“My company just launched a great new product. Once people see it in action I know they’ll want to buy it. How do we get people to give it a try?”
Does this ever sound like you? If so, relax. You’re not alone. And the challenge you are facing is nothing new. Getting customers’ attention has been a business owner’s first task for as long as businesses have been around.
What has changed, however, is the way business owners go about it.
Since you’re a living, breathing human being, you already know that Facebook Video Ads are the wave of the future. They are a low-cost way to reach millions of potential customers.
And, unlike more traditional media, it offers you the chance to customize your content to individual viewers. So we’re willing to bet you’re thinking about launching a social media
But maybe you’re wondering how to go about it. How will you develop content? Should it be detailed and insightful, since you don’t have to pay for air time? Or should it be quick and witty in an effort to be memorable (if not always informative)? And, most importantly, how will you know if it’s effective?
We’re here to help! Follow this definitive guide from HotProducts.io and you will learn how to develop world-class video advertising to engage more customers and increase sales!
Part I: Why Facebook Video Ads?
If you’re new to social media advertising, you might think that YouTube, as the “TV for everyone,” might be the logical choice. And for years, that might have been true. But you’d be dead wrong if you chose YouTube today. YouTube, like broadcast television, requires the viewer to choose you. They have to click on your video, subscribe to your channel, or open up a link one of their friends may have sent them.
Facebook Video Ads, on the other hand, bring your message to the viewer. Videos stream directly to their Facebook feed as they are scrolling through their updates.
They don’t have to click on you. They don’t have to run a search. Or even, they only have to do what they do every day and let your content entertain them. For as long as it can, anyways!
Facebook Ads Manager also offers more user-friendly analytics than Youtube. Facebook makes it extremely easy to see what percentage of your viewers engaged with your video ad, how long they watched, and whether or not they responded to your Call to Action.
The bottom line: Facebook Video Ads are where your business needs to be.
Part II: Hitting your Target Audience
At this point, you may ask yourself, “so what are the tricks to getting a Facebook user’s attention? What kind of snappy advertising can I sneak into my videos so they will engage my audience?”
Well, we’ll get to that in a bit. But first you’ll need to decide what audience you want to target. Start with a pen and a piece of paper (or the electronic equivalent) and write down as many demographics as you can. Do you think your business will be more attractive to men or women? High-schoolers or retirees? Working adults with or without kids? Stay at home dads? Then pop open the Custom Audiences feature in Facebook and let it know exactly who you want to see your videos.
The goal here is to build up a base of what Facebook Ads Manager refers to as Warm Leads.
Warm leads are users who have already expressed interest in you or your business in some way. Maybe they read one of your blog posts or they visited your business’s web page. Maybe they bought something from a competitor of yours, or at least researched products similar to those you offer. Whatever they’ve done, these people are much more likely to respond to your Facebook video than the average viewer. The key, of course, is finding them.
Luckily, Facebook Ads Manager can do a lot of this work for you. Its software will scan a user’s browsing history and predict if they will be interested in your business based on their past behavior
This is where your content starts to come into play. And it’s where we’ll get into the meat of this article.
Part III: Developing Your Content Funnel
In most cases, Facebook won’t find the warm leads you’ll need to grow your business on its own. Particularly if you are new or unique, there won’t be enough engagement history, even among your key demographics. Does that mean Facebook Video Ads won’t work for you? Of course not! It just means you’ll have to create a few warm leads on your own.
That’s where your first video comes in. You want it to cast a wide net. Be catchy, try to appeal to a large number of users. Stick to the content tips, of course (you’ll find these at the end of this article). But go easy on the information and heavy on the entertainment. Your goal here is to get them to watch – to the end, ideally – and make them receptive to more videos down the road. Think of this as more of a “test the market” advertisement.
Not all of your viewers will engage, of course. And you don’t necessarily want them to, in all honesty. You want to screen out viewers that have no interest in what you’re doing before you get to make your true sales pitch. But some will. They’ll stop scrolling long enough to see your ads. They may not click on your call to action right away, but that’s okay. They may not even watch the whole video. But they will express an interest in your product simply by letting it play. As long as they hover long enough to watch at least three seconds of your advertisement, Facebook will mark them as “engaged.”
Why does this matter? Because these people have passed through the first ring of your Content Funnel.
A Content Funnel is exactly what it sounds like. Over the course of your next few video ads, you will ask Facebook to be more and more specific when selecting the audience. And, in a similar fashion, your content becomes more about selling and less about entertaining, and your call to action becomes more direct.
Here is an example of a simple content funnel:
*see part IV – Helpful Hints for World Class Content for more on what you can do to deliver the tone you’re going for at each of these stages
See how the parameters for Facebook to show your video grow narrower with each new ad? And how the nature of the content becomes less about having fun and more detailed in relation to your product? This is how your content funnel captures a wide range of viewers to start with, then saves the hard sell for those that have invested in your product.
Facebook Ad Manager offers a wide variety of initial qualifications, including:
· Geographic location
· Relationship status
· Level of education
· Income bracket
· Have or don’t have children
· Employment status
· Previous likes
· Previous browsing behavior
· Previous purchases
Etc, etc. There are too many to list here, but you get the idea. If you can imagine a target market, odds are Facebook can help you reach it!
You can define the first ring of your content funnel however you please. After that, though, Facebook advertisers usually target viewers that engaged with their earlier videos.
There is one other thing you want to pay attention to when you plan your content funnel: timing. As in, how long after your first ad appears in someone’s Facebook feed will they see your second video?
Again, timing can be scheduled however you like, but most campaigns will wait at least a few days between ads. This will prevent you from overwhelming the viewer with too much information before they’ve had a chance to open up to your product. Think of it like building a friendship. You wouldn’t ask someone you just met to be in your wedding, and you probably shouldn’t ask someone to buy a product they’ve only learned about today. By giving them some time to digest and think a bit about your product you can make them more receptive to the next stage in your sales process.
Does this mean your opening video will only show in Facebook feeds for a few days and then disappear forever? No way. The content funnel is like a cow grazing in the field. It is always taking in new material, processing it, getting rid of the parts it can’t use, then turning the good bits into milk. Likewise, your Facebook Video Ads campaign will always be on the hunt for new viewers that meet your parameters. It will keep showing them your opening video. Then, if they respond, it will follow up with your second, third, etc videos as long is it gets the desired response. Set your campaign up wisely, and you will have an unending stream of warm leads looking at your product every day!
Part IV: Helpful Hints for World Class Content
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about strategy in this article. Finding your audience, setting your tone, and deciding your timing, are all critical to your success as an entrepreneur. But, obviously, your Facebook Video Ads won’t be successful unless you have great content to deliver to your audience. So let’s dive into some of the keys the best advertisers on Facebook use to make their videos world-class!
This isn’t going to be a step-by-step instruction, mind you. Advertising is an art form, and it’s impossible to define what makes great art. But we can definitely identify some common denominators that most successful content seems to share:
1) Keep it Simple
You want to engage. You want to have a Wow! Factor. You need to keep things lively and fun so your viewer doesn’t feel like a student in a lecture hall. But this is still (unsolicited) advertising we’re talking about. You don’t have time for surprising plot twists or in-depth character development. Decide on ONE point you want to make, and make it.
2) Keep it Short
Have you ever been on Facebook or YouTube when a suggestion and you told yourself “I can watch one more video if I make it a short one.” We sure have.
Let’s face it: browsing through Facebook ads isn’t usually the most productive use of our time. Most viewers are going feel at least a little guilty about, and a part of them will want to stop. A long (two to three minute) video ad is often the reason they are looking for. Keep your video short – thirty to forty seconds seems to be the optimum length – so your viewers don’t get distracted.
3) Give Your Ads a Purpose
This sounds a little vague, so let’s define this one a bit. The purpose any Facebook Video Ad falls into one of four categories:
· Promotional: these videos are pretty shameless. They talk about how great their company is, and how much they have helped their customers. The goal here is to sell the an organization, not necessarily a product. Whole Foods is a perfect example of a company that has done this well. If a product is on the shelves at Whole Foods, it must be good for me, right?
· Instructional: These videos focus on the problem/solution angle. They don’t always instruct on how to use your product, but they offer some useful “how-to” to the viewer. Which, of course, involves your product in some way.
· Conversational: These are great videos to open with because they are lighthearted and don’t have too hard of a sell. The goal is not to feature the product here. The goal is to create a personal connection with the viewer, which makes them more likely to engage with future Facebook Video Ads.
· Aspirational: This is the classic “Be like this person!” innuendo. They often feature celebrities or athletes, and they usually include a lifestyle or achievement of some kind. Again, the relationship to your product may or may not be direct. But these videos should feature the product more prominently than the other video styles do.
4) Tell a Story
It isn’t always easy to do, given the time constraints. But every good advertisement – Facebook Video or otherwise – finds some way to tell a story. It can be as simple as the story of a man’s walk through the park or as complex as a murder mystery (if you can do it in a short video). The elements of storytelling don’t change just because you need to fit your story into a Facebook Video Ad:
· Rising Action
· Falling Action
You’ll have to rush through some of them in a few seconds each, but try to work them all in! This will create excitement and keep the viewer entertained and engaged.
5) Silence is Golden
As many as 85% of all Facebook Video Ads are viewed without sound. Speakers muted is the default setting for Facebook Video, for obvious reasons, so it’s not surprising that most viewers never hear a word you say. Text captions are a no-brainer in this situation, but there are a few other things you can do to make your video silent-era friendly.
· Visual scene-setting: are your characters athletic? Don’t bother saying so. Set your scene in a gym, or a basketball court, or on a woodland trail. Are they a married couple? Set them in a kitchen wearing matching sweaters. Your viewers are smart. They’ll figure it out.
· Include lots of movement: This is going to be easier for some products than others. But try to show your solution in action (see our article Three Secrets to a Six-Figure Hot Product for more on problems and solutions). If it’s a passive-use product, such as a pillow or a decoration, use gestures from your characters in lieu of explanation. Whatever it takes to get your point across – whether or not the sound is on.
There’s also one other benefit of adapting your video to soundless viewing: these same adjustments will make your ad mobile-friendly. More purchases are being made on mobile devices every year, so your content needs to resonate with these buyers!
6) Don’t Forget Your Call to Action
Your viewers might ignore it. As a matter of fact, they probably will…the first time they see it, at least. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. You may not ask them to buy right away. You might ask them to view your website, sign up for your free newsletter, or take part in a quick survey instead. But you want to ask something. Getting a viewer to take an action, no matter how small, creates a sense of investment for them. And an investment results in a feeling of loss whenever they think of leaving the process.
These tips apply to all layers of your content funnel. You’ll want to apply them a little differently at different stages of the process though. In the opening video, for example, you’ll want your Facebook Ad to focus more on the story than your product. You might not even mention the product in this ad, as a matter of fact. You might just make it visible and let the viewer make an association. As the content funnel narrows, you’ll want your story to involve the product more directly. And you’ll want to pivot to the acquisition of the product so you can delve into the details.
Again, these are just a few highlights. How you apply them to your audience and your product is something you’ll need to decide
Part V: Evaluating Your Results
Up until now we’ve focused on a single-stream content funnel. And that’s fine, so long as it gets results. But what if it doesn’t? Or what if it does, but there’s that nagging voice telling you it could be better? How can you find out for sure?
To answer these questions you’ll have to think like a scientist. Run some experiments! Develop an alternate version of one of your Facebook Ad videos and swap it in as one of your content funnel rings for a while. Let it run and see if your engagement numbers improve.
A few tips to make sure your experiment is successful:
· Test one variable at a time.
If you’re worried that one of your ads runs a little too long, try to shorter version of the same ad. If you think one of them looks a little drab, re-make it with a more vibrant setting. Avoid the temptation to do both at once, however. You’ll never know which change drove results (good or bad).
· Don’t judge too quickly.
Let you alternate version run for at least three days, and perhaps as many as fourteen, before you analyze results. This will give you enough time to collect data under a variety of circumstances, which can help you with the next point:
· Make sure your results are significant.
There are formulas you can use to determine whether or not this is true, but there are also online services that can do the heavy lifting for you. Waiting until your results are statistically significant will prevent you from taking action based on one or two viewers’ actions.
As we’ve said before, a great Facebook Video Ad is sometimes more of an art than a science. So feel free to experiment and see what works for you. But, if you follow the guidelines in this article, you’ll have all the elements you need to make your campaign a masterpiece!