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What are In-stream Ads on Facebook?

What else could grow your business faster than showcasing it on a platform that has 3 billion monthly active users? That’s the massive advantage of running Facebook ads.

But here’s the thing: with so many ad formats to choose from, it can be utterly overwhelming to determine which one is the perfect fit for your business. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except instead of sweets, you’re surrounded by a dizzying array of advertising options.

Have you come across in-stream ads on Facebook? They’re an incredibly powerful way to seize your audience’s attention and drive those all-important conversions

 In this article, we’ll take a closer look at in-stream ads, exploring their advantages and disadvantages, which businesses they’re tailor-made for, when to use them, and the best practices to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

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what are facebook in-stream ads

What are in-stream ads?

In a nutshell, in-stream ads are video ads that play before, during, or after video content on Facebook. They can be up to 15 seconds long for videos shorter than 3 minutes, and up to 45 seconds long for videos 3 minutes or longer.

These ads appear in Facebook videos, Facebook Live, and other video-based content across the platform. They’re designed to blend seamlessly with the user’s viewing experience, making them less disruptive than other ad formats.

The beauty of in-stream ads is that they allow you to tell your brand’s story in a way that captures your audience’s attention and leaves a lasting impression.

Whether you’re showcasing a new product, highlighting a special promotion, or simply raising brand awareness, in-stream ads provide a powerful platform to connect with your target audience.

Advantages of in-stream ads

In-stream ads offer a host of advantages for small businesses looking to make a splash on Facebook:

  • Sky-high engagement: Let’s face it – video content is insanely engaging. In-stream ads capitalize on this by grabbing the viewer’s attention while they’re already engrossed in watching a video. It’s like having a captive audience at your fingertips!
  • Laser-targeted reach: Facebook’s advanced targeting options allow you to pinpoint your ideal audience with mind-blowing accuracy. Whether you want to reach people based on their age, interests, behaviours, or location, Facebook’s got you covered.
  • Budget-friendly: In-stream ads can be incredibly cost-effective compared to other ad formats. Why? Because you only pay when someone watches at least 15 seconds of your ad or interacts with it. Talk about getting more bang for your buck!
  • Results you can measure: Facebook provides detailed analytics on your in-stream ad performance, allowing you to track your ROI and fine-tune your campaigns for maximum impact. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to data-driven decisions!
  • Increased brand awareness: In-stream ads are a fantastic way to introduce your brand to new audiences and build top-of-mind awareness. By consistently showing up in your target audience’s video feeds, you’ll create a sense of familiarity and trust that can translate into long-term brand loyalty.
  • Boosted conversions: With clickable calls-to-action and the ability to drive traffic directly to your website or product pages, in-stream ads can be a powerful tool for boosting conversions and driving sales.

Disadvantages of in-stream ads

While in-stream ads can be insanely effective, they also have some potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Limited creative control: In-stream ads are limited to video format, which may not be suitable for all businesses or messaging. If your brand relies heavily on static images or text-based content, in-stream ads might not be the best fit.
  • The dreaded skip button: Viewers can skip in-stream ads after just 5 seconds, which means you have a seriously limited window to capture their attention and deliver your message. It’s like speed dating for ads!
  • Ad fatigue is real: If your in-stream ads are shown too frequently to the same audience, they may experience ad fatigue and become less receptive to your messaging. It’s important to strike a balance between frequency and variety to keep your audience engaged.
  • Production costs: Creating high-quality video content for in-stream ads can be more expensive and time-consuming compared to other ad formats. You’ll need to invest in video production, editing, and optimization to ensure your ads are effective.
  • Competitive landscape: With more and more businesses turning to in-stream ads, the competition for attention can be fierce. You’ll need to create truly standout content to cut through the noise and capture your audience’s interest.

Which businesses are in-stream ads best for?

In-stream ads can be incredibly effective for a wide range of businesses, but they’re particularly well-suited for:

1. E-commerce superstars

If you’re an e-commerce business, in-stream ads can be your secret weapon. Showcase your products in action, highlight key features and benefits, and drive direct sales with clickable calls-to-action. It’s like having a virtual showroom at your fingertips!

2. Service-based businesses

If your business offers a service that can be demonstrated visually, in-stream ads can be a game-changer.

Whether you’re a fitness trainer, a beauty salon, or a home renovation company, in-stream ads allow you to showcase your expertise and build trust with potential customers.

3. Businesses with engaging video content

If you already have a library of engaging video content, in-stream ads can help you reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your website or social media channels.

Repurpose your existing content or create new videos specifically for in-stream ads to maximize your impact.

4. Local businesses

In-stream ads can be a powerful way for local businesses to reach potential customers in their area.

By targeting users based on location and other relevant factors, you can ensure your ads are seen by the people most likely to visit your store or use your services.

When should you use in-stream ads?

In-stream ads can be effective at various stages of the customer journey, but they’re particularly useful for:

1. Brand awareness

If you’re looking to introduce your brand to new audiences and build top-of-mind awareness, in-stream ads are a fantastic choice.

Create engaging, memorable content that showcases your brand’s personality and values, and you’ll be well on your way to making a lasting impression.

2. Product launches

Launching a new product or service? In-stream ads can help create buzz and drive initial sales.

Showcase your new offering in action, highlight its key features and benefits, and include a strong call-to-action to encourage viewers to learn more or make a purchase.

3. Sales and promotions

In-stream ads are a great way to promote limited-time offers, discounts, or other promotions to drive conversions.

Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity to encourage viewers to take action before it’s too late!

4. Retargeting

In-stream ads can be incredibly effective for retargeting users who have previously interacted with your brand.

By showing highly relevant, personalized content to users who have visited your website or engaged with your ads before, you can increase the likelihood of conversion and drive more sales.

In-stream ads best practices

To ensure your in-stream ads deliver the best possible results, follow these tried-and-true best practices:

  • Hook them fast: Remember, you only have 5 seconds to capture your audience’s attention before they can skip your ad. Make sure your opening shot is visually striking, emotionally compelling, or downright intriguing to keep viewers engaged.
  • Keep it snappy: In-stream ads should be short, sweet, and to the point. Aim to deliver your key message and call-to-action in 15 seconds or less to maximize impact and minimize the risk of viewers clicking away.
  • Brand like a boss: Make sure your brand is front and centre in your in-stream ads. Use consistent colours, fonts, and imagery to build brand recognition and recall, and don’t be afraid to showcase your logo prominently.
  • Tell them what to do: Include a clear, compelling call-to-action in your in-stream ads to encourage viewers to take the next step. Whether you want them to visit your website, make a purchase, or sign up for your newsletter, make sure your CTA is impossible to miss.
  • Test, test, and test again: The key to success with in-stream ads is continuous testing and optimization. Try different ad creatives, targeting options, and placements to see what resonates best with your audience, and use that data to refine your approach over time.
  • Don’t be afraid to get emotional: In-stream ads are a powerful way to connect with your audience on an emotional level. Use storytelling, humour, or inspiration to create a deeper connection with your viewers and leave a lasting impression.


In-stream ads on Facebook are an insanely effective way for small businesses to expand their reach, drive engagement, and boost conversions.

By understanding the pros and cons, figuring out if they’re right for your business, and following best practices for creating kick-ass ads, you can take your Facebook advertising to a whole new level.

The bottom line? If you’re not already using in-stream ads as part of your Facebook marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to connect with your target audience and grow your business.

So what are you waiting for? Dive in, get creative, and start experimenting with in-stream ads today. Trust us – your bottom line will thank you!


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