Decreasing Facebook Advertising Costs? Easy, Use Video Ads!

facebook ads Nov 02, 2017

This post originally appeared on my agency blog (Visify), here.


We’ve all noticed it.

Videos are taking over Facebook.

Two years ago, my feed was bursting with wedding announcements and baby pictures. Now, it’s chock full of videos of inspiring news stories, voters taking on their Congresspeople, and disembodied hands teaching me how to make (admittedly amazing-looking) lasagna.

Since I’m a marketer – and a good portion of the work I do for clients is on Facebook – my first question when I noticed this trend was, “How can I take advantage of it to get greater ROI for my clients?”

This isn’t as easy as it seems.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely true that Facebook LOVES driving eyeballs to its videos. Last year, Facebook videos received 100 million hours of views per day. It’s also true that video can be an extremely powerful marketing tool. According to Adobe, shoppers who view videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase a product than those who don’t.

But … there’s a danger to video advertising and if we are not smart and strategic, we’ll end up throwing money away.

Watching a video is already a commitment and a video ad runs the risk of asking audiences for too much too quickly. In many cases, we ask users to watch a video AND click through to a landing page AND give their email. That’s okay, if done tactfully.

Sometimes, though, marketers push too hard and waste the goodwill that is built when introducing a brand with great content via a video ad.

So, how do we get users to watch the clip and become a lead? How do we turn those eyeballs into value?

At Visify, we’ve developed a two-step method that slashes the cost of acquiring leads for our clients while simultaneously growing their brand and their audience.

Step One: We use video ads to pique the interest of a huge, targeted audience.

Basically, we keep things simple. In the first ad – a video ad – we introduce our client by offering pure value to a large targeted audience. The goal here is to engage potential customers by providing entertaining, useful content. We use low-production, easy-to-create videos that warmly introduce users to our client. (More on that later.)

What’s amazing is how cheap it is to reach a mass audience with these videos. The cost per view can be as low as 1 cent! (That’s $0.01!) And this is for an audience reach that can be larger than half a million people…

That’s roughly the same cost per viewer as you’d get if you dropped $20,000 on a commercial for Jimmy Kimmel Live. And with TV advertising, there are no targets. No chance to introduce yourself with a delightful 5-minute video. Just a 30-second spot, broadcast to the 2 million random watchers falling asleep on their couch after midnight. (Assuming they are even watching it live.) Ouch.

We recently ran a product launch for one of our VIP clients. We spent just a few thousand dollars on a set of pre-launch video ads which we ran on Facebook, and gained a new list of 64,000 people who watched for at least 10 seconds. That, in itself, was a valuable asset for the campaign.

But it was just where the value began. Those ads, which cost just $.01 per view, reached 400,000 additional users who didn’t stop for a full 10 seconds that time – but did learn (and remember) who our client is. They were warming and helping generate buzz by liking, commenting, and sharing. In just a few weeks, that product launch generated 32,000+ new fully opted-in leads and 7 figures in revenue. Those initial video ads were critical to the success of the Facebook ad campaigns that followed them. All-in-all, the Facebook ads generated a 450% return on ad spend.

Producing Video Ads: Way easier than you think

When I mention video ads to a client, their first reaction is usually to panic. Their mind jumps to Don Draper-style pitches, endless script rewrites, casting calls, location scouting and, eventually, the brilliant half-a-minute ad that doesn’t recoup its value.

In a nutshell, their mind jumps to spending lots of time on a high-cost, high-risk production.

Luckily, that’s not what’s required at all. Some of the most effective ads we’ve run for clients took just a couple of hours (and in some cases minutes) to create – and cost nothing.

There’s a hunger on social media for raw, natural content and that’s exactly the type of video that can be made using a cell phone.

These two videos have worked amazingly well for our clients.

[Click on the image to watch the video]

Do you see how enjoyable and engaging an introduction this is? This was the video that helped kickstart a million-dollar (plus) product launch campaign for our client, business expert Lisa Sasevich.

We asked Lisa to make this video and I love how it turned out. It’s warm. It’s funny. And it offers valuable advice to our her core audience of do-it-yourself entrepreneurs. It does a great job initiating viewers into Lisa’s brand and demonstrating the value of her content. … All on a selfie video shot in her home.

Most importantly, as mentioned above, the campaign anchored by this video generated an incredible 450% return on ad spend (ROAS).

[Click on the image to watch the video]

We used this video, created for our client by the viral news site AJ+, for a video ad about a feature-length film called Love Is All You Need? It has a slightly higher production value than what’s typically needed for a great Facebook ad, but it’s still an excellent example of what works. It offers a personal introduction to the director of the film, and it’s provocative, spirited, and simple.

Hundreds of viewers commented and 140,000+ people viewed the video in just 14 days.

And one more…

[Click on the image to watch the video]

I mentioned disembodied hands teaching me how to make lasagna. Here it is! It’s genius marketing.

This probably took no more than a day to create and resulted in 15 million (!) views. It does exactly what a Facebook video should do – offers value and (if possible) entertains while introducing the brand.

Step Two: We retarget the people who watched those ads with lead generation campaigns. (The key to decreasing your cost per lead!)

Of course, the goal is not just to get people to like our client’s brand. It’s to turn them into leads and eventually buyers.

So it should be no surprise that the next step is a lead generation campaign.

Lead generation campaigns follow a pretty simple format (though, warning: they’re hard to do well). Our ads promise a specific and high-value piece of content for free – often an ultimate guide, video training, or useful tool (such as, these Facebook ad templates).

Once the user clicks, they’re taken to a dedicated landing page and are invited to give their email (and often first name) in exchange for the content. Voila! – they’re now a lead. Minutes later, we send a welcome email and deliver the content they requested. This initiates the path to buying.

These lead generation campaigns are way more cost-effective when we target people who have already taken the time to watch a client’s video.

In one campaign, the cost per lead for people who had watched the video was just 89 cents ($0.89/lead) – 7x cheaper than the cost for cold audiences.

This isn’t surprising. After all, 10 seconds is the length of time it takes to shake someone’s hand and tell them your name and what you do. A strong introduction is key to moving onto more meaningful interactions.

That’s what the video is. An e-introduction.

The lead generation campaign is a way to ascend to a real conversation, and ultimately a real client relationship.

Squeezing A Few More Drops Of Value Out Of The Video Ad

Before I leave, I want to mention just a couple more ways we get value from our video ads.

First, we often simultaneously run a lead generation and video campaign to the same cold audience.  While leads can be pricier this way, they can still be revenue-positive – and we get more mileage out of audiences who are being touched by video ads at the same time.

It makes sense. That audience is familiarizing themselves with the brand and noticing the content.

Also, often we use lookalike audiences on Facebook for people who have watched our clients’ videos.  Lookalike audiences are incredibly useful. You can create a targeted audience of people with similar characteristics. So, an audience of 60,000 video viewers can become 2 million people likely to engage with your content.

It’s a great way to hone in on an audience that’s going to care about your brand.


Want to learn more about how to create Facebook ads that generate scalable lead generation and revenue? Check out our 3 Facebook Ad Templates That Will Turn Any Cold Audience Into A Bucket Of Leads.


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