Pro Tips, Tutorials

How to Create a Facebook In-Stream Video Ad

Long-form video content is becoming more and more popular on Facebook, meaning that in-stream ads are growing as a way to reach a new audience on the platform. Read on and watch our tutorial video below for everything you need to know about creating your first Facebook in-stream ad!


What is a Facebook In-Stream Ad?

An in-stream Facebook ad is an advertisement that plays before, during, or after Facebook videos that are part of the Facebook publishing partner network. When a viewer is watching a video, they’ll see a countdown for when your ad will start and a countdown for when it will end. Most importantly, in-stream ads cannot be skipped and will only air during videos that are threeminutes or longer.

In other words, in-stream ads only display within video content intended to capture audiences for longer periods of time.

Facebook In-Stream Ad Tech Specs?

Here are the specs to keep in mind when creating an ad for this platform:

    – Video ads can be 5 to 15 seconds in length
    – Choose from one of three different aspect ratios: vertical (9:16), square (1:1), or landscape (16:9)
    – Sound is required
    – They work best with H.264 video format
    – Film size must be 4GB or less

If you’re looking for further detail, go here for full Facebook in-stream ad video specs.

Creating Your Ad

Since your ad can only be between 5 and 15 seconds in duration, you need to hook your viewer fast. Here are three things you should remember when editing your ad:

    1. Use visually compelling media to capture your audience (show action shots!).
    2. Clearly show what your product or service is.
    3. Include one clear call to action (CTA)

You can use video editing-software to create your ad — I personally use Adobe Premiere Pro CC, but any non-linear editing software will enable you to create video ads. If you don’t have access to software, you can always try Pond5’s Social Studio to build fast ads with templates.

The Best Aspect Ratio for In-stream Ads

Since this is relatively new terrain, at this time it’s too early to tell which aspect ratio performs best for this format. As Facebook moves more into video, however, landscape (16:9) will become more popular. Even Instagram TV (IGTV) started supporting landscape video rotation on mobile devices!

Creating and Editing Your Ad

As my example, I’m making a square in-stream ad in Premiere Pro for a “mock” wellness company. First, I’m going to select “New Item” from the Project Panel and select “Sequence.” From the Settings tab, I’m going to customize the pixel resolution to be 800×800, which will create a Square (1:1) aspect ratio.

From here, you can drag in all the video, music, and text assets you want to use to your sequences. In this case I’m promoting a wellness retreat so I used this collection of stock footage and music from the Pond5 library. Here is the final ad I created:

Now that it’s done, it’s time to export.

The Best Export Settings for In-Stream Ads

If you’re using Premiere Pro, go to File > Export > Media. From Format, select H.264. And from presets, rather than choosing the “Facbeook 1080 Full HD” preset, which will add black bars to the side of our square video, select “Match Source – High Bitrate” so it remains square.

Then hit export.

Making Your In-Stream Ad Live with Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager can be intimidating at first. Below, I break down each step to help ease you in!

Marketing Objectives
From Facebook Ads Manager, go to “Campaign” and select “Create.” Next, choose your marketing objective. Since, in this case, we want people to book a ticket for a retreat, our goal will be for conversions. Below that, you can choose your daily budget, then continue.

Tip: I’d recommend starting with $100/day if you’re trying out ads for the first time.

Next, you can choose where you want the conversion to send people. The most common place is your website, but if you have an app, you can also select that. You’ll need to set up a Facebook pixel on your website so it can track conversions. After that’s set up, you need to choose what you want to track. If you want to track how many sales were created, I’d recommend selecting “Purchase.”

Next, you can customize your audience and narrow down your demographic by region, gender, age, and more. With the new detailed targeting, you can also target specific people who have interests, professions, and hobbies related to your ad. You can type in all sorts subjects, like “Yoga,” “Outdoor Recreation,” “Meditation,” and “Travel” — or any common interests you think relate to the subject matter of your ad.

Customizing Placements
Under placements, since we only want to place the ad on in-stream ads, select “Edit Placements.” Then uncheck everything except the in-stream ads placements. You’ll notice you also need to select “Facebook In-Feed Ad” to get the in-stream ads to work, so just select “Facebook News Feed.” Then you can schedule your campaign duration. I recommend running an ad for a week to see how it performs; you can always extend it later.

Uploading Your Ad

Next, you can select the video ad you exported. The upload time will vary depending on how large your in-stream video ad file is. Once your video is uploaded, you can choose to customize it more. I’d recommend choosing a custom thumbnail frame or uploading an image you design.

The last step is to add in all your ad data, such as the text copy, the website landing page link, the headline, and your call to action. For our example, I’d choose “Book Now” at the CTA from the dropdown. You’ll also be able to preview how the ad will look in the different placements you select.

Then you’re good to confirm the ad and Facebook will notify you if it is approved before it goes live!

If you have any questions about this process, be sure to leave a comment below! You can also check out more tutorials in the Getting Social With Pond5 series here!