Has your brand incorporated social video on your Facebook social strategy yet? You'll be interested to know that video views on branded content increased by 258% on Facebook in 2016 – 2017. I’m going to list a few best practices for implementing video in your social strategy, focusing on Facebook.
KEEP IT SHORT
Facebook recommends videos should be no longer than 15 seconds, because “shorter videos have higher completion rates, so you can successfully share your entire message”. However, up to 1 minute as Hubspot suggests would still receive high engagement. Short, snappy videos are the way forward, especially considering the average person’s attention span is just 8 seconds!
GRAB ATTENTION EARLY
An easy segway here, grabbing the viewers attention, early! Social media is a very busy setting and Facebook is no exception. Facebook now sees 100 million hours of daily video watch time – that’s huge. There is a plethora of video content users can sift through, so yours needs to stop them in their tracks. As mentioned above, 8 seconds is all you get. Grab some inspiration from Vine, the short-lived (2013 – 2017) video app promoting 7-second videos. Pose a question or make a statement at the beginning of the video, something which would make your desired audience stop and continue watching.
Gone were the days of sitting at your desk, un-tagging then re-tagging yourself in photos to change the order of which they appear, and moaning about the new timeline layout Facebook introduced back in 2011. Yes, I'm talking about Desktops/PCs. Remember those? Well, it seems as though our trusty Desktops/PC will soon be a memory as this report from Statistica showed that a staggering 75.1% of people are active on Facebook via mobile. Keep this in mind when creating a Facebook video – your priority should be understanding how the user will experience it through mobile.
VIDEO AD SPECS
Although it’s pretty obvious, one factor of a successful Facebook video is the quality – it needs to be clear. Generally speaking, mobile phones these days record in HD or higher – consider this the viewer’s minimal expectation of your video quality. If filming via a Camcorder, you should export your footage at H.264 compression. More info regarding video ad specifications can be found on Facebook. Content which is visually appealing will have a bigger impact on your audience.
There are multiple video dimensions you can choose from so you need to choose the one which would accentuate your video content. Landscape may work for videos showcasing wide camera angles (think nature and landscape programmes), but not necessarily a more intimate setting like a party. And don’t forget to consider verticle (portrait video). Facebook states that 79% of novice vertical video consumers agreed that this format is more engaging!
In 2016, 85% of Facebook videos were played with the sound off. That was until 2017 when videos now auto-played with the sound off. Regardless of the reasoning for people wanting silent videos, it’s important to incorporate subtitles so your video impact is not lost.
CHECK YOUR THUMBNAIL
A video thumbnail is the equivalent of a book cover and can be used as an asset to compel users to click through your content. Therefore, make sure your thumbnail represents your content. Text on a thumbnail can contribute to grabbing the audiences attention though don’t over-do-it as that is what the video title is for.
CAPTURE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH GREAT CONTENT
An obvious one, but your video footage needs to be interesting. Think about the genre, style of editing, animation, storytelling and so forth. Does this video capture your brand, is it engaging enough and do you think it will have the viral factor (will audiences want to share it?).
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