Can You Run Facebook Video Ads In Sequence? Yes.

Sequenced video ads are an extremely powerful tool for education campaigns and high-dollar conversions, and are an extremely efficient way to run funnels.  You can show people one video ad until they watch it completely, then show them the next video in the sequence and ensure that they never see the first one again. It’s not simple, but it can be done. 

Article Difficulty Level: Advanced (Extremely!)

This post won’t include screenshots or tutorials. In this post, I’ll be explaining the concepts, then fleshing them out in a tutorial later – hopefully within a week or two.

Please note: As with all of my Advanced articles, I assume you have at least an intermediate-level understanding of the Facebook Ads Manager. 

Have you ever wanted to run video ads to an audience in sequence? There are many valuable uses for this. For example, if you’re trying to convert potential customers on a $1,000+ sale, you may want to show them an ordered series of informational posts, followed by FAQs, then some closing pitches. Or, maybe you’re working with a political organization or non-profit that wants to educate the public on an issue and is looking for an efficient way to do so. Or possibly, you’re just looking for a way to streamline your sales funnel and not waste money continuing to advertise to people that watch your main videos but never show any interest past your initial pitch.

Facebook ads are not necessarily designed to work this way, but the existing infrastructure can be manipulated in order to do so. When I say this, I mean that Facebook has not created any system for automating this. My hope is that they eventually will, but no current system exists (at least that I’m aware of).

“But Trey, what about ad sequencing?”

Ad sequencing on Facebook is not what I’m talking about here, let’s be clear. Ad sequencing shows people ads in a specific order. It cannot be tied to engagement or video views. What I’m talking about is showing someone one video after they’ve finished watching the previous video in your sequence.

Showing someone a series of ads doesn’t work. By my rough educated estimate, the average Facebook user sees over 150 ads per day. How many of those do you actually pay attention to? Very few. It is hard, if not difficult, to run an effective ad sequencing campaign that guarantees that people don’t see the following part of the sequence until they have completed viewing and understanding the previous part of the sequence.

I call this technique Manual Video Sequencing (MVS). Using MVS, you can run a video ad to your audience as many times as necessary until they finish watching Video 1, then run Video 2 to them as many times as it takes for them to watch it before running Video 3 to them. At each stage of the process, you can choose to stop running one or any of your previous video sequence ads to them. So, you can keep running them through Video 3, 4, 5, etc while continuing to show them Video 1, or you can ensure that they are never shown a video preceding their current place in your sequence.

As I said, hopefully Facebook will eventually come out with a tool to automate this. If you are reading this and work at Facebook, maybe you’ll pass this along to the right people. Who knows.

Okay, let’s get to work.

If you’ve read this far into this article, I assume you know what Custom Audiences are, and how they work. You can create a Custom Audience based on the amount of one or more of your specific videos that someone has watched. You can then use that Custom Audience to target people by inserting it into an Ad Set, adding it to a Saved Audience, or creating a Lookalike Audience.

To create a video sequence, you’ll need to upload every single video in your sequence into the Ads Manager. Go ahead and create all of your ads, leaving the targeting blank or randomly targeting a country. You’ll need to publish all the ads and immediately turn the campaigns off so they don’t run. This is because you can’t create a Custom Audience off of a video until you actually upload that video (duh). Even if the videos you’re using have already been uploaded, you’ll need to do it fresh, as your existing videos will already have views, causing those people to see them out of sequence once everything is up and running.

This is very important: You MUST create a NEW Ad Set for EACH video ad. This will not work at all if you put all videos in the same ad set, as you will have custom targeting settings for each video.

There are other ways to upload your videos for audience set up, but the above is the one I usually use. I’ll sometimes upload each ad, then create the next audience in the sequence and apply it one by one, but that’s a bit harder to walk you through if you aren’t already very familiar with the concept. Once you’ve done it for a while and gotten used to it, you may find that to be more efficient – and I’ll try to do a follow-up article at some point explaining the method.

Now, you’ll need to create a Custom Audience for each of your videos. You’ll find this in the “Engagement” section if you’ve never used it before. You will be able to choose your percentage of video watched, and the video(s) you want to apply the criteria to. The percentage you use to move people to the next video in the sequence will vary depending on your objectives. I usually set the first video in the sequence at only 25%, to push people into the funnel easier. Once in your sequencing funnel, I usually only move people to the next stage after they’ve  watched 75-95% of the current video. This will obviously depend on your media and objectives. If you don’t have your CTA or critical info until the end of your video, you’ll need to set it at 95%.

Do this for each of your videos. I usually label them [VIDEONAME] – [%%]% vv, or “Video 1 – 75% vv” – “vv” meaning “video views.”

After this, you’ll want to go back into your ad sets that you’ve created. On Video 1, you’ll target your current audience – whoever that may be. No narrowing. On the ad set for Video 2, you’ll add two Custom Audiences. First, include “Video 1 – 25% vv,” if you used my labeling system. Then, EXCLUDE “Video 2 – 95% vv,” or whatever you set it to. This last step makes sure that they’ll stop seeing each video in the sequence after they’ve watched it. For Video 3, you’ll include “Video 2 – 95% vv” and EXCLUDE “Video 3 – 95%” and so on.

The end of your sequence will depend on your overall marketing objectives. In most cases, the setup will be the same, just without the exclusion audience.

Your overall setup will vary widely depending on your specific marketing goals and sales funnel. I highly recommend creating a mindmap and fleshing everything out before beginning – otherwise you’ll be far more error-prone, and the task will take far longer. I prefer the free version of SimpleMind for this.

If you read this and understood it, please leave me a comment with feedback and any questions you have. I’m going to work on creating a more detailed walk through, and it’ll be helpful to know what information I should add.

Thanks, and see you next time.

Disclaimer: You probably expect a sales pitch now. Nah. I’m just a nerd that likes writing. I hope you enjoy it.

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Achieving Hyper-Relevance Through Geographic Microtargeting Of Facebook Ads

Can I target people on Facebook in one specific building? Can I show Facebook ads to people at a particular event? Yes! An expert explains:

Article Difficulty Level: Advanced

Ever wanted to run Facebook ads to people in one building, at a convention, or other event? Have you been told that’s impossible by so-called Facebook “experts” or “consultants?” It’s not. I do it all the time for my own businesses and my clients. It is easy and effective once you get the hang of it. Combine it with killer content and you’ll be on your way to success in no time.

Please note: The following article assumes an intermediate-level understanding of the Facebook Ads Manager. I will not be taking the time to explain beginner-level aspects step by step. However, even beginners will benefit from the strategies and tactics discussed below. 

Geographically microtargeted Facebook ads. Sounds like a complicated thing, doesn’t it? It sounds like it costs a lot. It sounds like you need some special third-party program that cost millions of dollars to develop and charges a high monthly premium. If you Google how to do this, you won’t find anything. 95% of the so-called Facebook “experts” charging hundreds of dollars an hour will tell you that it’s impossible. They are wrong. For me and the clients I assist and train, targeting very specific ads to people inside of single buildings or at a local event is a routine thing.

These ads are extremely effective. It’s not just the targeting that makes the difference. Your targeting allows you to run very specific messaging that you normally couldn’t get away with.

Imagine this: You have a booth at a large, important convention. You’ve paid hundreds of dollars to be there and are desperate to make the most out of your time. You take a quick 30-second video of you standing in front of your booth. “Hey guys! It’s awesome to be here at the convention with y’all. If you’re in the main event room, just turn right when leaving out the main door and I’m the fourth booth on the left. I’ve got some goodies to give away to anyone that mentions this video, so come on by!” Now what do you do with it? Armed with Geographic Microtargeting (“GMT”), you can then boost that video to ONLY people who are physically inside the convention center. Not just in their news feed, either. You can insert your video into the websites they are browsing (Audience Network), slide into their Messenger app, and pop into their Instagram. Imagine how effective that would be.

I’ve done this. I have a vending franchise that works with K-5 schools. I was at a convention with approximately 3,000 elementary school educators once. I did exactly what I described above, except it was a photo instead of a video. I had school principals walking up to me for a week during that convention saying “I’m not sure how you got onto my phone, but I’m interested in hearing what you have to say.” We’re talking about a product where my customer LTV exceeds $1,000, so that kind of interaction is invaluable. For approximately $150, I generated about a dozen leads during that convention that I knew for a fact were because of my Facebook ads. I had many more that I suspected were due in part to the ads I ran. Once I pulled that off, I began integrating the strategy into my training sessions with other business owners. I love seeing their eyes light up when they realize the potential!

The potential is incredible. People respond best to content that is hyper-relevant – content that forces them to stop scrolling. “We make great sandwiches!” Doesn’t make you stop. “Stuck at Helen Keller Hospital for lunch? We’ll deliver a delicious sandwich straight to your room.” Now, THAT makes someone stop. It makes you think, and it makes you react. It makes you wonder – how did they know?! If you don’t know how Geographic Microtargeting works, you are left with the assumption that this restaurant is running ads across your entire area that conveniently seem relevant to you and pretty much ONLY you. I guarantee you – whether you order lunch from that restaurant from that ad or not, you’ll remember them next time you’re in the area.

Screenshot from 2018-08-25 20-04-26

 

 

HOW DO YOU ACCOMPLISH THIS?

Now, I mentioned at the beginning of the article that I’m going to assume that you have an intermediate-level understanding of the Facebook Ads manager. Therefore, I am not going to waste time explaining how to create an ad. There are thousands of free tutorials out there for that. I’m here to talk about something unique. All I’m going to address is how to create an audience that is Geographically Microtargeted. I’ll also note that this is only accurate to an extent. By my rough measurement through trial and error, I estimate the accuracy to be somewhere from 100 feet to about 1/10th of a mile. So, you can’t target one house in the middle of a crowded neighborhood, or you’ll get the surrounding houses and roads as well. But it works great for a building the size of one city block or larger – like any convention center. The main goal is to get your radius FAR below the generally accepted minimum of 1 mile.

The concept is simple. We’re going to take some basic elements that most Facebook Ad managers know exist, and use them in an unexpected manner to deliver unprecedented results.

Let’s start by creating a Saved Audience. Go to your Audiences by clicking the menu in the top left hand corner of your Ads Manager. Click “Create Audiences” and “Saved Audience.” Now, ignore everything else and go straight to the geographic section.

You have a couple different options to start. If you know the address of where you are targeting, you can enter that as your target. However, if you are dealing with an extremely large facility, your pin may not be in the center of your target, which is not ideal. In that case, you can manually drop a pin on the map, which is what I generally do. Find your building, and drop a pin on the center. Set your radius to the minimum: 1 mile.

Now, we’re going to do something a bit different. Roughly guess the distance between your pin and the exterior wall of the building you are targeting, and drop another pin outside your radius by that exact amount. You can use a ruler if you aren’t good at eyeballing this type of stuff, but you can also edit it later so it’s not that big of a deal if you miss. Drop a number of these pins (at least 4) around your main pin, each one just as far outside your radius as your middle pin is from the outside of your target building. When you finish, you should have one pin with a 1-mile radius surrounded by a bunch of other pins with 1-mile radii around that pin, none of which should overlap the original pin.

Next, hover over one of your locations in the location list. You’ll see a little dropdown arrow appear. Click that, and select “Exclude location.” You can also accomplish this by clicking the pin on the map. Do this for all pins except your original one.

When you’re done, it should look like this:

Screenshot from 2018-08-25 20-20-28

 

WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?

Exclusion zones are a not-as-well-known feature of Facebook’s geographic targeting. It’s not used very often. For most people, it’s really only useful when you’re targeting a radius around a city but want to exclude other states or cities that your radius might overlap, due to the phrasing in your copy. What we are doing is creating a complex Venn Diagram consisting of exclusion and inclusion zones that ultimately result in only one single building being targeted. At first, this takes some time to set up. It takes a while to get used to, and it took me quite a while to get to the point where I was confident enough in the accuracy to get the distance around the building just right. But it works.

Is this accurate? I’ve had some people question whether or not this actually works. Trust me, it does. Facebook tracks your location using your cell signal, your GPS, and your Wi-fi. They have your location pinned down to within 30 feet. The potential inaccuracy up to 1/10th of a mile comes primarily from people that are moving – like in a car. It just takes a minute or so for Facebook to update your location, so you may see ads a little ways away from the facility if you just left it or drove by it. It may catch some people driving by as they briefly enter the radius, but it’s still pretty accurate. I explained this tactic to a group of clients once, and I saw their minds explode as they processed what I was saying. The very next day, one of those clients sent me an excited text with a screenshot of an ad very similar to the one I posted above. They were in the parking lot next to a building I was targeting and saw my ad mentioning the building. Since they knew I worked with that business and since I had just explained it to them the night before, they knew exactly what was happening for the first time, and they were absolutely thrilled to see it in action.

It’s not complicated. We are taking some very simple features of Facebook Ads and combining them in unusual ways, that’s it. I honestly didn’t think too much of it at first, I thought everyone knew how to do it. But as I began mentioning it to my clients and other people running Facebook Ads, I realized how few people know how to do it.

This has the ability to transform your business. Not just on the reach of these ads themselves, but through the use of Lookalike Audiences (LLAs). You can use GMT strategies to build extremely precise and well-filtered Custom Audiences (CA) to base your LLAs off of. I recently showed a boutique jewelry company owner how to use GMT to identify high-relevance potential customers at a convention and then use an LLA to dynamically expand that group to begin advertising to similar high-relevance potential customers nationwide. You should have seen the expression on her face – she knew the potential of what I was talking about. Interest targeting is better than nothing, but it’s nowhere near as effective as an LLA based on a high-relevance CA. You can target people who are interested in the topic Jewelry all day long, but nothing beats taking a group of well-established wholesale jewelry purchasers and creating an audience of everyone like them in the world – and ONLY people like them.

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