How To Get 100 People To Watch Your Entire Video

If you're a church ministry, or a solo indie filmmaker, you know how difficult marketing your short film or video can be. 

You want viewers to VIEW your film. After all, you have a message for them to hear.

You spend hours and sometimes months putting together a short video, only to have a few people watch it. 

Would you love to know that your video was watched the whole way through?

For a longer video, say 5 minutes or longer, this idea of getting people to watch your video becomes harder and harder to pull off on the web.

I want to show you how to get 100 unique people to watch your short video the whole way through-

-on the first day you want to publish it-

-and you can do it for the tidy sum of a $10 ad. 

Note: you can also use reddit to direct people to your content. I got 500 visitors in one day with a solid tagline, and you can too. Find out how.

But before I walk you through the steps, we need to take a step back and understand the need for promoting your video.

If you've spent any time on your video at all, which let's face it, you and your team already have, then you've already spent at least $10 bucks on making the blooming video. 

Think about that. Your time costs money, so there is no such thing as a "zero-budget" video/film.

And if you look at it that way, you've probably already spent anywhere from $20 to $2,000 or more on one short video.

Even if you are literally talking to your phone for a few minutes, then hitting the upload button - that takes time and data.

Like art, blogging, or live dance, all of that prep work doesn't matter one iota if no one knows about your video or if no one shows up to partake in the finished product. 

Marketing is just as important as your locations, lights, actors, scripting, editing; it's even more important than these ingredients. 

You don't put all your blood, sweat, and tears into a video for yourself, but for others.

Because of that, you owe it to your audience to market to them. 

Whether you're a ministry of 50,000 or a solo-filmmaker, remember, you are the teacher. Your message is ready, but you have to get people to a place where they can receive it. 

And we love taking the path of least resistance, don't we? 

So here are 3 steps for how you are going to reach 100 unique viewers, viewers who will watch the ENTIRE video - on the first day. 

Because while most videos will show views, you have to dig to find your video's statistics. 

We're going to use Facebook in our trial.

Login then head over to the dropdown menu to find your "Manage Ads" option.

1. Ask God for help.

I think that step is overlooked - with every adventure. 

And it's important before you dig into the "Manage Ads" section of your Facebook.

Ask for help, then ask for the wisdom to get out of the way of what He wants to do. 

Remember Jesus said "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done."

Rather than trying to manipulate God or asking for Him to be with you (He's already there), ask to be a part of what He's doing. 

If you're a follower of Christ, be honest, how often do you really make those asks?

I just started those prayers up again. You should too.

Because all of these numbers - 100 views, 100% completion, $10, etc. - are just tools, and I don't ever want you to put your faith in numbers.

2. Build your ad audience

But I don't want to sell anything

When did I ever say anything about selling? You're promoting your message by way of a video.

If the CTA is to buy, then include that at the end. If it's to download a .pdf, include that call-to-action at the end.

The point here is get your message in front of people. What you do with it in the aftermath is your call. You should have a CTA, even if it is "share this video with one friend." 

Always give your audience an action item.

Now, to build your ad audience, you need to walk through 7 steps.

a. Determine three interests of your audience

For my example, this promoted video is on denial.

When I go to my manage ads screen, I'm going to test the waters first.

Because I don't want to ever upload a video to my ministry's page then hit the "boost post" button.

I did. I used to anyways. I know better now.

Raise your right hand. Repeat after me.

I promise I will never use the Boost Post button.

Lower your right hand. Good.

Instead, you're going to manage an ad; i.e. you're going to create one. Bear with me.

I know the above video on denial will likely appeal to people with one of these three interests:

  1. Saddleback Church
  2. Celebrate Recovery
  3. Serenity Prayer

So in my "Manage Ads" screen, I'm going to look for "Audience Insights" under "Tools." You will want to do the same.

Then I'm going to pick a CUSTOM AUDIENCE.

Choosing EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK is way too big of a pool.

Choosing your audience (people connected to your brand, church, ministry, etc.) is just too narrow. 

You could do it. 

But I specifically excluded people who have liked Church Films' Facebook page. A fair chunk of the Church Films "likers" would see a video anyways if I uploaded it to the Church Films Facebook page.

Remember though, you're not uploading your video to your page. You're creating an ad to serve people with a video message. Take the Gospel outside of your four walls!

The screen that follows has a lot of bells and whistles. In the words of Kevin McAllister, don't get scared now. 

Is it elegant? I suppose.

Is it crowded? Statistics usually are, but don't panic. 

Take a deep breath. We'll get through this. 

If you're a casual Facebooker or a hawk on your friends' updates, chances are you've never had to create an ad. 

It looks daunting, but it won't bite.

b. Plug in interests

Note: by adding interests, you are not refining the process.

By adding interests, you are blowing up the size of your audience.

This is critical.

For example, you are not finding people who like "Christianity" AND "Chanukah." 

You are looking for people who like "Christianity" OR "Chanukah."

You can't do much to change this. I'll get into one way that you can limit the intersection of your targeted interests.

You can test this pool size - have an ad for a huge audience and an ad for a smaller audience.

To start though, you should be looking to reach 400k to 500k people. So be specific with your ad.

I'm using Celebrate Recovery, Saddleback Church, and Serenity Prayer to get a pool.

c. Identify your language

I also want the ad to be served to people who pick their language as English (US).

It seems a trivial step, but the world is much bigger than plain ole Anglish.

My video is in American English, so it makes sense to target folks who understand American English and not Afrikaans.

If someone speaks English, they'll likely have that in their profile, and Facebook recognizes that.

d. Pick guys and/or gals

I'll limit the pool to ladies because there are less than 1 in 5 guys with the three interests above.

Adding back in the guys will blow up my pool another 100k or so. 

I want to reach about 400-500k. 

e. Narrow your age range

I'll also limit the ages from to 25 to 64.

This is again to narrow the pool. If it's too broad, you won't serve the ad as effectively.

The reality is, a lot of young folks won't be into Celebrate Recovery. A lot of its members and visitors are older.

That's not to say recovery ministries aren't for young people. 

They certainly are open to youths, and CR (Celebrate Recovery) has distinct programs for them.

f. Save

Go to the top row of your options and save your audience. 

I'm keeping it simple: "Celebrate Recovery Ladies."

You will want to pull this up later and maybe even edit it a little further. It's like everything else on a computer that's not automatically backed up in the cloud: SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.

If your audience is still too large, then you will have to try something else. 

Like exclusion.

This is where, going back to the Venn diagram earlier, you are able to take from this massive pool and actually subtract people from the list.

Note: you'll have to exclude people from the ad editor itself and not the "custom audience."

You shouldn't have to exclude people with a ministry video or other faith-based vignette. After all, we aren't exactly tearing up the charts with our media, so there isn't a giant pool to begin with. 

But if your pool is too big, then I recommend using exclusion to bring down the numbers.

To do this, you'll need to jump to the part where you create your ad. We'll circle back to exclusion.

3. Create Your Ad

It's downhill from here.

When you create an ad, you'll have two options.

Use the regular ole Ad Create Tool.

Even with 100+ Mbps of crunching power, and with my laptop right next to the router, the Power Editor tool can be really pokey. 

It's also super glitchy, even when it does boot up. I've had Power Editor screens freeze on me and lose my ads that I'm actively editing.

Several times in fact.

I'm not a fan. is a free service to see how much juice you have. 

The next screen you'll run into after you pick the Ad Create Tool is a set of options - what are you trying to do?

Get people to watch your video of course!

After you pick it, you'll be asked to name your campaign. 

Which then brings you to a new dialog box. 

a. Load or create a new audience

This is where we'll segue and talk about exclusion. 

If your audience isn't niche enough, and if you HAVE TO USE EXCLUSION, then don't load your saved audience at the top of this screen!

Rather, you can choose to exclude a few folks from seeing the ad using the Exclude People option. That just means you'll have to rebuild your interests, age, and other demographics.

To test it out, I'ma gonna use some very basic interests again: Celebrate Recovery and Addiction.

Without any other restrictions, notice how big the the pool is here:

You gotta bring that number down.

Now it's time to pick interests to exclude.

Think broadly. What interests do you want to remove from your pool that go against the message of your video?

I'll pick gambling and smoking. A person who is going through Celebrate Recovery probably won't list those two as their interests.

smoking and gambling.png

That brings the number down and I can further refine the pool using age, another interest, and so on, so forth.

b. Set your budget

This whole post has been about using a whopping $10 to get a 100 unique viewers to watch your whole video, so you know what to do.

Facebook defaults to running the ad continuously. For the sake of this exercise, turn that off and choose to run it for a set time: one day.

Pay attention to the end date. Facebook will try to set it a month out. 

No bueno.

Run your ad for a day. 

Then you can reassess what your ministry needs.

c. Leave the advanced options alone

Don't get tangled up with manual bidding.

d. Double check

Make sure on the right column you are still working with the right pool size.

Note: It says the ad is set to run for 2 days. That's because I told it to run for 24 hours and 1 second. 

I see Facebook generously rounds up. 

If that pool looks good, go to the bottom right corner of your screen and punch the blue Choose Ad Creative button.

This new screen is the part where you will upload the video, set your CTA, etc.

e. Upload your video

This part is self-explanatory.

The rules are on the right column as well: your video needs to be at least 720p, no more than 60 minutes, .mov or .mp4, etc. 

f. Set up your CTA

Facebook says it's optional. 

It's mandatory for you - even if it is just "learn more" at *this* URL. Always have a CTA for your audience.

g. Limit where your ad is served

Facebook now takes your eligible ad and serves it on Instagram. 


It's a default option, and unless your video is formatted for Instagram (ahem, 15 seconds or less), you should uncheck this option.

Also turn off the right column ads. 

We read left to right and we're programmed to scroll down. So guess what? The CTR's for the right column ads are horrible. 

Skip 'em!

h. Place your order

Once you've done this, hit the big green Place Order button in the lower right hand corner.

You can check your ad's performance in the same place you started, and that's in the Manage Ads section.


Can I guarantee the results in this post?


But this guide will get you in the direction you want to go, and if you put in the time to do the targeting right, you should easily land 100 unique viewers watching the ENTIRE video.

Unless of course your video is awful. Hate to burst your bubble, most Christian media is - I can't help you there if it's cheesy.

Do better next time.

Also, a person can SKIP to the end of the video and that counts as a complete viewing. 

To counter that, look at your 25% and 50% benchmarks. If they're pretty even with your 100% benchmark, it's a safe bet that your audience watched the whole video. 

Think about that.

Now, this same principle applies with blogging. We have to promote everything we create, paid promotion or otherwise.

Else, with no promotion, the video is just randomly floating in cyberspace, and the average viewer watches 20% of your message.

Imagine opening your movie to an audience of 300, and a big ole chunk of your crowd leaves a fifth of the way through.

That's not going to cut it.

The internet is just too crowded to put all your blood, sweat, and tears into a project for you to merely hope that it reaches the people it's meant to serve.

Yes, God can do big powerful things. He can move mountains for you, and you should ask that if it is in His will, that He use the message for His glory and not your own.

Your ministry is all about service. That's why it's a ministry. This idea of taking an ad and creating a virtual mailman is a service you are providing. 

So buck up and share the message of hope we have in Jesus. Be gentle as doves and wise as what again? 

Use your God-given smarts and do the work. Don't kick back and watch Hulu; do the work!

If you're lazy, you'll get lackluster results. If you're lazy, your video's probably pretty bad too.

Remember I told you not to boost your post? Well I used to.

Back in September last year, I boosted this denial video (above) for $20 on my Church Films page - to people who, in theory, are more likely to watch the flicker show.


It's not even 2 minutes long, and less than 10% finished the whole video.

But with targeted video - served to people outside the Church Films page no less - the $10 brought in 124 viewers who stuck around to watch the whole enchilada.

Understand, there is a distinct reason for short attention spans on the web. 

Full-length movies were traditionally shown in the theater. The whole experience can take upwards of three hours from the time you enter to the time you leave. 

We are programmed from the moment we walk into the movie house to kick back, relax, and enjoy. 

Isn't that a part of the pre-roll anyways? AMC uses that lingo for sure.

Even with the widespread availability of home video these days, we are still conditioned (because of the theatrical experience) to set aside time for a full-length story. 

You'll notice Facebook and YouTube aren't really homes to full-length movies. 

Yes, YouTube has them, but that's not its biggest draw.

TV has taught us to watch in 30 or 60-minute blocks. We can handle that. It's an experience that we're used to.

But the internet has programmed us to switch gears every few seconds. Every page on the web is full of short bursts of information.

Our attention spans are so bad online that 3-seconds or more qualifies as a view on Facebook. 

3 seconds.

That's less than a Vine video.

So if you're dumping your video on YouTube or Vimeo and praying for the best, good! But understand, God doesn't do ministry alone. 

Get off your lazy bums and do the work. Promote your video so that it gets to the right audience.

But don't worry. 

You serve a King who is your biggest fan.

And He can help. Put your trust where it belongs.

How To Get 100 People To Watch Your Entire Video The First Day

That was a lot of information.

I made a video for a guy, and it's a free walkthrough for you when it comes to wrestling with these Facebook ads.

If you need an extra hand or even just a how-to with all of this mess, this video will take you behind the scenes of setting up a Facebook ad. 

Just jump to the 6:45 mark.

For complete access to the video, click here.

Jake the film guy

I want to encourage others and bring honor to the Almighty in everything that I do with film and video. My goal is to take the first 11 minutes of my tv pilot and seek out decision-makers who can further the conversation about developing it into a show. If my team and I can do that, then we can teach 100,000 other microbudget filmmakers how to do the same thing so that we might tell stories of hope to millions. In the meantime, I'm a son of the King, a family man, a lifelong student of film, and the author of two microbudget filmmaking books.