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As marketers, business owners, or ambitious entrepreneurs, we are always looking for innovative ways to get our content in front of the eyes of stakeholders that matter most. Facebook, Instagram, and other social giants know this too, and are constantly evaluating and reorganizing their offerings to optimize usability for you. With a myriad of options, interweaving new Facebook and Instagram video features into your campaigns will prove to be the most valuable asset to your social media strategy in 2017.

Video has become the number one trend in digital advertising for the past few years. Why? It would take less time to outline why not. Today’s consumers are increasingly visual and influenced by engaging, shareable content on social. Video is easily digestible, will play automatically regardless of actual click engagement, and grabs people’s attention best with motion. The plain and simple truth is that the Facebook algorithm heavily favors video, meaning content containing video will appear at the top of users’ news feeds. Let’s find out more about these new video ad unit updates and how we can best use them to bring your brand to life:

Carousel

Facebook’s carousel feature is a user feed favorite and an amazing way to showcase your product or service in up to 10 unique ways. By using video in the initial frame, the user can be immediately introduced to the brand. Lifestyle imagery usually works best for prospective customers, while actual product imagery should be used for returning or high-intent customers. Don’t be afraid to be creative with storytelling or sequencing in a carousel! For one of our clients, Forever 21, we enjoy using video to showcase an outfit or look. The other frames in the carousel are then used as single images of the individual clothing items featured in the video.

Canvas

The Canvas ad, Facebook’s new “microsite-like experience,” offers advertisers a means to combine videos, photos, GIFs, or call-to-action buttons all in one. This feature – when clicked on – covers the entire mobile screen and allows people to engage with the brand right on the Facebook mobile platform without having to go to a business’s actual site. This is intended to alleviate the disconnect and frustration a user may feel when clicking on an ad to a website, but the link is slow to load or not optimized for mobile.

For one of our clients, we’ve created a Canvas ad that features tabs where the clicker can choose their own experience based on what they’re interested in learning more about. The tabs link to different Canvases, and if a user clicks on a frame, they will be directly taken to a page on the website. This leads to a fully immersive experience and is a great help for prequalifying traffic.

Collections

Facebook is taking a step even closer to a “seamless browsing experience” with their new Collections ad. This ad unit will combine a commercial-like video feature with a catalogue of the products featured in the video. Collections are great for a myriad of objectives, from driving awareness to acquiring new customers and generating sales.

For one of our clients, KIKO MILANO, we love to feature fun, animated videos that showcase their new collections and then add the individual products to the catalog section for viewers to browse.

Promoted Post

Boosted Posts are posts boosted directly from the page but served strictly for the News Feeds. Optimization is for engagement and secondary website traffic. Boosted Posts are essentially made to support organic posts. It’s no secret in the industry that after several Facebook algorithm adjustments, organic post reach is declining rapidly. A SocialFlow study analyzed over 3,000 posts by publishers on Facebook and found that organic reach dropped 42% between January and May 2016, and this number has presumably grown in the past year. Boosted Posts are a way to still focus on views, interactions, and engagements while maximizing visibility beyond what solely organic would achieve.

And video may just be the most effective way to do so yet! For one of our clients, Comvita, and their popular Manuka Honey product, we’ve promoted a recipe video with a style similar to that of Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos. This video will be a fun way to engage users to see the product in action and direct them to the actual product page on Facebook.

Facebook Live

Live internet video is a dark horse in the digital marketing world and will continue to be a critical strategy for online advertisers moving forward. A 2017 Cisco report predicts that live internet video will grow fifteen-fold from 2016 to 2021, accounting for 13% of video traffic by 2021. To match this trend, Facebook rolled out Facebook Live in April of 2016. The possibilities of using Live for brands are endless, from tutorials and demonstrations to behind-the-scenes looks and breaking news to Q&As and more. If a brand is advertising products that can be clearly shown on video, they should absolutely be taking advantage of Facebook Live.

Instagram Story

Similar to Facebook Live, Instagram Story ads are a full-screen feature that allow a user to experience your ad as if they are actually in it. Few brands have caught onto the Stories feature, making it a great opportunity for businesses to exploit. Stories can also be conveniently created within Power Editor or Ads Manager, and you can use Stories Insights to see how your Story is performing.

For our clients, we love creating Story ads with features that feel organic, like Instagram stickers and font with color on a block around it. Having music can be fun and catches people’s attention. One way you could get users to listen is by adding “Sound On” as text.

Here’s an example of a Story ad we created for our client ONEHOPE Wine in honor of Pride Month:

Integrating video into your social media campaigns is a fun and surefire way to grab the attention of the customers who matter most to your brand. Check out some of our awesome work, and feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to chat about leveraging video to bring your business to life!

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