7 Things That Make A Killer Facebook Video Ad

“How do I get the attention of my audience?”

“How can my brand stand out?” 

“What ways can I reach my audience and get them to convert?”


You probably asked these questions yourself a few times and with a lot of options you have, you begin to wonder – which one is the most effective? Actually, that depends on your goal and timing. There will be times that it’s best to share your message in a photo and times when video content is a must. However, this article will center on the things that make attention-grabbing, action-inducing Facebook video ads. Why?

 Read on to learn:

  • Different Facebook video ad formats and the specs
  • Ad placements you can utilize
  • Tips on how you can create a killer Facebook video ad 
  • Examples of proven ads that we have made for our clients 

Did you know that 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook each day by over 500 million people?! With those big numbers, the average engagement rate for video posts is at 6.01%, while photo posts have 4.81%, link posts at 3.36%, and lastly, status posts at 2.21%. 

Before we dig deeper, it’s important that you know the basics – Facebook video ads have a number of formats and they can appear across the Facebook family of apps and services. Imagine how wide your reach will be.

The Facebook Video Formats and Specifications 

The good thing about advertising on Facebook is that it gives advertisers a lot of options to reach their audience. Now, it’s up to you where you’ll want to be seen and in what form you want to deliver your message. 

Your video ad can appear in three of the following ways: in-stream is where your video ad will appear in the videos watched by your audience, feed is where most of the sharing happens, and lastly, stories where most of your audience is sharing their everyday moments. 

Depending on what you want to achieve or your objective for a campaign, Facebook has options for you to get creative. 

Slideshow Ads 

  • This is a good option if it’s your first time to do a video ad because it’s simple and easy to make. With images you already have plus motions, sounds, and a text to complete your storytelling, you can create a slideshow ad in minutes. And because of its simplicity, they load quickly and play well no matter what the connection speed of your audience is. 


  • Use high-quality images 
  • At least 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Maintain consistent aspect ratio (16:9, 1:1, or 4:5)
  • For different image sizes, it will automatically be cropped to 1:1
  • For video files, use MOV or MP4
  • Secure all legal rights necessary to use a song in the ad


Number of cards per single ad: 2 to 10

Image specs: 

  • JPG or PNG 
  • Max file size: 30MB
  • Recommended ratio: 1:1
  • Recommended resolution: at least 1080 x 1080px
  • Include less than 20% text

Video specs:

  • File type: MP4 or MOV (view the complete list here)
  • Max file size: 4GB
  • Video length: up to 240 minutes
  • Thumbnail image must include less than 20% text


  • Primary text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters 
  • Description: 20 characters
  • Texts with more than the mentioned number of characters above will be truncated

Carousel Ads

  • Whether you need to highlight new products, explain a process, or tell a story, this format is your best option. Up to ten images or videos can be added within a single ad, each carousel ad has its own link.

Collection Ads

  •  A mobile-only format that is ideal for retail, travel, dining, and other ecommerce companies with a lot of products to showcase. And because collection ads are powered by Instant Experience, it allows the audience to have a smooth and immersive way of shopping without leaving Facebook or Instagram. Advertisers also have the option to choose a template that best suits their needs – Instant Storefront, Instant Lookbook, Instant Customer Acquisition, and Instant Storytelling. 


  • Video specs:

    • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1
    • H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
    • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128 kbps
    • Secure all legal rights necessary to use a song in the ad
  • Image specs:

    • Aspect Ratio: 1.9:1 or 1:1
    • Image Size: 1,200 x 628 px
  • Text: 

    • Primary text: 90 characters
    • Headline: 25 characters
    • Texts with more than the mentioned number of characters above will be truncated


Image specs for Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories

  • File size: 500 x 500 min
  • Image ratio: 1.91 to 9:16 
  • Notes: 
    • Vertical video ads are viewable for 15 seconds, 
    • Leave the 14% area (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of your image free from any elements that may cover the your brand’s icon or call-to-action button 


  • Video specs for Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories

    • Recommended file type: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
    • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
    • Video ratio: 1.91 to 9:16 
    • Video file size: 4GB max 
    • Video sound: optional
    • Notes: 
      • Vertical video ads are viewable for 15 seconds
      • Leave the 14% area (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of your image free from any elements that may cover your brand’s icon or call-to-action button

Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories

  •  As Facebook describes  – story ads are immersive, authentic, inclusive, and hard to get enough of. This format feels more natural than disruptive because it is optimized for a vertical, full-screen view. Messenger stories ads, however, are only available to buy with an Instagram stories ad or an addition to your campaign in feed.

Some hard facts on why you should not ignore using this format:

  • People use their phone vertically 90% of the time
  • 4 million advertisers are utilizing this format every month
  • More than 500 million users from each of the platform (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp) use Stories every day
  • 1 billion stories are shared every day across all platforms
  • Lastly, ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses

Ultimately, the scope of a project and a brand guide will give you a clear vision of what kind of designer (or designers) you need. 

Shortlist designers that have works that are relevant to the goals of the project and most importantly, to the audience of your business. 

When looking for candidates be sure to not only look at their skills, experiences, and portfolio but also their characteristics. We’ll get into this in the next section.

Playable Ads

  • The interactive video ad on Facebook that shows users an immersive preview of your app before they download or install it. This format is made up of three parts – lead-in video, game video, and a call-to-action that takes users to the App Store or Google Play Store.


For complete details on the specifications for the playable ad, click here.


Lead-in video specs:

  • All aspect ratios are supported – landscape, square, or vertical 
  • Note: 
    • This is required when running a playable ad
    • This is only a part of the playable experience on Newsfeed
    • No lead-in video is delivered on Audience Network placements
  • Playable specs – HTML5 assets

    • Playable game should be HTML5
    • File size: should not be less than 2MB
    • Playable should not require mraid.js
    • Playable should not make any HTTP request 
    • Should be in portrait mode
    • Playable should have a responsive design
  • Playable specs – Zip flies

    • Uploaded files may not exceed 5MB
    • Number of files inside a bundle may not exceed 100 
    • SIze of index.html file should not exceed 2MB

Premium Video Ads

  •  This ad format is currently available for the US audience only and is shown in-stream of the top-tier videos on Facebook and Facebook Watch. For more information about this, visit Facebook Reserve.

Facebook Ad Placements You Can Utilize

Running an ad campaign depends on your objective and KPIs. You can figure out your placement before your format or vice versa as long as it will meet or achieve the results you need. Video ads can appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. There are currently seven ad placements available on Facebook.

  1. Feeds – ads will appear to your audience scrolling through their inbox, desktop, or mobile feeds. 
  2. In-stream – ads may appear before, during, or after a video content 
  3. Messages – ads appear as messages to people who have contacted you in Messenger before. 
  4. Stories – vertical ads will appear in people’s Stories (Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram)
  5. In-article – ads will appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app
  6. Apps – ads will appear in external apps
  7. Search – ads will appear next to Facebook and Marketplace search results that are relevant.

Tips on Creating a Killer Facebook Video Ad 

In a sea of content, it is important to stand out – be seen, heard, and have people take action. With over 500 million people watching videos on Facebook, you want to get as many views and engagements as possible.

How? Your video ads need to be sooooo good that it’s hard to ignore. That is why we’ve put together tips based on our experience as a creative company and the latest news and insights on Facebook video ads that will keep you relevant.

#1 Keep it succinct but impactful early on

With all that is happening in a user’s feed, inbox, or stories, you probably have less than 10 seconds to get their undivided attention. In that short period in the limelight, it’s best to deliver your message as early and as clear as possible or they’ll just carry on scrolling.

Here’s a simple one showing off the ambient lights of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class! It has gained more than 22,000 engagements on Facebook.

Here’s a simple one showing off the ambient lights of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class! It has gained more than 22,000 engagements on Facebook.

Here’s a 13-second video ad sample by Xiaomi featuring the Redmi Note 8 and promoting their event #LiveForTheChallenge. In the first three seconds of the video, you can easily see this message. 

#2 Keep it short and engaging

Think about your own experience: would you watch a whole video ad if at the first three seconds you got bored already? If you can’t pique the interest of your audience during the first three seconds, there’s a good chance they will just skip the whole video. This is why the faster you can communicate your message in an engaging way, the better. Consider showing your brand or an image of your product at the first three seconds of your video. 

Here’s a simple one showing off the ambient lights of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class! It has gained more than 22,000 engagements on Facebook.

Another one from Intel.


#3 Communicate your message without sound

According to Facebook, most video ads in mobile feeds are viewed without sound. This tells brands like you that even without sound, you should make sure that your message gets across to the audience. However, Facebook also noted that 41% of videos are also meaningless without sound. So try to make a video ad that can communicate your message in silence but is much more interesting when your audience chooses to play the sound. 


You can also add subtitles to your video. If you have people talking, or a voice over in your ad, consider transcribing the audio into text and display that on your video. Lastly, if there is no verbal communication in your ad, you can add a text that describes the message you are trying to get across.

#4 Experimentation is key

Face it, there’s no one size fits all solution to achieve success with video ads. What worked for one brand may not work for you. That is why it’s good to equip yourself with knowledge first, then experiment and test ways that will work best for your brand but with your audience in mind. 


We always recommend split testing your ads against each other. This means running multiple ads with slight variations at the same time to the same audience until you can pick a definitive winner. The variations could be in the messaging, the color scheme, the imagery, etc. but it is important to not test too many variables at once, that way you can actually decide what made a certain ad outperform the others.

#5 Make it personal, touch their hearts

Consumers of today behave differently in terms of how they consume their content. They have options to unfollow, hide, or even block brands they do not resonate with. But if you can evoke the emotions of your audience in a 15-second video ad, that will make a good and long lasting impression for your brand.

#6 Don’t forget the thumbnail

You probably have not thought about this before you read this part of the article. Most brands, if not all, just choose a thumbnail from the video frames. But we’re here to tell you that the thumbnail of your video ad can also be a factor to the success of your campaign. 

To back this up, the team from AdEspresso made an experiment to find out the impact of using a thumbnail in video ads and they concluded using a custom and highly engaging image can have twice the difference on the CPA (cost per action) of your campaigns.

#7 Don’t spend short on production

Come to think of this: if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more could a video be? If you want to have a leg up in the competition, investing on the production of your videos are highly recommended. Again, if you were in the shoes of your audience, would you watch a crappy video ad? A video ad with a good story, beautifully crafted, and designed to play seamlessly on every device is more likely to be watched and remembered by the audience. 

If you do not have creative resources to produce, there are companies out there who are focused on this certain need. We, at No Limit Creatives, for example understand thoroughly the power of video for brands. We make sure that we provide our clients with the best production at a one flat rate – no quality is compromised.

This leads us to some of the proven ads we made for our clients. 



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