Facebook video, it’s one of those things that we marketers have been talking about, constantly, in 2017. Video is definitely the thing this year.
The problem is it’s not always as easy as we think. We create the videos, it takes a lot of time and sometimes they don’t perform as well as we expect.
It’s frustrating. I shared a video from another business on my page recently and the reach and engagement were huge. I looked at the video, why did it work? Why didn’t my own videos do that well?
Time to investigate
How to get more from Facebook Video
Square video rules
Mari Smith talked about square video at Social Media Summit earlier this year. She pointed to research from Buffer and Animoto showing that square formatted video gets between 80 and 100 percent more engagement on Facebook. I decided to give it a go.
I took my standard, landscape formatted video for YouTube, and looked into ways to squarify it. I settled on a simple solution. The Instasize app available for iOS and Android allows you to add a square background to any image. It has a library of backgrounds and wallpapers but you can also choose a photo from your camera roll. I created a selection of backgrounds for videos and sent them to my phone, this allowed me to brand my content.
As you may know, I’m not a fan of vertical video. At least I wasn’t until Snapchat came along. Once I’d started using it I realised that some videos did work better in the portrait format. Vertical video is here.
If your Facebook audience uses their mobile to view your content (and most will) Vertical video could be a good choice. When they hit the play button the video expands to fill the screen. A great way to retain their attention.
This is something I’ve been doing for a while now and I did see a bump in my views when I did. Subtitles are important on Facebook, according to Digiday, 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off.
This is very different to YouTube where 96% watch with the sound on.
Why the difference? We treat Facebook and YouTube differently. When we go to YouTube we go there specifically to watch a video. On Facebook we’re scrolling, passing time. A video might catch our eye but if we press play and unleash the sound we’ll be broadcasting to everyone around us.
So if we want to capture the attention of the Facebook audience we need to give them a taster of what is in the video. If we want them to keep watching we’re going to have to accept that they’ll be watching it with the sound off. We need to subtitle.
Facebook make subtitling easy. You can auto-caption videos you upload.
Here’s a quick tutorial showing you how:
You will need to edit the auto-generated captions. Facebook doesn’t always understand what you’re saying.
For cooler captions, if you are an iPhone user give the Apple Clips app a go. It will caption your videos either in real time as you record or will add them once you’ve finished recording. As a bonus the videos are square shaped, perfect for sharing on Facebook.
I love live video, I enjoy my weekly show but it’s not always been easy for me. Even after years of recording video of myself, I found it hard to go live for the first time on Facebook. There’s something about that raw, live moment that is scary.
If you can overcome the nerves give it a shot. Live video gets great reach, it’s the best way to connect directly to your viewers and according to Facebook people will watch a live broadcast (whilst live) 3x longer than a non-live video.
These tips will help your video reach more people and get more engagement. The videos I have shared that got the most engagement were square, were subtitled and although they weren’t live I’ve seen from my own experience that Live video works exceptionally well for engagement and relationship building.
Do you have and tricks you use to get more from your Facebook video? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas so I can give them a try.
Get a headstart on Google Analytics 4 & understand the lingo with the GA4 phrase book