Brands often focus their Facebook advertising budgets on traditional television commercial content. However, while increased ad spend can buy more views for repurposed commercials, it might not make them more popular. L2’s Intelligence Report: Video indicates that despite receiving heavy financial support, these videos typically garner below-average engagement.
Looking at Beauty and Hair Care product videos on Facebook, the study finds that ads account for half of all content with above-average scale and less-than-average engagement. For example, one Head & Shoulders video received nearly 6.5 million views, yet had the same low .01% engagement rate as videos with less than 300,000 views. In Q1 2015, only one-fifth of the top 100 most engaged Facebook posts were re-purposed advertisements.
However, a few product ads defy this pattern of low engagement. Two ads from Benefit Cosmetics and Estée Lauder both garnered 4% engagement rates, twice the average for videos with similar view counts. Benefit’s 30-second spot relied heavily on humor as part of a series advertising the brand’s “They’re Real” mascara. Meanwhile, Estée Lauder’s advertisement promoted “Pure Color Envy Shine” lipstick using rich imagery. It also linked viewers to the brand site, enabling them to make a purchase quickly and easily. The two videos’ impressive engagement rates placed them among the top 25% most-engaged video posts in Q1 2015.
The stylistic differences between the ads, as well as their dissimilar subjects, make clear that content type is not enough to predict a post’s popularity on Facebook. However, their success indicates that humorous or image-rich ads built for digital have higher engagement-generating potential than repurposed commercials.