illustration of a video camera that's projecting the number three

Lights, camera, targeting! Here’s three ways you can use Facebook video views audiences for your next ad.

Video killed the radio star and now it’s taking over social (can’t take ’em anywhere, can you?). As a result of this, Nicola Mendehlson, Facebook’s vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African operations said that in five years, Facebook “will be probably all video” because it’s “the best way to tell stories in this world” and “helps us to digest much more information.” So, to prepare for the impending doom of copy on social, Facebook have been pulling out all the stops to get brands creating video, not just for content, but for ads too (although, if you’ve been doing the social media shuffle thanks to a particularly high ‘average duration of video viewed’ metric, you might want to read this). One way Facebook have been encouraging video ads is the introduction of ‘video views audiences’ – which basically means, if someone has watched your video (for at least 3 seconds up to over 95% of your video as a whole) then they will be saved to handy audiences (based on how long they’ve watched the video) for you to target with future ads. Cool huh? If someone has taken the time to watch your video, they’re probably interested in what you have to say – so it makes sense to go for this audience since they’re already engaged. The guys at Facebook have given you a handy guide for setting up a video views audience, but what we have up our sleeve is three creative ways to make the most of this targeting dream. Ready? Let’s scroll.

Pre-Launch to Post-Launch

If you’re launching a product, a brand or hey, maybe a new album, then chances are, you’ve got loads of stuff to prepare for launch. Well, our blog-reading-pals, in between the paper work and late night meltdowns, you have a big ol’ chunk of content gold. All the initial sketches, the prototypes and the photo shoots are ready and waiting for their close up – so get your camera at the ready and tell the story of your pre-launch. What this does is get people interested and excited about your new brand or project before it’s even available, which in turn, makes your launch all the more boombastic.

So, this is a perfect opportunity to use Facebook’s video views audiences – put the feelers out there with your pre-launch videos and then target this audience when the launch arrives – ‘Hey, remember that cool video you watched about that product one time? Well it’s here!’ Now, when it comes to launch, you’re reaching people who are already interested and know the story behind the brand. High five to two-months-ago-you!

Video Series

The whole point of these video views audiences is retention – reaching people and bringing them back to engage with your future content (no DeLorean required). This is a win-win for brands (or individuals) who have a series of video content, so if you’re a Videographer, a Film Director or a YouTuber – this one’s for you. Last year, Facebook reported 8 billion daily video views, so it’s no wonder people are skipping the links and uploading straight to the platform – basically, Facebook want to oust YouTube (brutal business this social media, isn’t it?). But for video content creators, it opens up a bucketload of opportunities.

When you’re watching telly, you’ll see ads for programmes that are coming up – maybe you’ll see an ad for ‘Bake Off’ or even ‘Sharknado 9′ and some will be relevant to you, but not all of ’em (unless you have a very varied taste in television). The good thing about Facebook video views audiences is that you’re not just chucking your video content out to the abyss and hoping for the best – if someone watches your first video, then they’ll probably be more likely to watch your next one (whether that’s the full thing or a teaser that links off to an external site). Even without the backing of a big studio, or the hefty price tag that comes with T.V. advertising, you can build an audience who regularly watch your content and tune in for each new episode.

Event Hype

For events, pre-sale is a huge part of marketing, particularly for big annual events like festivals. One of the best ways to get people signing up for your next event is to showcase how awesome your last one was – right? So if you have some footage from last year’s event collecting dust on your hard drive, this is a great way to revive it and make the most of your existing content.

This is the bit where we get our geek on, so brace yourselves. First of all, create a video ad (using your handy footage from last year’s event) and target it to a custom audience made up of the email addresses of people who bought tickets last year. Using video views audiences, you’ll be able to see the percentage of people who attended the previous event and are showing interest in the next one (a pretty strong audience, if you ask us). After you’ve curated that list, you can target the audience for new artist or speaker announcements, for pre-launch content (see above) and of course, for the ticket launch itself. What happens after the event? Well, as long as you’ve got video content from this one, you’re set to go again.

In terms of creativity, all the nuts and bolts of Facebook’s video views audiences open up massive opportunities to be downright clever. Take the ‘length watched’ feature for example, if you’re a clothing company and someone watches your new collection launch video up to 50% – you can serve web click ads that link to the products that are only shown within that first 50%. What’s more – since Facebook bought over Instagram in 2012, you can reach your video views audience on Instagram too, building awareness of your brand on the platform and being in front of your audience on different platforms. Mind = blown. How would you use Facebook’s video views audiences – send us a tweet and tell us what you think.


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