In recent years, Facebook has become a powerful platform for posting, sharing, and watching videos. In fact, nowadays, people watch more than 100 million hours of Facebook videos on a daily basis. However, unlike traditional viewing on television and even YouTube, a large percentage of people watch Facebook videos from their smartphones, and play them silently from their news feed. This is creating an environment where content creators and brands must compete in a soundless, auto-play Facebook environment. In addition, after Facebook went public and had pressure to monetize their platform, the social media giant turned to a paid-only ad-revenue model. Due to Facebook’s pay-to-play environment, brands have to pay for Facebook reach, and also make sure what they’re putting out is getting high return on investment (ROI). Therefore, many brands are turning to video, as opposed to images, for their ads, since video typically results in higher engagement and improved conversions. This creates a marketplace where brands have to keep two things in mind: To get seen, you have to pay To get attention, video is better but it’ll have to work without audio Unfortunately, as more businesses jump into the Facebook marketplace, there are more and more mistakes being made. Graham Mudd, Facebook’s Director of Ads Product Marketing, estimates that up to 40% of Facebook video ads fail to communicate when the sound isn’t on. When it comes to silent video ads for Facebook, the luxuries of audio are gone, but the pressure for conversions is still there. Therefore, brands and entrepreneurs need to change their thinking on what it means to communicate through video, and more specifically, silent video. Storytelling Visually, Not Verbally People watch 85% of videos on Facebook without clicking on the ‘sound’ button. To satisfy the majority of viewers who will watch videos without sound, brands and entrepreneurs need to master what it means to tell a story without verbally saying anything. Here are a few tips on how to do just that. 1. Create a script that can work with or without dialogue. Notably, video production is usually based on a script. But you should avoid depending on the dialogue entirely, since this could set you up for a loss. Content creators often know readers won’t read every line of content you publish — they might skim, skip paragraphs, or leave the page before reaching the end. Similarly, the majority of Facebook users will not listen to your videos. Some filmmakers may find this odd, since traditional videos have a beautiful mix of both visuals and audio. But change is inevitable, so you need to adapt to the current methods that people view content. When creating Facebook silent video ads, you want to get a competitive edge with a script that can still sell your brand even when silent. Right off the bat, concepts such as interviews or a speaking host should be placed at bay. This includes those that could also pass the message through subtitles. Always remember that context is key, and you need to use a strong visual narrative. For instance, Reolink’s Argus Security Camera offers a simple, yet effective example of a video that worked with no dialogue. At first glance it looks like the video is just images with captions, but a couple seconds in, a hand swoops in and yanks the camera out of the frame.
It’s a perfect example of communicating a product’s value with a combination of text and movement, without needing to rely on any narration or verbal explanation. 2. Emphasize big, bold visuals. It’s equally important to make the images bold, big, and highly visual for your video to ‘pop.’ You have to catch the eyes of your viewers as they scroll the sea of jokes, celebrity gossip, their exes, and opinionated posts. The images you choose should be high-contrast with bold visuals, and noticeable enough to prevent confusion with any regular video content with audio. By building a reputation of digestible silent content, your viewers will always slow down to check out any new videos from you on their feed. You can see an example of this creative visual approach with the UAG MacBook Drop Test video.
Whatever it is, just make sure your visual editing touches add something that people aren’t used to seeing. 3. Create content that explains itself. For an immediate impact, you need to come up with content that does not need audio or words to explain the happiness, frustration, or ‘cool factors’ of your brand. You can begin with a question or a shocking statement with great visuals. This is one of those times where you don’t want to overcomplicate things. Think about your product or service and cut to the core of what you’re offering. There is no room for anything subtle or meta here — just cut to the chase. Privacy Pop executes this extremely well in their videos. While introducing a relatively innovative product to the market, they cut straight to the core of what they are offering and communicate the value of their bed tents.
Often in the name of creativity, companies can really go off the deep end of messaging and symbolism. For Facebook Video Ads, everything is silent and you really only have a handful of seconds to stop the viewer from scrolling. A confusing message will ensure that they will not stop on your ad. 4. Place your call-to-action wisely. Though not in the video itself, call-to-action buttons are extremely important in getting conversions. There are two decisions to make regarding your call-to-action. The first regards which CTA prompt will produce the best results. To find out, Adespresso A/B tested four prompts (in addition to a CTA with no button at all) using a Facebook call-to-action button. The results were compelling: ● No button at all produced the worst results — 20 leads for $12.50 each ●