Besties for smart marketing and engagement - Video + Facebook Ads. Expert Interview with Tracy Petrucci.
I sat down with super smart Tracy Petrucci, a Facebook ads specialist and owner of Tracy Petrucci, a boutique social media marketing agency in San Diego. Below are some of the highlights from our conversation about video for Facebook ads - what works, where to start, ideas for ads to leverage, what is retargeting and why its awesome, and more!
Why should people even try a video for Facebook ad?
Well, okay, how much time do we have? : )
I have multiple reasons but I would have to say one of my favorite reasons for using video as an ad is the ability to re-target people who have watched it all the way through.
So, if your video goes out and loses interest a few seconds in and they move on down their screen, they're probably not the right fit for whatever it is that you are selling or talking about. And what's nice is Facebook allows you to create an audience of people at any stage.
Maybe you want people who watched it at half. Maybe you want to go all the way to 95%. Maybe you want to re-target all the people who stopped watching 10, you know, 10 seconds in and try a different video.
I mean, you can look at it any way you want to look at it. But that is, absolutely, my favorite reason to try using a video in an ad. It's to single out the people who are in to you or what you're doing and who are not, and follow up with other ads to those interested people who watched the whole video.
So about how long do you think a video ad on Facebook should be?
Well, there are a lot of opinions on this matter. And I like to remain really open-minded about it. Because there are really interesting trends right now in video marketing that I've kind of been trying to get my clients behind for a while and now, it's nice to see more people talking about this.
I just went to a conference in Atlanta and, by far, my favorite session that I went to was this guy talking about how make a passion in brand. And he used really amazing examples like Yeti cooler, and Patagonia.
Because what they are doing is they are making almost like these mini-documentaries that are very just about, like a story-related. Like maybe one of they're best customers or, you know, a brand advocate or some angle of their business that is just so not like a marketing video. It's just a real cool artistic story that involves, that is somehow connected to them. Which clearly is going to be out of budget for a lot of people but it just leads me to the answer which is any length of video will be fine, it's just going to serve different purposes.
So, again, I've never been afraid of the long video because, in my opinion, the longer it is, the better qualified lead you're going to have at the end if you are re-targeting people who watched it all the way through. So don't be afraid of a long video. Sometimes you need a long video to talk about what you need to talk about.
You'll kind of hear the industry standard response of, you know, two minutes or less. And now it's like 30 seconds or less.
I think it just depends on what you're trying to do. Which I know is not the best answer but I think, again, if we're talking perfect world, budget is no question, you would create a variety of videos with a variety of lengths and you would use them for different purposes.
I think that is the true answer so I'm glad that you went there and didn't say, "30 seconds, all the time." I usually start out just by saying 30 seconds is a good place to start. Or, do a minute video -
Yeah, I think so because that's not intimidating.
Right, exactly. But then the deeper conversation is around how is the video structured. And we get into that quite a bit in our program. But it's completely about the story arc and what it's going to say in your video. So, a one minute video can seem really long or it can just go by in a heartbeat.
Yeah, it can go either way. And you're right. It depends how creative you are. It depends on so many factors. And if you can pack a punch in 30 seconds, why wouldn't you, you know? Especially because it is, budget-wise it's going to be easier. You have no excuse not to create a 30 second video.
So what else do you think makes for great video ad content? Is it more, like, the person talking or examples or is it, do slideshows work just as well? Do you have any thoughts on that?
I do not think that slideshows work as well, if I am being completely candid with you. Sometimes, you know, some of the first questions I ask my clients are what do we have resource-wise? Do we have any videos? And sometimes they're like, yeah I have a video.
And they send it and it's just like slideshow images. To me, that's not really a video.
But I really don't think it's as effective to do that. The other really popular one that I see a lot is sort of that animated explainer video. And I have mixed feelings on that as well. I think that it's affordable, so again, why not start with it and try it?
Not everyone can do this super beautiful, with panning, like documentary style video and so we have to be realistic.
Videos that tell a story are great. I like just like Q and A videos. So maybe you take your FAQ, this is one of my favorite things.
Take your frequently asked questions and turn them into, like, a video series of ads in your re-targeting. So let’s say somebody hits your website and they don't convert, you can re-target them and follow them around with, sort of, it's like a drip campaign almost.
Like you would do in an email, but with video. And be kind of answering what you would be conceiving as, like, the questions you would be getting from people. I love FAQ style videos in a little series that you follow around with ads. I love that.
What else? Always put the captions. You know, Facebook allows you to add the captions in later or they'll try to auto-caption them and then you have to go through and check that they're correct.
It's really tempting to be lazy about the captions and just not have them. But as a user of social media, and this is pretty standard now, if you are scrolling through something and there are not captions and you don't have the sound on, you are going to keep scrolling. And the captions are really gonna draw you in. So, I think it's really important no matter what video you have.
Yes, absolutely. Thank you for mentioning that 'cause I have been putting that in our content as well. And it's like that extra step people think, oh I don't need to do that. But it makes a huge difference. And I use Rev.com. It's like one or two dollars for a one or two minute video.
Do you have a particular client success story that you could share?
Well, all of the clients who chose to use video have some kind of an attributable success to it. There is a client I have that have stunt kites, so they're like these really crazy kites. You don't even need wind, they just can go into the air and stop mid - they're crazy. I don't understand it. But they've been my client for years. And it is really helpful for us to re-target people who have been kind of interested in these kites with these videos that actually demonstrate ... The first video, it just shows the kite in action because you can't look at a picture at a kite and understand that it's not a normal kite, it just looks like a kite. And then that gets them in and then have these little demonstrative videos that follow along behind it that kind of show, here is how you do a quarter turn. You know? You can flip it this way and flip it that way. And they are just educational and people feel like, I can do this, I'm going to go ahead and take the leap and get this kite. So that's a good example.
That's awesome. And I always feel like products like that have such an unfair advantage. You know, that and interior designers, and people that have toys, fun things, puppies.
Social media lends itself to a certain kind of product by default. That has always been the case since the beginning and that will probably always be the case. If you want to stand out with a drier, non-sexy thing you just have to be really creative. And it's not that you can't do it, but it's harder.
I also like the FAQ idea. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert. If you're not selling kites or puppies ...
Well, and you know what else? It's like, establish your style. When you use the videos, you get to showcase who you really are, what your style is, if you really love something, you know, that can be pretty apparent in video. Like, your authenticity can show through so much more in video and you will attract the people that are going to be happy working with you that way.
absolutely. And that is a great example of what you don't get from a slideshow.
I want to ask you super quickly. You said a couple times, re-targeting. Could you just, very briefly, define what re-targeting is beause some folks might not know.
Re-targeting is when you chose to specifically show your ad to people who have already taken some sort of action or know you. So it's someone who has already visited your website, it's somebody on your email list, it's somebody who is clicking on your posts on Facebook, it could be your Facebook followers.
And that's tracked with the pixel and we don't need to get into that, that's all handled within the app.
Well, I mean, some of that is tracked with the pixel, the website stuff, but you can re-target people engaging in your page without the pixel. You can track people, you can re-target your email list and your leads without the pixel. So there is actually quite a bit, video views, you can re-target all the people watching your videos without the pixel. So there is a good amount, actually, either way.
Good to know! I’'ll check that out in a little more detail later. So, my last question was, cause I'm actually learning as well, looking into Facebook Live. Do you see anybody doing any overlap with ads in Facebook Live? Or do you see any potential in that going forward?
I do and I think there's pros and cons which really builds upon what we just talked about. So the pro, the positive side of the Facebook Live turned into ad is that style of video invites engagement, it invites questions. It actually kind of has social proof and credibility 'cause, for example, let's say you did the Facebook Live and while it was live you got a lot of questions and had a lot of engagement and then you turn it into and ad and that follows it. It just looks like you got more going on. So that I like, right there, there is sort of that part of it.
And again, you get to be really authentic and off the cuff and real in an environment like that. So, if you did a good job, then yeah, turn it into an ad.
The con is if it didn't work out or you said "um" a lot, like I say, or you don't look at the camera very well, and you have most of the things that all of us have 'cause we're not experts at live videos, it might be awkward to use as an ad. Maybe you didn't like the questions, maybe you didn't get questions. There could be a myriad of reasons why you wouldn't want to turn it into an ad. And the more polished video would be the smarter way to leverage your budget.
So I think the lesson in that is practice first, and do a run through. And that is usually the case with anything you are going to live and repurpose later. You have rehearsals, right?
Yes, but you can't pay for the success of a really good live video. You could just kill it and have just the perfect people who got on and have this great thing.
You know, it could go either way. And if it goes really well that is so valuable and absolutely leverage that experience with some ad dollars.
Well thank you. Is there anything that I've missed that you would want to be sure we got in here?
I don't think so. I could probably talk all day about it so I think that you nailed it with the most important things so I think we're good.
Great. Well, if people have questions they can contact you where?
You could contact me on Facebook, on Instagram.
Thanks so much!
5 seconds. That's it.
That is all the time we have to capture attention with our videos.
There are small but important tweaks that can help improve what is called
"retention" - how long someone sticks with your video.
Here is a nice example, one that also illustrates how my background in marketing AND video production benefits our System and our clients. In a script review for one of our clients, Rebecca Reynolds Moore, Founder of InANutshell Consulting, I see that she starts by introducing herself. At first glance, you think, well, that makes sense - and it is a very common way people start their videos.
Then I notice she has a soundbite that starts with "I have a confession to make...." where she details a challenge she had been through that her audience could identify with.
I suggest we lead with that soundbite - this is called a hook.
When someone says "I have a confession to make..." doesn't that make you curious? Who doesn't want to hear a confession? Plus, she's being vulnerable right off the bat, which immediately elicits trust from the viewer.
This was brilliant choice of words.
I'm going to use this hook soon, too! Kudos Rebecca!
So I bet you want to see her video, right?
Check it out here, on her shiny new YouTube Channel. I feel like a proud Auntie. Its sooo awesome to see entrepreneurs diving into video and a real privilege to work with them on this!
To sum up, one rule of thumb for scripting your marketing videos is this - your audience is wanting to know how long its going to take to get to the point.
A hook is like a promise of what's to come. Set up the promise with a hook and then get to the point quickly.
You can also check out my 1 minute video on changing up your first 5 seconds.
All my best -
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Do you remember the messy kid in class? The one with papers flying out of his notebook, always borrowing a pen, shoes untied, and a backpack that hadn't been cleaned out since pre-K?
That's a little bit how you might thinking about video. Its the messy kid in class for your business.
It all seems like a hopeless jumble of steps and confusing gear.
It doesn't have to be that way. Different video are used for different goals, but here are some guidelines to get you going.
Note: This is a long post, taken from our Guide to the Ultimate System for FabVideos, Finally Done. To receive more tips and a free limited time 30 minute consultation on your videos or marketing video strategy, sign up here. You'll be taken to an easy to use calendar to choose your time.
Start working on your mindset around video. I have a separate post around this, because it’s a big deal for most women.
2. Now, get tactical:
Eventually you will want to set up a 3 - 6 month business video content strategy . For now, start with 2 steps:
IMPORTANT>>>>>>Don't forget a call to action that reflects your conversion goal for the video.
Have a podcast? You still need some video. Create a monthly video about upcoming speakers, or the best highlights from the month before. Do a “behind the scenes” video of your podcast set up. I know a woman with a podcast for working moms, she podcasts in her closet to hide from her kids. I totally want to see that - from her kids POV. Have them shoot it, maybe even interview her in her closet. Brilliant, right?
Once you have your list of videos you want to create, here is the key:
3. Batch those suckers.
Set up a day to do your script outlines. Set up a day to practice. Maybe you don't need a day, choose what works for you. Tell us what is different about you and your product. Who is it for? Do not use the same glittering generalities that everyone else in your space is using.
Set up one day to record all of your videos. Get some sleep the night before. Get a buddy to help you.
This is introducing you to the idea of batching your videos, which is the key to eventually creating lots of videos, efficiently.
Success mentor Darren Hardy’s Darren Daily is a genius example. Every single weekday, he sends a short, inspirational video to his email list. He is in the same chair, wearing the same blue shirt in almost every video.
He must have shot a couple of hundred videos over the course of a few days. He has leveraged that to build a huge following online in just a couple of years. Good video content is the definition of a good investment. Shoot once, use a gillion times.
Whatever your flow, ideally you are shooting 10 days before you need the videos to give you time for the edit. (more on the edit, below)
Tips for scripts and shooting:
So that's it! We've cleaned up the messy kids' backpack! Those steps will yield your 3 core business videos and a simple home video setup. There is more to cover about organizing your marketing videos, and posting them, and tracking them - it's all part of the Fab System - but lets start with getting your first batch out the door.
Now, schedule your batch video days, get your bad self in front of that camera and OWN THIS.
Because you know that messy kid in school? He's a millionaire right now with a ton of videos online!
If you have questions, I’m here for you. : )
This is taken from our Guide to the Ultimate System for FabVideos, Finally Done. To receive more tips and a free limited time brief consultation on your videos or video strategy, sign up here. You'll be taken to an easy to use calendar to choose the time that works best for your schedule.
After last week's post, where I pointed out the lack of marketing video on websites of top female coaches, I wanted to follow up with some specific inspiration.
Below are 5 YouTube channels from a random sample of life and business coaches / consultants; professional women with different niches, brands and ages.
I’m highlighting these to show you that growing your marketing, outreach and education with a YouTube channel is within the realm of possibility for any entrepreneur
You do not have to become a YouTube celebrity with millions of followers to see great ROI on a your YouTube efforts. This is a myth; please don't let it stop you.
You can improve your clients’ experience, deliver value in an engaging video format, uplevel your marketing communications, and make a difference in your business without millions of subscribers and views.
There is a catch, though.
You do have to get started, and you have to stay consistent.
You have to have a simple strategy and a system for producing your videos. Sound familiar?
Every single entrepreneur with growing video presence started with her first video. Every single one. So lets get started!
Joined Dec 2017
9, 117 views
Kylie is first because of all of these, she's the one I most want you to see. Fantastic new channel from a business coach for creatives. I like this one especially to encourage you to get started now, because look at her numbers below after just one year. She’s connected 9,000 times with viewers, some percentage (I would guess over 70% at least) of them new to her.
Can you say that about your email list marketing?
Steal this - see how she leaves her bloopers in the welcome video reel? imperfection = vulnerability = instant trust with the viewer. Brilliant, really.
Very nice YouTube channel for fitness for over 50 women. Steal this: Debra cross-markets her book with her channel, too, an excellent strategy for authors. This may account for her high number of subscribers. That and also the fitness space is huge for video.
1.4 million views
I love the energy of this channel.
Steal this: the innovative, honest storytelling, with simple visuals we could all come up with, in the welcome video.
Angel is a smart cookie. Steal this too:
An excellent example of leveraging the welcome video to tell her story and sell her journal.
Vegas baby! Good example of a professionally branded YouTube channel. Not hard if you have your branding nailed already, and you plan ahead a little bit with a graphic designer.
Steal this: Carolin shows the power of visuals and personal branding to show how clearly you can - and should - differentiate your unique brand on video.
Her subscriber numbers are a bit low, given the channel is almost 5 years old. This likely reflects a strategy of building a highly engaged following vs. masses of subscribers.
Rebecca Vocal Athlete
10 million views
Something a little different - a vocal coach.
I LOVE how she plays the video within her videos to critique the performances - check it out and see if there is a way you could do this in your business. You will get some SEO boost from critiquing high traffic videos.
Do you have a favorite channel you follow on YouTube? Let me know, I'd love to take a look.
I had a hunch so I ran an informal, very unscientific experiment.
I entered “top female business coaches” into the search bar of Google. Can you imagine how hard it must be to get first page SEO ranking for that search term?
Why would I do that? I was thinking the other day about lost opportunities. No, I don't aspire to be a top female business coach. Let me explain.
“We were actually on the phone with the airlines and decided not book.”
“We didn’t buy that car, but the test drive sure was nice.”
“Oh, we looked in that neighborhood but decided against it.”
An older aunt of mine mentioned several times over the years how she and her husband had considered one plan but decided on another. The trip to Hawaii turned into a week at the Texas coast, the test drive in a new Caddy became a nice Buick in the driveway, the real estate they almost bought but didn’t - and was worth a fortune years later.
It’s hard to place bets on choices in the moment when there is always a way to play it safe, right? Especially when time and money are involved.
How often have you thought, “If only I had known then what I know now”. Little twinges of regret over opportunities that danced right in front of us (and right out the door) seem so obvious after the fact, don’t they?
I was thinking about this in a business context in December. I ran some promotions on Facebook that coincided perfectly with their ad policy changes, and not in my favor. It had the effect of doubling the cost of what I had planned, for far less reach. Bah humbug.
I follow some successful entrepreneurs with large online audiences. They built those relationships over the last few years by leveraging a window in time on Facebook, when you could still get free reach and paid ads were dirt cheap.
After that I thought, helloooo.
Where is the window of opportunity wide open right now, something that we will wish we had noticed in a couple of years? One nice thing about the supersonic pace of change online is that you don’t have to look too far back to learn some lessons.
You do have to take action, though.
So: here is my hunch. Given basic sound business practices, the solopreneurs and small businesses that implement video now will gain competitive advantage, if not completely bypass, their non-videofied competition by 2020.
I’m making that prediction based on the exponential increase in adoption and engagement rates for video over the past few years. I show you some charts at the end of the post, but I’m not starting with them.
You know why?
I bet that, if you aren’t doing video yet, it’s not your left brain holding you back. You have heard the stats, seen the charts.
I know the reason most entrepreneurs, especially women, are not implementing marketing video is a tough combination of overwhelm, confusion, thinking you can’t afford it, and just plain old camera anxiety.
You may be wishfully thinking that video is just for the big guys and you can grow your business with a static website and email marketing. You may be thinking, “Video is for extroverts. My model is one on one clients, I get all my leads from meetings, so just get me in the room”.
That may be true for some businesses. But its possible that by 2019 you will end up working twice as hard for the same leads. You may not be interested in online video, but your potential clients are.
Here is today’s reality, again, backed up by the statistics we may like to pretend are too broad to apply to us:
If the success of your business depends upon you connecting, engaging and influencing an online audience to reinforce how you are different from the rest of a very crowded field, you should be prioritizing a video strategy now. Like, right now.
Solopreneurs, I’m looking at you; coaches, consultants, realtors, designers, advisors, experts, e-commerce products, authors, artists and more. Who am I missing? Come on down.
It is a fabulous opportunity! Here is more good news.
Look around in your space. How much of your competition is implementing a video strategy? Heck, who even has a welcome video on their homepage or maybe is dabbling with Facebook Live?
If the answer is not many, YOU are standing in front of a golden window of opportunity, wide open and breezy.
(If the answer is lots of them, don’t despair, because it is very likely you can catch up and even pull ahead if you do smart video.)
Which leads me to my experiment:
I entered “top female business coaches” into the search bar of Google.
Guess how many coaches on the coveted first page results had a business video on their homepage?
Two. One was a copy of an interview done by a local TV news, the other was a voice-over slideshow. Better than nothing, but not exactly a super high bar. Not one had a personal welcome video.
What that result is telling us is that not nearly enough coaches with otherwise healthy SEO have a video strategy. You see, Google tends to rank websites with relevant video higher than those without video.
I saw some coaches with gorgeous homepages, but very static and looking very 2010ish.
If you are a coach you might say, "Well, see, Kala, that just proves that video isn’t important in my space. If they aren’t doing it, I sure don’t need to".
Wrong. That’s shortsighted. See the inconvenient truth in the charts at the end of the post.
This means a big opportunity for you.
First, many factors come into play with SEO, but you could say that the first page ranking for that search term is kind of up for grabs.
It means that the top coaches (according to Google that day) are not integrating marketing video into their websites, and likely not into social media, either.
In other words, they have no strategy around video, the most powerful format to connect, engage and influence an online audience. The most powerful way to build trust, other than to be in person.
I’m not picking on them. I’m planning on contacting them, in fact!
I’m simply using this as an example to encourage you to see this window in time opportunity for your business. The kind of thing you will look back in a year and say, wow, that was such a smart move to get started on my video strategy.
I am hearing this from clients right now. Roberta Ryan (Ryan Business Design) forwarded an article to me that included info on the necessity of marketing video, saying "Boy, I am sure glad I am moving toward understanding and using video".
And if you aren’t doing any video, you are missing out not only on the potential for improving your SEO rankings, but also a golden opportunity to improve your positioning and connect with your followers at a deeper level. How do I know? Because statistics also show that consumers want to see more video from brands.
The reasons go on and on, but I’m not writing this post to convince anyone with numbers. If you need more convincing that video is the killer app for marketing, than maybe it really isn’t for your business.
I’m reaching out to the entrepreneurs that are frustrated because they are fired up get on this now, but don’t know where to start. Believe me, it’s not your fault.
A ton of advice online about “how to do video” is piecemeal - either marketing gurus who don’t know about video production as a SYSTEM, or video pros who want to be helpful but have legitimate overhead that keeps their fees out of reach for most small businesses. Some advice is even from folks with a YouTube channel who don’t have a background in either marketing or video production! Well meaning, perhaps, but not the complete expertise you need.
I have a unique vantage point because I have experience in both marketing and video production.
Here are some charts to get your left brain’s attention.
Big brands with big budgets tend to lead in marketing. Here is a graphic from the Content Marketing Institute for stats through 2012, so you can see the trend from way back when, in internet time -
And here is a wonky chart with petabytes on the y axis. I don’t know what a petabyte is but it must be a whole lotta gigs. See the blue bar? That’s video traffic. See how the shape is departing from linear to exponential curve? That is where my sense of urgency is coming from for you.
Or, if you are ready to take action and make fabulous progress in the next 6 months, and you would like a lot more support than a freebie download, check out our program options. Registration is currently open for a limited time.
You get access to 3 short videos that describe why video is good for business!
Kala is the Founder of Mirror Your Brilliance on Video.