Viewability is a perennial topic of discussion and dispute between marketers, media companies and advertising agencies alike. And while I have no intention of joining the fray today, it does set the context nicely for this blog.

As debate continues about the need, and difficulty, of an industry-wide viewability standard, there are increasingly more marketers who are looking past these types of metrics altogether. Why report on total views or impressions if half of those might have only been 30% on the screen, for less than a second?

Enter Facebook’s in-stream video ad placements.

5-15 second, non-skippable ads that play to people already watching a video. While they certainly don’t resolve all issues of viewability – or substantiate the value of vanity metrics like views – they do at least appear to improve the likelihood of your ad being viewed, and in particular, being viewed to completion.

The following statistics are from this case study on Universal Pictures Australia and their use of in-stream ads. The case study was produced by Facebook, so obviously it paints a pretty positive picture, but the results are hard to ignore.

  • 59% of all completed video views using in-stream video ads
  • 33% more cost efficient when optimised for 10 second video views
  • 2.75x more completed video views with inclusion of in-stream video ads rather than just focusing on feed
  • 50% lower cost per completed view when comparing in-stream to feed

This placement puts your video in front of an audience who are likely already engaged and improves the chances of ad completion. This means less focus on a ‘thumb-stopping’ beginning or cramming your message in the first 3 seconds, and allows more room creatively to tell a story (albeit still within 15 seconds).

You still can’t guarantee the viewer isn’t staring out the window until their video resumes, but at least you have a slightly better chance of them viewing your social media ads.

If you’d like to speak further about Facebook ads or anything social media – give us a shout.

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