Facebook Video Ads vs. Image Ads: Which to Shoot?

Facebook Video Ads vs. Image Ads: Which to Shoot?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

You’re facing a challenge, trying to figure out what will work best for your business on Facebook: a video ad or image ad? This is one of the eternal questions of Facebook advertising.

Video ads are conquering the world of marketing. We at Softcube know this like nobody else. Our artificial intelligence is working hard to produce hundreds of product videos every day.

But does this mean that image ads are doomed to disappear? Let’s find out.

Video vs. Photo Ads on Facebook: Weapon of Choice

If you need an official word concerning video ads vs. photo ads, Facebook stresses out that your choice should depend on your advertising goal. If you take a look around Facebook and inspect existing pages and ads, you’ll notice that video ads and photo ads are used for different purposes.

Some companies fully rely on images and launch videos occasionally, some use both types of ads equally, and some produce videos constantly and in large numbers. Statistics show that video marketing on Facebook works.

Within just six years, Facebook’s revenue from video advertising has increased by 1000%.

Facebook video ads vs image ads - statistics

In 2017, Facebook earned almost $40 billion in total according to Statista. Revenue from video ads made up almost 10% of this amount, and that share is expected to increase in coming years. As you can see, video is a hot trend among marketers. What distinguishes videos from pictures?

Major Benefits of Video Ads Compared to Image Ads

Quentin Tarantino once said, “Novelists have always had complete freedom to pretty much tell their story any way they saw fit. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Today, anyone with an idea in their head and a smartphone in their hands can direct their own ad. But most importantly, video is a format that gives a marketer carte blanche to tell a story.

Diverse Content in One Piece

No matter how hard you try, even the most eye-catching image won’t evoke the emotion that a 15-second video can trigger. This is thanks to the diversity of visual content you can use.

This diversity opens the door to experimentation. And experiments are your key to thinking outside the box, better understanding your target audience, and increasing your conversion rate.

For example, you can paste and combine different visuals in different mini-movies —  photos, images, screenshots, infographics, animations, and text — then test them on different people.

Moving Images in a Moving World

We live in a world of rapid consumption. People have gotten used to living fast, moving and traveling fast, eating fast food, and watching hours of dynamic visual content every day. Dozens of scientific studies have proven a positive correlation between consumerism and the production of dopamine.

Once released in the brain in large amounts, this neurotransmitter lets humans experience feelings of happiness and reward. That’s why every time you buy a product, use a service or watch a video, you want to repeat this action.

To sum up, dynamic videos make people happy. The formula for creating videos for Facebook ads that bring joy to viewers includes a few important ingredients.

  1. Make your footage understandable without sound. The lion’s share of viewers has their smartphones on silent.
  2. Use catchy transitions and fast cuts to capture the viewer’s attention. Facebook recommends that videos last less than 15 seconds.
  3. Experiment with different types of visual content.

The Most Attention-Grabbing Online Showcase

Imagine you produce and sell clothing. One day you release a new summer collection that consists of pants, shirts, and accessories. In this case, short clips would be an effective way to show many of these items to your potential customers all at once.

Retailers and other companies actively use vids to boost sales and ROI because there’s no better way of demonstrating their products and services in action. Shopping is gradually shifting to the internet, where videos play the role of an online showcase.

Major Benefits of Image Ads Compared to Video Ads

In the context of advertising on Facebook, our video ads vs image ads battle, and the growing popularity of video marketing, we should highlight one thing. Let’s be honest. Video ads are great and they may transcend image ads in many aspects. Still, we have to admit that without images there wouldn’t be any videos.

Facebook video ads vs image ads - cameraman

The first static banner ad was published on October 27, 1994, just two years after the first picture was uploaded to the World Wide Web. Since then, a lot of things have changed both online and in the real world. But image ads are still here.

Easy and Fast to Produce

Recording, editing, and rendering footage takes a lot of time. Compared to videos, images are much easier and faster to create. This means a lot if you take into account that you’ll need to repeat this process dozens or even hundreds of times to make your ads really work for your business.

To make an image, all you need is a camera to take a shot and a few minutes in Photoshop or a photo editor on Facebook to retouch it and add some other elements if necessary. The only exception is graphics. Drawing a picture from scratch takes time too.

Facebook Ad Formats

We’ve already told you how videos can help demonstrate several products at once. The thing is, Facebook offers two amazing formats to showcase a few product images in one ad.

  • Carousel. This format allows you to show up to 10 images, each with its own link. The Carousel format is a great tool because you can show many different items separately or upload pictures one by one to display them in the form of a single story.
  • Collection. There are four Collection ad templates: Instant Storefront, Instant Lookbook, Instant Customer Acquisition, and Instant Storytelling. As their names suggest, you can choose these templates depending on your goal.

The Carousel and Collection ad formats let you structure images in an unusual and attractive way so customers can appreciate each important detail in the items you advertise.

Pricing on Facebook: Image versus Video Ads Cost

When we compare video vs image, Facebook ads can be expressed in different ways. But each way has its own cost. If you want to know the cost of Facebook ads, you won’t find any specific answer. To discover the cost, you need to calculate:

  • how much you’ll spend producing your ad before launching it on Facebook;
  • how much it costs to run this ad in an ad campaign on Facebook.

The cost of an ad campaign depends on five main factors: your ad objective, ad buying type, target audience, ad quality, and industry.

As for the production cost, images usually cost less than videos, right? On average, the price of having one clip recorded, edited, and rendered by professionals starts at $100. But you may need to pay a photographer from $50 to $100 per picture if you can’t come up with your own attractive image for your ad.

The prices for both image and video ads may be lower when you use ready-made templates. That makes sense. We’ve already told you that it’s really hard to make videos in the traditional way.

The bad news is that the peculiarities of traditional video creation don’t let you lower the ad cost. But the good news is that there already exist some untraditional ways of creating appealing product videos that can reduce their cost to the price of their image alternatives.

At Softcube, we’ve developed a neural network that makes videos automatically. Automatic AI-powered video production not only reduces the average cost to $3 per video but also enables companies to make thousands of engaging Facebook ads a week.

Now, anyone who wants to promote something using video ads can do so at approximately the same cost as image advertising.

Image or Video for Facebook Ads: What’s Your Weapon?

If you’re facing the video or photo for Facebook ads dilemma and can’t make a choice, you should know that it all depends on your situation.

The perfect strategy is choosing both types of ads with a focus on one. We’ve mentioned the advantages and disadvantages and said a few words about the cost, so it’s up to you which ad format to choose.

Just remember that video content isn’t so expensive and hard to make any more. If you need some advice on how to start creating videos using the Softcube neural network, we’ll be glad to show you how it works. Feel free to contact us!

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