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Is photo or video better when advertising on Facebook?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Written by: Amy Shaw

When using Facebook to advertise content, the question often arises as to whether videos perform better than images when aiming to encourage maximum engagement. Naturally, the quality of the content itself will have a part to play, but video is becoming more popular than ever due to its common ability to attract more clicks. As an artist, it is important to know whether the use of videos really will boost your engagement, or whether images are just as effective. By knowing whether images or videos perform more effectively, you are in a better position to plan your upcoming social media campaigns. We’ve taken a closer look at which form of content generates better results.

During the planning of a campaign it is important to know exactly how you will be able to encourage the level of engagement you desire. Naturally, video is more time consuming to co-ordinate than an image and for this reason it is vital to make sure the video you do decide on is effective in encouraging the desired result. Opinion around social media campaigns recently shifted towards the use of video, with brands eager to jump on the bandwagon and use the tool to their advantage. But are videos really that much more effective than stationary images?

Testing the theory

Hubspot tested the theory and directly compared results when posting a video to advertise content in comparison with using a stationary image alongside a link. They found that the video received 20 percent more clicks when compared with the image, a staggering difference in engagement level. If all videos stand to gain 20 percent more clicks than regular content, it comes as no surprise that brands worldwide are diving headfirst into the use of video.

Comparing video styles

To test the theory further, Hubspot decided to optimize their image further to make sure that it really represented the content well and to make sure that their previous results were valid. They also compared two different versions of the same video, one that simply listed tips, and another which used a narrative format. This time Hubspot found that the image performed better than the video that used listed tips, but performed worse than the narrative video. This proves that it is not always the style of content that dictates the result, but the content itself.

Optimising content

This second test found that it is not simply a matter of image vs video, but a matter of optimizing your content in order to achieve the most clicks possible. In order to find out the type of content working best for you, it is vital to go back and take a look at your analytics and performance data. By looking closely at previous examples, you can better establish the kind of content your audience enjoys the most and further optimize your content in the future. But what are the key tips to be aware of when trying to encourage engagement on Facebook?

Square videos

Square videos take up a lot more space on the news feed, garnering more attention and therefore more clicks. The larger the video is visually, the more likely it is to catch the attention of scrolling audiences. The key is to be as present as possible on your audience’s feed and make sure that they see your content every single time you make a post. Square video is a great way to do this and has proven ability to lower advertising costs and improve engagement, simply by taking up more space on the feed.

Clear message

Make sure to include a clear message about where you are trying to direct your audience. If you are trying to promote a blog post, make sure that the link is clearly visible and simple to access. From an artist perspective, you may want to share a short video previewing a new release and include a clear link for your audience to go and listen to the track. In this instance, using TinyURL is an ideal method for shortening the link in order to make the process of discovery even easier for your audience.

Suitable images

When using images, make sure that the image itself clearly demonstrates the subject of your content and encourages your audience to click to read more. Display enough so that the subject is clear, but don’t give everything away at once, you will want your audience to remain interested and click to find out more. Even though it may be tempting to use an image that will simply draw the most clicks, always make sure to feature an image that is completely relevant to the content of the link.

Text limit

Facebook has various rules with images that feature text and using an image that contains too much text can limit the reach of the image. In short, not paying attention to the text guidelines can result in your advertising costing you more money and providing poor results. Facebook offer their own Image Text Check, simply upload your chosen image to make sure that it does not exceed Facebook’s guidelines.

Ultimately, you must first make sure to follow the simple guidelines mentioned above. With posts that follow the guidelines, you must then ascertain the kind of content that will work the most effectively in encouraging clicks. This can be done by looking back at previous posts and measuring engagement levels through Facebook’s analytics. Looking at past content and measuring its success is the single best way to improve your content in the future and ensures that you will learn from any past errors. Keep track of posts that performed particularly well and try to ascertain why this occurred, then attempt to replicate this success with future content.



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