$6k Experiment: square or vertical videos? And a new Ads Manager dashboard
The new week started with a new hush-hush update about Facebook Ads Manager. It’s currently in the testing stage and when released, we are at least hoping that it will be free of bugs.
Are you hesitant between using square or vertical videos for Facebook Ads? Have a look at the results of this experiment.
New Ads Manager Interface?
Ads Manager is going for a new look. Duane Brown shared a tweet with a screenshot of the new Ads Manager interface that the company is testing.
The first impression is that it looks cleaner with an improved UI. Duan says it looks like a mix of the Reddit and Google Ads dashboards.
We still don’t know if this was needed and when it will be released, but our main request is that it shouldn’t have bugs or crash like it did during Black Friday… Please Facebook, let us run our campaigns in peace!
Does Vertical Video Make a Difference? $6k test
It’s obvious, by now, that video ads beat static formats ads. But among different video formats, which one is the best?
Vertical videos? Square videos? Or landscape videos?
The Animoto and Buffer teams previously tried to experiment with square and landscape videos. And they came to the conclusion that square videos beat landscape videos on Facebook and on Instagram.
This time they spent another $6k on this experiment to discover if vertical videos are any better than landscape videos when buying media space.
Let’s see the results.
Though, they didn’t share the campaign set up details. The only thing they mentioned is that all campaigns were set up in an identical manner. Only video formats and sizes were tested.
Facebook News Feed
Vertical video outperformed in the News Feed:
- CPC: 26% less expensive.
- CPV: Vertical videos scored a 68% less expensive Cost per View.
- CPC: 38% less expensive.
- CPV: Vertical videos again scored a 68% less expensive Cost per View.
- Vertical video resulted in 6% more 3-second video views.
- 187% more 50%-total-watch-time views.
- 13% more 3-second video views.
- 157% more 50%-total-watch-time views
Stories outperformed the News Feed
Though the results for the Instagram News Feed aren’t so definitive and Buffer didn’t provide CPC and CPM data, what concluded is that Vertical Videos on Stories Ads outperformed vertical video in the News Feed.
- CPM: Stories were 50% less expensive than the Feed.
- CPC: 30% less expensive than the Feed.
- CPM: Stories were 57% less expensive than the News Feed videos.
- CPC: 57% less expensive than the News Feed videos.
However, these results aren’t absolute:
- 3-second CPV: Stories were 71% MORE expensive than the News Feed videos.
- 50% total watch time CPV: 21% more expensive than the News Feed videos.
- 3-second CPV: Stories were 108% MORE expensive than the News Feed videos.
- 50% total watch time CPV: 65% more expensive than the News Feed videos.
The Crew’s Take
There are a few things we would have liked to know more from this experiment like campaign objectives and niches at least. It would have helped to have more info from the experiment.
Moving on, we can say that one definite advantage of vertical videos is you can easily adapt them for Stories. Without having to make many changes to the creatives. But, keep in mind the different time limits for Stories and News Feed videos.
And as per the results from this experiment, Instagram Stories Ads show better results compared to other placements. Therefore, the conclusion could be: Use vertical videos and use them in the feed and stories. Because they have clearly outperformed square videos. And the performances of Stories Ads seem even better.
But, as we always like to say: There is no absolute truth!
You can take some key pointers from here and test more vertical videos for yourself.
Creative creation system
You finally built the dream-team for your biz. You gathered the right people and you’re ready to go to the next level, eh?
But how does your team come up with the right creatives? Do you have a system in place to make managing creatives easier for your team?
This is what Mike Buontempo asked in the Purple Knowledge Lab Group. Nick Shackelford explained how he and his team manage their whole creative process.
Nick shared this doc which can really help you to communicate all the details about the creative production process with your team. And even save plenty of time:
How is the document created? It contains:
- Name of the file.
- Aspect Ratio, length, sizes etc.
- Source to file.
- Creative type: What is it? A GIF, a canvas? A before/after video? A testimonial video?
- Who was the creation entrusted to? Graphics designer? Or is it content created by an influencer?
This is just a summary. There is much more you can find on the doc.
Besides in another section, you’ll find the Brand Do’s and Don’ts for copy, creatives and Ad Accounts, to share brand guidelines with all your team members.
If you want to know more about how to use this doc, Nick Shackelford even shared a video where he explains how you can take advantage of this system. Just have a look to discover more!
Introducing three new features for responsive display ads
Over 60% of shoppers say online videos have given them ideas or inspiration for their purchase. And that’s why Google announced 3 new features for Responsive Display Ads. Designed to improve functionality and reporting capabilities of your ad campaigns.
- You can now include video assets to your responsive display ad campaigns.
- This enhancement brings an expanded reach to new inventory.
- You can select up to 5 videos from your YouTube channel to display in a Responsive Display Ad.
- New performance reporting into the insights of different creative asset combinations.
- It will also show top performing asset combinations in your responsive display ads.
- Separate sections are dedicated to combinations based on images, text, dynamic feeds, and videos.
- You can find this report under: Ads Table-> View Ad Details -> Combinations.
Ad Strength Scorecard
- This new scorecard will measure how well your responsive display ads are set up. Even before your ads are live.
- It will review the number of unique headlines, images, descriptions in your ads and generate a scorecard for the same.
- Additional recommendations will be provided by clicking through the “Next steps” highlighted in the scorecard.
This is definitely worth logging into your ad accounts and having a look if they are yet available for you. And if they are, go and share the stories with your consumers using 30s videos like never before.
912M Blog Posts Analyzed. New Study
Aaand… it’s time for another Monday case study!
The one where 912M blog posts were analyzed for factors like content format, word count, headline correlation with social media shares and… backlinks!
This extensive case study was uncovered by Backlinko and BuzzSumo. And here are the top 7 findings from their report.
- Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more backlinks than short articles. Need backlinks? Write more long-form content.
- Not just backlinks, long-form content gets more social shares too.However, not when it’s Anaconda-long. Social shares reduced for content exceeding 2000 words.
- A huge portion of online content remains unconsumed. Also, 94% of all blog posts have zero external links. Feel better about those handful of backlinks you have?
- Only a small percentage of content gets huge social shares. These 1.3% Power Posts generate 75% of all social shares.
- Highly shareable content might not mean people will want to link it to their content. Virtually, no correlation between backlinks and social shares.
- Headlines that are 14-17 words in length generate 76.7% more social shares than short headlines. Did you notice our subject lines You did? Great! Now share this email. *wink*
- Even better if you end your headlines with a question mark? Yes! Such headlines get 23.3% more social shares.
- Is there a best day of the week to publish content? Nope! Social shares are distributed evenly among posts published on different days of the week.
- List posts (content in the form of lists) get an average of 218% more shares than “how to” posts. And 203% more shares than infographics. You ever notice us making lists? We the best! List-ception!
- “Why Posts” and “What Posts” receive 25.8% more links compared to videos and “How-to” posts. Now, that’s an interesting claim!
- Talking about B2B and B2C publishing. Though their distribution of shares and links appears to be similar, an average B2C blog post gets 9.7x more shares than a post published on a B2B site.
The Crew’s Take
Well, you could say that with such a large data set, one can make any sort of claims and have data to back it up. And marketers can make any story fit to it. We don’t disagree that a niche level analysis would have been more accurate than casting a wider net. Also, the accuracy of these findings depends on the reliability of their backlink source.
However, it’s still a great analysis on a broader level. One more interesting takeaway for us is to diversify your content. And focus on building social shares as much as SEOs focus on building backlinks.
Apply to be the first on Twitter’s new platform
Would you like being an early adopter of Twitter’s latest features? Even before they are released to the public?
Well, you’re lucky!
Twitter seems somewhat hesitant to make definitive decisions on changes or rules. It has also become more inclined to use an increasingly transparent, collaborative approach on its coming updates.
It is launching a new program and accepting applications to let users reshape how conversations on its site will look and feel.
The idea is to explore new ways to make the conversations you care about easier to read, understand, and participate in..
You will be able to test its new conversational feature, color-coded replies and many other new updates.
How do you apply?
If you’re interested, you can fill in the form here. You will be asked about the languages you speak, where you’re based and what system you primarily use the social on. Twitter will then select participants based on what it’s looking for at this stage of testing. Good luck!
Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
AI news anchors come in pairs…
Chinese news outlet Xinhua has hired a new anchor for its news reading team.
So what? Well, she never went to a journalism school or any school. She basically has zero experience.
She’s also a life-like news anchor with complete hand gestures and facial expressions. And just enough on-cue blinking.
There are more AI news anchors developed and ready to work 24 hours a day on their official website and various social media platforms. Reducing news production costs and improving efficiency.
Want a secret? We don’t have a Crew either. Well, the posts you have been reading all these months are being auto-generated using AI. And here it is, saying hello and signing off for the day.
Even the guys you see at conferences… They are robots! Pay attention next time you meet them.