American Marketer


Do’s and don’ts for creating Facebook and Instagram video ads

August 1, 2019

Anna Ji is director of product and growth at Clipchamp Anna Ji is director of product and growth at Clipchamp


By Anna Ji

Facebook and Instagram video ads are akin to street performers – they occupy a crowded, bustling space, and if they do not capture attention quickly, potential audiences are fast to move along to the next, more exciting offering.

Your brand deserves to be the main act, not the sideshow.

From using the relatively untapped “Stories” feature, to ensuring that branding is consistent, here is a list of essential do’s and don’ts so you can create Facebook and Instagram video ads that are too good to ignore.

Don’t: Forget to use Stories

Stories on Facebook and Instagram are an often neglected, but effective marketing tool.

Uploaded images and videos give viewers an engaging look into a flip-book-style narrative that can be augmented with stickers, gifs and text.

After 24 hours, each story element disappears.

The great thing about stories? As yet, there are no similar kind of algorithms making unsponsored business stories less likely to be seen, such as with regular unsponsored posting.

The story tab also takes up some prime real estate right as users click onto the apps, so take advantage of this feature and start strategizing how to use video in stories.

Advertisers have seen the stories format reduce their cost per click by more than 20 percent. Some great ways to do this include behind-the-scenes sneak-peeks and exclusive, limited time deals.

Do: Keep your branding consistent

While Vine-style and funny videos have a larger chance of becoming viral – the Holy Grail of video advertising – they are useless if they do not link to your brand in some way.

Ensure when planning and shooting content that brand elements are considered, whether it is color schemes, the tone, key messages or ensuring that your logo is included.

Don’t: Take too long to say what you want to say

Viewers are seeing more branded video content in more places than ever before.

Because of this, attention spans are shrinking and viewer expectations are growing, so marketers have only 10 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention and 30 seconds to communicate all information before a third of the audience is lost.

It is best to ensure that all pertinent information – especially your call to action – is included in the first 10 seconds of the video.

Do: Familiarize yourself with video ad-types

Many amateur marketers figure they can shoot a quick video, upload it and watch their conversions and click-through rates grow, but the key to success in Facebook and Instagram video advertising – and any form of advertising really – is to choose the right ad-type for your objectives.

Facebook has nine different options for video, from regular in-feed videos to Facebook Messenger videos, and Instagram has five, so familiarizing yourself with these video types and lining them up with your objectives is essential.

Often, ad-types come with specific dimensions that they support. These dimensions are increasingly becoming mobile first.

Usage for mobile-optimized dimensions such as 1:1 have doubled over the last 12 months on Clipchamp.

Don’t: Assume your audience will be watching with sound on

Eighty-five percent of viewers do not watch Facebook or Instagram videos with sound on, so it is imperative to ensure your videos communicate your message without audio.

Think about it: a lot of content is consumed in public places where it is not comfortable to listen with sound, so do not rely on voiceovers or narrators to relay key information.

Use captions or graphic overlays to make sure your message is communicated, regardless of audio.

We see a correlation where more experienced users who create content frequently are more likely to use captions and titles than those who are new.

Do: Use a template

If you are a small business owner doing your own social media marketing, tools and templates are your best bet for creating professional video ads on a budget.

Online video editing platforms such as Create or online libraries including Shutterstock offer a selection of stock video and templates for different social media ad-types.

THESE TEMPLATES are a simple way to ensure that your ads are compliant with best-practice principles to avoid things such as text rejections and can help simplify the ad process.

Anna Ji is director of product and growth at video platform provider Clipchamp, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Reach her at