Facebook’s latest software updates mean critical changes that may impact your video engagement. In recent years, Facebook has been dedicated to transitioning into a platform with less sporatic and a more meaningful newsfeed.
How News Feed Changes Affect Video Visibility
For video marketing to work, you need to use different types of video content to achieve specific goals, and then tailor each of your video messages to speak the language of each social platform. Marketers have spent the last couple of years learning the language and quirks of Facebook, but now the landscape has changed.
Facebook Zero (the latest platform update) has brought new changes to the very core of how we understand the place of videos in Facebook’s context. The update is all about encouraging meaningful interactions among people. As Facebook begins showing content based on people’s connections and that content’s ability to spark interactions, users will see more content from friends and less content from companies.
In this light, video is seen as passive because it doesn’t spark as many conversations as other types of content; thus it will be seen less frequently in people’s feeds. Does that mean that creating video for Facebook isn’t worth the investment anymore? Not at all. It just means that you’ll have to step up your game because the competition among companies will become far more fierce.
Check these tips:
Choosing The Right Type of Video
- Live Video: Facebook says that live videos are watched 3x longer and commented on 10x more than any other video type on the platform. With the news feed changes, those comments can go a long way toward increasing your organic reach. You can use live video to stream events, arrange a Q&A, or present a new product.
- Educational Videos: Exploring an issue your audience is having can spark a back-and-forth in the comments section that will go a long way toward demonstrating engagement with your brand. As you publish each video, people will start seeing you as an authority and their trust in you will grow. Use educational videos to explain the problems and concepts most often experienced by people in your field.
- Company Story Videos: Facebook has always been about connecting people and creating communities, so showing what happens behind the scenes at your company is a way to invite your audience to feel part of it. Putting your team and their daily tasks in front of the camera humanizes your brand and shares your company’s values, things that your audience can always relate to. You can use company videos to introduce new team members, show how a product is made, or follow an order from placement to fulfillment.
- How-To Videos: Videos that teach viewers step-by-step how to solve very specific problems are some of the most sought-after on any platform. Because many people will have variations of the problem you tackle, the videos bring interaction in the form of questions and discussions in the comment section. For example, if you are a car lover, a video could be how to properly wax your car without damaging it. You can use how-to videos (or explainer videos) to show viewers how to place an order, solve an issue, or set up your product.
Design Your Video to Capitalize on Engagement
All social media platforms have different requirements for video and all marketers whether for a small, medium or large company should be aware of them. There are specific technical and audiovisual aspects that have proven effective on Facebook and beyond, so incorporating them into your videos is a must.
- Keep Your Videos Short:In the past, Facebook has said the important thing about video isn’t its length but its ability to tell a story. Telling the story is essential, but the closer you can get to keeping the video under the 2-minute mark, the better it will perform.
Why? People lose interest fairly quickly, especially on social media.
A short video forces you to keep your story simple and increases the chance that viewers will watch it to completion.
- Open With a Bang: Given that Facebook autoplays videos on mute by default, your chance of capturing the eyes of your target audience rests heavily on the power of your initial visuals. To spark interest, consider including colorful or strange images, unconventional camera angles, or time lapses.
- Subtitle Every Video
Thanks to muted autoplay, people have grown accustomed to watching videos with no sound. Subtitles let you emphasize the things that matter most in your message. As you line out your subtitles, remember to use keywords to underscore the high points of your message even more.
- Don’t Overuse Effects: The story (your message) is the most important thing about your video. Don’t get overly creative with editing and effects that might get in the way of that story. To keep things simple, come up with an original story and let it speak for itself.
Invest in News Feed Visibility
Facebook’s new update makes one very specific thing clear for businesses. Facebook wants busineses to pay to be visible. If you’ve not yet paid for exposure via Facebook ads, the ad system offers several features that make it well worth your time and money.
First off, you can define a series of key targeting characteristics to reach your desired audience more accurately.
You’ll also receive valuable performance data on your videos such as how many 3-second and 10-second views each video has, how much those views cost you, and the amount of watches for people who saw part of your video or the entire video.
You can even zero in on the performance of your videos with each audience segment. You might find that young people prefer short and fast-paced videos, while older audiences stick around for longer videos.
It’s all in the raw data found in the Facebook Ads platform, information that’s well worth the money you’ll put down for visibility in the news feed. The data can help you adjust and optimize your videos for further engagement and reach. And given how much Facebook takes those factors into account today, you can’t afford not to spend some money.
The Facebook landscape may have changed but the essentials that differentiate videos that engage haven’t. Use the advice above to create videos that get your viewers talking to and about you.
And because Facebook Zero is all about engagement and meaningful interactions, it’s safe to say that you’ll need that high-quality engagement more than ever (plus a couple of bucks to invest).