The full power of videos in digital marketing has been discovered only in the last few years.
Faster internet connections have opened up a lot more room for people to easily watch online videos at home or on the run. A study showed that users watch 1.5 hours of video on average each day.
In addition, videos are particularly interesting for e-commerce businesses that want to promote their products.
Namely, 72 per cent of people would rather watch a video about a product than read an article or a short description of it.
Finally, it’s of huge importance that viewers retain 95% of the message when watching a video, as opposed to only 10% when reading a text.
Video is here to stay. And grow to borderline ridiculous proportions. Experts from Cisco claim that watching videos will amount for 80 per cent of all internet traffic in 2021. This simply means having a strong video marketing strategy will be extremely valuable in the years to come. And if you decided to include Facebook video ads in this strategy, this is probably a reasonable option, since more than 500 million Facebook users watch a video on this social network every day. Here are 12 crucial things to have in mind if you decided to advertise your company with a Facebook video.
1. Keep it native
When posting a video on Facebook, there are several ways to go. You can either simply upload a video directly on your Facebook business page, or you can use an external service such as YouTube or Vimeo and simply post a link to the video on your page.
You need to have in mind that the former option will deliver much better results. This may be due to two factors, the first being a ruthless algorithm that encourages people to use Facebook videos instead of choosing competing platforms. Secondly, users are not really eager to click on external links and wait for another page to load. One additional click might not seem like a big hassle, but in the age we live in it can make all the difference. That’s why native videos get 3 times more interactions on Facebook than videos that were originally uploaded to YouTube.
2. The three-second rule
Another peculiar feature of Facebook’s algorithm is that a video needs to be watched for only 3 seconds in order to affect the view count. And although people may not find out much about your company if they decide not to watch for more than just 3 seconds, it will increase the number of views and act as a kind of a social proof that could make even more people interested in your video.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s vital to get people’s attention in the first three seconds. In addition, the amount of videos uploaded to Facebook these days is enormous and people are not ready to give a chance to anything that doesn’t leave an impression on them instantly. So starting the video with a strong message, an appealing promise or some other attention-grabbing trick is the way to go.
3. Stay concise and on point
It’s no secret that we live in a world of shrinking attention spans. People are bombarded with a lot of various content all the time and they have to be really into your brand or your content in order to give you 9 minutes of their day. The same way you need to get people’s attention in the first three seconds, you need to keep them interested for the rest of the video and avoid talking about irrelevant points or getting sidetracked. It’s best that you stick to one particular subject and keep it simple.
Also, you need to make the video as short as you possibly can without ruining the quality of the content. Users will very often instantly check the length of the video and the mere idea that it’s too long for their taste can make them discouraged to watch it. In fact, there’s a clear lack of interest among people for longer videos, and a significant drop-off can be noticed after 2 minutes of the video. Of course, at the end of the day, your top priority should be to keep your video engaging and informative, but if you can keep it under 2 minutes at the same time, that’d be perfect.
4. Optimize for no sound
As much as 85 per cent of Facebook users watch videos without sound. This is due to several reasons, first of them being the simple fact that more and more people watch these videos outside their homes – at work, on public transport or in the streets. They just don’t feel comfortable to make noises in such environments and they also see it as a kind of a loss of privacy. You simply don’t feel pleasant about the fact that every person on the bus knows exactly what you’re watching at the moment.
Thus you need to make sure to optimize your videos for these users. Including subtitles is always a good idea and can be very helpful for your view count, watch time and viewer retention. Furthermore, you’ll have to work harder on making the video amusing and pleasant to watch and provide your viewers with a more dynamic and colourful experience than when dealing with ordinary videos. In short, keep their eyes occupied.
5. Facebook’s design recommendations
When it comes to formatting your videos, it’s best to stick to guidelines set by people from Facebook themselves. Try following their recommendations as much as you can in order for your video to look really good in people’s news feeds. Everything you’d like to know about preferred compression, frame rate, file types, video ratio or thumbnail images can be found right here.
6.Square and vertical videos
If you want your Facebook ad to get really noticed, it’s advisable that you go for vertically-oriented or square videos. The reason is simple – square videos will take almost 80 per cent more space on the user’s screen, thus making the ad more prominent and harder to miss. In fact, square videos will bring you 30-35 percent more video views and 80-100 per cent increase in engagement on average. By the same token, vertical videos will be more emphasized on mobile devices, since they’re used in the portrait mode most of the time. All in all, try avoiding landscape videos whenever possible.
7. Video title and description
Textual elements that describe your video may be as important as the content and format of the video. First you need a catchy title that will make those who come across your video interested enough to pay some attention to it. Moreover, you’ll have to include relevant keywords in order to make it easily searchable.
Finally, adding an informative and captivating description can be of big importance, too. In general, in order to generate more clicks, it’s wise to keep it below some 400 characters, as Facebook tends to trim longer descriptions and people will have to click on the post in order to read the whole thing. However, as always, quality of your copy should be the priority, and length should come second. Sometimes it’s not that easy to balance out between substance and form, thus hiring some of the best digital marketing companies for this purpose is not a bad idea.
Now let’s turn to the ultimate reason you actually post and pay for Facebook ads – to increase interest for your products, drive traffic and improve conversion rates and sales. For this you need a decent call-to-action strategy, which can get kind of tricky as Facebook videos don’t support any CTA-related functionality.
Nevertheless, there are still ways to invite people to sign up, buy or simply visit your website. One of the ways is to post a link in the description, but it’s not among the most effective ones. It’s better to actually mention your business or your website in the video, and it’s even better if it’s followed by some sort of text overlay. A huge majority of businesses put these CTAs at the end of the video, but you should keep in mind that they’re most effective when they’re featured before that, preferably at points in time when your audience is engaged the most.
9. Initiate engagement
When creating a Facebook ad, try making it about more than just presenting your product to a mute and passive audience. Try getting them involved as well. Ask them if they have any comments, questions or troubles with your product and try to help them. In essence, you need to take advantage of the fact that social networks provide a platform for a two-way communication between brands and audience. Also, tagging and mentioning other pages or influencers that might find your video interesting may be a good way to involve them into the conversation as well.
10. Careful targeting
A big advantage of the most popular social media, as opposed to traditional media, is that you can carefully choose types of people that you want to present your business to. This can save you a lot of money, as your messages will be directed exactly to those that are expected to be interested in what you have to offer.
Facebook offers targeting tools that can help you reach the right demographics with the right interests. In addition, there are a lot of custom options that can help you with this, such as targeting exactly those people who have watched some of your content before. Make sure you adapt your content and language to your target market and try making the most of this convenient feature.
11. Test and analyze the feedback
Once you have your ad rolled out, it’s essential that you keep an eye on analytics. Very often the feedback can be surprising and there are numerous factors that can influence the success of your campaign. Hence don’t over-boost your posts before you’re absolutely sure they’ll do the trick for your audience. Make sure you do proper A/B testing before making any rush conclusions.
Bad results may happen due to serious oversights such as poor content quality or completely missing your target audience. Yet sometimes they happen because of seemingly trivial mistakes that are easy to fix, like posting at the wrong time of the day. So if the results are below par, stay calm, analyze every post carefully and try to detect the problem.
12. Provide quality and valuable content
The last and probably most important piece of advice is about the very quality of your content. All of the aforementioned suggestions will have absolutely no effect if the quality of your video ad is not satisfactory. This doesn’t necessarily include using high-quality gear, as it’s usually not of vital importance in this case. In this context, quality content is content that is created to engage, capture attention and, whenever possible, provide value.
Social networks such as Facebook offer businesses an opportunity to do more than a 15-second commercial that explains in a rather corny and oversimplified way how cool your company is. Try creating an ad that either offers some instant value for the viewer or at least make a firm and credible promise that it will do so. Make the ad relevant for your customers and prospects and convince them that you have the answers to their needs and questions.
The resources provided by Facebook open a world of opportunities for high-quality, valuable content of all sorts that will serve as an ad. Creating this kind of content should be your priority and your most important objective.