In a Mobile-First World, Shorter Video Ads Drive Results

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As people spend more and more time on mobile, it’s important for advertisers to understand how viewing habits are changing. Mark Rabkin, Facebook’s VP of Ads & Business Platform, outlined this in a post last June saying, “because people can watch virtually anything at any time, they’re only going to watch ads that grab their attention, reward their time, and are immediately relevant. As a consequence, even though aggregate ad view time is up, individual session times are down. People aren’t watching ads for as long as they used to, on any medium.”

To learn more about what works well for mobile video ads, we teamed up with some Facebook Marketing Partners (FMPs). FMPs are third-party developers that provide technological solutions to help advertisers spend more efficiently. We asked FMPs to work with businesses and uncover best practices, specifically optimal length, for mobile video ads. Through these collaborations, we found that shorter video ads were most successful.

The power of 6-second ads

Champs Sports, a Footlocker brand, worked with FMP Adaptly to increase brand awareness and drive conversions. Champs Sports tested 30-second video ads and 6-second video ads to see which was more effective. In this case, the 6-second ads delivered an 11% increase in ad recall, 12% increase in return on ad spend and 271% increase in video completion rate—proving to be most effective in driving results for the brand. The 6-second ads also resulted in incremental lift across several other key metrics including conversion rate, average purchase value and clickthrough rate.

The test also showed that people are more inclined to remember an ad that quickly communicates the message and grabs people’s attention. Average watch time for both the 6-second and 30-second video ads was the same, but ad recall was significantly higher for the 6-second ads. The difference in ad recall underlines the importance of keeping video ads short and communicating key messages in the first few seconds.

“With our consumers’ ever-changing interests and thirst for compelling video content, mobile-first short video ads were very intriguing to leverage. After looking at the positive results, we’re excited that these ads allowed us to break through to our consumer with meaningful placements, to influence their buying decisions in the future.” — Matt McNichol, Director of Social, Champs Sports

The original post can be found on Facebook Business.