Facebook has added a new way for marketers to create and target Custom Audiences - through video viewing behavior. This gives marketers a quick and handy way to target users who've engaged with video content on Facebook and Instagram.
Custom Audience Basics
If you're not up to speed on Custom Audiences, we recommend you read Didit's free e-book, Using Facebook Custom Audiences to Improve Ad Performance, which provides an overview of Custom Audiences along with a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process.
If you're comfortable with the basic process of creating a Custom Audience, Facebook's new video viewing targeting feature is easy to implement.
The feature appears once you've logged into Ads Manager and are in the "Create a Custom Audience" window. Just below "App Activity", you'll see an "Engagement on Facebook" button. Click on this button.
Now you can specify how much engagement you'll be asking of your new Custom Audience. You can choose how much time each viewer has to spend on your video, and can select a time period: up to 180 days.
Obviously, your strongest fans will have the longest video watching lengths. Be aware, however, that by focusing only on strong engagers, you'll be making your Custom Audience smaller. Facebook has a threshold (20) below which it won't operate, so don't make this group too small (Facebook will warn you if it is). Click "Save" to continue.
On the next page, you can select which video to use in your new Custom Audience. Facebook gives you the total view count for each uploaded video, but it's important to note that unless these views occurred in the past 180 days, they won't be included in your audience. Click "Confirm" to continue.
Once you've selected your video (or videos), you're done, although it can take up to 30 minutes for each new Custom Audience to be created.
How marketers can use this
Custom Audiences are relatively new, and the potential rewards of using them remain great. They let marketers track and market to prospects and customers in a way that sidesteps the weaknesses of cookie-based targeting.
Anecdotal reports from the field suggest that savvy marketers are already seeing major improvements in campaign performance through the clever use of Custom Audiences.
The new video engagement targeting feature is especially useful for marketers who've created a number of videos on different themes or topics. For example, a marketing agency that's created videos on the topics of PPC, SEO, and Social Media can easily create three distinct Custom Audiences against which very specific campaigns may be aimed.
Facebook continues to be a leader in Custom Audiences and it's been interesting to see Google and Twitter follow suit in the past year. As we've noted before, Facebook is making a huge push into video and it's not a big surprise to see video viewing emerge as a targetable Custom Audience behavior.
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