Animation vs Static Image Facebook Ads: A Case Study
Marketers agree – Facebook video ads have higher ROI, and numbers show that native videos have the highest organic reach of all types of content on the social network. Facebook itself insists heavily relying on video content is on its way to becoming a massive trend on the platform.
But with the lack of actual numbers to back up the claims, it’s difficult to estimate whether running a Facebook campaign with video ads is the best option for you. Some experiments even show that advertising using static images can be more effective after all. That’s why we’ve decided to hold an experiment of our own and share our findings with VistaCreate blog readers.
The split test
For the experiment, we chose to advertise our ambitious two-part guide to free tools for doing your own marketing. We carefully selected our target audience – users who liked VistaCreate Facebook page, and included the same text and link in both variants of the ad. Here’s our static image ad (A):
And this is the same ad with an animated illustration (B):
For the first ad we used the default preview – it contains a bit of text since it was originally produced for the blog, and the color scheme is also directed primarily at the VistaCreate blog audience, familiar with our editing tool.
The animated ad, on the other hand, was a design we chose specifically for the targeted audience of our Facebook ad. It took us only a few minutes to find the relevant Animated Post design in VistaCreate library, customize the text and upload to the Facebook Ads Manager:
Here are the results of our A/B test for this ad:
As you can see, our animated ad attracted 1.5x more clicks than the static image. This made our cost per click drop 50%. And despite our animated ad reaching notably less users – 18 thousand for video vs 25 thousand for the static ad, the number of clicks on our advertised link was more than double for the animated ad – 325 clicks vs 145 clicks.
We have to admit, this result did not surprise us in the slightest – we’ve been to our Facebook Ads Manager Analytics tab before;) But simply noting that animated and video ads attract way more attention and clicks is one thing, but running and A/B test and going on a rollercoaster of emotion of whether the results will actually match our expectations – another. We actually did experience a slight letdown when the numbers for our static image ad started climbing rapidly immediately upon launching our split campaign.
Video and animation for ads might not be your best bet if you are after increasing customer registrations or your online shop purchases – those depend too much on the quality of your marketing effort (more sign-ups or larger sales depend on overall quality of your flow: how well-thought-out each step of your flow is, how inviting and intuitive the process is, how persuasive your copy and visuals are). That said, animated and video ads on Facebook, as well as other social, are perfect to increase engagement and improve click-throughs.
Want to try for yourself? Read on!
A Brief Guide to Facebook Ads
To run an animated ad on Facebook, you will first need to produce your content, then set your target audience and budget, and monitor your results. Let’s go through the process step by step.
Step 1. Designing your ad.
Go to VistaCreate’s animated designs page and look for templates that fit your purpose and the product or service you are advertising. Browse the designs or use template search – just type in your query in the search bar at the top of the page.
Once you have your heart set on a design and format (VistaCreate offers visuals in four animated formats: Animated Post 1080 by 1080 pixels, Full HD Video 1920 by 1080 pixels, Facebook Video Cover 851 by 315 pixels, and Instagram Video Story 1080 by 1920 pixels), you can start editing your chosen template.
Include your own text, images and adjust the design elements within the template.
Step 2. Starting your campaign.
After you are done designing your ad, send your image from VistaCreate directly to the Facebook Ads Manager. Find the Share button at the top right part of VistaCreate interface and click on it. Select Send to Facebook Ads Manager option and choose an advertising account to export your design to. Your design will be uploaded to the Ads Manager.
Now, go to your Facebook Ads Manager and click Create Ad. Set your target audience and ad purpose, as well as other advertising parameters, then go to ad specifications. Choose Single Video format for your ad and browse library to find your uploaded animated design:
Step 3. Monitoring the results.
Go to Facebook Ads Manager Campaigns tab and survey ad delivery, reach, number of impressions, cost per result, total amount you spent on the ad.
Our A/B test has shown how an animated Facebook ad can be an effective way to improve post engagement and promote your content on the platform at a lower cost than when using static images.
Creating eye-catching, intriguing animated ads like the one we used for our campaign takes only a few minutes with animated templates – these pre-designed visuals help you save time and cost on content production, require no design skills and look just as professional as ones created by pro designers.
Want more details? See our how-to on animated ad creation in VistaCreate. For more information on Facebook advertising, read our full guide to advertising on Facebook.