According to recent research, the number of videos posted on Facebook in the past year alone has increased 94% in the US and 75% worldwide. Further to that, 65% of Facebook videos are viewed on a mobile device and the number of videos a user can expect to see in their newsfeed has increased by 3.6X in the last year. For marketers, this represents an opportunity for reaching an audience in a way that many are so far failing to exploit.
Capturing user attention and retaining it is something that Facebook is leaps and bounds ahead in. The site remains the most popular in the world, beating YouTube and even Netflix when it comes to how much time users spend on the site substantially.
When the site added native video into the mix, it saw a 58% increase in engagement and a 134% jump in native video plays.
So how do you go about creating and sharing a Facebook video ad that people will actually want to see to further increase brand awareness and peddle your wares?
Put in Some Planning
Firstly, it’s wise to carry out some planning and prepare the groundwork if your video is to be a success. You will already know who your ideal customer is and based on this, you should carry out some research into what your demographic engages with. Look for videos that have a certain amount of virality by checking out the number of Likes, Shares and comments. This is a good indication of what genre your audience enjoys and from there, you can begin to plan your own content.
Keep it Short
When you begin to write the script, do bear in mind that you only have 15 seconds to play with maximum to grab your audience’s attention initially, so you want your message to be highly visual and punchy. Since Facebook enables autoplay, you should avoid relying on sound as some people will scroll past and take in the video as they go without sound (which is only enabled once a user has stopped to play the video.)
Graphical videos tend to do well, so get creative and think about how you can make moving graphics that will convey your message quickly and succinctly. Or you can use attractively shot images of your product if it’s the type that will look great from every angle and convey a certain experience to the audience. You shouldn’t ignore sound altogether either, just don’t create a video that has lots of talking and rely instead on nice background music that complements the video – do make sure that you have the right to use your selected music too.
Tell a Story
Facebook offers viewers the opportunity to check out other videos by the same brand when an ad has been viewed, so take advantage of this and create at least two more videos and tell a story across them all to tie them together. This can be anything you like, from how your product has solved a problem for a customer, to the story of how your product is used.
You can also make one of the videos the featured video for your page, which will then appear above the about section quite prominently.
Cosmetics firm Dove produce highly effective videos and sponsor certain videos with post boosts according to Andrea Vahl writing for Social Media Examiner. With this in mind, study these videos in order to determine what it is that makes them so popular. Dove is a leader in creating videos that sell an experience rather than the soap that it manufactures, so consider how you could emulate this.
As discussed, you should aim to keep video short and succinct and you should also aim to tell a story across all of the videos that you produce for Facebook. It’s not advisable to reuse content that you’ve posted on YouTube or any other channel either, create videos specifically for the platform.
You don’t need to invest in a production company to make the video for you, unless of course you have the budget, in which case you may find that a production company has better ideas that are informed by working on video for social media. With that in mind, if you do use one then do make sure that you ask about any previous successful Facebook campaigns that they’ve created.
Do make sure if you’re going to use your own equipment that it includes:
- A fairly decent camera, it’s unlikely that your smartphone will do
- Good lighting – if you don’t have it, first test the lighting where you’re planning on shooting the video and if necessary, hire additional equipment
- A microphone – the in-built mic on the majority of cameras aren’t good enough
- Video editing software – there are plenty of paid and free options available
For video ads, you should also bear in mind the specifications that you have to work with, which are:
- 1GB max file size
- MOV format
- Minimum 720p resolution
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- 10-15 seconds in length
- High quality representative thumbnail image
For other Facebook videos which are not created for ads, you can make them a little longer but these should still be kept relatively short – a couple of minutes is usually ample.
Note that the video must be saved to your computer for upload, you can’t embed a video from YouTube, it won’t work.
Video Ads via Boosted Post
Before you begin you should have chosen a thumbnail image to represent the video content when it’s not playing. Remember that this is essentially your ‘shop front’ and as such should be high quality and attractive enough to encourage clicks.
Next, choose the file and upload it to Facebook in the status box, making sure first that you’re logged in and using Facebook as your business, rather than on your personal account. Here you’ll enter some information about the video which is your first CTA and should prompt a user to watch (as should your thumbnail). You can’t go back and change this later, so make absolutely sure that everything is spelled correctly and that the message is punchy and provides a hook to encourage views.
You can then tag the appropriate people whilst the video is uploading. If your friends are amenable then by all means tag them as well as yourself so that you further extend the initial reach. However, don’t go mad and start tagging people without asking them as this is a form of spamming. Some people recommend that you tag influencers in order to get noticed, but this isn’t something that I would advise unless you already know them and feel comfortable asking.
Once you’ve done this, you can then go into Adverts Manager to boost the post as you would any other.
Using Create an Ad
You can of course also go straight into Adverts Manager and create an ad from there. To do this, go to Adverts Manager and select ‘Get Video Views’.
Once you’ve done that, click continue and move on to the targeting page where you can enter the demographics of the audience that you want to target. Don’t make your selection too broad or it’s unlikely that you’ll see much of a return on your investment. You’ll also need to enter your daily budget on this screen before moving on. Once you’ve done this, scroll down to the Upload Video links.
As you can see, if you have existing videos that you’ve already uploaded to the site, then you can use these simply by browsing the video library. Next, whilst your video is uploading, scroll down further to the next area where you can add accompanying text and a CTA.
Once you’ve done all this, then it’s time to review the ad, making sure that everything appears as you want it to and then hit the ‘Place Order’ button. Your video will then be reviewed before going live, at which point you can begin to monitor it using Facebook Insights. Note that the review process can take as much as 24 hours, so don’t worry if you don’t immediately see that your ad has been approved.
Marketing Facebook Video
If you’re choosing to boost posts then you can market these by embedding in your blog posts to start with. To do this go to the original post page and choose ‘Embed Post’ which appears underneath the video to the right. You should ask your most loyal followers to share and you should respond to any comments left in a timely manner if your post is going to get more engagement.
To further boost engagement, you can also set some video posts to private, so that only those who follow your page can view them. This gives your fans the feeling that they’re accessing content that is a little special and should further boost interaction and engagement.
You could also try holding a Q&A session based on the video content for your followers to encourage further views. You can begin this even before you’ve uploaded the video by creating a question and asking your fans to participate. Once you have a little engagement, upload the video and ask fans further questions based on the content and then invite fans to submit their own questions. Obviously this works best with educational content, but it’s possible to carry this out for a product, if it’s exciting enough to warrant lots of user interest.
Consider a Series
It’s worthwhile considering making a series of videos if you’re sharing educational content too. Think about Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday feature on Moz for example. In this weekly feature, Rand chats about the latest news and techniques in the SEO space (if you haven’t seen it I would recommend it). You can create a similar series based on your products, services and industry. For example, if the business that you’re promoting is a restaurant or supermarket, then a weekly cooking tip would be ideal. Do try and think a little out of the box though, we all know how to boil an egg, for example. Recently, there’s been a spate of posts around peeling an egg (amongst other things) which has a bit of a clickbait headline in that it states ‘you’ve been peeling eggs all wrong – this is amazing!’ or something similar, but the posts have been shared far and wide so consider what ‘hacks’ you can offer that people would love that are connected to your industry.
Facebook has become an excellent platform for video marketing and has already overtaken YouTube when it comes to engagement. With this in mind, you’ll be missing out if you ignore what the social media site has to offer. You needn’t spend a fortune on producing and distributing video, it’s far easier and more cost-effective now than it’s ever been in the past. However, you should take time to really hone your message and ensure that it can be put across quickly whilst making an impact.
If your budget is tight, then create videos and upload them anyway and you can then go on to boost the posts when your budget allows. These can then also be further marketed in your blog posts, as links on the other social media sites where appropriate and even in your newsletters. We now consume a huge amount of video online and consumers can’t appear to get enough of it, so make sure that you don’t miss out and get writing that script and thinking up ideas now. You could even hold a Facebook competition to see what your followers would like to see in your video content, giving the winner credits on the post.
Whatever you decide, do make sure that you carry out some research first and have a great idea of what your audience will love. If you know your audience as you should – which is thoroughly – then you should have a fair idea, but it doesn’t hurt to check out the successes of others which will help to kickstart the creative process and help you to come up with ideas.
Do you have a favourite video series by a brand that you think is exceptional? Let us know your successes and what videos you think have got it right or wrong in the comments.