Facebook Video on a Budget: Create and Run Ads in No Time

Facebook Video on a Budget: Create and Run Ads in No Time

12 min read

Advertising on Facebook can be one of the best ways to grow your e-commerce business.

And the newer video features for Facebook advertising can be a great way to make your ads stand out as people scroll by  but how do you create an effective video ad campaign, without spending buckets of time or money?

Read on to find out.

Related: How to Use Video in E-commerce Marketing

Why use a video for an advertising campaign?

As with any kind of advertising, you will want to test different versions of a campaign and see if images or text are more effective than video.

But many marketers are finding that video is more engaging than a static image or text, especially since Facebook has videos auto-play as you scroll past them.

If you can make a video catch someone’s eye in the first few seconds they see it, they’re likely to stop scrolling and watch the rest, then click through to your site.

The main thing holding back a lot of business owners from trying video advertising is intimidation at how much it will cost or how much time it will take to do right, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Vitality Tap created a short video simply using a couple of pictures.

How to create a great video (without breaking the bank)

Much like taking better photos, lighting is crucial to shooting better videos. When it comes to lighting, you’ll want to…

  • Shoot in brightly lit areas (natural light is best)
  • Avoid pointing the camera directly at bright sources of light
  • Make sure the lighting is steady (that it doesn’t change from very bright to very dark — a smartphone camera will have a hard time keeping up with quick changes in lighting)
  • In most cases, you’ll want the light to come from behind the phone/camera as long as it isn’t harsh lighting that will cast a shadow of the phone/camera onto the video
  • Avoid having the light source be directly behind the subject of the video, unless you’re going for a backlit effect reminiscent of the X-Files

If you want to take your video lighting to the next level, Wistia has a guide on creating your own DIY video light kit.

Read also: How to Sell Using YouTube

You’ll also want to avoid shaky video syndrome. It might work for movies like the Blair Witch Project, but in your case, it’s just going to give your viewers a headache. To keep your videos stable, you can do one of the following:

  • Free option: Prop your phone up on a very sturdy surface (think: a stack of thick books on a sturdy table). Make sure to lie to sideways (so that the long end is on the books) to avoid the dreaded vertical video syndrome! To keep the phone from falling forward or backward, a shallow cardboard box with another book behind the phone can work wonders.
  • Inexpensive option: If you’re tired of fiddling with ways to prop your phone up using household items, you can purchase a smartphone tripod like this one for $5-15 USD. It’s great for stationary videos, where you aren’t moving the camera a lot.
  • More costly option: If you’ll be filming videos on the go or videos where the camera is moving a lot, you can spend more money ($35 up to $300+) for a stabilizer, which lets you hold the phone with your hands and record videos without the shakes.

Last but not least, don’t forget to think about the audio. To get the crispest, clearest audio possible with your smartphone microphone, you’ll want to:

  • Turn off your air conditioning or any heaters nearby (the mic will pick up on the background noise, even if it’s hardly noticeable to you)
  • Warn your roommates/housemates (if you have any) and put your pets in another part of the house
  • Avoid recording in an echoey room — the worst culprits here are typically places with a lot of hard surfaces, like bathrooms or kitchens, or empty rooms without any objects to absorb the sound.

To take your audio quality up a few notches, you can purchase an external microphone starting around $13 (and going up from there, depending on what kind of quality you’re looking for). It plugs into the headphone jack, then you clip it to your collar and you’re ready to record.

If you have access to one, you can also position another smartphone near the person speaking and record a voice memo to get clean audio that you can add over the video audio later.

Make sure to clap (or make another loud noise) at the beginning and end of the video to help with syncing the videos up.

Or, use epic soundtrack like Cakesafe!

To script or not to script?

You’ll definitely want to have an outline for your video ahead of time, to keep it from becoming a meandering mess — but should you write a complete script?

The upside of a script is that you can say exactly what you want to say (and you’re less likely to add in filler words, like “like,” “uh,” “um,” and so on).

The downside is that a script can often sound stilted, especially if the person reading it doesn’t have a lot of practice in public speaking. It’s also very easy to accidentally read too fast when you’re reading from a script.

What I typically do before recording a video is write an outline with key points that I want to hit and then leave the rest to be filled in naturally while speaking.

This often creates a much more natural-sounding video, but it is easy to let filler words sneak in while talking unless you’re paying very close attention. You can, of course, edit out the filler words later, but that adds a lot of time to your video production process.

One solution is using a teleprompter app, which you can put your script into and then control the speed of scrolling to make sure you don’t rush through the script.

Having a script doesn’t mean there will be no errors — but that’s a reason to enjoy bloopers like Tenina does!

Whether you do the script, teleprompter, or outline route, position the visual cues as near to the camera lens as possible, so that the person speaking isn’t randomly staring off to their left or right when they need to remember their line.

There are specific things you’ll want to keep in mind for Facebook’s ad campaigns, as well — Social Media Examiner recommends that you do things like end the video with a cliffhanger to prompt viewers to click through (read more of their tips here), and KISSmetrics recommends you combine on-screen text or subtitles with the audio to create the clearest message.

You’ll also want to keep your video ads short — definitely less than a minute, and 15-30 seconds is ideal.

Apps to help you along your way

  • If you have a combination of images and/or video clips that you want to put together into one video, Animoto has a web editor and apps for iOS (including an iPad specific app) and Android
  • Stop Motion Studio, for iOS, can help you create cute stop-motion animation videos (you’ll want a tripod before you start experimenting with stop-motion animation, though)
  • Want to make a timelapse video? The Hyperlapse app is free and can compress up to 45 minutes of video into a snazzy high-speed timelapse video (and it has built-in image stabilization, to boot!)
  • If you’re on a Mac, iMovie came with your computer, is easy to use and comes with plenty of built-in features to make great videos (there are also corresponding iOS apps) — if you’re on a Windows PC, Windows Movie Maker comes with the OS 
  • If you’re already familiar with the Adobe style of interface, Adobe Premiere Clip is free for both iOS and Android

PowerDirector Video Editor is often called the best video-editing app for Android and currently has a 4.4 star average at the Android marketplace.

Setting up a Facebook video ad campaign

You have a video ad that’s eye-catching and shows off the best features of your product.Now, how do you set up an ad campaign with it?

It’s relevantly simple to do:

When you’re choosing the thumbnail for the video, make sure to keep Facebook’s text rules in mind. The more text your preview thumbnail has on it, the less views Facebook will allow you (or they might reject the video entirely). This applies for each of the images in a carousel ad, as well.

And there you have it  everything you need to get started with video advertising on Facebook, without spending months on it or breaking the bank.


Ready to start your Facebook ad campaign, but don’t have your e-commerce store set up yet? Sign up for Ecwid today to create your store and start selling!

Read also: 7 Creative Ideas for Your E-Commerce Product Page

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About the author

Michelle is a freelance writer living in Richmond, VA, with her Shiba Inu and cat named after the Hulk. When she's not writing about business, she can usually be found working on her novel series or other side projects, or training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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