When it comes to digital advertising, Facebook is a go-to social media platform for many businesses. And that is completely fair, given how big and popular this social media platform is. But when it comes to Facebook advertising, advertisers often find themselves confused between the medium; whether to use a video or an image in the advertising. In this article, let us compare the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of using Images vs Videos on a Facebook Ads campaign. Let’s get to know about each section separately.


Using Images on Facebook Ads

Digital advertisers have been using creative images on Facebook Ads for a long time now. Even in 2021, the practice is still as prevalent as before. Why? Because it is still effective. People do respond positively to images on Facebook Ads. It is still a powerful, expressive medium that can capture attention and encourage users to engage with your business.

An example of using Images on Facebook Ads campaign

Investec advertising their platform with an Image on Facebook Ads.

You can also use Facebook’s Image Carousel to showcase multiple products in one advertisement. Take a look at this example below.

Example of using images on a Facebook Carousel Ads Campaign

A Carousel Image ad on Facebook Ads can feature multiple products/services in one advertisement.

So, does that mean images on Facebook Ads are as good as a video?

This really depends on what kind of advertisement you want to show to your audience. But generally speaking, the simple answer is no. While images are powerful, it is a fact that videos are the future. They are the top drivers in this game.

However, don’t let that concern you that much. Images are still and will still be prevalent in the near future. Let us see some good things about using images in Facebook Ads. Also, an important note. If you are making an image advertisement, make sure you follow the Facebook guidelines for defining image dimensions and format.

Related: Facebook image ad specs | Facebook Ads Guide

1. Relatively easy to make.

Compared to videos, images will always be easier to make. Nowadays, you can easily create images using online image editors such as Canva or BeFunky.

Related: Free Graphic Design Software – Digital Lime Green

With these apps, you can simply add a background, add predefined elements and/or text as you see fit, and save it. It’s that simple! The whole process may take from 5 minutes to an hour; definitely way simpler than creating a video, right?

Also, there are many royalty-free images online which you can use for your business. We generally source these royalty-free images from Unsplash or Pixabay, and so far, it has been proven incredibly effective for our practices.

Psst, let us let you on a little secret here. All the images we create for our blogs and social media channels are made in Canva. They do look cool, right!?

2. Making Images can be literally free.

As mentioned in the previous point, you can use royalty-free images and free image editing software to make images appear professional and captivating – for FREE! This is why image advertising can be ideal for businesses with a tight budget and looking for budget options.

However, it is always recommended to invest some budget into creating images for your Facebook advertisements. This includes hiring professionals who specialise in creating professional or corporate-grade images, purchasing high-end photo editing software, and so on. Of course, this depends on what kind of images do you want to present through your advertisements.

But having a particular theme in your advertising images can create consistency in your brand. This will reinforce your brand’s image and people will be able to recognise and interact with your brand better.

3. Highly effective in upping Click Through Rate (CTR) on your ads.

Even though statistics favour videos in terms of effectiveness and engagement, did you know that images are actually better if you want more users to click links in your ads? Yes, that is right. In a way, an image can be more effective than a video if done right.

The trick here is to understand whether you need an image or a video for an advertisement. What is your goal? Do you want to improve your brand recognition or attract more traffic to your website through this ad? If your answer is latter, using an image is better.

Bar chart showing click-through rate by Facebook ad creative type

This chart that we have sourced from Sproutsocial’s blog clearly shows how images are far better in generating a CTR compared to videos. Visit their blog for more interesting and insightful statistics on Facebook.


…but Videos on Facebook Ads are still ultimately better

And here’s why. In 2021, we are surrounded by various forms of multimedia elements. While images are a gigantic part of it, videos are far more effective, generally speaking. Basically speaking, a video consists of audio and video, right? You can use animations, real-life demonstrations, or slideshows to deliver a variety of interesting and engaging information. Furthermore, you can use audio forms such as sound effects (SFX), music, speeches to enhance a video experience for your audience.

An example of using a video in Facebook Ads campaign

A video on Facebook Ads demonstrating a product or presenting experiences from existing clients.

So, how do videos work on Facebook Ads?

Well, for starters, videos definitely attract more attention and retention rate on Facebook – so much that it gave birth to Facebook Watch, an in-built ‘video streaming service’ that continuously suggests videos based on your interests and interactions. As Facebook shows you more and more interesting videos, chances are you are going to stick to Facebook longer. This is how they use the algorithm and cookies (Source: Kaspersky) to enhance your experience on Facebook Watch, as they want users to stay on their website for as long as they could. Consider it as a mini-Youtube built inside Facebook. And just like Youtube, Facebook also autoplay videos to further improve the retention span on their website – this also includes videos on Facebook Ads.

To understand how effective videos on a Facebook Ad campaign could be, let us dive into some important statistics sourced from 99Firms.

  • Facebook experiences over four billion views per day.
  • Around 500 million individuals watch Facebook videos each day.
  • On average, A video advertisement delivers around 47% value in the first 3 seconds and 74% value in the first 10 seconds. (source: adQuadrant)
  • 65% of all Facebook video views are from mobile users.
  • 85% of Facebook users actually prefer watching videos silently (and so, adding subtitles can be an added benefit for your Facebook video advertising strategy).
  • Videos native to Facebook (i.e. videos directly uploaded on Facebook) get better engagement than third-party shared videos on Facebook.

You must have heard this line before: ‘The numbers don’t lie’. And they certainly don’t. This Databox article compares the effectiveness of image ads to video ads and certainly, video is the winner here.

Okay, how do I create a Facebook Video Ads Campaign?

Of course, you will need a video for that. Make sure you follow these Facebook Feed guidelines for video formats so that your video remains ideally compatible with this platform.

Creating a video, however, is no easy task. It takes a good deal of investment and time to create a good quality video. An ideal Facebook video advert should include a video that delivers the point across effectively, proper usage of VFX and SFX wherever necessary, and follow Facebook’s video guidelines.

As mentioned in the statistics earlier, make sure you put the subtitles in. Many Facebook users watch videos on smartphones, and most of them prefer watching videos silently. Not only do subtitles help such viewers, but they also help audibly-challenged audiences.

Let’s see how dynamic Facebook Advertising can be for your business.

1. There are many ways to create a compelling video on Facebook Ads for your business.

And that’s amazing, isn’t it? The only thing that’s stopping your imagination is you (and your financial budget, of course). But yes, the possibilities of creating a compelling, creative video for Facebook Ads are endless. Creating a video campaign on Facebook depends on your advertising goals and the tone you want to set.

For example, if you want to showcase a product along with its practical usage, you may find a typical product advertisement format (that we often encounter daily) compelling to you. Also, B-rolls seems to be getting pretty famous these days. They definitely enhance your video quality and user experience.

2. Videos get better attention on Facebook.

And we have mentioned statistical sources in this article that back up this statement. Our brains are wired to observe something that moves around. Moving objects and things catch our attention faster than a still object. Now, apply the same logic to video vs. audio. Pretty simple and obvious, right?

Facebook in 2016 announced that they are going to become a ‘Video-first’ platform by 2021 (Source: Velocitize). Even though it is still not a video-first platform (yet), we can observe that Facebook is definitely going in that direction. ‘Facebook Watch’ is proof of that. This mini-video platform is designed to present you the videos that might interest you.

The same logic also applies to ads. If your advertisement contains an ad, good chance it will reach more and more audiences and in return, you will have a higher engagement rate and views.

3. Videos are very effective in delivering precise information in a very short amount of time.

With better retention and engagement rate, videos on Facebook Ads are more effective than images in delivering information. You can use this to your advantage and make entertaining and/or insightful videos to deliver as many details as you want to without worrying (too much) about keeping your audience engaged. You can deliver a lot of value in a short duration over a video.

Hey, you mentioned that Images get better CTR than videos…

And some statistics are showing contradicting results to our statement, right? Well actually, it depends on a lot of factors. Some research articles say videos on Facebook Ads do better in terms of CTR, some say it’s images. We have found both sides as we researched on this topic.

Videos and Images, both are a part of the Facebook Ads platform. Images are still highly impactful, and depending on your budget, goals, and target audience, images may perform better for your Facebook Ads strategy. Some Facebook Ads campaigns may impact your audience better with images, some may do it better with videos. For example, an advertising campaign advertising a public event may do better with an image full of information and venue than a video. Similarly, a campaign showcasing a product may do better with a video representation of it.

And that brings us to our conclusion.



Overall, videos on Facebook Ads campaigns are indeed super effective than an image if you want a better engagement on your Facebook Ads. However, given their initial and production costs, images are definitely a more friendly, cost-effective option for your channel. So, using images or videos for your Facebook Ads campaign completely depends on your finances and goals.

Related: Advertising on Facebook in South Africa

However, a good Facebook advertising strategy should be dynamic. Don’t always focus on spending your resources in defining a Facebook Video Ad campaign. Try out different methods, and see how it helps your business. Each business is unique and what may work out for everyone may not work out for you and vice versa.

If you require a social media manager for your business in Cape Town, please feel free to contact us anytime. We are a website design and digital marketing agency in Cape Town. Please take a look at our cost-effective and high-quality Facebook Advertising package here for more information.