t as important as most people think.
Rather, quality is an ad that converts.
And sometimes, ads that are deliberately shot with a more amateur-ish feel performs better.
As long as it’s more relatable to your target audience.
To find the balance between quality and quantity, you just have to constantly increase different variations and video angles.
15. Use a funnel-based storytelling approach
We’ve mentioned story ads above and it is an incredibly powerful approach for ads.
But it’s just as important you’re following a funnel-based approach to story ads.
For example, this could be a funnel-based approach to a story ad campaign that guides a person down the purchase funnel in 3 different phases.
- Meet the Brand – brand’s introduction to the market.
- The Teaser – product-based ad about the benefits.
- The Hook – Final CTA ad.
16. Come up with an Epic for your video first
Not sure how to approach your video creatives and the angle to focus on in your ad?
Come up with an Epic first, and then, decide on the micro-angles and creatives for that big angle.
For example – if the Epic behind the video is to be cost-effective, the micro-angles could be comparing it to a more expensive product, focusing on benefits for the value, and so on.
17. Go square
It’s hip to be square.
Did you know that a square video (1:1 format) takes up more real estate in a person’s mobile newsfeed?
Adweek has found that cropped clips can sometimes increase completion rates on mobile devices by up to 67%!
Since mobile screens are taller than they are wide, square videos can naturally take up more newsfeed – and lead to greater engagement and completion rate.
18. Feature your brand within the first 3 seconds
Facebook has found that consumers were 23% more likely to remember which brand made a given video – IF the brand was featured or mentioned within the first 3 seconds.
And they were only 13% more likely to remember if it was featured after 4 seconds or more.
Compared to the brand not being shown in the video at all.
19. Use AIDA for your videos
AIDA is a common copywriting formula that stands for:
- Attention – Grab the viewer’s attention by saying something funny, controversial, or by asking a question that resonates with them.
- Interest – Start building a relationship, tell a story, demonstrate you understand them.
- Desire – Show how their life would change if they had your product (in terms of benefits).
- Action – Show your solution and how it will solve their problem to get their desired results.
You can do all of these in your video marketing as well.
For your videos, you can use close up shots of your product to grab the attention, wide angle shots for the interest part, use jump cuts to show desire, and finally, even incorporate a “Buy now!” button in your video to inspire action.
20. Consider placing your CTAs in the middle of your video
Mid-roll CTAs can be anywhere between the very start and the very end of your video. And they are designed to target viewers who are most engaged.
But by placing your Facebook video ad CTA at the end, a sizable portion of your viewers will have stopped watching part of the way through.
Wistia analyzed over 300,000 videos with CTAs and found that mid-roll CTAs had the highest conversion rate at 16.95%, compared to 10.95% for the post-roll.
21. Turn still images into video ads
Four ways you can do this:
- Basic motion: Animate your still image only by adding one or two elements of motion in a few seconds, and then, include a CTA at the end.
- Brand in motion: Bring the elements of your brand or logo to life in a few seconds to promote brand recognition and awareness.
- Benefit in motion: Bring the key benefit of your ad to life through animation. This could be a product benefit, a special offer, discount, or something else. This can be something as simple as a banner sliding into the image.
- Demo in motion: Focus motion on demonstrating how your product or features work.
More info and examples on how to turn still images into video ads here.
22. Use emojis
Emojis are a super simple way to stand out and capture attention.
Feel free to include them in your description, video, ad banner, and wherever it fits.
23. Fight ad fatigue
Ad fatigue affects even the most successful Facebook ad campaigns – no one is safe.
It tends to happen when your campaign frequency gets too high, causing your audience to see the same ads over and over.
And the more your ad is seen by someone, the more expensive your clicks tend to become.
To prevent that from happening, here’s what you can do:
- Schedule your ads to show only on four weekdays out of seven.
- Change your ad creative or Facebook video ad copy.
- Adjust your ad targeting.
- Choose a different campaign objective.
- Replace your offer.
- Expand your audience – go international if you haven’t done so already.
- Experiment with new and more creatives.
24. Deposition your competition
How are you different from your competition?
Look into comparative advertising.
If you make it an ‘Us vs Them’ comparison without directly naming your competition, your audience will use their imagination to guess who you’re talking about.
25. Use these 7 psychological triggers
Human psychology never changes.
According to Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”, there are 7 distinct psychological triggers that make people buy. They are as follows:
- Commitment and consistency.
- Social proof.
Goes without saying that these triggers can be extremely useful for your video ads and eCommerce store in general.
We talk about each trigger and other ways to boost your overall sales funnel here: How This Agency Spends $1mm/month+ on Facebook Ads for eCommerce
26. Use a GIF instead of an image
Since 2017, Facebook has been allowing advertisers to run GIFs as video ads.
When you’re launching a Facebook ad, you can select a “single video” and add your GIF there.
They look like normal videos, stand out from images, and don’t require the same investment, effort-wise, for shooting and capturing videos.
GIFs tend to work great for quick demonstrations, highlighting a feature (or benefit), and more.
27. Use animation
Sometimes, you can’t convey the same emotions and visuals in a live video shoot. Or you might not have the necessary camera equipment.
Either way, animated videos can bring your brand to life and shine some personality into your ads.
28. Master FOMO and urgency
The fear of missing out is a classic marketing principle – for eCommerce or otherwise.
To put it to good use, you can write a Facebook ad copy that makes readers think that everyone else is already using your product. And if they’re not, that means they’re the last ones.
You can frame this as a question to make your audience think they’re the only ones left out. This way, your ad will get significantly more clicks.
You can also use FOMO and urgency in combination with social proof.
For example – if 8356+ women have bought this product, that must mean it must be working, right?
29. Align your ad design with your brand
If someone were to see your Facebook ad but your company’s name was hidden – would they guess it’s from you within the first few seconds?
By using the same branded colors and keeping your message consistent across all marketing channels, you’ll get better results on each channel.
30. Bring in the face of the brand
If you’re selling a product that solves a specific problem, consider making a video of the founder talking about their story, why they founded the company, and how grateful they are.
This will boost your emotional connection to the customer to a 100 and make them even more loyal, once they can put a face to a brand.
31. Optimize the rest of your site
If your video is redirecting the viewers to your site, you should be ready to go once the traffic hits.
- Have your landing page ready. Check out this podcast to learn the top 5 tricks to optimize your landing page and avoid the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when creating their landers.
- Optimize your site speed. The site speed is one of the most important UX practices. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, most people will click off. You can use crush pics to reduce your image size and make your site load faster.
- Optimize for mobile-first. Goes for your site as well as your ads. Up to 80% of online purchases happen on mobile.
- Have badges on your site. Are your products sustainable and cruelty-free? Proven to be healthy? Made in the U.S. (or wherever you’re from)? Includes all this info on your site to eliminate any doubts the customer might have.
- Direct customers to your bestsellers. Does your video ad direct customers to a specific product page? Also, show which products are your bestsellers. This will reduce the mental overload customers might have landing on your website.
Even if you have the best video ads in the world, your targeting and copy are on point, you won’t get far if your site isn’t ready.
Well, you made it!
We hope you enjoyed reading this mega-guide to Facebook video ads.
If there are two things you should take away from this guide, it’s that you should:
- Move fast. Break things.
- Test everything.
Now, back to you. It’s time to reflect on your existing marketing and ad strategies and see if you can improve it using the strategies we covered in this guide.
And of course, if you think we missed anything, let us know in the comments below.
OR, you could join our Facebook group for eCommerce entrepreneurs (if you haven’t already), where we’ll be discussing this article, sharing some other awesome eCommerce insights, hosting regular Q&As, and more.
Finally, if you want to work with us and scale your eCommerce business, you’ll have to wait until August 15, as we’re not taking on new clients until then.
One of our core beliefs in our agency is full transparency.
So rest assured we’re going to be sharing ALL the lessons learned scaling businesses and valuable insights we’re learning along the way.