Marketing is all about video nowadays.
Brands are using bite-sized videos on Snapchat and Instagram to increase visibility, improve engagement and even clinch sales, and companies from all sorts of industries are leveraging video ads on YouTube, Hulu and other popular streaming services to expand their audiences.
It’s no wonder why, either.
Video has a way to transport a consumer – to excite them, to engage them and to make them feel a part of something. And with the rise of mobile devices and the shortening attention span of today’s youth (just 8 seconds, according to stats) videos are often the easiest and most digestible way to reach a target audience.
If you’re not on the video bandwagon with your brand just yet, it’s not too late to hop on. And the best place to start? That’d be good old Facebook.
Using Facebook Videos
Why start with Facebook videos? Well, for one, they’re popular. About 100 million hours of Facebook videos are watched every day, and those numbers are only growing. But stats aside, they’re also easy. There’s little barrier to entry with Facebook videos; all you need is a mobile phone and a Facebook account, and you’re ready to get started.
Facebook videos can be utilized in a number of ways. First, you can upload videos to your business page at any time, by adding them to a post. This will allow your video to show up in the news feeds of your followers, as well as in the photos and videos section of your page. Users will be able to view, like, comment and share the post.
You can also use Facebook videos as advertisements on the platform, exposing your brand to potential customers in your target audience. Finally, a third option is a Facebook live video. Facebook live lets you stream real-time, live video content from your phone straight to your followers. They can interact with your video on the fly, asking questions, liking it and participating in the conversation. These videos are also housed on your page for on-demand viewing later.
Optimizing Your Videos
For standard videos and video ads, Facebook recommends you keep to a 15-second length or less. As many videos are viewed in passing as a user scrolls through their news feed, keeping your message short and concise is crucial. On live videos, you have a little more leeway.
As for shooting your video, opt for a vertical, mobile-screen sized style if possible, as this is how most people will view it. The ideal aspect ratio according to Facebook is 4:5 or 2:3.
Though you should certainly include sound on any video, the fact is few will hear it. The majority of Facebook videos are viewed soundless (85 percent!), because people are watching them in public, on the go, in meetings or during other occasions where sound would be inappropriate or jarring. Consider including captions to visually show viewers what’s being said in your video when the sound is off.
Facebook has an auto-caption feature which makes it easy to caption your videos or you can create an SRT file to do this or use a tool like Animoto.
Another small but important step to optimizing your videos? Upload it directly to Facebook. Don’t upload to YouTube or Vimeo and then post it to your page. Natively-uploaded videos perform better than linked ones by nearly 110 percent.
Facebook live videos are a fairly new feature, just hitting the scene in mid-2015. Unlike traditional video content, these videos are done in real-time, giving viewers a glimpse of what’s happening as it’s actually occurring. Some examples of great Facebook live video ideas? Go behind the scenes at your office or location, host a Q&A, send breaking news updates or give a demo/how-to instruction.
If you have the chance or opportunity, try to go live once in a while. According to Facebook itself, the site’s algorithm ranks live videos higher than on-demand ones, since they offer higher levels of engagement. Put simply, that means live videos are more likely to show up in someone’s news feed than other video content is – and that means more visibility and awareness for your brand.
Other Facebook Video Tips
Whether you’re creating on-demand videos to house on your page or you’re going live at the next board meeting, there’s an art to making an effective Facebook video.
Here are a few tips that can help you create better, more engaging video content regardless of which route you choose:
- Make your videos square – When viewed on a mobile screen, square videos take up nearly twice as much real estate as other video sizes. And considering 92 percent of all Facebook users view the site on their mobile device daily, catering to mobile users is a huge plus.
- Boost your videos with ads – You can easily turn your videos into Facebook ads, specifying the exact audience you want them exposed to. Just make sure you select “video views” as your marketing objective when setting up your campaign.
- Embed your videos – Consider embedding your Facebook videos into pages and blog posts on your website. This gets your videos more exposure and also encourages web visitors to join you on Facebook and in the larger social community.
- Upload a custom thumbnail – Facebook will automatically choose a thumbnail from your video, but there’s no guarantee it will be a good one. Make sure your video makes a good first impression by creating a custom thumbnail yourself. Remember, it needs to stop users mid-scroll and entice them to watch.
There’s no set-in-stone formula for what makes a great Facebook video, so try experimenting. See what resonates with your followers and target audience, and tune into your analytics to see what works and doesn’t. Let that guide your strategy and content in the future.
Want more help venturing into the world of Facebook videos? Outlet Creative Group is here to help.