Fun fact: 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day.

facebook video

If that number doesn’t make you want to start adding video to your marketing strategy, we don’t know what will!

Since the 2018 Facebook algorithm update, however, brand pages have seen their organic reach drop continuously as the platform now focuses on showing content created by a user’s friends and family members.

Even if you can work your way to a decent organic reach, you should know that only 17% of all users spend more than 30 seconds watching a Facebook video.

If you need help figuring out the big, scary world of Facebook video content, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ve gathered 10 essential actions that will help you get the most of your video strategy on Facebook in terms of reach and engagement.

While this article will focus on posting videos on Facebook organically, check out our guide to Facebook Ads videos if you’re interested in Facebook advertising. Oh, and we’ve got a guide to posting Facebook Stories too!

Think short & catchy 🎯

A study by Microsoft has shown that the average attention span of a human being is just 8 seconds. This number should always be on your mind when creating videos for Facebook.

That means that the first 8 seconds of your video should…

  • Catch your audience’s interest. The very first image should trigger the viewer’s curiosity. If making an interview video, you could start with a striking statement made by the interviewee. The video could also begin with a shocking stat or a powerful scene.
  • Reveal the video’s main topic. Once you’ve managed to catch the audience’s interest, your second challenge will be encouraging them to keep watching. Remember to clearly state what they will get out of the video.
  • Showcase your brand. Just be subtle about it 😉 Showing your logo during the intro could be enough, or you could place it in a corner and display it throughout the video. This will help the audience know who is behind it.

As a result, there is no way you could just wing it when it comes to editing your video. As part of your planning process, remember to prepare a script and a storyboard ahead of shooting the video. These 2 key documents will guide you throughout the entire process as they will include the video’s messaging, structure and its various sequences.

Check out this impactful Facebook video by AirBnB that generated a lot of comments:

Whether you're the vacation mom who takes pictures of everything or the vacation mom who is always the first in the pool, we want to say happy Mother's Day. We celebrate you today and everyday. Share your favorite vacation mom story with us in the comments below!

Geplaatst door Airbnb op Vrijdag 12 mei 2017

Take advantage of storytelling 📖

Social media platforms allow users to share stories, unique experiences or achievements, and Facebook is no different.

If you want to catch the audience’s interest while they are browsing their News Feed, you need to tell them a story that will make them want to find out more about your brand, its universe and its product. This is where storytelling comes into play!

Feeling unsure about your abilities? Following these tips should help you get your creative juices flowing:

  • Personify your brand. Users should be able to identify with your brand to feel engaged. Take the time to think about who should represent your brand by appearing in your video.
  • Trigger emotions. Whether it is melancholy or joy, you should aim to trigger emotions in your audience. In case the topic of the video doesn’t leave much room for that, focus on picking a soundtrack that fits the mood.
  • Structure your content. Just like any good story, a video should include an introduction, some plot twists and an outcome. Think of this structure when writing a script.
  • Speak the same language as your audience. Focus on short sentences that are easy to understand and avoid jargon. Choose well-spoken people to appear in the video as well.

In the end, remember good storytelling is the key to virality on social media.

Include a call-to-action ✨

It doesn’t matter whether you are making a sales-oriented video or are just hoping to engage your community—every video should have its own CTA.

This will tell your audience what you expect them to do after watching: attending a Facebook event, requesting a demo or just liking or commenting on the video.

We recommend placing your CTA at the very end of your video, either by having someone say it on camera or by doing a text-based CTA screen.

Always use action verbs too.

Add subtitles ✍️

Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound?

While Facebook users are very much into videos, they might not be consuming your content the way you intended—they might be watching while commuting and without headphones or at the office.

Of course Facebook knows that, which is why videos autoplay without sound.

This is taking us to our 4th tip: a successful Facebook video should definitely include subtitles. But not just any subtitles—make sure they are easy to read and clearly visible.

Here are some of your options when it comes to adding them to a video:

  • Use Facebook’s Caption Generator (available through Creator Studio). A risky choice if we may, as the algorithms that are in charge of generating subtitles are not the most reliable tool.
  • Importing subtitles from a text file. This is a good alternative solution, especially if you need to shorten your text to make longer sentences easier to comprehend.
  • Integrating subtitles when making the video.

This last solution is recommended by every video marketing expert. It lets you keep control over the text that will appear on your video and allows you to make sure everything is aligned with your branding (fonts, colors etc.).

Here’s a good example of a video that was created with integrated subtitles:

Earth Day: Recycling Myths

What on 🌎 is happening with your recycling? #HappyEarthDay

Geplaatst door HubSpot op Zaterdag 22 april 2017

Post your video natively 📹

Once you’ve edited your video, it’s time to show it to the world!

While it might be tempting to publish your video on an external platform such as YouTube so that all views are gathered in one place, this might actually lower its overall reach.

We always recommend publishing videos natively on Facebook rather than sharing it as a link. Here’s why:

  • Facebook’s algorithm favors native videos, which makes sense as their goal is to keep their users on the platform. A Quintly study has shown that the interactions for Facebook native videos are on average 168% higher than for YouTube videos, as well as 477% more shares and 530% more comments.
  • Posting natively makes videos look better in the News Feed. If sharing a video through YouTube, your post will include a thumbnail image and a title—that’s it! Posting natively means your video will autoplay, which is a huge help when it comes to getting people to watch it.
  • You will have access to better personalization options. Using Facebook’s Creator Studio, you can edit the title of your video, its thumbnail image as well as its tags. All of this will increase its discovery potential.

Keep reading to find out more about that last point.

Use the right format 💻

Once you’ve made the (clever 😉) decision to publish a video natively on Facebook, you are faced with the tricky format question: You need to figure out the best way for your video to look within a user’s News Feed.

The answer depends on its format. While horizontal videos are still a good fit for Facebook, vertical or square videos work better on mobile devices, so keep that in mind.

Now that you’ve chosen a format, check out Facebook’s video specs to optimize it for the News Feed:

Horizontal video Vertical video Square video
Dimensions 1280 x 720 px 720 x 1280 px 1080 x 1080 px
Ratio 16:9 9:16 1:1
Format .mp4 ou .mov
Max file size 4Go
Max length 120 minutes

As an accomplished marketer, you have your own multichannel video strategy that allows you to share your content on several platforms. But as you know, each platform has its own requirements and you’ll need to make sure your videos meet them. This obviously makes the video making process a bit more tedious.

What if we told you that there is a video making platform that easily lets you convert your video to the right format for each platform? PlayPlay is the best video making solution when it comes to creating impactful content.
Give it a try for free for 7 days!

Add metadata to your video ⚙️

Meta… what? Stay with us here, it’s not that complicated!

Metadata is used to describe all data about your video that can be personalized through Creator Studio on Facebook. It’s just the same as YouTube, which lets you work on a video’s SEO easily.

Facebook has two main features in that field, so let us give you a quick tour:

  • Video title: You get 25 characters to describe the video’s topic. This should aim to make your target audience stop scrolling. It appears right below the video.
  • Tags: This is where you can insert keywords or short phrases that explain what the video is about. This will help Facebook know what category the video falls into. For example, if you add “beauty” and “makeup tutorial” as tags, Facebook is more likely to play it right after another similar video, especially in the Watch tab.

Create an attractive thumbnail image 🎨

Every video content creator knows that a good thumbnail image is essential. This is also true on Facebook. While videos do autoplay in the News Feed, if a user has deactivated this feature, they will see your thumbnail.

Here too, Facebook’s Creator Studio can automatically select a thumbnail image for you—but that might not be the best possible option!

To keep control over the way your Facebook video will be received, we recommend creating your own, personalized thumbnail image that fits your branding. Regarding its format, just use the same aspect ratio as your video (9:16 for a horizontal video, for example).

This is what should be included in your thumbnail image:

  • An eye-catching background image. The human brain is naturally attracted to human faces. If possible, try to add a face as a background, or just select an image that triggers emotions.
  • A catchy copy. Limit yourself to just a few words, but make sure your audience wants to find out more. You could use a striking statement from the video, a key stat or simply an evocative title.
  • Enough contrast for your title to appear clearly—remember not everyone has got 20/20 vision. You might need to apply a filter to the background image to make the title stand out, or you could highlight it.
  • Your brand. Keep things subtle here, unless you are releasing an official ad campaign. Just include your logo and use your own brand identity in the video and you’ll be good to go.

Last but not least: avoid clickbait at all costs! While it might be tempting to generate curiosity by being shocking or making big promises in your caption or on your thumbnail image, you are at risk of deceiving your audience, which would do more harm than good. You wouldn't want to harm your brand image, right?

Write a clever post about your video 📝

Now that your Facebook video is ready to post, there is one last thing to do: writing a copy for the post that will be used to share the video. This copy should also aim to catch the attention of your target audience.

It should include the following elements:

  • What makes the video worth watching. Your copy should make the audience understand what to expect. Key messages should be placed within the first 160 characters so people don’t need to click “See more” to see them.
  • A call-to-action. Your post should include the same CTA as the one mentioned at the end of your video. It could be a link to a specific landing page or just a call to interact with your content directly on Facebook.
  • Hashtags. Once popular on Twitter only, hashtags have taken social media by storm over the past years, so do use them. They will help assign your content to the right category within the Facebook Watch tab and will allow more potential viewers to find your content.
  • Influencers and partners tags. You can always tag relevant Facebook pages or people in your posts, such as the person you are interviewing or a B2B partner. The person you tagged might share the post, which will increase your video’s reach.

Well done, your post is now officially ready! To make sharing content on social media even easier, we recommend using an editorial calendar to get a better overview of what will be posted when and where. PlayPlay has got its own editorial calendar template that you can download right now. Take a look!

Monitor your video's performance 📈

Monitoring your content’s performance regularly is the only way to find out whether your social media strategy is working and what influence it has on your business and its income. The Insights tab of Creator Studio is great for that. Just click “Video” to access all relevant KPIs to measure your current performance.

Facebook provides a huge list of metrics, so we thought we would give you a better overview regarding the relevant KPIs for your own marketing objectives.

Tab Key metrics Why?
Performance
  • Minutes views
  • 1-minute video views
  • 3-second video views
  • Engagement
  • Net followers
To measure a video’s reach and the engagement it generates
Loyalty
  • Returning viewers
  • Complete views
To evaluate a video’s impact when it comes to follower loyalty
Audience
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Country
  • Interests…
To make sure you are reaching your target audience
Retention
  • View origin
  • Average view time
To measure how much your videos catch your audience’s attention

These metrics are great tools that will let you optimize your Facebook video strategy as you go. If you realize your target audience isn’t watching your videos for more than 3 seconds, you might need to make your videos shorter or work on your intro.

Congrats! You are now ready to publish successful videos on Facebook to generate brand awareness and engagement.