Faaez Samadi
Oct 24, 2018

Getting Asian SMEs on board with Facebook video ads

It’s about having easy, ‘lightweight’ video for direct-response advertisers, many of which are SMEs, says May Seow of Facebook’s APAC Creative Shop.

Getting Asian SMEs on board with Facebook video ads

With scarce resources, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can often be overwhelmed at the sheer choice, and cost, of creating effective video ads. It’s this insight that drove Facebook to develop its ‘Create to Convert’ (C2C) framework, developed in Asia specifically with regional and local brands in mind, explains May Seow, APAC head of creative systems and SMB at Facebook Creative Shop.

Many direct response (DR) advertisers know the value of video advertising on Facebook, but are intimidated by the perceived production cost, and consequently can be sceptical of the ROI. Create to Convert allows brands to turn still images into a series of short, snackable DR video ads through simple tools Facebook and its marketing partners offer.

“By simply layering branding, basic graphics, clear short messages—and whenever possible a demo of the product or service—marketers can create lightweight video that's both easy to create and effective,” Seow tells Campaign Asia-Pacific.

The framework, at its most basic level, is based on creating ‘motion’ from still images that drives a singular purpose for a brand:

  • basic motion (simple animation of an image)
  • brand in motion (video that highlights the brand logo/image)
  • benefit in motion (video that highlights a benefit such as a consumer reward or social good)
  • demo in motion (video that shows how an app/product/site/feature works).

Brands can test with all formats before deciding which ones to keep going with, although Seow warns against putting all eggs in one basket, as consumers react differently to each format depending on many things—time of day, where they are, how they’re feeling and so on.

The C2C framework was piloted in four regions across 49 brands, 19 of which were from Asia and around 40% of which were SMEs. Seow says results show that 69% of direct-response campaigns using C2C achieved higher conversion lift or lower costs per incremental conversion by adding videos to their static image campaigns. More than 1,600 videos were made in three hours or less.

Facebook has been offering ‘sprint sessions’ to get brands and SMEs acquainted with C2C, taking care to ensure the people in the room are from different sectors and verticals to ensure there is no conflict, thus allowing for greater interaction and learning.

What about the cost, the most prohibitive aspect for most SMEs? Facebook says brands can experiment with C2C on some free mobile apps, and in addition it has trained and partnered with several companies—including Shakr, Genero, Wisebirds and Kaisen—to offer C2C video templates for low fees. Shakr, for example allows unlimited C2C videos for US$99 a month.

So far, Facebook says APAC SMEs have been leading the way in terms of rolling out and testing C2C, finding out which types of videos are working for them and even iterating their work. According to in-house Facebook research, 75% of all mobile data will be video by 2020, so brands that are well-versed in scoring quick wins now will be well placed to succeed as video advertising develops.

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