How to Win at Facebook Video Ads
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The landscape of content marketing has changed. To be successful you need to give your audience what it wants, where it wants it. And video offers a great opportunity to catch consumers where they hang out. Depending on which platform you choose to use, you should know what kinds of videos to be showing them. You don’t want to be using the same videos on YouTube as you would on Facebook because those platforms generally attract different audiences.
For example, the Facebook audience is more of the consumer that is in “discovery mode”, so shorter – and oftentimes silent – videos are what will strike gold there. Whereas on YouTube this is more of an audience that is searching and looking for longer content. Remember, videos don’t just go viral on their own – and that should never be the sole goal of your video marketing campaign – but being smart with where you put your video content and remembering to cater to the audience that your platform of choice attracts, will get you far in the long term.
Rich: David Patton is the Digital Marketing Strategist at TechSmith, a software company that makes image and video creations. In a previous life David worked in the film industry, and as Head Editor at the now defunct YouTube channel. He has 3 kiddos and one on the way. David, welcome to the show.
Dave: Hey Rich, great to be here.
Rich: Alright, so tell me a little bit about TechSmith and what the Digital Marketing Strategist for TechSmith is responsible for.
Dave: So TechSmith is based in Michigan, we’re a software company and we make Snagit and Camtasia. Snagit is a $49 image editor, and Camtasia is a $199 video editor. And I say the prices with those because as I talk about the funnel with those the price point actually makes a bit of difference.
As a Digital Marketing Strategist I work with YouTube, Facebook primarily, I also do Google AdWords placements for our team, and I work on an ecommerce team that consists of about 6 or 7 of us and we just strive to get those web sales.
Rich: Awesome. And I use Snagit every day, I didn’t know when I was first introduced to you I didn’t recognize the name TechSmith until I went to your website and I saw Snagit and said, “Oh my god I use that tool like 10 times a day.” Every time I create a blog post or whatever it is, I’m always taking screen grabs with that and mocking them up. It’s incredibly easy to use, so thank you for your service, sir.
Dave: No problem. We actually get that a lot. To use Snagit is to love Snagit.
Rich: Now you’re doing a lot of video marketing for your products on Facebook, why do you like that platform so much?
Dave: Facebook I find is an awesome platform for grabbing people when they’re in discovery mode. Your audience knows that when you go to YouTube and you’re searching for a video, even if you get that 6 second pre-roll before the video you searched for, it can feel like an interruption. It can feel like, “I’ve got to watch an ad before I get to my content”. And so it just has an interesting interplay when you’re putting a remarketing ad on YouTube.
Whereas on Facebook, people are in “discovery mode”, is what I call it. So the whole reason someone is on Facebook is to continually scroll and discover and see new things. It’s a beautifully designed mechanism – as we all know – that keeps you wanting more, it wants you to keep scrolling and going back, because you never know what the next scroll is going to bring you. And when you see a video ad especially on Facebook, you are in a receptive mode, you are open to a video you didn’t know you wanted to see.
Whereas on YouTube, again, it’s search-based and you’re there to see something and it’s very A to B. But on Facebook you’re willing to go a little further. So remarketing on Facebook, you’re catching people when they’re in discovery mode, they’re a little more open to watching your video and it doesn’t feel like an interruption when it comes up in the Facebook timeline, it’s just part of the content that you’re scrolling through. I find that’s very powerful and especially great for remarketing, which is what we’ve primarily used Facebook for. Maybe for the last year and a half it’s been real remarketing play. Because it still surprises me when people ask me what I do and I say, “You know when you visit a website and then you go somewhere else and you still see an ad for it? Yeah, that’s what I do.”
Rich: Do they still talk to you after that point, or is it pretty much the end of the conversation?
Dave: You know I’m just an evil person that tracks people and I’m in cahoots with the NSA, basically. But it’s surprising to me – because I’m in the weeds of it every single day – that people are still surprised that Facebook shows ads. And occasionally these people at a family gathering will say, “Well I went to this website and then I went to Facebook and they showed me an ad from that website. Can you believe it?” And it’s like, yeah, that’s exactly what I do all the time.
And again, because it’s so seamless within the Facebook experience and it’s designed that way that people don’t quite understand they’re being marketed to while they’re scrolling.
Rich: Alright, so the takeaways that I hear from this – and I want to get to the re-targeting but I want to start somewhere else first – but one of the big things that I’m hearing from you is one of the big differences between Facebook video advertising and YouTube video advertising, is there’s less of a sense of interruption. And when you put up those 5 second videos, those skippable videos on the pre-roll, one of the things you’re battling is you’re basically the gatekeeper keeping someone from the content they actually want. And it’s time based, there’s no getting around it. Where on Facebook if I absolutely don’t want to see your content, I just keep on scrolling and move past it so it seems less invasive to the end user. Is that more or less what I’m hearing?
Dave: Absolutely. And because on YouTube it looks like a commercial, and we all know how we feel about commercials. We all hate commercials. Now commercials work, that’s why we make commercials. But if you ask anybody they’ll say commercials don’t work on them. On YouTube it feels to me like a commercial, whereas on Facebook its content, it’s something you’re scrolling to discover.
Rich: You mentioned retargeting. Facebook offers targeting and remarketing services, so you can really target either cold or warm leads. Let’s start with these cold leads. And they’re not necessarily cold, but they’re colder at least. How do you determine who you want to go after? How are you targeting people for your two main products?
Dave: That’s a great question and we’re fortunate at TechSmith that we have great product marketing managers, they do excellent research. So we now – for example I’ll just use Snagit – that trainers love our product because it allows them to create instructional design materials. So we know that trainers = Snagit. So how do we target trainers on Facebook?
If you go into Ads Manager, or you’re a little advanced you go to Power Editor, and you go to what I think of as the most powerful form field on the web. Maybe the Google search bar is more powerful, but the second most powerful one on the web is the Facebook Interests field that you can access on Power Editor. I mean, I can’t be more hyperbolic enough about this because Facebook, I believe, has the best targeting in the world. Its world class and it’s just getting better and smarter every single day.
When you go into the “interests” field and you start typing in the word and it starts auto completing all these options for you, like “trainers”. If you type that in you’ll get 50 million people. So I go, Ok, I don’t think there are 50 million trainers in the United States that are talking about weight lifting. I’m talking about people that train other people at work to do a task. So then I drill down a little bit and I find job titles and degrees.
So a job title like a CLO “chief learning officer”, you can see them pretty clearly like business titles. Then you can also go into fields of study, so people who studied instructional design – for example – they are trainers, they are people that are in our target audience. And you just keep going and going. And the beauty of that – as you can see right now I only named two – but Facebook starts filling in the gaps for me and starts expanding my thinking and offers other choices up as an audience.
And I just build this robust 50 keyword interest-based audience, and it has about the right amount of people in it and I figure that’s about the number of trainers there are in the United States. And I set the age demographic and a couple of other little things, and that is such a powerful mechanism to hit that audience. So you give them the copy and a video and it’s a perfect fit. Tell me another platform that allows you to do that, to reach those people in that way so simply.
Rich: Yeah, it’s definitely very robust, you kind of just hit on something that I wanted to ask you about. So it sounds like for your business you’ve identified this perfect audience who may or may not have ever heard of you, but it’s great cold content you’re going to hit them over the head with. What is the content that you’re producing for these cold leads? If you’re trying to sell Snagit and you’re creating these videos, what are they interested in, how are you getting them to slow their scroll?
Dave: I think – and this is a belief that we are going to test in Q1 of this year – so this isn’t just me theorizing, this is what TechSmith is doing. My belief is that you will slow your scroll when you have a value prop that hits you right in the gut. It doesn’t have to be super flashy, it doesn’t have to be super fancy, I of course believe in production value. But if you’re a trainer and what I say to you is, “Hey, these are the 10 things you need to do to incorporate video into your training”, and that resonates with you, you are bought in at that point.
So we have an e-book coming out in Q1 about just that, the 10 ways that video can enhance your training. And if you have to train someone on something, whether you’re an official trainer or you’ve been asked to train your team and you don’t really do this a whole lot and you have to put something together, this is going to be the guidebook for you. So an e-book is a great thing.
I think at this unaware stage – which by the way is where you’re hitting people – they’ve never heard of you, they’re unaware of the product, I think that’s where commercials actually make a lot of sense. And again, if you’re targeting the right audience with the right message, then it just becomes a numbers game. And what I love about it is that you don’t have to spend to everybody to reach your audience. You can just target your exact slice of the pie and hit them with the message that you want them to hear. It’s such an effective platform.
Rich: So once you’ve got their attention, what are you trying to accomplish with this, where are you driving these leads to, these cold leads?
Dave: So we’re sending them to a landing page in this case.
Rich: A landing page on your website?
Dave: Yes, a landing page on our website. We use Unbounce.com to build – I don’t want to call them “disposable” landing pages – but sometimes a campaign can be a little bit more experimental on how it’s going to hit. So you just want to kind of throw out the right landing page, and Unbounce gives us the flexibility to do that.
So we send them to the landing page, we say, “Just send us your email and we’ll send you the e-book right now.” So what I like about that is it’s very low barrier to entry, by entering their email address it kind of opens up the channel in their email for us to hit them with a remarketing email nurture series. And then what I do is we’re going to hit them with solution-based content based on that they came to that landing page.
So they came to the landing page and then the solution-based content. I’m not saying “Buy Snagit, it’s the best”, I’m saying. “Do you want to do video for training? Here’s a blog post that we could direct you to. Here is some additional materials we have.” I’m not really talking about the product yet, I’m talking about the solution that I provide. Because if you don’t believe that video is actually going to help you with your training, then you’re never going to buy Snagit. So I need to get you bought into the solution first before I then start introducing you to the product.
Rich: And are you doing this on the landing pages or are you doing this for retargeting videos on Facebook?
Dave: So once they hit the landing page we then pixelate you – you hit our remarketing pixels on Facebook and Google Display Network – and then we start serving ads back up to you on Facebook and Google Display saying, “This blog post we wrote, did you want to read more?”, and then we get you through to reading our blog and it’s a nice soft way to bring you in. Because if you believe what we’re talking about and it makes sense to you and you enjoy the content that we’re providing, it just makes a lot of sense to bring you in that way. And then at some point – probably after you’ve hit a few blog posts – we’ll say, “Hey, if you’re still interested in this you could buy the product.”
Rich: Ok, so let’s talk a little bit about this retargeting. Are you showing the same ads to these people or are you showing different videos to these people?
Dave: I would be showing them different videos at all stages of the funnels. In fact, for the e-book we’re going to show a video for the e-book. Imagine a Facebook post that has a little bit of face copy and then it’s going to be a video explaining the “Top 10 Problems of XX” and then the e-book kind of flies on the screen and it says, “Get the free e-book now”, and the call to action button is down there. So I use a video there.
For the remarketing you can do in-timeline content. That’s like tips for you that we just give away because we love the interaction with you – whether it be on Facebook or wherever – we have a 3 minute video that kind of gives you a tip about something video-related, like “As a trainer you’ll want to do x,y,z.” And it’s just a free tip and we find a lot of engagement when we do those because we get a lot of comments, we get a lot of ‘likes’, get a lot of ‘shares’. And even though it’s on the Facebook platform they’re still identifying with our brand.
So that’s one way we do inline video content. And then we also can do videos at that point just kind of talking about statistics around video, Like “did you know that 4 out of 5 trainers use video nationwide?” People will find all of that content interesting. Whatever content you have, if you could put it in a 30 second video, that’s perfect for Facebook. Because people would rather just watch the videos on silent then they would clicking a button or do anything else you’re asking them to do.
Rich: So my daughters are addicted to these cooking videos on Instagram that speed up everything. Have you started to do that for your own videos, in terms of showing people how to accomplish certain tasks using the software?
Dave: Ok, so this is really interesting and there’s a 2-part answer to this. Yes we’ve tried that. And part two is, we stopped doing it, and here’s why. So when people download Snagit it comes with a 15-day trial. So we thought they’ve downloaded it, we’re going to infiltrate their Facebook feed with a couple ads that are funky, that are 30 seconds long, that have great music, and they kind of explain how to use the product a little bit because we know if people get into our product and use it a little bit, they’re going to love it. So it’s kind of these helpful little tutorials and they’re nice and jazzy.
And so we ran those and they performed great. Then we realized something within our digital marketing funnel, which is that typical buying behavior for Snagit is like something along the lines of after people download the free trial they either buy it or don’t buy it within a 72 hour period. So we were running these ads at people for like a week or two weeks after they downloaded the trial, and we’ve since stopped doing that because we realized that it wasn’t moving the needle. People don’t need the trial as much for Snagit, they’re either ready to buy or not buy, and the trial is just not as necessary for the web sale.
So we made these awesome videos, they performed really well, we got a lot of great feedback on them, but then we realized that we were spending money where we didn’t need to and we’ve since stopped running them.
Rich: Interesting. That’s interesting to know because I was going to ask how long do you retarget people on Facebook, how did you come to that period of time? I think you already kind of answered that. And have you noticed a difference I guess than between Snagit and Camtasia, does Camtasia have a longer mulling over period, if you will?
Dave: Absolutely. And this is a learning that is fairly new to us and the e-commerce team that we kind of discovered this past year in 2017. Looking back on it we learned some valuable lessons. One of those lessons was that Snagit folks don’t really need the trial. So we can just kind of skip over that funnel and just say, “bye”.
But for Camtasia people need the trial. It’s a 30-day trial, it’s a video editor so people need to get in there and feel it out a little bit. The price point is a little higher so it’s not as quick of a buy. But here’s the thing, a ton of people download the free Camtasia trial. But who we want to target is that slim piece of those downloaders that were actually trialing it to buy it. We found that showing those people tutorials – and this is something we do on Facebook – so if you download the Camtasia trial, you will go to Facebook and we will start showing you full length tutorials, 3-5 minute tutorials showing you how to use the product in your Facebook timeline. And those have really helped move the needle for purchases because people don’t really love watching tutorials. I don’t know if you’ve ever downloaded a piece of software or a gadget or a piece of technology, and then it comes with a little booklet or you have to watch this tutorial. Tutorials have all this connotation of extra work.
So what we found is by putting them on Facebook where you’re in this discovery mood and you see a Camtasia tutorial and you watch it and the next thing you know 30 seconds go by, then a minute goes by, and now you’ve watched a minute and a half of a three minute tutorial that you never in a million years would have watched otherwise. We found that Facebook is a really effective tool for that.
So if you have any sort of product that requires a little bit of know-how, or a little bit of product demo – and I’m thinking like a pair of garden shears or something – and if you have a little 30-second video hat demos that product, showing someone a demo at the right time can make a world of difference. And for us we’re a software company with a free trial, so for us showing you the demo and how to use it when you’re in the trial period, on Facebook, is very effective.
Rich: I also think there’s this idea where a tool like Camtasia might do so many things it might even feel overwhelming, a tutorial might even feel overwhelming. I remember as an adult trying to take guitar lessons and on day one the guy says, “I’m not going to really teach you all the chords and everything like that, I’m going to teach you how to play a song, and then you’ll know how to play that song.” And I wonder if it’s that approach. If you show somebody how to do one particular task with this, one cool feature, and then they might get to where they get hooked and see themselves using that product all the time.
Dave: Absolutely. Camtasia as a video editor is really excellent at making kind of screen videos, like on screen tutorials, so the sooner we can get you making an on screen tutorial – like recording your computer screen showing how to do something – we find that users really see the value in it. Whereas as you said, you just open it up and it’s just kind of a blank canvas and you go, “OK, now what?”, and you don’t get any help, it can be intimidating. So what we try to do is TechSmith is all about making video creation easy, so we take it as our personal mission and responsibility to make it easy for you to get over that initial hurdle.
Rich: Absolutely. Now have you been able to take any of these videos and repurpose them for other platforms? Has that been successful?
Dave: Yeah…. I mean, we…
Rich: That did not sound like the most enthusiastic “yeah” ever.
Dave: It’s something that we struggle with as far as there’s a bandwidth issue involved in this. Facebook is as important as YouTube, which is as important as Google AdWords. I mean those three to me are the pillars of your marketing strategy. And Facebook is relatively new, especially the whole video game on Facebook, that really took off in 2015, so we’re at the really early stages there whereas at this point YouTube is a little more mature and that really blossomed around 2007-2008, there’s a little more maturity there. So the same content doesn’t work across all different platforms.
Example, we all know that on Facebook silent videos work really well because people check Facebook on their mobile device and they don’t turn up the volume and they want to be able to watch it anywhere without fear of people being disturbed by the sound. But on YouTube people typically watch it with the sound on. That right there means that you can’t really repurpose the same content at all times, it doesn’t have quite the same effect. YouTube videos can be a little longer, they can be a little more in depth. Facebook is trying to get into longer form content, but again, just the nature of that scrolling, as long as you just keep scrolling, so it has to be a lot more bite-sized we find.
So I’m talking about sound, and I’m talking about length, and those are things that are kind of baked in to any video you make so it becomes a real bandwidth issue for us because we want them to be the same, we want to treat YouTube equally with Facebook and vice versa. But what I think happens to us at times, and I think can probably happen to a lot of marketing teams with limited bandwidth, is you find yourself just rubberbanding back and forth of them. Ok, we’re going to do all these videos for Facebook and then you do them and you go, “Oh, but we haven’t touched YouTube in 3 months.” And then you go and you make a bunch of YouTube videos and then you go back to Facebook. Because it’s really hard as you add on a whole new platform to kind of just double everything. It becomes a real bandwidth issue and it’s something that I think we struggle with probably like any marketing company struggles with it, because the time of Facebook is an up and comer but really a YouTube channel… that has all been blown to bits. They are both very important tools in your marketing toolbox and they have to be treated with a lot of care and that takes a lot of time and effort.
Rich: That makes a lot of sense. Hey this has been great, you’ve been very informative. If people want to learn more about you, more about TechSmith, where can we find you?
Dave: You can find me on Twitter, I’m @davidpatton6. I haven’t been on Twitter lately because it’s been rough on my soul going onto Twitter at times. So I’ll check my Twitter in the next few weeks and see if anybody wants to reach out, but I haven’t been on there much. But that’s where I’m at, feel free to reach out anytime.
Rich: And of course TechSmith is at…?
Dave: TechSmith.com, and we’re the makers of Camtasia and Snagit. Give one of those products a try, I think you’ll love it.
Rich: Alright David, thank you very much for your time today.
Dave: Thanks so much, Rich.
Dave Patton knows the importance of video in this ever changing world of content marketing. Check out how his company, TechSmith, is making it easier to create video content for marketers. And be sure to follow him on Twitter to reach out and see what else he’s up to.
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he just added “author” to his resume with his brand new book!