The Ultimate Facebook and Instagram Video Ads Strategy: Perfect Loops

The Power of Video Loops

For a long time, people relied on GIFs ― an ancient file format ― to share animated images so that they could have a perfect loop. GIFs were used so often to share looping content that now, any kind of looping video is often automatically assumed to be a GIF.  While cat memes and Game of Thrones GIFs can be tremendously entertaining, they also look and feel dated ― like the dusty 1999 editions of textbooks that you have to use in school because it’s the only thing available. Seriously. We wrote a whole blog about our old GIF dependency issues.

But times have changed… now, we all know about the power of video on social. Video today is accepted and celebrated in all of its original glory across social media and digital advertising, with it’s auto-playing, and auto-looping capabilities. Micro-videos are particularly one of the most effective types of content out there to tell a story in a short period of time. People are continuously bombarded by ads while scrolling through their social feeds, and have become highly skilled at the art of ignoring them completely. Trust me, I do this all of the time. What this means, is that for your content to stand out, it has to grab and hold attention in the first 3 seconds (maybe even 1 second). Micro-videos aim to capitalize on this gap in attention by keeping the video short and eye-catching, often ranging from 15-30 seconds long. Below is a great example of this technique. Check out all of the fizzy goodness in Pepsi’s Facebook video.

Creating That Successful, Oh-So-Perfect Video Loop

What makes videos like this succeed on Facebook and Instagram isn’t only to do with the mesmerizing quality of the visuals. Yes, the slow motion ice falling, and crisp bubbles popping in the flowing Pepsi is *sexy*, but what keeps people watching, (and even re-watching), is that perfect, seamless, video loop. Even if shared as an ancient GIF, your video is more successful when it follows this basic principle: it perfectly loops. Videos that seamlessly blend from end to beginning are ideal for social. Why? People keep watching without even realizing they’re re-watching it. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this numerous times. The longer your audience watches, the more your story resonates with them.

Facebook says that shorter videos get more completed views. More people watch to the end of videos that are 15 seconds or less.

If you want your video to loop on Facebook, it MUST be under 30 seconds. All videos on Facebook that are 30 seconds or shorter will loop continuously. This includes videos shared organically as well as video ads. Looping means that your video will replay once it reaches the end. Videos will loop continuously up to approximately 90 seconds on Facebook. Videos also auto-play and auto-loop on Instagram, making it easy to capture attention. Take a look at Tastemade‘s recipe videos, which start with the end product, and seemingly end with the end product as well, causing viewers to watch their videos over, and over again.

A post shared by Tastemade (@tastemade) on

So, if perfectly looped video is so successful on Facebook, then why isn’t everyone using this strategy? The issue is, not many companies have the budget or team to execute commercial quality videos as seen by big brands. We’re not all PepsiCo, or Tastemade, unfortunately… But, don’t fret, you can still win on Facebook, Instagram, and pretty much every other social platform without having to break the bank or spend days in post-production!

Honestly, it’s possible.

Cinemagraphs: The ultimate auto-playing, perfect loop video!

Cinemagraphs capture and hold your audience’s attention. People can’t stop staring at them! They use the auto-playing video feature on Facebook and Instagram, cinemagraphs come to life in the feed. We continue to see major brands using cinemagraph ads on all social platforms. They’re easier to create than a 15 second commercial video, but can be just as (if not more) effective because they are a type of perfect loop video.

A post shared by adidas (@adidas) on

Create Perfect Loop Videos Without Sound

Cinemagraphs require no audio, which is great for Facebook and Instagram. Videos on both platforms auto-play with the volume off, forcing the viewer to click to hear the audio. And as it turns out, an astonishing amount of people aren’t turning up the sound! As Sahil Patel from DIGIDAY puts it, “Facebook might be hosting upwards of 8 billion views per day on its platform, but a wide majority of that viewership is happening in silence.”

85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. – DIGIDAY

Cinemagraphs are the ideal perfect loop video! We’re already seeing some of the top brands across the globe embracing the medium in their digital marketing, and expect to see more and more cinemagraphs being used as more people catch on. Check out the video below to see what brands used cinemagraphs on social last month.

Seen any perfect loop video ads lately? Let us know in the comments!

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.