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Episode 19: Facebook Video Ads and Video Completion

Facebook is changing how video completion rates affect your ad delivery. Tune in to learn how to tweak your video ad strategy for these new changes.

Episode Transcript — Facebook Video Ads and Video Completion

00:02 Steve Weiss: Hey, everyone! Welcome back to today's podcast. This is Spend $10K a Day. Today I have...

00:08 Stewart Anderson: Stewart Anderson. [chuckle]

00:10 SW: And me, Steve Weiss. Today, we are gonna be discussing some updates to the Facebook ads algorithm around video specifically. So video is the new... Obviously the hottest thing right now on Facebook. Facebook is prioritizing video in the newsfeed, they're prioritizing it in how they serve ad impressions, impression reach, etcetera, etcetera. And the way advertisers are leveraging videos specifically for direct response is becoming more and more fascinating.

00:44 SA: Yeah, it's been a really great tool. A lot of people don't understand it's great top of funnel, but it's usable pretty much anywhere in the funnel. You can use it to create various different types of messaging, target just people at specific stages of the funnel. There's a lot you can do with it, and it's very cost-effective right now on Facebook.

01:02 SW: Yep. And more and more, Facebook wants advertisers to set up conversion objectives around people to stay on Facebook, and they're rewarding advertisers for that. And the way advertisers, or specifically direct response advertisers capitalize on these conversion objectives on Facebook is by allowing Facebook to build even better audiences for remarketing or re-engagement, a.k.a, "I'm gonna show you a video view campaign and then I'm gonna remarket it to all the people who've watched my video view campaign."

01:33 SA: Yeah, definitely. I think, especially if you've got a really, really effective video that's getting a lot of shares and things like that, somewhere where the reach, the cost per view effectively is below a cent, you can build those remarketing audiences really, really quickly. Even if you're being a little precise about it with some of the tools we're gonna talk about today in terms of video completion, because Facebook allows you to actually restrict audiences, or narrow down audiences based on how much somebody has viewed of your video.

02:03 SW: Yep. So, Facebook updated their algorithm today and they said that video completion is now gonna be a huge variable in if they show your video on the newsfeed, both organic as well as paid.

02:16 SA: It's huge.

02:17 SW: Which is huge, because now it's rewarding advertisers who create highly engaging, highly watched video content, especially DR advertisers who are creating interesting, engaging and fun ways of watching video.

02:31 SA: Yeah. There's always been, for a while now, video ads, you had the ability to create these retargeting audiences and narrow down these remarketing audiences based on, did they watch three seconds, did they watch 75%? Did they watch the whole thing? But this is taking it a whole other step and it's basically enabling advertisers who are, as you say, creating highly engaging video content to get even better ad delivery.

03:00 SW: Yep, and I think this goes back to the whole thing of, "Let's create video just to have video conversation." I think there's a lot of brands out there who are like, "Whoa, we need to have videos in our DR ads because video is hot." Well, you know that's kind of the 1.0 version. That's the year ago version of, "Let's just generate some video just to have video." And what you saw was a lot of advertisers just cutting up their images, putting them together and editing old video content. And the fact is, that the next greatest thing on Facebook is actually becoming a real marketer on Facebook, figuring out the psychology of your users, what's gonna disrupt their finger on the newsfeed, what are they gonna watch for more than 10 seconds? And I think that's the evolution, and that's where Facebook really wants people to spend their time and energy.

03:51 SW: So video completion, I feel like, is the new CTR, it's the new click-through rate. So now, the question is, when you produce videos, what is your organic video completion rate? What percentage of people seeing your video are actually completing it? Instead of looking at just the view, now the question is your completion rate because now, if you have a high completion rate on your video, now you could actually scale that campaign.

04:16 SA: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things that I think is gonna be really interesting for advertisers, 'cause when we talk about length, a lot of the time, we tell advertisers, "Hey, if you can create a really engaging 30 to 45-second video, that's the sweet spot." You get somebody, you don't have to worry about keeping their attention for a long time, but you have enough time to tell a little bit of a story.

04:35 SW: Yep.

04:35 SA: So one of the things that's part of this update to Facebook's algorithm is, let's say they're trying to rank two different videos against each other in their algorithm and the same person has viewed 75% of a minute-long video and they've watched 75% of a five-minute video. The five-minute video, even though they're similar percentage completion rates, the five-minute one is gonna be ranked higher because the total view time is higher. It's more engaging if you can get somebody to watch 75% of something that's five minutes long versus 75% of a minute-long video. So, that's pretty interesting.

05:11 SW: Yeah. And part of the algorithm is view time, view percentage, the point is that they want people engaging with the creative that we're producing. They want it to be less and less looking like ads. If you can create a native ad experience to your user base, you're gonna win on Facebook. And I feel like that's kind of the reason why we're becoming, personally, me, Stu, and MuteSix, we're becoming more of a creative focused agency where we're trying to continuously build our team around not just campaign people, but also creative people, people who understand how to build ad images, how to understand video, how to understand the psychology of consumers, because so much of it now is psychology. It's not about hacking an algorithm or hacking Power Editor to direct link.

06:01 SA: Yeah. It's a really important skill set. It's basically being able to say, "How do we create something that's gonna be high converting in video on Facebook, and how do we produce that as quickly as possible and as cost effectively as possible?" It's a really, really important thing. It's, in many cases, as important or even more important sometimes than the optimization aspects of being a good campaign manager. That creative is super, super important.

06:27 SW: Yep. So just to recap, high level of this new video completion update to the algorithm, video is the new CTR, video completion, should I say, is the new CTR. Now Facebook is basing how much ad reach you get on your ads based on video completion percentage. The more engaging, the more complete people watch your video, the better you're gonna do on Facebook. And having a strategy around scaling your campaigns, especially your video ad campaigns on prospecting around video completion percentage is probably the best of idea. We've already started doing that in-house of really figuring out which videos are getting the highest completion percentages and really figuring out which audiences and then scaling campaigns based around that.

07:11 SA: Yeah. I mean I think, to tie it all together here to complete the episode, now we're looking at potentially a situation in which advertisers or content creators on the organic side as well, they should be looking at slightly longer content potentially, more engaging content... Do you think if you're a Facebook advertiser right now, you might be looking and saying, "Okay, I have these 30 to 45-second videos that I'm producing for Facebook. On my website homepage, I have this great video but it's like two, two and half minutes long, do you think some of them are gonna be starting to put more ad dollars behind promoting that website video right on Facebook and seeing how that performs?

07:50 SW: It's possible, I mean, you're always thinking of, "Just get someone to watch my video top of funnel." Well now the question is, is it's getting a little bit more marketing focused. If we can get someone top of funnel, when I say top of funnel, I've never heard of you, I've never seen you before, it's my first time I've ever engaged with you, if we can get them to watch a one minute video, how much from a probability perspective is it probable that they're gonna purchase an item later on down the funnel? And if you could make that work at a one minute video, top of funnel, not a lot of people are really thinking about that. They're just thinking about the best practices from two months ago which was generate a shitload of video views, top of funnel, remarket to those video views. Well now the question is if you take that to the next step is, how much can we get a large swath of consumers to watch a viral piece of content?

08:37 SA: Yeah. It's a really good plan.

08:39 SW: How long and how much?

08:40 SA: Yeah, I think it's like anything in the space, it's gonna be a lot of testing and iteration, and figuring out what works for your specific business.

08:49 SW: Yeah. I think what's really interesting, the reason why I love doing these podcasts is because it forces me personally to keep thinking about different angles and different areas of how to leverage Facebook's ad algorithm. I think there's a lot of stuff that both me and Stu collectively don't know, and we're always learning just as everyone at Facebook is, just as everyone who markets on Facebook is, and I think the evolution now is thinking of yourself as a big picture marketer and not someone who's trying to hack something.

09:19 SA: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's worth saying, show me a marketer who says he's done learning and I'll show you a marketer who's completely wrong. I think there's no one on Earth, especially you and me, we're pretty good marketers, there's no marketer on Earth who's ever done learning 'cause everything's constantly changing.

09:37 SW: Totally. Couldn't agree more. Well, thanks for your time today. My apologies. Sometimes I have brain farts in the middle of podcasts.

09:48 SW: But thanks for everyone's time today. We're gonna be keeping this dialogue going on video. Videos are such a hot topic right now and I want to continuously focus our podcast around video, around our learnings, because there's just so much to share. It's just such an amazing space and time to be a marketer.

10:04 SA: Absolutely. We'll see you next time, guys.

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