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Videos vs. Images: Which Drives More Engagement when Advertising?

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

videos vs. images when advertising on social media

62% of marketers find Facebook to be the most important social media channel for their business–yet content organically posted to Facebook Pages only reach about 16% of fans.

This is why so many brands advertise on Facebook. Not only to reach more of their following but to reach the larger market, too. Many businesses like to use the top agencies in Dallas, Texas. (which includes The Social Sharks)

But, just like any advertising campaign, crafting an effective Facebook ad that actually reaches your audience isn’t luck–it’s the result of testing.

From ad creative to call-to-action copy, it all needs careful consideration (and testing) in order to maximize the potential of every campaign.

And when it comes to ad creative, the image–and more recently the video–is often the star of the show. But, is one more effective than the other?

We wanted to drill down and see whether image-based ads are still driving engagement, or whether emerging video trends have impacted the success rate of video-based Facebook ads.

  • Do Video Ads Perform Better on Facebook?

  • 5 Effective Ways to Maximize Your Videos on Facebook for Better Results

  • How Effective Are Image-Based Facebook Ads?

  • The Time Investment for Video vs. Image Ads

  • Video vs. Image Ads: Which Works for Your Audience?

Do Video Ads Perform Better on Facebook?

So, we asked 26 social media and digital marketing agencies whether they use video or text-based most often.

The results were (almost) evenly split, as 52% of the marketers who responded say they leverage video more so than images, and the remaining 48% said the opposite.

best engagement out of videos and images on facebook ads

But surprisingly, almost 60% of those marketers said video tends to drive more engagement:

videos drive more engagement on facebook marketing

But why do videos tend to perform better? These marketers have one strong theory.

“Video content by far generates more engagements with our users”, says Taylor Hurff of 1SEO I.T. Support & Digital Marketing, who believes the benefits boil down to the fact “videos force scrolling users to stop and pay an extra second of attention to the post before understanding the gist.”

He says: “As consumers, we’ve gotten better at digesting content while scrolling, making it easier to scroll through images without giving the posts the time of day. With videos, you inherently have an extra second to grab the user’s attention. Capitalizing on this with engaging video content to back it up is key.”

Related: 16 Ways to Increase Your Average Video Engagement

James Marques of Iconic Genius agrees: “In most cases, people can digest a photo in a second or two. A video grabs more attention and causes people to focus more on the video.”

So do video-based ads actually work?

It’s all well and good to know the justification behind video-based Facebook ads performing well.

But you want to know what ‘well’ means–and whether the results they’re generating will be on-par (or beat!) those you’re already seeing, right?

These three businesses have seen incredible results from their video-based campaigns.

A 2x increase in clicks

Malin Wijenayake, a Paid Ads Specialist on the team at seoplus+, says: “Video ads typically trump image ads in terms of engagement”.

…So much so that “in one particular case for one of our fitness-related clients, an image ad for a product received 777 link clicks, whereas a video for the same product received 1432 link clicks — almost double.”

An increase of conversions by 20-30%

ClearPivot‘s Chantelle Stevenson is another marketer raving about the results video-based ads have generated. This is especially true in your Instagram marketing campaigns.

Stevenson says: “We have found that videos exponentially drive clicks over images when it comes to Facebook ads. […] We have found our clients to have 20 to 30% more conversions when utilizing video over images when it comes to Facebook ads.”

See also: Facebook Video Ads: 26 Practices For Driving Conversions

A boost of CTR by 2-3x

Remember how we discussed the theory behind video-based ads?

William Carrillo of Ledger Bennett doesn’t think it’s solely down to the fact videos attract more attention in a crowded feed.

Carrillo thinks it’s because “Facebook as a company, is pushing to be a video-first platform and often prioritizes video assets to align with that mindset. Facebook traffic is 90-95% mobile and vertical video formats allow for much more real estate on the screen than horizontal videos. This allows for more visibility and better opportunity to produce a click.”

Since actively testing the difference between video and static images, he says: “The findings showed that video assets drove an 11% higher conversion rate than statics.”

But if that wasn’t already good enough, William explains: “Not only did video drive stronger conversion, but also generated the most efficient cost per lead, and 75% of the overall click volume. This is also consistent in customer engagement campaigns. Throughout various iterations and tests with my client, we found that videos consistently drove 2-3x higher CTRs than statics.”

data showing video ads work better

video ads data having higher click through rates

A CTR increase of 47%

Cardinal Digital Marketing‘s Alex Membrillo is another marketer who’s seen a rise in CTR with video ads.

“For a recent A/B test for a client in the travel and tourism industry, we found that with all other factors being the same, the Video Ads generated a 47% higher CTR, despite Facebook generating a higher Reach (i.e. Impressions) for the Image-based Ad,” Membrillo says.

“Additionally, we found that the CTR from people who viewed the video was over 10 times greater than people who saw the ad but did not view the video.”

Related: A Simple Framework for When Facebook Ads Can Work

5 Effective Ways to Maximize Your Videos on Facebook for Better Results

Fancy getting in on the action? Here is advice from eight marketers, who share how you can maximize the videos you’re creating to see similar results.

  1. Keep it simple

  2. Use subtitles

  3. Show something unique

  4. Target TOFU audiences