Facebook Video Ads: MP4 versus GIF

Posted by Faraz
4 Minute Read
Date: 23rd January 2018

Results: MP4 was the clear winner! While both ads reached roughly the same amount of people, the MP4 ad received well over 10 times the number of link clicks, over 25 times more views, and less than half the CPC.

With over 50% growth in video views (Facebook Business), it’s quite apparent that video outperforms all other content on Facebook these days. Recognising the premium placed on video, marketers have accordingly modified their content strategies, and adaptation of their digital ad strategies will surely follow soon.

Over the last few years, I have already switched our strategy from image ads to video ads. The results that have followed excite but do not surprise us; our reach and clicks have doubled, while CPC has halved. Encouraged by these metrics, I wanted to see if I could optimise ad performance even more while continuing to produce quality creative. Facebook Ads Manager offers marketers the opportunity to upload videos in several different formats, ranging from 3G2 (mobile video) to WMV (windows media video). However—as the two most popular video formats— I decided to focus on the performance of MP4 ads and GIF ads. The results are in!

MP4 vs GIF

Hypothesis: I expected GIF ads to outperform MP4 ads, as GIFs flood newsfeeds everywhere and accumulate tons of engagement.

Experiment: Using the same audience, budget, and graphic design, we ran an A/B test by pushing out two versions of the same ad (MP4 versus GIF).

Results: MP4 was the clear winner! While both ads reached roughly the same amount of people, the MP4 ad received well over 10 times the number of link clicks, over 25 times more views, and less than half the CPC.

Taking into consideration that this is only one case for one ad campaign—and keeping in mind that different audiences vary in their responses to different types of videos— I will continue to experiment and monitor video ad performance. I certainly look forward to any video advertising features that Facebook may roll out in the future!

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