How to Get 8 Million Facebook Views With a Smartphone Video

If you are looking for complex formulas and statistically tedious charts and graphs that paint a complex process, then this article is not for you. If you like to keep things simple, then you’ll like our approach. We were honored to recently discover that one of our Facebook video campaigns was featured in an article on this very StoreYa blog. The article was on the topic of messenger ads and botsWe are delighted to share our story and what we learned with you here.

The bottom line? Unprofessional, unedited short smartphone quality videos are gold on Facebook and everyone should be testing them. Several recent amateur videos shot with our smartphone cameras are now responsible for the launch of multiple successful advertising campaigns on Facebook.

The single short video above took our product from being a top 50,000 ranked toy to being a top 100 ranked toy and put our product in the mix with some of the hottest toys online. We went from selling 1-2 units daily to selling 150+ units per day on a brand new product within days.

In many cases, we are now outperforming major big brand competitors in our category with the simplest of strategies and with the least amount of work possible. Our short, mostly unscripted videos are typically shot in one take and then tested on Facebook with a few dollars of ad spend.

Around the office we call this our ‘Proven Audience Formula‘ (aka “PAF”), but there’s actually no complex formula involved. Perhaps what might surprise you the most will be an overwhelming sense of how truly simple all of this really can be.

For the skeptic, that video featured above was not a flash in the pan good luck event. We are doing this with predictable repeated success. We’ve used versions of our strategy to accomplish numerous targeted objectives in our office including:

  • Get more customers to a restaurant client
  • Boost sales at a specialty retail store
  • Sell shirts on Amazon Merch
  • Sell a single unit of a hard to sell item on Amazon
  • Build incredible growth inside a Facebook group and monetize it
  • Announce an event and attract the perfect audience

…and perhaps our favorite so far, which is the main topic of this article, is to boost several products from poor ranking on Amazon.com and turn them into top sellers!

Part of the beauty of Facebook advertising is that not only is testing inexpensive, but your results are produced rapidly. You can see results within hours in many cases, and within a couple days at the slowest. The total expense is typically $5-$20 in ad spend for each simple test. These simple parameters are possible because of the fact that billions of prospects are so tightly gathered and easily targeted on Facebook.

Our Strategy

Our team hosts several live events annually to bring together our community of creative online business building entrepreneurs from around the world. Recently, as one of our large events was only a couple of weeks away, my business partner Brett and I discussed the goal of producing a brand new “start from scratch” example of our “Proven Audience Formula” so we could share a hot-off-the-presses example of success with our attendees. We decided to go for one million views before our live event began, and to attempt to get our brand new product ranked in the top 1,000 toys on Amazon.

To help meet our goal my partner Brett had the ideal strategy:

With virtually zero planning, scripting or practicing he took out his smart phone shortly before dinner the evening after our conversation. He asked his young daughter to come play with the product that was the target of our test. He filmed his daughter playing with it and he mentioned in the video as well that viewers could get a discount on the item if they followed some simple instructions which he then shared.

The video was less than a minute long and is horribly unprofessional. We posted the video to Facebook and targeted a very wide audience. We rarely do much demographic targeting on Facebook initially, but instead we wait to see who our ad resonates with while casting a very wide net. Once Facebook gives us some feedback about exactly what audience is most engaged, we then turn up our targeting efforts.

Bonus: Conquering the Fear and Misconceptions of Video Content

Our Results

What happened next will likely surprise you a bit, but we’ve come to expect incredible surprises from the process. Within a few hours Brett and I knew his simple video with his daughter was a runaway hit. Views, shares, likes and loves were pouring in. The comments were fun, funny and excited. People were asking for the product and sharing it with friends and family. Once again, our strategy had lit a fire.

Our goal of getting one million views within a couple weeks for our conference was rapidly turning into a goal of four millions views in that same short time. We easily hit that goal, and shortly after our conference we were blowing past six million views with no end in site. Our total ad spend at this point was only a few hundred dollars, but we were rapidly selling out of a previously slow moving product!

By adding prospects to a messenger list (we used ManyChat) we were able to engage them with special offer coupons and invite them to view our live weekly shows on Facebook. We’ve found coupon codes to be very effective and of course with messenger, the open rates are in the 85-90% range with every broadcast mailing. We provide go live video experiences for our community and they love it.

The simplicity of our strategy represents a huge opportunity for us as marketers – unless of course you are paid on salary at a large marketing firm with huge overhead and still using outdated, complex strategies to produce high end video. I’m fairly confident that as news of simple strategies such as our process begin to ripple out and penetrate business culture, we’ll quite possibly see an increasingly rapid disintegration of many of the old video marketing models.

Here are the factors which have lead to the power of our strategy:

  • Billions of us are on Facebook all day every day interacting with people we trust and like. This is not a platform for your ads as much as a platform for connecting.
  • We are all ignoring traditional marketing and advertising messages in increasing numbers. Stop blasting out commercials. No one wants them anymore.
  • A referral from someone we trust is far more powerful than any traditional ad could ever be. Any of us can now connect with large numbers of people and gain trust almost instantly and get “shares”
  • Video is the future of online interaction and communication. Quality is irrelevant – transparency is king.
  • We prefer to interact with people we like and trust instead of being swayed by corporate messaging. We don’t trust big brands as much as we do “real” people.

Bonus: 7 Small Businesses Killing it with Video Content

If you’d like to be kept in the loop on the developments of our PAF process and get access to our soon to launch book on the topic (with numerous PAF success examples in more detail), please click here

 

Jim Cockrum

Article submitted by Jim Cockrum and Brett Bartlett co-founders of the "Proven Audience Formula", "Proven Amazon Course" and operating partners at DynastyToys.com".

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