Since its inception in April 2016, Facebook Live has become a phenomenon, allowing businesses and users to increase visibility, engage fans and call attention to events and other happenings in real-time.
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That in itself has given Facebook-using brands a serious boost in results.
Addition Elle, for example, saw 5 percent jump in sales, a 28-point lift in purchase intent and a 22-point lift in favorability after using Facebook Live during New York Fashion Week last year.
A small business called Kay’s Designer Consignment saw its ad ROI multiply a whopping 51 times over using the tool.
Now though, Facebook’s taking its Live platform even further, allowing users—certain ones, at least—to actively monetize their Live videos with in-stream advertisements.
Can You Use Facebook Live Ads?
Facebook Live Ads are still in beta testing, but the possibility they offer brands is pretty momentous.
The site has said it will split ad revenues with the pages that utilize them—though what that split will look like is still unclear. If Facebook intends to rival YouTube (which currently gives 55 percent of ad revenues to video creators), it will likely give users at least half of the revenues—if not more.
But even once beta testing is finished, Live ads won’t be available to just anyone. Only pages or profiles with at least 2,000 followers are going to be eligible, and even then, those pages still need to have recent live videos with at least 300 concurrent viewers.
Live video ads are only available to U.S.-based pages and profiles at the moment, though Facebook says it plans to roll the function out to other countries down the line.
For now, even if your page is eligible, you’ll have to wait for an official invite from Facebook’s admins to join the program. These invites are usually sent just after a page has gone Live.
How Facebook Live Ads Work
Live ads are designed to be pretty simple. When a user or page starts a Facebook Live video—and that video reaches 4 minutes and has at least 300 people watching it—the creator simply taps a button that says “You can take an ad break now.”
Facebook automatically starts the ad break, which will run up to 20 seconds maximum. After five more minutes of Live video, the creator can take another ad break—and again every five minutes after that.
Other Facebook Video Ads
If you don’t meet the requirements to use live ads—or you haven’t received your beta invite yet—you still have options for monetizing video content via Facebook. The site offers a number of other video ad options that can be used both on the social platform and on your own website.
Here are a few options:
- Advertise using the Audience Network – Upload ads to Facebook’s Audience Network, and display your promos in videos throughout the site, as well as on third-party apps and sites throughout the web. You can use all of Facebook’s drilled-down targeting options, as well as its metrics to help you hone in on a good strategy.
- Become a publisher – You can also join the Audience Network on the other side of the equation—as a publisher. That means you’ll display other brands’ advertisements in videos on your sites, apps and other platforms. You’ll gain a share of the revenue, just like on Google’s Display Network.
Facebook is also in the testing stages of putting ad breaks into on-demand videos—ones you’ve already uploaded to your page or profile or ones you’ll add to your Facebook library in the future. Again, only a handful of U.S.-based participants can use this feature at the moment, but in the coming months, that’s likely to change.
One caveat to using video ads on Facebook: Don’t hold your breath for any pre-roll advertising opportunities to emerge. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s well-known CEO, those are—and will remain—strictly forbidden.
A Win-win Situation
Though Facebook Live—and just Facebook videos in general—have proven to be a strong marketing tool over the past few years, actually monetizing them was pretty much impossible until now.
With the introduction of these new Live ads, as well as the ever-growing Audience Network, brands can now take a two-pronged approach with their videos, both drawing in new users and bringing in cash at the same time.
For more on Facebook Live Ads, email [email protected]