Social video grabs our attention faster than any other form of content—quite an achievement in the age of the swift swipe-and-scroll.
Thanks to its visual and creative capabilities, video content can rack up millions of views, putting your business in the spotlight for new and potential customers and giving your brand the chance to earn the coveted title of viral.
Social video has exploded in popularity and social networks everywhere are investing in video features. Few have been as successful at integrating video into the core user experience as Facebook.
Indeed, Facebook recently reached a major milestone—1 million small business owners have posted a video to the platform, according to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer.
Facebook’s worldwide presence enables businesses everywhere—big and small—to connect with their audiences and expand their exposure, making it the perfect place for marketing efforts, particular social video-based ones.
The power of video on Facebook
With over 1.71 billion monthly active users, Facebook is now much more than a social network.
The platform has evolved into a comprehensive aggregator of news stories, articles, games, ads, and more. Users expect highly engaging content—a unique mix of entertainment and information that will catch their eye and stop them from moving on. Average users spend about 20 minutes on Facebook. Short videos help them make the most of that time (and encourage them to stay longer).
But more than that, Facebook’s DNA makes it the perfect environment for videos to thrive and increase viewership; the autoplay feature is able to engage more viewers, keeping users on the site for longer periods of time. Users don’t have to take an explicit action in order to play a video, giving you a better chance to engage them.
As brands and small businesses strive to overcome information overload, video has emerged as a powerful agent to effectively deliver information and generate brand awareness. Not only that, it’s a content type that works well on mobile. Sandberg recently revealed that 75 percent of Facebook video views now occur on mobile devices.
Limited reach is often the reality for Pages on Facebook and businesses are looking to break out of the limitations by creating and sharing compelling video content.
What makes a Facebook video shareable?
There are three key traits that increase a video’s shareability.
1. It’s entertaining
The primary motivation for sharing content on Facebook is to entertain friends, according to recent research from digital marketing agency Fractl. And that’s why parody videos, “epic fail” reels, and animal clips are so widely shared and viewed. Whether it’s funny or adorable, people love videos that make them feel good.
So if it fits your brand’s persona to produce a cat video—you’ve done the audience research and determine that type of content is a good fit—then go for it.
2. It’s short
Another common trait of many shareable Facebook videos is that they’re short and to-the-point. The declining attention span is an epidemic of the 21st century, and it forces major adjustments in the marketing world, among other things. Currently, social media platforms allow users to create videos ranging from six to 60 seconds in length, likely because viewers are looking for short snackable content.
Research has shown that videos have 10 seconds to grab viewers’ attention. After 30 seconds, viewership can drop by 33 percent.
Ideally, videos on Facebook should be around 15 seconds, so you have just enough time to grab and retain viewers’ attention. If you choose to go with a 60 second video, you risk losing your viewers and failing to deliver the bottom line.
3. It’s optimized for silent playback
Digiday estimates that about 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched with the sound-off, so you need to keep that in mind when you’re creating content. Make sure your visuals are engaging and include captions over any narration or dialogue.
For more tips on how to optimize video, check out Hootsuite’s how-to guide.
Other things to consider
If you’re creating videos for Facebook, another key thing to consider is your call to action. Should viewers share the video or refer to your site for more information, discounts, or special offers?
Include your brand logo in the video, but don’t overwhelm viewers with it or with images of the product or company. Remember—you’re trying to instill a feeling of familiarity among viewers and establish your brand name. That doesn’t mean you need to hit them over the head with it.
Add a short description that attracts viewers and implies why they should stop and watch the video. But most importantly, don’t compromise on the quality of the content; short videos should always make it worth viewers’ time and offer value so they keep coming back for more.
When you’re getting ready to use a video in your next campaign, consider these tips and watch your Facebook reach grow.
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