Facebook’s News Feed is arguably the internet’s most valuable piece of ‘real estate’ given that it is the first thing its two billion users see when they go onto the platform.
You would think then that getting attention within the News Feed would be a priority for most brands but strangely that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Instead, many seem to focus more on their Facebook page. This is missing a trick because the News Feed is essential if you want to expand your reach; relying on search will only take you so far. Discovery is at the heart of finding your audience in social, regardless of the platform.
At the end of last year, Facebook updated the way it determines what people see in their News Feed. You are now more likely to see videos that Facebook thinks you will want to watch based on pages you have liked and your search history.
We’re entering this new golden age of video, I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.
In its blog post announcing the changes, Facebook said: “Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in the News Feed and will continue to do so.”
This statement emphasises the growing importance of video to Facebook. Every day, more than half a billion people watch video on Facebook. What’s more, views of branded video content have increased 258% on Facebook since June 2016.
While these statistics sound impressive, what do they actually mean?
Facebook counts a view as someone watching your video for three seconds or more, or to 97% of its length, whichever happens first. Tempting as it is to suggest that this is a self-serving metric used by Facebook to boost its figures (and act as a vanity metric for video posters), this is not the case. Research by Nielsen and Facebook has found that up to 47% of the value in a video campaign is delivered in the first three seconds.
This confirms what I said in my blog, Why Your Business Needs To Become A Content Company, that brands are now in the ‘moments’ business.
So, first off, grab your viewer’s attention. Once you have done that, your goal is to keep it. The same Nielsen study found that up to 74% of the value of video is delivered in the first 10 seconds (which is why Facebook uses that as a metric, too). One useful tactic for doing this is to burn text into your video. This works better than sound as many Facebook videos are watched with the sound off (up to 85% of them, in fact).
These metrics are fine if you are trying to build brand awareness but less helpful if you want to identify your ROI. This can be difficult to do but there are other metrics that are useful to measure the effectiveness of your video:
- Average watch percentage. This tells you how much of your video people have watched and therefore how interested your audience is in it. It can also help you decide what to post in future. Like YouTube, Facebook’s algorithm probably gives higher rankings to videos with better engagement and these are more likely to appear in News Feeds.
- Engagement and sharing. Are people commenting on and liking video? This is a good indicator that it is not just running in people’s feed without them watching it. More importantly, are people sharing your video? Facebook says that 48% of video watch time on Facebook comes from shares.
- Page likes. As your content reaches more people, the number of people liking your page should go up. You can use Facebook tracking tools to determine which videos have led to increased likes.
The launch of Facebook Watch last year – it is due in the UK this summer – is further evidence of the platform’s commitment to video, with Mashable predicting it will become bigger than YouTube.
“We’re entering this new golden age of video,” said Mark Zuckerberg to BuzzFeed News a couple of years ago. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”
(Trailer for Glow is an example of how Netflix is creating additional content to distinguish its content in the Facebook timeline)
Whilst they may end up becoming serious competition, for now at least, Netflix is using Facebook to promote its own video streaming service to its 45 million Facebook fans. This is a strategy many businesses would be wise to follow, especially if they do so in a way that focuses on reaching people’s News Feeds.
To discuss producing a video for your business for use on Facebook, please contact us now.