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Facebook video retargeting is a nifty marketing tactic to have in your toolbox because the social media giant makes it easy for you to keep interested prospects and advocates warm.

In essence, if you are sharing video content, either Facebook Live video, or uploading video directly to your Facebook Page, Facebook has been automatically building a custom audience for you behind the scenes made up of people who have viewed your videos for at least three seconds.

This is the foundation for retargeting; loading follow up marketing messages to people who have taken a certain action. In this case, the action will have been viewing a video on a Facebook Business Page, but retargeting can also be visiting a website, clicking a link, having placed an order, etc.

Facebook video retargeting means you can plan a journey for your Facebook visitors by “retargeting” viewers who have displayed varying degrees of interest and engagement in your video content.

Let’s have a quick think about the why, and then set out the how.

Why use Facebook video retargeting?

There are a number of reasons for using Facebook video retargeting, and also a number of methods, but let’s start with a couple of simple examples.

Imagine having an upcoming event or launch and producing a video to whet people’s appetites and get them interested in attending.

Given that many people in 2017 don’t commit to actions too far out (to keep their options open in case something better comes along – god bless FOMO), you might want to run your campaign close to registrations time and follow up with an invitation to register, buy tickets, attend, etc.

In this case, depending on your strategic goals (everything should be done based on strategy, a message I have been hammering home in my SA Tourism Industry Council digital marketing workshops, supported by SA Tourism Commission), if we assume you only had a few seats and the investment for participants was high, you might have your follow up Facebook ad/video set to trigger almost immediately after people view your initial video but have it aimed ONLY at people who had watched 50% or 95% of the content.

The logic here is that people who have watched your initial video almost to the end are the ones most likely to be more interested and engaged in your message and event/offer.

Obviously, if this were a larger event with free or low-cost involvement, you would consider lowering the bar and targeting viewers who might have watched 25% of your original video, or even less. Furthermore, you might have played an original video or two earlier in the campaign and kept these follow up, conversion-focused videos/ads for deadline time.

A second scenario might be based on using a low cost Facebook video retargeting campaign to “cascade” casual viewers of any of your facebook videos through a progression of two, three, or even more, brand awareness building videos/ads.

Here, the rationale would be to use a series of videos or ads that keep your face/brand in front of prospects, customers, and/or influencers, so they start to recognise you and become familiar with who you are and what you stand for.

And, given that Facebook video retargeting is easier to set up than most Facebook advertising (Facebook has already crafted the audiences for you) and that the cost of recirculating your targeted users back in front of more Facebook content is lower, generally, than paying to link people away from the social media juggernaut, this could be a great tool for running marketing experiments; to learn what works for you.

I have hardly scratched the surface of the many possibilities but my advice would be to think through the needs and interests of your target market, think about their ideal journey, and start with Facebook video retarting that uses simple parameters. You can add complexity later.

How to set up Facebook video retargeting

As mentioned earlier, I recorded a Facebook Live video in Mount Gambier last week for my tourism digital marketing workshop.

The technical challenge of slow internet did affect the voice sync with the video (a sad reality that many operators in regional areas face) BUT it still got its message home and thanks to Facebook I automatically have a customer audience of viewers waiting for me to “retarget”.

To save reinventing the wheel, the following instructions are drawn from this article in Facebook’s marketing resource section: How do I create an Engagement Custom Audience from video views?

SA Tourism Facebook Video Retargeting

    1. Go to your Audiences. (If you are logged into Facebook and you click that link, it should take you to the right page).
    2. Click the Create Audience dropdown and choose Custom Audience.

      Note: If you’ve never created an audience of any kind before, you’ll see Create a Custom Audiences button, not a dropdown. Everything else will be the same.

    3. Click Engagement on Facebook.
    4. Click Video.
    5. In the “Engagement” field, choose the amount of time you want people in your audience to have spent viewing videos.
    6. Click Choose videos…
    7. Choose Page or Campaign from the dropdown. (For my purposes today, we are focusing on using your Page as the source for the audience).
    8. After choosing Page, choose a Page (you might have one or more Facebook Business Pages) and check the boxes next to the video from that page you want to use. You can choose multiple videos or just an audience from one video, which is what I am doing for people who have watched the original video from the Baker Marketing Facebook Page. Have you seen it? If not, click this link now and watch all of the video. Then, you will notice my face appear soon in your Facebook feed with a link back to this article. And while you’re here, choose which viewers should be targeted:
      • If you want to reach people who have watched, say, 50% of a video it is worth noting that if you have also drawn an audience from multiple videos, people will only have had to have watched 50% or more of ONE of the videos in your catchment group to qualify as part of your audience. They will not have had to have watched at least 50% of all of them.
    9. Click Confirm when you’re done.
    10. In the “In The Last” field, enter the number of days you want us to go back to collect views.Note: If you tell Facebook to go back 30 days and a person engaged 29 days ago, they’ll be in your audience. However, if they fail to engage in the next day, they’ll then be removed from it. Anyone new who engages within the time period you choose will be added to the audience. This means that the audience is constantly being refreshed, so you don’t need to edit or create a new Engagement Custom Audience unless you want to change the time period or the type of engagement. An extra note: If your settings yield an audience of 20 people or less, it will not be useable, so either lower the time viewed threshold OR base your audience on a number of similar videos OR wait until you’ve promoted your video to attract more views first. Our little video to a group of 15 business people has yielded a base audience of 375 people in one week, just through organic sharing and growth, which is plenty for this exercise.
    11. Add an audience name (and description, if you want to). I will call mine the Limestone Coast SA Tourism Digital Marketing Audience.
    12. Click Save. It will take at least 30 minutes for that audience to be ready to use, but you can continue straight away in building the advert that will use your custom audience.
    13. Click Create An Advert Using This Audience (this is in a box that will appear, once you have confirmed your audience.
    14. Then choose the campaign type you wish to create. This could be Videos or Traffic to send people to your website, or a host of other options. Choose whichever option suits your strategic goals, set a budget, craft your content, and monitor your progress.

You now have an audience saved and you will be able to use that audience to show videos or ads to within Facebook.

Remember, start with a small budget while you experiment, try different settings, but always think deeply about the journey your target market will be on and the most helpful and engaging content that will be useful to them.

And here is the original video, in case you missed it.

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