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Just Business: Facebook's video, ad changes can help your business

As a business owner, you may still question if Facebook can work for you. After all, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to any business. But if you are looking for cost-effective and results-oriented ways to promote your business, you should consider Facebook videos and advertising.

For example, you may want to advertise on TV but don’t have the budget for it. TV is a powerful medium, but with the wide variety of channels and streaming devices, it may be difficult for you to reach your target audience with a tight budget. That is why Facebook may be your solution.

Facebook has featured video for several years with staggering results. Currently, Facebook generates about 8 billion video views per day and is introducing tools that are familiar to traditional advertisers.

Consider this: Facebook recently introduced two features that make video ad placements similar to TV ad buys — such as Nielsen DMA targeting and target rating point video buys that leverage day-parting. These new changes provide marketers with further branding capabilities on mobile, as well as flexibility to extend TV and video campaigns to Facebook. Consequently, advertisers should rethink the way they deliver ads on Facebook.

 

To help ensure success, Facebook recommends asking yourself the following questions to adapt your video ads for the news feed and to drive the best results:

1. Is it easy to understand without sound?

2. Is it easy to identify the brand being advertised?

3. Is the video ad’s message succinct without overloading on info?

4. Is the advertised product or service featured for the majority of the 30-second spot?

5. Does the video ad contain narration or feature verbal communication to tell a message?

In creating your video, it is important to be concise, consider screen size, include captions and experiment with different ideas. There is no universal method to creating video ads on Facebook. Create, test and learn what works best for your brand and keep the few key creative principles in mind.

 

Facebook’s ‘20 percent rule’

For Facebook marketers, one of the most difficult aspects of using Facebook as an advertising medium is getting your message across in a concise way while following all of the guidelines.

For the past several years, Facebook’s 20 percent text overlay rule has restricted the amount of text allowed within an image to limit the “spamminess” of ads. Although there is a good reason for this rule, trying to follow it can be frustrating. This rule left advertisers with limited options for creativity because of the strict guidelines on what counted as text.

If you were hesitant to advertise on Facebook because of this rule, don’t worry! Facebook has finally made the decision to change the 20 percent ad image text overlay rule.

To replace the 20 percent rule, Facebook has introduced four new categories to help advertisers define the level of text overlay in their ads: OK, Low, Medium and High.

The OK category typically encompasses images with no text other than a company logo. With a low classification, which is roughly defined as a company logo with some text, your ad reach may be slightly restricted. Images with a medium classification will have an even more restricted reach, and images with high text volume won’t run.

 

Here are some new 20 percent rule exceptions that won’t impact your ad classification:

• Book or album covers

• Posters for movies, concerts/music festivals, comedy shows or sporting events

• Product images

• Infographics

• Legal text

• Text-based businesses (i.e. calligraphy)

Since Facebook is testing and rolling out the new options gradually, the changes are not yet in place for all users. Just remember that you should still include as little text as possible on your images and leave the promotional details for the actual post. Then, monitor your results to help track your success and determine future updates.

 

This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, director of public relations and client development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, with Robmark Web providing website design, development and SEO. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or 912-921-1040

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