How to warm cold audiences with Facebook video ads

31. 1. 2019

It’s a well-known fact! People don’t buy from people they don’t know. Facebook gives us, marketers the power to hack this by using video content and boosting it on its platforms (Facebook and Instagram) to connect with potential audiences and “warm” them up. In this tutorial, I will be going through the process of building cold audiences.

We live in a world where people’s attention is hard to get and in order to break through to them and through all the noise becomes increasingly difficult. The best way to get people to know who you are and trust you is by creating content that adds value and constantly getting it in front of them. It is not enough to just get in front of somebody’s face one time. It actually takes 7 touch points to take somebody from stranger to a customer. We can hack a lot of these touchpoints by putting adding value content video.

How to use Facebook video Ads

Where a lot of marketers and companies go wrong is that they will get your attention one time and then they will immediately start running sales messages to you!

Facebook video ads are a great way to get people to know who you are and trust you before they are ready to buy and can be used across a variety of industries.

I am actually running Facebook video ads with no goals, just for the point of video views and to build audiences because I am getting ready to launch a product next month and the more people that I have in my “ecosystem” that has seen a lot of my stuff, the more receptive to my sales pitch will be. The main reasons for that:

  1. they know who I am. They’ve seen a lot of my content they trust me, and
  2. they value what I have to say.

To achieve the above, I create videos centred around very specific things. Here are a few examples:

  • a video that I did was a general marketing video where I talked about birdbox
  • another one where I talked about analytics and SEO etc.

So what I am doing, is taking a very specific topic that falls under the big umbrella of marketing, make a video on it and promote it to specific, cold audiences.

Setting up the Facebook Custom Audiences for video ads campaing

Below I outline the exact process of warming up cold audiences with Facebook video ads.

One main thing to have in mind is that you want to get the cold audience into your ecosystem. You do this by making your content:

  1. valuable,
  2. “sales pitch”-free,
  3. targeted to a specific audience.

Now that we have the content all figured out, we can proceed to the exact phases of cold audience building!

Phase one: Cold
With marketing being too broad of a topic I aim to create videos on subsets of marketing and then I am able to boost those to specific people in the marketing space. So, if I have a video about SEO I boost that to people who like Search Engine Land if I have a video about Facebook Ads I boost that to people that like Digital Marketer and so on. My goal here is to match the content with audience type.

Phase two: Less cold
My goal here is to get people to watch 3 seconds of the video. Then, I’ll create a custom audience based on that; my 3 seconds video pool.

Phase three: Warm
Here, I am warming them up a little more and get them to watch 10 seconds of the video. Once again, I create a custom audience based on those who engaged or viewed 10 or more seconds of my video.

Phase four: Hot
This the ultimate goal. To get them to become a fan and follow your Facebook Page or Instagram account. These are the people we want to promote our stuff to.

Below you will see how this translates into Facebook audiences.

  1. The 3-seconds video pool. This is a custom audience that includes people who have engaged and people that viewed 3 seconds of my videos.
  2. The 10-seconds video pool. This custom audience includes people who have engaged or watched 10 seconds or more of my videos.
  3. A lookalike audience based on the 10-second video pool. For this audience, I am using the 10-seconds video pool and telling Facebook that I want the algorithm to find people who are most likely to watch 10 seconds of my video. I use this audience and layer it with an “interest” targeting as I was describing above. In terms of ad set targeting, this means that I combine the lookalike audience and the interest to introduce them to my content and start watching my videos. Facebook will find people who, for example, like Search Engine Land AND are very likely to watch 10 seconds of my videos.

You can see here that I am getting 5 cents per video view. If you put it into perspective, that I am optimising for 10 seconds views, you can see that this may be a bit expensive but that’s how much I am willing to pay to invest in the launch of my product. So far, I have spent 500 – 600$ but I am only doing it for reach, impressions and video views. I want people to see my face over and over again .

Creating ad sets and making exclusions for my Facebook Video ads campaign

I am getting people from a cold audience by interest targeting with video but also you want to show all these videos again so the more content that I have the more times I can hit people with those touchpoints. I am not just getting to watch 3 seconds and I am done with them. No! What I am doing is I am getting them to watch 3 seconds and then with a different ad set I am remarketing them to watch 10 seconds.

How to set up Facebook video campaigns

This is the exact targeting I use for this ad set:

I include my target audience which is the lookalike audience AND those interested in Hubspot. Then, I exclude the people who are in my 3 and 10 seconds video pools. The reason I exclude them is that I have a separate ad set to engage those people in a different stage on the funnel with a different video.

This ad is targeted at only getting new people in there (cold audience). But, I am also running the same ad (same video and same content) to people just in the 3 and 10 seconds video pools to build trust and nurture them.

My end goal with these campaigns is to get to build my fan base or people who’ve been qualified by actions such as liking my Facebook Page or following me on Instagram. Those are the people who I am going to market to as they are more receptive to purchasing something from me.

What about you? Are you using Facebook video ads to qualify potential customers? Let me know in the comments bellow.


Ryan Stewart is a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience servicing clients like Target, Best Buy and VISIT FLORIDA. He currently serves as the founder of The Blueprint Training and CMO at From The Future agency.


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