While this chapter focuses on YouTube as the biggest video-only network, it faces a rising rival in Facebook. Although Facebook is a social network, it was boasting more than 100 million hours of video consumption per day back in 2016.
Facebook and YouTube are very different. People on Facebook don’t have the same kind of intention when they come across a video as people who deliberately search YouTube might. Facebook videos also disappear from the feed comparatively quickly, while YouTube videos remain easily findable. For marketers, possibly the most important difference is what counts as a view – on YouTube, 30 seconds counts; on Facebook, only 3 seconds is registered as a view – and given that Facebook often autoplays videos, this can be reached before a viewer even notices the video in their feed.
Your approach to videos on Facebook can’t be the same as YouTube. Some tips for Facebook Video:
- Videos need to be short (under 60 seconds). Facebook users want a distraction, and they’re more likely to like and share shorter videos – which results in increased newsfeed exposure.
- Facebook users have short attention spans. You have 4 seconds to catch their attention and keep it. Make the first 4 seconds of your video count!
- Play around with Facebook’s various video options – Live, 360, and even 360 Live. Live video gets considerably more engagement than pre-recorded.
- Let your viewer know what to expect in the post to entice them to click.
- Include a call to action – early on.
- As always, thumbnails matter – choose carefully.
- Most videos on Facebook are watched without sound – keep that in mind, and include closed captions (BufferSocial, 2017).
Remember, relevance is key for Facebook videos, so make good use of the Facebook targeting options (discussed in the Social Media chapters) to make sure your video reaches exactly the right people.
Don’t forget that Facebook allows you to create video ads. It is one of the options on Facebook Ads Manager. Facebook also allows you to create short mid-roll ads that play in the middle of another video. The viewer must finish these before they can continue with the video.