Take eCommerce Social Media Advertising to the Next Level Using Video

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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 eCommerce social media advertising is shifting to become increasingly more video-oriented. This surge is due to the considerable consumer demand for video content.

As a result of digital video’s appeal, this form of content is predicted to drive 80 percent of all online consumer traffic by 2021. Because of the massive uptick in the visual medium, most social media platforms have made a meaningful push with efforts like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and other video-focused initiatives to keep users engaged.

The fact is that brands are far more capable of getting across messages about products, their benefits, how they work and other important information in fun and interesting ways through video, as opposed to text and images alone.

For eCommerce retailers to be successful with their social advertising efforts, video is an essential component as this content is far more engaging than most other ad formats. Hence why social video advertising skyrocketed by 130 percent in 2017 when compared to the previous year.

Video ads are an awesomely attention-grabbing amalgamation of narrative and visual interplay that has proven enormously effective for introducing brands, highlighting products and increasing sales.

Video adverts help to move consumers through multiple sales funnel stages faster than other types of content.

But to produce powerful video ads, retailers must first understand what makes this content so potent.

Why Video Ads Are So Effective

Video ads have resulted in a massive paradigm shift for eCommerce social media advertising as these adverts now constitute over 35 percent of all online ad spend. The reasons for this phenomenon are clear:

Pretty powerful stuff.

video ads effective graphic

Videos ads help retailers to build more engaging and trustworthy stories for consumers. The trust factors associated with video are partially why social media websites prioritize video above other forms of content.

Additionally, video adverts are perfectly geared toward today’s shrunken attention spans, given that consumers are far likelier to view a one-minute video than to read a block of text and analyze an image. This dynamic is likely why video consistently produces higher engagement rates than other ad types.

Yet, even with the shorter attention spans, a staggering 80 percent of users can recall a video advert they’ve seen in the past month. This phenomenon is likely a result of video’s ability to grab a viewer’s attention in a relatively short amount of time, while still maintaining a degree of depth.

This efficiency is one of the reasons why video is so effective at engendering consumer action.

But, for eCommerce social media advertising to produce the desired results, retailers must understand what makes a marvelous video advert.

The Anatomy of Great Social Video Ads

Social media video advertisements that produce results tend to have a handful of things in common. Some of the more prominent and essential principles of creating great video ads are:

Keep It Short

While video ads can be quite impactful, it is important to remember that people still don’t really like ads all that much. According to Facebook Business, users quickly lose interest in in-feed advertisements.

Therefore, the best video advert strategy that retailers can deploy is a succinct one. Data published on Marketing Land reveals some extremely useful insights for digital sellers about the ideal ad length on Facebook:

“For e-commerce advertisers, the 16- to 20-second length boasted the best conversion rate, but longer video ads weren’t far behind. Twenty-six- to 35-second lengths lagged behind the top conversion rate by moderate, but not significant, amounts in aggregate.”

Focus on the Viewer

Keeping in line with the idea of short video adverts, wise retailers get straight to the point as the viewer doesn’t want to listen to a bunch of ancillary fluff before getting down to brass tacks.

By getting to the ad’s core message as quickly as possible, retailers not only show more significant consideration for viewers but also increase their chances of earning more conversions.

shopreddress instagram video post

Illustrating this point,  a joint research effort by Facebook and Nielsen found that:

“Data shows that people who watched under three seconds of the video ad created up to 47 percent of the total campaign value, and people who watched for fewer than 10 seconds created up to 74 percent, depending on the metric. That means that while lift continued to increase the longer people watched, people didn’t have to watch a whole video to be affected by the ad. Even video views under 10 seconds effectively build awareness and drive purchase intent.”

Place the focus on what the consumer wants to know. By doing this, retailers stand a far greater chance of building a successful eCommerce social media advertising campaign.

Use Emotional Engagement

Emotions have a significant impact on a video’s effectiveness, how widely it is shared and whether a consumer will act afterward. As Professor of Media Innovation at the University of Adelaide, Dr. Karen Nelson-Field found in her research:

“Positive emotions such as exhilaration and hilarity elicit 40 percent more shares than video content with negative themes such as shock, fear or anger. But any strong emotional pull — whether positive or negative — is twice as likely to be shared than content that provokes a weak emotional response.”

In other words, smart retailers will find a way to elicit a positive emotional response from targeted viewers quickly.

Humanize the Brand

Stock photography and video footage won’t cut it in the world of eCommerce social media advertising.

This is the era of authenticity, and in this epoch, consumers demand that brands interact in more personal and human ways. Those that do engage in such ways reap the benefits.

Often, ads that resonate with an audience feature real people. Maybe company CEOs or customer service representatives. Alternatively, employing footage of actual customers is another winning tactic. However, no matter how one slices it, real people and the benefits they receive must live at the heart of the video.

Create a Clear Call-to-Action

Most brands utilize video adverts to drive traffic to the company’s website. However, only a small number of consumers are likely to land in the desired destination.

This occurrence tends to mean one of two things:

  • The consumer did not find the ad compelling enough to leave the social platform to engage with the brand.
  • The ad’s call-to-action (CTA) is wrong, weak or non-existent.

When speaking to the latter scenario, it is critical for merchants to craft a call-to-action that clearly informs potential customers on what they are supposed to do after the ad ends.

creating clear call to action graphic

The ad’s CTA should make sense for the platform (click below, swipe up, et cetera) and for the point in the buyer’s journey the viewer is in when they encounter the video.

The clearer and easier the CTA is to follow, the more likely customers are to act.

Other Video Ad Considerations

Outside of the messaging and creative of the advert, there are other elements that retailers must consider when assembling an eCommerce social media advertising campaign centered on video content.


Today, users access a multitude of social platforms that feature video content. Moreover, not all platforms are created equal for all advertisers.

Retailers that engage in video-oriented eCommerce social media advertising can get messages to audiences on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other destinations. However, it is essential to consider where the target audience lives before launching a campaign.

Ideally, retailers are already aware of where their target customers engage. For those who don’t, it is wise to create buyer personas to help establish this vital information.


Video ads on Facebook (and most other social platforms) begin playing immediately upon a user scroll past the content. However, the video is muted.

The fact is that a whopping 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed without sound. Therefore, retailers should opt to have their videos transcribed and apply captions to increase viewership and click-throughs.

Moreover, ads appear quite differently across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other destinations. Therefore, marketers require a 1:1, 9:16 and 16:9 version of each video asset to leverage the spectrum of Facebook’s options. Given this, merchants should utilize Asset Customization to optimize content for the different potential placements for which they opt.


For retailer’s video ads to be worth the effort, they must get in front of the right eyeballs. Therefore, targeting the right consumers with the right ad at the right time is critical.

gerberchildrenswear video instagram post

Targeting is vital as this ensures that retailers reach only those who are most likely to be interested in the video content. When merchants know who sees their ads, it is far easier to produce relevant and useful content that resonates and engages.

On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, sellers are wise to employ Custom Audiences to establish a select group of individuals who have engaged with a brand previously and who are more likely to find an ad useful.

Advertisers can create one of these groups manually by uploading a data set or via the Facebook pixel, which automatically updates the target audience based on specific touchstones like engagement.

After running a campaign that produced satisfactory results, retailers should then look into employing Lookalike Audiences to reach new consumers who may not yet know about their brand.

Video advertising is becoming increasingly attractive due to its success and popularity with consumers, thereby providing eCommerce retailers abounding opportunities to interact with potential customers through a highly engaging medium that drive awareness, clicks and sales. When done correctly, eCommerce social media advertising campaigns that use video effectively can elevate brands to the next level of success.

Employ the strategies listed above and help your brand grow its bottom line by wowing consumers with powerful video adverts done right.

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