How to create, set up, and optimize Facebook video ads with Bob Regnerus
In this episode, Anna and Bob Regnerus discuss how to create, analyze, and measure Facebook video campaigns.
Tune in to learn:
- How to create videos for different stages of the sales funnel
- How to create custom audiences for retargeting
- What video ad metrics you should track
- How to optimize your videos to increase your ROAS
- What video mistakes you should avoid
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I’m your host Anna Shutko, and today our guest star is Bob Regnerus, a video marketing expert and co-founder of Feedstories. In this episode, you’ll learn what metrics you can use to successfully attract video ad campaigns, how to create a custom audience for your retargeting ads, and how you can optimize your video creatives to achieve higher ROIs. I hope you’ll enjoy this episode.
Hello Bob, and welcome to the show.
It’s so good to be with you, Anna.
Yay! Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m really happy, I’m sure this episode is going to be amazing and our audience would love to learn more about video ads. So let’s go to the first question. What are your tips for the companies who would like to create a successful video ad strategy on Facebook ads? And, maybe you could also elaborate on how is video creation different, depending on whether it’s for a B2B or a B2C brand?
Great questions. So, the very first consideration I would encourage people is to understand where you are placing this video in relation to the customer’s journey. In my book, Ultimate Guide To Facebook Ads, one of the things I talk about is a concept from Eugene Schwartz, he talked about this back in 1966 in Breakthrough Advertising. But, it’s knowing where your customer is on their journey, and what information is needed at that time.
So I like to break down my campaigns into top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel. Of course, top of the funnel is cold traffic, it’s the widest audience. They’re very much unaware of you, maybe they have some cursory knowledge of your brand. But essentially, they’re unaware of you, unaware they have a problem. Middle of the funnel is what we call warm traffic, and warm traffic has some awareness of you, or the awareness of the problem that they have and their mindset is more geared towards finding a solution. And then, the bottom of funnel is what we call very warm, or ready to buy traffic. These are the people that have gone through some sort of sales presentation, whether they visited an order form on your eCommerce page if they saw a webinar if you sell that way. Maybe they engaged in a sales consultation or some sort of event, it’s some sort of indication that, “Hey, I’m making a purchase decision here.”
If you think about that, the type of creatives you’re going to put in front of them, especially video creative, needs to be geared towards where their mindset is. So if you think top of funnel, what you’re going to be doing is hey, I need to get this person’s attention and make them aware of who I am, and the problem that I solve. Middle of the funnel, I’m going to put video creative in front of them that helps make them move closer from I’m unaware of you, to I’m aware of you and I want to solve this problem. So the middle of funnel is very much what I call a nurturing type of video. And, the bottom of the funnel is much more direct in terms of answering objections, getting somebody to move from I’m thinking about it to I’m ready to buy.
So your video creatives is going to be very different, depending on where you place it in the funnel. And of course, you could run all of these on Facebook, so it’s not just about getting cold people in on Facebook. One of the things I think most people really fall short on, in terms of their advertising, is adding campaigns that target middle of funnel and bottom of funnel audiences, which by the way, tend to be the most profitable and some of the most inexpensive traffic that you can buy. Cold traffic is the most expensive type of traffic you can buy.
And then, to answer your question, B2C versus B2B, I find that our video rarely changes in terms of working with our clients, whether they’re going to be going towards consumers or business people. Because essential, in the end, it’s just human to human, or person to person. Maybe your video takes a different tone, but essentially all videos have the same components, whether they’re B2C or B2B. We can certainly go through some of those if you find that interesting.
All right, very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I actually did think that there would be some differences between B2B and B2C, but also would be very curious to know what kind of relevant creatives work for both B2B and B2C.
Another question I had is what metrics would actually be great to measure the performance of your video campaigns, in relation to the stage of the funnels? You’ve just mentioned that there was top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and then the bottom of the funnel. Could you please share how should marketers think about measuring their videos at different stages? And then, what indicators should you take into consideration when you are planning to tweak your video campaigns targeting, or creative, or budget at each stage of the funnel?
Yeah. So top of funnel, our whole goal is to grab attention. There are really two ways that I use video top of funnel. The first way there is I’m trying, just like I would let’s say with an image ad, I’m trying to capture their attention and get them to click over to a landing page. So essentially, whether I use a still image or I use a video, one of the measurements that I look at is click-through rate. I want to see a healthy click-through rate. I like click-through rates that are over 2%, that’s the low end that I find acceptable. When I start to see things in the 3%, 4%, 5%, 10%, that gets me really excited. What I’m trying to do at top of funnel, of course, is move them away from the hypnotic trance they are in the Facebook newsfeed. I’m trying to move them away from Facebook, that’s one of the first strategies.
Now, there’s an alternate strategy which is really, really useful and I do this all the time, which is running what’s called a video view campaign where my goal isn’t necessarily to get them away from Facebook, but my goal is to grab their attention and hold it for a period of time. In that case, what I’m looking for is I am measuring how long people are watching the video. You have the ability within Facebook’s ad interface to measure the percentage of time that somebody watches a video.
So let’s just use a one-minute video as a baseline. I like to know how many people make it 25% through, 50%, 75%, and then 95%. Essentially, 15-second viewers, 30-second viewers, 45-second viewers, and then, basically, a 95% viewer is basically they’ve made it to the end, short of about five seconds. What I have found is that you can see that those audiences, which you’re allowed to build in Facebook, that the ability for those audiences to convert later with different campaigns increases the more they watch a video. So much so that, one of the things I track now is 95% viewers, and what is my cost to generate a 95% viewer. What I have found is that somebody who watches 95% of your video is as valuable, if not more valuable, then somebody that actually lands on a landing page. Because when they go to a landing page unless you’re tracking how long they’re visiting there, you don’t really know how long that they’ve spent there. But, I do know that if they spent 55 seconds watching a video of mine, or even 45 seconds, that’s an eternity on the internet.
I find that top of funnel, the 95% … I typically go 75% or more, those viewers are ones that I then roll into my retargeting campaigns because I know that they’ve spent so much time investigating that ad, top of funnel, in my cold traffic campaigns. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it does make total sense and I really, really love how you share different benchmarks for different campaigns because I do think it’s important for marketers to know how they can compare results.
Maybe now we could talk more about retargeting. Are there any tips you would give to marketers for considering setting up retargeting campaigns? And also, I think you mention the video audience. And, how would you actually create a custom video engagement audience for retargeting, in this case?
So there are two retargeting audiences that I focus on. Number one is most people are used to, which is that they landed on my website and I am going to retarget them. Those are website visitors, that’s what most people generally put in the retargeting campaigns. And I do that, absolutely. But as I mentioned before, the second audience and I think a more engaging audience is to do what’s called a video custom audience.
Through your Facebook audience tab, you have the ability to create a new audience. One of the audiences you want to do is create an audience of 75% or more viewers of a particular video. You have the ability to select a single video for Facebook to create that audience on, or you could combine videos. But just for simplicity’s sake, if I’m going to run a top of funnel video campaign, I want to target people that have watched 75% or more of that video and that becomes a secondary retargeting campaign. I often will have one ad set be visitors to my site, and then another ad set is video viewers, so I like to compare the performance between retargeting visitors to my site and retargeting video viewers of my top of funnel campaign. That’s a good way to track and make sure how each audience is performing.
One of the things that you really want to do when you’re building retargeting campaigns, middle of the funnel, we’re warming up our audience, is you need to be thinking about what’s the mindset of my audience now. You really want to be putting things in front of them that help move things forward. So you’re not just putting video in front of them, or retargeting in front of them, to tell them to buy. Now, we ultimately want them to buy but if you have a buying cycle that needs more decision points, you need to move them from decision point to decision point, rather than trying to accelerate them all the way to the purchase. ECommerce companies generally have a much more shallow funnel, where you’re moving them to purchase quickly. But, I’m talking for companies that maybe sell consulting, maybe it’s a software-as-a-service, the types of businesses and decisions, sales decisions, which require more decision points.
You need to create a video that moves them from one point to the other and helps them progress through. It’s answering objections, it’s answering questions, and it’s getting things in front of them that help them become more confident about you, your brand, and the decision they’re going to make.
I really, really love the point you made about the decision points because I definitely do agree with you. I think it’s not a very wise solution to rush the audience to buy, and instead feeding them the information they need to make a decision is a much, much better approach. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that.
Now, talking about all the data you gather after the audiences are moving from one decision point to another, and also previously you mentioned that you might want to use a lot of website-based data on conversion. What are the reports you’d have in place to evaluate the success of your Facebook ads, video campaigns? And maybe you could talk more about the data sources there. What piece of information would come from, for example, Google Analytics or website tracking somebody’s using?
And, which metrics would you take from Facebook ads?
The data that you need to take from Facebook is in regards to the video stats. We don’t have the ability, as far as I know, maybe you know more, but to track video engagement. Facebook, that’s an inside platform, so those are the stats that I rely on Facebook to give me. Now, I also use the standard pixel tracking that other folks do, so I’m measuring seven-day attribution for clicks. I’m looking to see if I’m generating leads for a client, we’re looking at cost per lead, we’re looking at conversion rates of the landing page. But, we’re also using Google Analytics and then actual data from our CRM.
So what I typically do is we … And of course, you know this Anna, they never really ever are completely in sync. What we do know is when we look inside of our CRM, whether that’s HubSpot, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, whatever, we know at the end of the day how many leads we got for that day or that week. Then, we take a look at Google Analytics to take a look at those numbers, we look at Facebook to do those numbers. And then, usually, it’s within an acceptable range and we’re fine with it. But, what I like to do is get to the ultimate source. So what’s our true cost per lead?
Obviously, it’s really simple if you’re just using, let’s say Facebook. I have the most difficulty, I’ll just admit it, if I have a client that’s also doing let’s say Google AdWords, maybe they’re doing outbound emails, maybe they’re doing other forms of paid ads, programmatic advertising, it becomes really difficult and then I need to get with a company like Supermetrics to help me make sense of all the data. In general, if we’re talking here about video ads, I pretty much trust what Facebook is telling me in regards to that. And then, I refer to those other standard sources to validate numbers like cost per lead, cost per purchase, those types of things.
You mentioned all these metrics like cost per lead and different conversion metrics. Could you please maybe elaborate? It might be a silly question, but what are the leading indicators marketers should rely on, depending on the funnel stage?
So for example, the leading indicator which they should take as the North Star metric for top of the funnel campaigns.
Yeah, I really do. I’ll call them three main types of campaigns. The first type of campaign is a video view campaign, and my goal there is to build an audience to retarget to. What I’m looking at there is I’m looking at video view percentage. I’m evaluating my creatives based on how many seconds, or how much of that video they’re actually watching. If I create three videos for simplicity’s sake, the way I’m going to test out which of those videos is actually performing the best is the one that has the most engagement from beginning to end. I can say hey, I want to build a video view audience, but what video is actually pulling its weight? The one that produces the highest percentage of video views in the end. If I just say all right, I’m going to have a baseline metric of 75% viewers, for 1000 views, how many made it to the 75% mark? That’s how I judge that video.
The second thing that I look at there is typically there’s some sort of call-to-action within the video. So it might be click-through to a web page, it might be to download something. Then, I’m looking at okay, from the number of people that saw the video, how many took that action? It’s either cost per lead, or it’s something like that, to say okay, how many click-throughs, and then how many actually took the action on the page, so that’s the second level in terms of how I evaluate whether that type of campaign is doing its job.
Now, middle of funnel is a little bit different in terms of I’m trying to get people to move along a sales decision point. So the videos typically, in my middle of funnel, are much more soft in terms of calls-to-action. What I’m trying to do is satisfy them in a number of different ways, and sometimes that takes several days and may take several weeks, it depends on how complex your product and buying cycle is. But, what I’m looking for there strictly is video engagement, and then if there’s any sort of soft call-to-action like driving them to a landing page where they can find something very specific, I’m judging it really though based on how much they engage with that particular video.
One of my awesome tricks, and it’s not really a trick by my strategy for middle of funnel videos is to use a lot of testimonials and case studies because the very thing that you’re trying to do is help move them towards a buying decision. Nothing works better, in my experience, then a whole bunch of customers, clients, patients, whatever, giving their opinion and talking about the transformation that their life had from using your product or engaging with your service. That’s one of the strategies that I love to use middle of funnel is testimonials and case studies, because that absolutely helps somebody move forward.
And then when we get to the bottom funnel, the third type of campaign, is I know based on my audience, I know that they watched a webinar. Or, I know that they added this product to their cart and they didn’t checkout. So there are very specific things that we would be trying to persuade them with, to finish making their decision. A cart abandon, we’d be very direct in our video creative. All I care about at that point is my return on that spend, my cost per purchase there, that’s what I’m worried about there. If they, let’s say watched a webinar, and the very next call-to-action is for them to book an appointment with one of our consultants, then I am going to look at the ratio of how many people saw the video and how many appointments were booked.
I’m very much looking for very direct stats bottom of funnel, very different than I would at the top of funnel.
I love this framework, and I think it does definitely make a lot of sense. Now, could you also please share what are the common mistakes marketers make when they’re trying to optimize video campaigns and set up retargeting audiences? Because I would guess that, for those who do not know about your awesome framework yet, they make some typical mistakes with that.
Well actually, some of the biggest mistakes are made in the video creative themselves. One of the things I’ll say is that you want to make sure that your video creative starts with a hook. When I take a look at a campaign that isn’t performing well, I’ll first take a look at the creative and say, “Are we even engaging the person?” The indicator that you haven’t really engaged or hooked somebody is that your watch percentage is really low, so the number of people that actually make it through is low.
You really want to create a hook at the beginning of that video to capture their attention and get them to move. It’s not worth putting a one-minute video in front of somebody if they don’t get hooked. They’re not going to watch it if they don’t feel like there’s a need for them to watch it. They’ll let it scroll right by. One of the big mistakes that I see is that they don’t develop a clear enough and a strong enough hook at the beginning of the video to keep them engaged.
And then, the second thing I’ll say in terms of creatives is that a good video will have some sort of call-to-action. It’s not always a hard buy now, but there is some sort of direction at the end of the video that gets them to move to the next action. If you’re trying to generate leads, there’s going to be some sort of soft call-to-action or hard call-to-action that lets them know that there’s another step that they need to take. You want to make sure that you have a very clear call-to-action, whether it’s a hard call or a soft call, there needs to be a clear call.
And then, the third thing that I think in terms of video, that I find where the videos not working as well, is if the video does too much in terms of satisfying the user’s demand. One of the things I find, especially for companies that are generating leads, is that they create really great video content but they give away too much in the video, and they lose that mystery, they lose that hook and they lose that ability to move that person from, “Hey, if you thought this was good, there’s something even better over here.” If you give them too much good stuff, and we’re not trying to be sneaky here, but if you deliver too much information and satisfy the viewer’s needs, they’re not going to need to take the next action.
When you see a very high cost per lead, like in a lead generation campaign that’s using videos, one of the first things I’ll check is okay, you have a good call-to-action, but are you giving them too much information, so much that they don’t need to actually take action on your landing page. Those are some things that I think people make mistakes on.
In terms of evaluating stats, you want to make sure that you allow videos time to run. The very minimum that I will start making a decision on a video is generally about 2000 impressions. I really want to see about 10,000 impressions on a video before I’ll start to make some indications on whether that video number that I’m seeing is actually relevant or not. Video views are so inexpensive, as you know, on Facebook, to get 10,000 views is really, really easy and it’s really inexpensive. So you want to give yourself enough run so that you get to a statistically significant number to be able to make some calls as to whether this video is doing its job or not.
Awesome, thank you so much for sharing. These were really solid tips for the video creatives. So if the audience would love to learn more about you, where can they do it?
Yeah, thanks for the opportunity. I recently finished a book on Facebook advertising, it’s called The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising Fourth Edition. It’s through Entrepreneur Press, the publishers of Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find out about that book at ultimatefb.com, ultimatefb.com.
And then, for clients that have more questions about how to get into video, what types of video should I create, things like that, I would encourage them to go to my website called Feedstories, that’s F-E-E-D stories.com. Feedstories.com is a video company that helps people create top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom of funnel, and sales videos, case studies, testimonials, all kinds of great video creative to help you sell more of your products and services.
I appreciate you having me on the show, Anna. Hopefully, everything I shared is useful, and if people found some tips and so forth, I would love to hear back and let them know I was able to help them.
Awesome, Bob. Thank you so much again, and I really loved everything you shared about Facebook video ads. I’m sure our audience enjoyed it, too.
Fantastic, thank you so much.
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