In 2014, Facebook went on a mission to not only compete with YouTube, but to surpass the clear “king” of online video. By the end of the year, Facebook had hit their goal.

Brands posted 20,000 more videos on Facebook than they did on YouTube in December 2014. In terms of interactions, it’s really no contest there either, with Facebook videos receiving more than 80% of all video interactions. (Source: Social Bakers)

So why should you care, as an entrepreneur?

In Facebook’s quest to win at the game of video, they’ve been rewarding those of us that share video on Facebook with better organic reach on our page posts and cheaper paid reach when it comes to Facebook video ads.

As a result, video became the “thing to do” when it came to marketing on Facebook. You’ve likely felt a lot of pressure to start sharing videos on your business page and to create videos to promote your content, am I right? Most entrepreneurs have in the past two years.

However, while some have done well with video ads, I’ve also seen a lot of people fail to hit their goals if they’re looking to drive traffic and build their lists, and I get a lot of questions as to why this is happening. So, without further ado…

Here are some of the pros and cons of using video ads, so you can decide for yourself if they’re worth including in your Facebook ad plans.

Pro: Cheap views

With video ads, 1-3 cents per view is common. (Remember, this doesn’t mean conversions – this is just the price per each set of eyes on your video.) If you’re after cheap views, video ads are the way to go!

Pro: Retargeting

As long as you set your campaign objective to video views, Facebook automatically creates an audience that you can advertise to later. This is a great, easy way to start with retargeting ads to get back in front of a “warmed up” audience!

Pro: Exposure

Videos naturally draw attention and get people seeing you and your brand more. When people see you in videos, they get familiar with your face, your voice, and your brand.

Which leads to…

Pro: The Know/Like/Trust Factor

The more people see you “in action”, the more they know, like, and trust you. The more people know, like, and trust you, the more likely they are to opt-in for your list and/or buy from you!

Now let’s talk about the potential downside to Facebook video ads.

Con: Poor Conversion Rates

In my experience, for MOST people, conversion costs are higher when comparing video ads to link ads. I talk with hundreds of entrepreneurs each year, and it’s rare to find someone doing really well at driving traffic and getting conversions from FB video ads. The one exception I do often see is video ads targeting warm traffic, such as your email subscribers or site visitors.

Con: Not Great at Driving Traffic

When you’re placing an ad, typically what you want is for people to LEAVE Facebook and visit your landing page or website. And videos just don’t have a big tendency to do that. People may watch your video, but the likelihood that they will then click through to your offer tends to be lower from what I have seen.

Con: No Auto-Play on Audio

You may have noticed that Facebook videos automatically play when you scroll by them. This would get obnoxious fast if each of those videos played with sound, so that doesn’t happen! Which means that your lips may be moving, but no one is hearing you!

TIP: Use subtitles so they can read along, or add something visually inviting to encourage people to click and turn on the sound.

Make sure you add supporting copy to the post, in case they don’t turn on audio. You are able to add a clickable link to the end of your video, but you’ll find that many people don’t watch 100% of your video! Make it easy for them to find and click the link by putting it in the text area.

Con: Short Attention Spans

For the most part, people don’t tend to watch a whole video unless it’s SUPER engaging. To avoid this pitfall, make sure you keep your videos short, sweet, and to the point.

TIP: Not sure if your video is too long? Your ad report will tell you how long people watched on average. See if you can spot an average amongst your videos – and also check to see how many actually turned on sound while you’re at it!

Now, I’m not saying that video will definitely have the same downsides for you! I’m ALL about testing, so please, do test out video ads, track your conversions and link clicks, and report back and let me know if you had great results! I’d love nothing more!

This is simply my experience while working with hundreds of entrepreneurs on their Facebook ads in the past few years, and what I see happening the majority of the time.

What about you? What sort of results are you getting with FB videos ads? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Or Shahar on January 15, 2016 at 3:19 am

    What a great post, honest and simple and right on time.
    My ad get a nice amount of clicks but no conversation 🙁 so I wanted to try video ads but after reading this I think I will save the video for the landing page

    • Julie Lowe on January 15, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      I would stick with “link ads” – ads with the clickable images and get those converting 1st. Are you using Website Conversions as the campaign objective? There are lots of variables, including targeting, the offer, the sign-up page, and the ad itself (copy + image). I work with people 1:1 to sort out these issues if you’d ever like to talk!

  2. Beth Anne on January 15, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Great post, Julie! You really outlined the pros and cons well. However, for us, we were able to get a lower cost per click over to our website using video ads.

    We did a giveaway (highly targeted) to attract more email subscribers, and spent $50 to earn in excess of 7,000 subscribers (viral giveaway app made a huge difference!) But when we compare those who clicked the link on an image and text based ad versus our video ad, we were paying 21 cents per click for the image ad versus 10 cents per click on the video ad.

    I agree with all of your advice above, though! Short, noticeable video and be sure to include all the relevant info in the text around the video too 🙂 Thanks for this, Julie!

    • Julie Lowe on January 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Fantastic! Love hearing your results & that it worked so well for you!

    • Victoria Shortland on January 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Beth, would you mind sharing what viral giveaway app you used please? Your results sound amazing!

  3. Iyea on January 16, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I a so tempted to try video but afraid it will be a waste of time. I am not sure whats the best policy here. What about adding the same video ot your sales page after putting it in the ad where the audio is probably going to start.

    • Julie Lowe on January 16, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      It’s always worth testing – in the ad & on the page. FYI that you can not have auto-playing videos on the landing page.

  4. Safrina on January 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I have to say my experience is a little different. I made it as a Like campaign though so not sure if that made a difference – targetted towards a cold traffic. I have an ad that was posted 2 months ago. Liked 2100 times and shared 765 times ( with TONNES of comments ). Apart from my calls to action on the screen I don’t talk about my offerings at all as this is for people who have not yet seen or heard from me. I’m working on another ad to now target warm leads. $0.001 ( yes that’s TWO zeroes before the 1 ) per view so I have no qualms about keeping this going

    • Julie Lowe on January 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience. Video “page like” ads are another exception I’ve heard of more frequently working. Thanks for the reminder about that, it slipped my mind since so few people are doing it!

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