Turn $1,700 into $38,000 with video ads


I am sure you have noticed that video has exploded onto Facebook. By my estimate, almost 40 percent of posts to Facebook have to do with video. As a marketer who was frustrated with what Facebook was doing business pages, I was excited to give video ads a try when they were announced late last year.

I own Hill Media Group, but I am also a photographer who has photographed a lot of weddings over the years. I had not been marketing my wedding photography services much recently, but I decided it would be the perfect service to try marketing through Facebook video ads. I assumed that if my ad performed like previous ads I’ve run on Facebook, I would probably book one or two new clients from the campaign. Little did I know that I would have to turn off the campaign early because of too much new business.

On average, one could expect a click-through rate of around 2 percent. I have a lot of experience with video, so I already knew that video would probably work better because movement catches the eye. On Facebook, videos start to play right away, so you can’t help but notice a video post.

I set up a single video ad instead of producing an optimized campaign which would have included multiple ads with different ad copy. That would have allowed me to test to see which works best, but I opted to keep it simple.

The video I posted was a collection of clips from weddings I had photographed and filmed. It was not even two minutes long, and there was no voiceover. The call to action was a button under the video that invited users to learn more by visiting my website.

I was able to target that video so only to the type of person who would be interested in weddings would see it. Obviously I do not want to pay money to show my video to folks who are already married. I was averaging 4 cents per video play. The video had been seen 45,446 times when I stopped the campaign, and I was receiving multiple inquiries each day through a lead generation form I set up on my website.

I originally planned to run the campaign for 60 days with a total budget of $2,000. My goal was to book two or three weddings, which I considered a decent return on my investment. I was not prepared for the influx of inquiries I would get. With no marketing at all in December and January, I received three to five inquiries each week. When this ad campaign was running, I was averaging three inquiries each day, and they were warmer leads than people who found me organically.

After booking a little more than $38,000 in new business, I decided I needed to turn the campaign off early. I love to photograph weddings, but I also love to spend weekends with my family. Wedding photography is not my primary source of income, so I try to shoot fewer than 15 weddings each year. Thanks to this ad, I met that goal in a couple of weeks.

So what do you need to have a successful Facebook video ad campaign?

  1. A compelling video. Your video needs to be interesting and what your target audience is expecting to see. My video did well because it was clips from weddings, and it was targeted to newly engaged people on Facebook.
  2. Good ad copy. The text in your ad needs to be compelling. It needs to help people understand your video and drive them to click on the link.
  3. Be specific. Do not try to market all of your services in one video. People are not going to watch your entire video unless it is a match for one of their interests. If you have multiple products or services you want to market, each needs its own video and ad campaign.
  4. Landing page. Do not drive traffic to your website homepage where people will easily be confused. Send the traffic to a landing page where it is very obvious what you want the viewer to do. If you want them to contact you by filling out a form, they need to know that. If you want them to call or visit your nearest location, tell them so. Don’t leave anything to chance. Confusion is a conversion killer.

You should also continuously test your campaign. Launch multiple versions of the ad with different text, calls to action and even variations of the video if you have the budget for that. See which ads are performing best and kill the others so they don’t use up your budget. Make continuous improvements. Never be done with testing until you are ready to turn off the campaign.

It’s only a matter of time before everybody is doing Facebook ads, which will drive up the cost and make it harder to compete.



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