The first in a two-part series, Sophie Rayers, EMEA Marketing Director at online video provider Brightcove looks at the best practices for implementing successful video as part of your social media marketing strategy – in particular, how to make Facebook video work for your business.
Facebook is part of my daily life. Is it a part of yours? Facebook is where I go to check in on faraway friends as a flurry of interesting and amazing events unfold. Even though we might not speak every day, we can keep tabs on the people closest to us through the social network.
As marketers, we know that social networks like Facebook are where audiences go to obtain news, information, and entertainment. After all, the chances of a person just visiting a homepage or blog are rare now. Audiences actually expect to be pushed to content through sophisticated algorithms, which take into account personalisation and network recommendations.
Facebook also boasts 8 billion average daily video views, so how can B2C and B2B businesses fight for attention in this busy environment?
Social video is a key aspect of building relationships on social media, but interrupt users’ personal Facebook time you need to produce innately shareable social video, while ensuring that content is optimised for seamless consumption and interaction.
So, to help your video succeed in the social arena, here are a few top tips from our experts to help you do so:
1. How to Tell Better Stories Through Facebook Social Video
First, know your audience. Facebook has more traction with women, particularly in the 18 to 29 age range, (followed by those aged 30 to 49). Internet users aged 50-64 and those over 65, are also more active on Facebook than Twitter. Education, income, and location vary.
As for the tone of voice, Facebook is personal and therefore engagement comes at a premium. A sense of community and mutual interest is important. Local businesses in particular often find they thrive on Facebook – of small business owners and marketers who plan to spend money on social media in the next 12 months, two-thirds plan to promote video on Facebook.
It can be tough to engage the online community and champion causes they care about, users need to invite you to be a part of their life by liking and following your social pages. To help them do that, legitimise your brand by actively participating in your audience network and create a conversation using video around the things that interest them.
2. How to Optimise Social Video on Facebook
Video is winning in the Facebook news feed. Facebook video reaches approximately 22% of your fans, while an embedded YouTube video reaches only 13%. Photos have been slightly deprioritised, reaching only about 12% of users. Autoplay is only available for native video on Facebook and Twitter, so the higher organic reach on these networks is because content can freely flow.
3. Grab Attention and Keep It: Optimise for Facebook Autoplay
Three seconds counts as a ‘play’ in Facebook video metrics which, when paired with auto-play, can be concerning for businesses looking to measure video engagement.
How can you get audiences to watch videos past the three-second mark? Optimise your video lead-in. Waste no time. A compelling video intro is essentially the new thumbnail. Your video should be interesting whether sound is on or off. Utilise all the elements that make video visually stimulating: flashes of motion, people in varied environments, colour shifts, and unique camera angles.
As far as the ideal Facebook video length, 40% of your audience will watch until the end of a 1 to 16 second long Facebook video. This drops to 18% when video length increases to over 30 seconds. Mastering the 15 second video format is the place to start, and will ensure you’re engaging your audience in enough impactful content to encourage them to watch your longer-form videos when you want them to.
Lastly, if you’re utilising both an organic and paid social video model, bear in mind that Facebook video ads might not autoplay. There are a variety of factors that can impede this, including slow bandwidth on mobile phones. You’ll need to choose a thumbnail – potentially one that has copy used on screen within it.
4. Go Beyond Moving Pictures, Utilise Copy Appropriately
Videos are all about the visual element, but on social copy is equally important to the success of your video marketing efforts. Some viewers disable autoplay in their feeds, so you need to solicit a click on your shared or promoted social video. Optimise the copy that surrounds the video by setting the stage for what the audience are about to consume.
Intelligent use of copy with Facebook social video doesn’t stop there – put words in your actual video. Most videos are consumed initially with sound off (some remain muted throughout the play) and words are part of an interesting video lead-in.
5. Create a Welcoming Space: Add a Video Greeting to Your Facebook Business Page
Unless a prospect knows you well, they’re often not going to visit your branded Facebook page. When they do arrive, greet them with a video that speaks to their needs.
Facebook admins can ‘pin’ a video post to the top of the page and change this as and when needed. As you integrate video throughout your page, treat it as a website. Who is visiting your page and what content will be most interesting to them? Try and answer these questions through your videos.
We say it over and again: tell stories. Whether it’s light-hearted, sad, uplifting, or maybe even enraging, the most popular videos on Facebook are eliciting a reaction from their viewers. No other medium speaks to raw emotion in the way that video does.
Audiences on Facebook are looking for a personal connection so use video to find advocates who will spread your story organically and generate a buzz. With a company vision, audience insights and social network know-how, it can be done.
By Sophie Rayers
EMEA Marketing Director