Showing ads to people who have already engaged with your business on Facebook will deliver better results than showing ads to complete strangers. By creating video custom audiences, you can target Facebook ads at your video viewers.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create different video custom audiences and the campaign type that you need to use to best target those audiences.

What Are Video Custom Audiences?

First, let’s define what video custom audiences are and their position within Facebook’s ad targeting options.

You can target three temperatures of audiences on Facebook:

  • Cold—Cold audiences consist of Saved interest audience and Lookalike audiences. These are populated with people who don’t know your business yet and haven’t see your ads on Facebook.
  • Warm—These are engagement-based audiences and include video custom audiences. It is a way to group people into a new audience based on the type of engagement they have had with your business on Facebook.
  • Hot—These are website custom audiences and contain people who have visited your website, recorded by your Facebook pixel.

video custom audiences Temperatures

Video custom audiences allow you to group your video viewers based on the videos they have watched as well as their level of engagement (how much of the video they have watched). 

How to Find the Video Custom Audience Creation Tool

The first step is to navigate to your Audiences dashboard. In your Ads Manager dashboard, click on the main menu and then navigate to the Assets column and click on Audiences.

 video viewers audience navigation

Once your Audiences dashboard has loaded, click on create audience and from the drop down, select Custom Audience. This will open the custom audience menu, where you’ll see the different types of custom audience, such as customer file, website traffic and engagement. Click on Engagement to open the sub list of engagement custom audiences.

video custom audiences

Finally, click on Video from the sub list to open the video custom audience creation window. Here is where we are going to create the different video custom audiences, which will group our video viewers into new audiences.

video viewers Engagement Custom Audiences


How to Create the Different Types of Video Custom Audiences

When creating video custom audiences, you have six options to segment by engagement:

  • 3-second viewers
  • 10-second viewers
  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%
  • 95% viewers

The lower the watch duration, the larger your audience is—but the less engaged they are. There’s a trade-off between audience size and length of engagement.

As well as this, just like with other custom audiences, you also set a time duration for someone to be included in your audience. The shortest duration is 1 day and the maximum is 365 days.

Again, as with the engagement criteria, there’s a trade-off to be made. The longer the duration, the larger your audience will be—but their engagement could have occurred months ago and be less relevant than one that, for example, occurred within the last 30 days.

video viewers Video Custom Audience Segments


In the video custom audience creation window, select your engagement criteria. Start by selecting the “People who have viewed at least 3 seconds of your video.”

I’d recommend creating a video custom audience for each engagement option. This allows you to test the different engagements and find the optimal length of engagement duration.

Next, click on Choose videos, under the engagement condition, your video manager will appear. Here is where you want to select your videos that you want to include in the audience.

Video selection video viewers

If you are implementing a Facebook advertising strategy that is focused on video ads, such as an ALL Framework, this is where you would select the content videos you have running at the Awareness stage of the ALL Framework.

Next, select your audience duration. Start with 180 days and then, based on your campaign results, create audiences for decreasing durations, such as 90 days and 30 days, if you are generating lots of daily video views.

Finally, name your audience. I like to use the naming condition of [VCA (video custom audience) – Video names – Engagement condition – Duration]. For example, VCA – Awareness content – 3 seconds – Last 180 days.

video viewers VCA Complete

Repeat the steps outlined above and create video custom audiences for the remaining engagement conditions—10 seconds, 25%, 50% 75% and 95%.

You’ll end up with a list in your audience dashboard that allows you to easily see the drop off between the engagement levels and the size of your audiences.

video viewers VCA Complete


How to Use Video Custom Audiences in Your Campaigns

The next step, after creating your video custom audiences, is to use them in a Facebook ad campaign. Here we are targeting a “warm” audience of people who have previously watched our video content. So, we want to position a direct offer to them.

This is known as Level 1 Remarketing. The goal is to drive these highly targeted audiences to your website to take advantage of an offer. The offer you present will depend on the nature of your business.

facebook dark post

For example, if you run an eCommerce business, the most effective offer at this stage is to present a product or order discount. This helps to reduce the risk for your target audience associated with buying from you for the first time and also has a monetary benefit, which further incentivizes the purchase. (Check out this detailed look at the best Facebook ad types for eCommerce.)

video viewers Mori Ad Example


If you are a service provider or software development company on the other hand, you can present a free trial offer or complimentary session offer like a discovery call or strategy session.

* * *

Video custom audiences are a great way to target a “warm” audience of video viewers who have already engaged with your business in a meaningful way.

By presenting a direct offer to these audiences, you can move them into the consideration phase of the buying process and drive sales or leads on your website.  (You can dig deeper into the Facebook Ad analytics through the free tool AdsReports.)

As long as you continue to increase your number of video viewers on Facebook, targeting the people who have watched your videos allows you to improve your Facebook returns by increasing your CTRs and lowering your cost per click, compared to just advertising to cold audiences.

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video views with facebook ads