How to Build an Audience With Facebook & Instagram Videos

Chuck Aikens

Social media is arguably one of the biggest sources of stress for marketing teams. It can feel like you’re just posting into the void. New algorithms and platform settings make it hard for your content to get seen in feeds and, as a result, your team may be producing high volumes of social media content just to try and get views… but it doesn’t feel like it’s working.

This lack of visibility can make it incredibly difficult to tap into new audiences, which is obviously the lifeblood of your business. So, you need to find a way to connect with new people and draw them in — and the key for many brands may lie in Facebook and Instagram videos.

On Instagram, videos receive 38% more engagement than images and there are over 8 billion video views (yes, with a B!) a day on Facebook. So, what kind of video should you be creating, and how can you plan for success on these platforms? Here, we’ll share a few tips to help you build on an audience with Facebook and Instagram video.

1. Personas take priority.

Personas are your end consumer. They represent your target audience. Basically, you want to start to personify who your target audience is. What is their occupation? What things do they value? As we shared in a recent Social Media Funnel presentation at Booyah Summit, all marketing should start here. During that presentation, we discussed how our client, ToTable, had two audience personas they built out and targeted: a professional home chef and the high-end foodie.

Beyond just the title and some short demographics of your ideal consumer(s), we recommend diving into the who, what, and why of your personas. Let’s take the example of the professional home chef from our client ToTable. Sure, he might be a certain age living in a certain area. But more than that, he’s always looking for recipes to inspire new menu items, and he wants to know that he can find ingredients for the recipes he’s found. He’d be curious about what a service ToTable could do for him… but only after he finds the recipes and ingredients that appeal to him.

This persona-building is critical to success with videos on Facebook and Instagram, and should advise the “brand awareness” content you need to create in order to appeal to this person. Your ideal consumer isn’t going to buy from you on the first touchpoint, so it’s all about crafting a social media video funnel that builds trust. But first…

2. Make sure you’re set up for success.

Now that you’ve got the personas, it’s time to start posting those videos, right? Not yet, Hot Stuff. This is where many marketing teams (or individuals, if you’re bootstrapping this whole thing) can falter. Because social media video impressions and interactions can advise future content and targeting, you need to make sure your tracking systems are set up. Whether you’re using a UTM code, a Facebook pixel to retarget individuals, or a tracking system for some other metric, you need to spend some time on the front-end making sure everything is ready to track.

3. Focus on short, high-quality videos.

For your first series of social media videos, you don’t need to have a full production team like Marie Forleo or Gary V. You can keep it short and scrappy — as this allows you to create and test content without blowing the budget. Brainstorm videos that allow you to hit your target personas with valuable content (i.e. recipes, tutorials, introductions, etc.). This is the first part of their customer journey, and it’s critical to build trust on social media — not sell to them.

Make your videos useful and focus on building awareness for your brand name and overall service, product, or offering — but don’t overwhelm viewers with the hard sell just yet. Because, if you’re connecting with a cold audience, they quite honestly won’t care.

Wondering what kind of video to create? When you are thinking about short-form video for Social Media, you could provide quick facts, do short product video shots, feature a customer testimonial, or tease a longer video or blog posts as you need to wrap things up in 15 seconds.

Remember, this is not the place to push conversions. We are simply making people aware of your brand and the short interaction will create an audience that you can target with additional marketing campaigns to move them through the buying funnel on their way to a first purchase.

4. Leverage the first brand touchpoint.

Facebook and Instagram videos are a great way to introduce your brand, and to make sure your target personas remember you just a little bit. Let’s look at it from an ideal consumer’s standpoint: They become aware of your brand, they see more content from you, and then they decide whether or not to learn more about you. As they consume more of your content, likely on Facebook or Instagram, they decide if they’re going to buy it, book it, try it — whatever your conversion is.

Their thought process centers on trust and belief: “Am I buying this story? Does this resonate with me? Do I want to engage a little bit to see what it looks and feels like? Am I going to click around their website, or maybe even ask a friend if they’ve tried it?”

The basics are: your ideal consumer is engaging with your brand somehow, and that engagement builds awareness. And you continue to build on that awareness by retargeting.

5. Retarget.

Remember those tracking systems you set up? They’re going to come in handy about now. Maybe you’ve created a few videos, gotten some engagements (clicks, “likes,” follows, etc.), and you’re wondering how to make more of what people liked, or what content will get people closer to conversion. Well, the data tells a story. With the right systems (like Google Analytics and Facebook pixels), it is possible to track who engaged with your videos, who visited your website and then re-market to them.

These tracking systems are robust and allow you to speak directly to those who’ve previously engaged with your content, building that relationship in a more organic (and clear-cut) way. As your potential consumer sees more and more of you on Facebook and Instagram, their trust factor multiplies and the further down the funnel they fall.

This is where conversion content comes in, and you can start convincing them that your brand’s service or products is really going to help them. And, because they know the value you’ve provided before, they trust you and are ready to sign on the dotted line.

It’s all about telling a story that speaks to your ideal audience

By starting with personas and creating video content that is designed to “introduce you” to your ideal audience, you can finally get traction on Facebook and Instagram. Video, rather than images and text posts, can increase brand awareness simply by embracing the nature of video: people remember 95% of what they’ve watched, compared to 10% of what they’ve read. Social media video can increase the odds that an ideal consumer remembers your brand and engages with it down the road.

And, when you connect with a wider audience, you can test what people respond to and better target them with content that is designed to convert. The best part? You can use the videos that get the best engagement to new “cold” audiences or create similar content that improves upon your first attempts. From there, you can draw people through the rest of the funnel. But it all starts with building those personas and creating video content that connects with your ideal audience on platforms they enjoy, and with the content they love consuming.