As a filmmaker, you have some pretty sweet opportunities nowadays. Still, you’ll need to learn some digital marketing (and a little sales finesse) to take advantage of them. But no worries, I’ve got you covered. Welcome to your 4-step film marketing plan.

The marketing strategy I’m focusing on in this post is a technique called video view retargeting.

And no worries if you’re unfamiliar with this term – or if you don’t know how to run social media ads yet – I’ll be going over everything you need know. 

Alright, enough chitchat – let’s do this!

          *This post contains affiliate links, which I may receive compensation from. This is at no cost to you and lets me keep the lights on. Read more here…

          What Is Video View Retargeting?

          It’s important to be strategic with our marketing. And using video already gives us a leg up. 

          Simply put, video performs better and has more engagement

          But we can turn up the heat even more by using strategic retargeting with our videos.

          But what exactly is video view retargeting?

          Video view retargeting is when you send, or retarget, people with followup ads based on the percentage, or amount, of the first video they watched.

          Remarketing is an incredibly powerful strategy in its own right. Couple this with the engagement of video, and things are looking pretty good.

          In fact, running social media ads without retargeting is generally considered a fool’s errand within the marketing space.

          This is because it can take people up to 7 points of contact (or more) before they make a purchase or commitment with a new brand. 

          7 points of contact!

          This is especially true on social media platforms, which are primarily using interruption marketing

          That is, you’re interrupting people with paid ads – people who are not looking for you and are not in a buyer’s mindset.

          Compare this to Google, where people are actually searching for you – or for a search term – not the other way around

          Luckily, video has an edge for online marketing performance and immediately increases engagement and interest.

          Let’s dive in deeper on the benefits of video view retargeting.

          Benefits of Retargeting

          I’ve already mentioned some benefits of using video – i.e., it just works better. 

          But regardless of whether you’re using video or not, retargeting is a powerful strategy. 

          So here are just a few of my favorite benefits of using retargeting.

          It Creates A Sales Funnel

          Retargeting naturally creates a sales funnel for your marketing. And this is essential in online advertising.

          A sales funnel is essentially a visual representation of the customer’s journey.

          At the top of the funnel are cold traffic and people who have never heard of you. They unlikely to buy something, consume your content or take any action.

          In the middle of the funnel are your warm traffic. These people have heard of you and are starting to trust you (or know you, at least).

          Finally, at the bottom of the funnel are you fans, customers and people who know you and trust you. These people will make purchases, consume and and share your content.

          And we can gently nudge people along this sales funnel by using strategic retargeting. 

          Big win!

          It Has A Better ROAS

          Using retargeting means you’re not wasting money on sending paid ads to people who are uninterested.

          Using retargeting means you’ll have a better ROAS, or return on ad spend. 

          A common mistake beginners make with social media ads is not using retargeting ads. Ultimately, this wastes your money and ad spend.

          Because remember, people rarely buy something or make commitments at the top of a sales funnel.  

          It Allows You To Find People Actually Interested In Your Video Content

          Social media advertising lets us get extremely granular with our targeting. 

          I can literally send an to anyone aged 25 or older, who like travel, horses, tattoos and recently got engaged.

          That may seem random. But the point is, social media targeting is powerful for finding your audience.

          And retargeting will further fine-tune this pool of interests and unlock who really enjoys our product and content. 

          By the time we reach the bottom of our funnel with retargeting, we’ll have data on a very niche, specific group of people who enjoy our videos.

          This is perfect data to use in the future when you have another video projects you’d like to promote. 

          It Yields Better, More Predictive Results

          Finally, retargeting gives us more control and predictive value to our paid advertising. 

          By using retargeting, you can know with 100% certainty that you’re sending ads only to people who actually viewed your content before and showed interest.

          This increases our confidence and naturally yields better results. Retargeting ads just work way better.

          Makes sense…

          Your 3-Step Film Marketing Plan

          How to Do Video View Retargeting

          This may be surprising, but creating a retargeting campaign isn’t too incredibly difficult. 

          Below, I walk through the core steps for creating a video campaign using Facebook ads. 

          From there, I’ll show you how to use the data from the first ad campaign to create a retargeting campaign.

          Our first video ad will be targeting cold traffic. That is, people who do not know you or your brand.

          So we need to be sure we have:

          1. Good audience targeting
          2. An engaging clip or trailer of your film to show

          The first few seconds of a video are the most important. 

          For better or for worse, our attention spans on social media are that of goldfish…

          So make sure you’re capturing the audience’s attention right off the bat.

          From there, many people will drop off (unfortunately). However, some others will stay. So what happens when those people continue watching?

          Well these people are essentially raising their (digital) hand and saying “hey, this is cool…I’m interested in what you’re doing here.”

          When someone takes the time to watch 25%, 50% or 75% (or more) of your video, then it’s a safe bet that they’re genuinely interested.

          Cue the retargeting ads.

          Pretty sweet method, right? And it works. 

          OK, let’s look at how to set up these initial campaigns and followup retargeting ads.

          Step 1: Create An Initial Video Ad

          Here’s a quick breakdown of how to set up ads for Facebook or Instagram:

          1. Research and create your target audience(s)
            1. Facebook lets you build Saved Audiences, inside the Facebook Business Manager‘s Audiences section
            2. It’s a good idea to create multiple audiences to test
            3. You can create audiences based on interests, demographics, location and more
          2. Create an engaging video clip to be used in the ad
          3. Create a new campaign in the Ads Manager
            1. A good objective here is video views
            2. Campaigns have 3 levels
              1. The campaign: naming and ad objective info
              2. The ad set: where you add your audience
              3. The ad: where you add your video and messaging
            3. You can duplicate any level of your ad campaign by hovering and finding the duplicate button
              1. This is a great shortcut to duplicate all ad information, and change the audience to test different groups
          4. Publish your campaign
            1. It can take up to 24 hours before your ads are approved, so just remember to sit tight

          Step 2: Create the 1st Retargeting Ad

          1. Go to your Audiences section and create a new custom audience
            1. This is located from inside your Facebook Business Manager dashboard
          2. Select Video as your source
          3. Select the Engagement you’re retargeting for
            1. For example, “People who have watched at least 75% of your video
          4. Browse and select the video(s) you want to retarget
            1. This should be the video ad from your first initial campaign (created above)
          5. Adjust the time frame and name the custom audience
            1. It can take up to 24 hours for a custom audience to “populate”
          6. Now head to the Ads Manager and create a new campaign
          7. Go to the Ad Set level and choose your custom audience
          8. Go to the ad level and create the new retargeting ad
            1. Customize the ad with a new video that’s relevant for the new custom audience you’re retargeting
            2. For example, show them the next part of your video or story

          Step 3: Rinse + Repeat

          You can take your retargeting funnel as deep as you’d like or as far as you need before people are warmed up to your brand. 

          Eventually, you’ll want the warmed up audience to take some sort of action (such as making some purchase or signing up for something). 

          Sale usually happen towards the bottom of a sales funnel, after a lot of retargeting.

          So if you’re not getting sales after your second or third followup ads, then you’ll need to continue focusing on more retargeting or you may need to try a new audience.

          Retargeting will uncover your most engaged and interested audience – so it’s the perfect strategy as a filmmaker. 

          Useful Tools + Resources

          List is currently being updated to reflect new technology, trends and information…check back soon!


          This post has been a quick breakdown of video view retargeting for filmmakers.

          It’s a powerful strategy and done correctly, can increase sales, build brand and strengthen relationships and brand presence.

          So now it’s your turn. You can start as cheap as $5/day – why not try retargeting in your film marketing plan?

          Either way, thank you for stopping by today and I hope you found value in this post. 

          Let me know in the comments: what do you think about video view retargeting as a filmmaker?

          Categories: Filmmakers


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