The algorithm change that Mark Zuckerberg recently announced has left many marketers unsure of how to proceed with their Facebook strategy. But Zuckerberg himself has pointed the way forward, noting in his Q3 earnings call that:
“Over the next three years, the biggest trend in our products will be the growth of video.”
Though it’ll mean approaching marketing from a different angle, businesses can stay relevant on The Social Network if they intelligently develop their video content.
Check out the video below to see what the latest Facebook updates mean for your video marketing strategy, and to get more detail on how to update your content to keep your business on the top of News Feeds.
The coming changes which will emphasize content posted by friends and family over business and publisher Pages will force marketers to rely even more on developing shareworthy videos. So while business Pages might be getting less visibility, marketers should focus on showing up in the News Feed via personal accounts sharing their content.
So how do you make video content viewers want to watch and then share? First, brush up on best practices so you’re not making basic mistakes that could make your audience miss otherwise engaging video content.
For example, the right aspect ratio can increase the number of people viewing a video on Facebook. Square videos take up 78% more screen space than 16:9 / landscape videos, and that extra screen real estate is important for grabbing attention, especially on mobile devices.
In fact, after running $1500 worth of video tests on Facebook in March of 2017, Buffer and Animoto discovered that square video outperformed landscape video on every social media network in terms of video views, engagement (likes, comments, and shares), and completion rate. If you’ve been creating landscape videos, now may be the time to make a change.
Adding text to your video for sound-off viewing is also a smart idea – especially since more than 80% of Facebook’s users are watching on mobile. Thinking about how to “hook” your audience within the first 3 seconds is also a must for thumb-stopping videos, but avoid clickbait tactics for this.
The video below demonstrates five types of “engagement bait” which Facebook announced they’d be cracking down on last December – you can see the specific types Facebook is targeting in the video below.
Instead, focus on what imagery and text you’ll be using to make people want to watch more, and what story you’re telling or lesson you’re teaching.
Though it seems obvious, the type of videos that succeed on Facebook are the ones that your community will actually care about.
This has always been true on Facebook, but now it’s all the more important. Why? Well, not only will branded content be more likely to be seen when shared by a personal account, but Facebook’s algorithm is also looking for branded posts and videos which initiate conversations, shares, and general engagement in personal News Feeds or even through Messenger.
To spark that conversation, try diversifying the types of videos you create. As Facebook themselves have suggested, Facebook Live is a great option but you don’t want to go live so often that it no longer feels special.
Try a mix of Live videos and editorial content that, ideally, cuts through the noise.
Billboard Magazine’s reaction to the 2017 Women’s March is a great example – while they did plenty of Facebook Live broadcasts during the March, ultimately it was a 44-second, square video highlighting some noteworthy moments that drove the most engagement on Facebook.
How-to videos also invite engagement. For instance, blogger Peanut Blossom created an instructional video that was viewed 1.4 million times and was shared nearly 14 thousand times.
Keep in mind that not all of your videos have to – or even should – directly promoting your brand. Seize on trending topics that make sense for your business. Rescue Chocolate, for instance, donates its profits to animal rescue organizations. When they heard that a bill that would euthanize pit bulls in Montreal, they quickly created a Facebook video which received nearly 10 thousand shares and reached over 1 million people.
These animal lovers are now re-targetable for Rescue Chocolate’s more direct sales and marketing efforts.
Ultimately, you should think about what you want your company to teach, share and stand for. Then create a variety of different types of videos related to those themes – your engagement will thank you for it. Do this with a mix of Facebook Live and edited videos.
If there’s one thing you should take away from Facebook’s latest algorithm shift, it’s that your social media strategy shouldn’t hinge on just one platform.
To weather social media shifts – and to find new audiences – think about where else your marketing videos can live. And don’t forget when you’re planning video marketing, Zuckerberg has said video will be a priority across all of Facebook’s products, including Instagram, making it a natural second location for video content.
Take The Jane Goodall Institute, which has been sharing square videos on Facebook for quite some time with impressive results. They recently began diversifying, sharing videos on Instagram – in December 2017, an Instagram video featuring the story of a chimp the non-profit is helping received over 553,000 views (more than double than the number of their followers) due to the number of people tagging their friends in the comments.
The video’s arresting beginning and heartwarming story made the video one that viewers wanted to share, even if The Jane Goodall Institute hadn’t shared many Instagram videos in the past.
And while The Jane Goodall Institute is thriving on Instagram and Facebook, Jane Goodall’s Root and Shoots program is also finding success on Twitter.
Roots and Shoots teaches children how to be young activists and make a difference. The organization is starting conversations on Twitter, in addition to posts on Facebook and Instagram, and these Twitter videos are receiving nearly 5X the engagement of their average photo posts.
As you can see, there’s a range of ways to utilize video, and with video prompting more engagement, it’s only going to become a more important element in your wider social marketing strategy. Hopefully these examples provide some inspiration for your 2018 planning.