Facebook have let us into a big fat secret this month by telling us which 'signals' their platform algorithm favours when distribution videos. And it seems to be great news for original content creator and traditional rights holders alike! But before you start throwing any old video at the platform, make sure you know how to get the most from your video strategy for maximum audience growth.
Below we share our thoughts on Facebook's key signals for video and tips on how to turn this into a winning content strategy:
Upload videos that you have made yourself and that don't already exist on the platform. This indicates that Facebook's video fingerprinting is very sophisticated these days as it suggests the platform will be able to pick up if your video has been uploaded by another user.
Think twice about licensing content to upload to your business page or profile. If you're working with an influencer and uploading their video to your brand page, make sure the influencer uploads the video first to ensure maximum reach. Avoid using 3rd party content like copyrighted music and video clips where possible. If you need to use 3rd party content you must clear all licenses in advance of uploading the video.
2. Viewing behaviours and video attributes
Facebook have suggested that they are more likely to surface a video if it has a duration longer than 3 minutes, and de-prioritise anything deemed as "click bait". Could this be the end of the meme gif?! We certainly hope so!
How your video starts is going to be really important while Facebook users get used to longer form content on the platform. You only have 3 seconds to hook a viewer in! Use it to tease later content. Be bold and create empathy and emotion around your message. Saving your key message til last just won't work for Facebook where we are used to rapidly consuming vast amounts of content. And we love to see colourful things on Facebook so you can forget about minimalism (unless your channel is all about minimalism...!).
3. Loyalty and Intent
Your videos will start to perform better if your audience finds them through search, Facebook Watch or directly through your page. Until now Facebook has not been the leading site for discovery of video content (YouTube have that covered!) but perhaps that is about to change.
Do as Facebook suggests and add keyword heavy titles and descriptions to help with search and discovery. We would take this a step further! Make sure your title is attention grabbing and 100% relates to the video (this will also stop your video being identified as click bait). Whichever way someone has found your video you need to convince them to stick around and watch it, and then watch some more. Think of your page as a TV channel and consider whether your videos can be grouped as series. Regular video content is going to build loyalty. Tell your audience if the video is part of a series and when and where they can find more.
We have long known that the Facebook algorithm loves audiences clicking on things! But did you know that for most pages, video naturally has the highest engagement of all post types on the platform?
Encourage conversation by asking questions and requesting comments both in the video and accompanying text. Try to make the content relatable so that your audience can see themselves or their friends in the same situation as you and are compelled to share or tag them in the comments. Shout out previous comments, ideas and suggestions made by your audience in your next video. Don't waste your message! It is reported that approx. 85% of your audience will be watching without sound so make sure you use captions or subtitles.
Contact Liz for more information on how these changes can be harnessed to improve your video content strategy.