The way people engage with video online is changing. There are four key things brands need to know

The last two years have caused significant changes in the way people consume content online. While this might sound daunting, these changes offer significant opportunities for marketers to reach consumers. 

Video is at the forefront of much of this change, with shorter-form video bringing entertainment and discoverability, and longer-form video enabling viewers to spend more time with topics they care about.

Across Meta, people are discovering and watching video in diverse formats across our family of apps, each offering distinct viewer and ad experiences. People can be instantly entertained through shorter-form video — in environments like the Feed, Stories and Reels — and spend more time with topics they care about through longer-form video in environments like Facebook Watch, IGTV and Live.

Our video ecosystem is continuing to grow and we have found that combining in-stream ads on top of your Feed and Stories can work better together. For example, 1.25 billion users watch every month to discover and share videos from millions of creators and publishers. In addition, Meta’s in-stream video content reaches 2 billion people every month. 

As the all-important golden quarter gets underway, there are several trends gathering pace. 

1. Discoverability and inspiration are paramount

The video ecosystem is diversifying and becoming more complex, with different platforms and apps offering different experiences. But discoverability and inspiration remain key, particularly around Christmas. Connecting someone with the right Christmas gift at the right time is no serendipitous accident – it requires both creativity and the right information.

Shoppers are open to discovering new products if the content is right – according to a Facebook-commissioned 2020 online survey by GFK, 39% of people weren’t intentionally shopping when they discovered a product on a Meta platform.

2. Focus on context

Video consumption on Meta platforms has dramatically increased – there are now 1.25 billion people globally who watch video content on Facebook Watch each month, powered by personalised content from popular creators. In a 2019 Facebook-commissioned online study by Crown DNA of people who watch publisher videos at least once a week, 88% of respondents said they use Facebook Watch to boost their mood.

With over 20 topics and 700 subtopics available to select from, advertisers can run their in-stream video ads within content that is contextually relevant to their audience. For example, a food brand may wish to place its ads within recipe content to build associations with key user interests.

3. Video offers new ways to tell stories 

Brands often want to focus on stories instead of products and short-form video offers an ideal medium for this. For instance, in 2020 Colgate launched its ‘Our Smile is Our Strength’ campaign in the UK. It told inspirational stories of how the toothpaste empowers confident smiles, and the Meta in-stream 15-second video placement was used.

Another great example is Heineken’s Birra Moretti, to increase brand awareness and communicate the message ‘Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures’, Birra Moretti created six-second video ads showing families and friends enjoying an outdoor gathering. By using in-stream video ads, Birra Moretti achieved an 8.7-point lift in ad recall, which helped increase brand awareness. 

4. Carefully position your product messaging

When talking about products on social channels, using the right tools is crucial. For instance, car manufacturer BMW wanted to raise awareness of its new 4 Series using a video demonstrating a walkaround of the vehicle. It used in-stream placement in addition to its existing in-feed video ad strategy and found in-stream behaved more like an audio-visual channel than other social placements – making it an effective addition. 

What is in-stream?

  • In-stream video ads are placed within videos that are 60 seconds or longer
  • Meta’s in-stream video content reaches 2 billion people every month
  • 70% of in-stream standalone video ad views are completed globally
  • Over 20 topics and 700 sub-topics are available for in-stream only video; advertisers that choose a topic can place their ad in content tagged by users and creators with that topic
  • Adding in-stream to feed posts and Stories led to a 1.5-times increase in ad recall and a median 20% decrease in cost per incremental recaller for advertisers
  • Learn more about Meta in-stream and how it can help your business