If you spend anytime at all on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that video has exploded across the News Feed over the last couple of years. Well, this is no mistake. Like everything on Facebook, what you see, where you see it, and how often you see it is calculated. (To the nth degree.)

As video content increases, so do brands’ appetites for video ads. Of course, with such a surplus of video content on Facebook, you have to combine creativity and research in order to develop a video ad that’s going to really pop – especially on Facebook mobile, where attention spans are incredibly short.

In a recent blog post, Facebook has shared with us just exactly how to do that. Here are a few things we learned from Facebook about mobile use and attention spans…

  • People scroll through mobile News Feed 41% faster than desktop News Feed.
  • Almost half of American adults check their phone at least 30 times a day.
  • People can remember what they see on mobile after only a quarter of a second or less.

#1 Capture Attention Quickly.

Ok, you’re 99% likely to be a Facebook user, yourself, so you know that it takes a lot to grab user attention. Here’s how Facebook says you should do it:

  • Deliver the message in 15 seconds or less. Your video can be longer, but the key info needs to be right at the beginning.
  • Be strategic about what thumbnail you use for your video. This should be the most engaging, visually arresting shot.
  • The copy you write in your video post matters – more than you might think. Be funny, provocative or surprising. Entice people to watch.

#2 Assume No Sound. But Surprise Those Who Do Listen.

Raise your hand if you’ve watched a Facebook video without ever turning on the sound. Yep, that should be about everybody. (Fast fact: 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound.) Your video ad should be designed to be awesome without sound.

Then, you need to surprise and delight those who do turn the sound on. Consider adding SRT captions (Facebook can do this automatically for you) or adding text and graphics to your video during the editing phase.

#3 Get Creative With Vertical Video.

Try posting some videos in a 4:5 or 9:16 ratio. Facebook has found that these mobile-optimized ratios can drive an increase in brand lift and up to a 9-point increase in ad recall.

#4 Be Playful.

This is social media – it’s not permanent. You get a lot of chances. So, play… be creative… do something different.

#5 Test Weekly.

Finally, Facebook suggests that you create variants of your video and test them on a weekly cycle. In the process, you’ll learn more about your audience and position yourself for creating better content.

Have You Tried Facebook Ads?

If so, we want to know what your experience was like! Did you create the ads yourself? Hire an agency? What was your biggest difficulty in putting the ad together – concept, execution, targeting? Let us know in the comments below.