How to improve Facebook video engagement metrics

Published Jul 25, 2018 | Written by Jeremy Knight

More than 87 per cent of online marketers now use video content. And on Facebook, video is the top performing content type - over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day.

Social media video steams ahead of photos, links and status updates in terms of user engagement.

So what can your business do to improve your video marketing metrics on Facebook? 

Get ranked highly by Facebook

Facebook controls what people see on their newsfeed using algorithms that predict their interests.

The way that Facebook ranks video was updated earlier this year. Video content that gets sought out and returned to by viewers is now ranked favourably. Additionally, social media video that has visibly inspired interaction and conversation is given greater prominence. 

This leaves marketers with two clear goals: provoke social interaction and encourage loyal viewership.

Increase audience interaction

What reaction do viewers have to your videos? The News Feed algorithm evaluates likes, shares, comments and conversation between people.

Is it being shared on timelines, or privately forwarded through messenger?

A conversational buzz around your video boosts the likelihood others will see it. So be responsive. Reply to comments, ask your audience questions, solicit feedback, and encourage discussion.

Publish frequently

Some things can't be changed overnight.

Do you post web video regularly and consistently? This is a good way to build expectation and maintain authority. A returning audience improves the visibility of your business, thanks to the way that Facebook ranks video.

Regular publishing gives your audience the imperative to return to your profile. If you want a large, loyal audience, publishing high-quality video content on a regular basis is the first step.

You can build on your video brand identity by producing serialised videos, or by focussing on one theme or using the same cast, tone of voice or format. Finding a through-line that connects your videos will satisfy return viewers looking for a fix.

Ask yourself whether your video will entice viewers to watch another video from your business.

Encourage viewers to like your page and become followers.

Upload directly to Facebook

Facebook gives preference to videos that have been uploaded to directly to the social media platform.

Instead of sharing a video you have published on YouTube, or another video hosting site, upload a separate version to Facebook to improve your ranking.

Use mobile-friendly design

A large portion of your viewers watch your videos while they are having a break at work, or passing time as they commute. This is one reason why so many Facebook videos are watched without sound.

You need to be able to convey your message with or without audio. Can you do this solely through visual means?

This comes as part of the growing need to make web content mobile friendly. Over 92 per cent of Facebook users visit the site on their mobile device daily.

Captions can help reinforce the message of your video, even when there is no audio.

Grab attention

Colours and imagery that represent your brand and message from the very beginning help to retain viewers.

Facebook gets 8 billion video views per day, your thumbnail and video need to stand out.

Product shots, exciting colour combinations and likeable spokespeople will catch the eye.

What kind of video should you publish?

Facebook supports most video files, but they recommend using the MP4 format.

The resolution ought to be 1080p or less.

File sizes can be as large as 10 GB. However, remember that smaller files will load faster - and provide a better user experience - so optimise your video and reduce its file size as best you can.

On Facebook, videos cannot be longer than 240 minutes. An excessively long video will affect load times and deter viewers.

For the best sound quality, Facebook recommends Stereo AAC audio compression with 128 kbps or more.

Experiment with video shape

Newsfeed video doesn’t necessarily have to be delivered in a standard 16:9 ratio format. There’s nothing to stop you publishing vertical videos because Facebook now shows larger vertical previews in mobile newsfeeds.

Because they take up more screen space, square video receives better engagement, views, and reach – especially on mobile.

What topic should you cover?

The high tech and professional services industries are leading the way at corporate video - and not always with video about their field.

Prospective customers won’t necessarily be searching for topics related to your industry while they are on Facebook. It’s a platform designed to keep in touch with family and friends and share interesting things.

For this reason, it’s okay for your business to explore things a little outside of your niche.

A video needs to be entertaining, inspirational or educational to pull in viewers on this social media platform. ‘How to’ videos are the perfect candidate for the job.

What’s the right length for Facebook videos?

Marketers have adapted their approach to video to accommodate today’s dwindling attention spans. 56 per cent of all videos published in the last year were less than 2 minutes long.

The ideal length for a native video on Facebook is 60 - 90 seconds.

Facebook live video is the exception. Research shows that live videos with the highest engagement rates are between 18 and 20 minutes.

How to write text for video

To get the best results from your video marketing campaign, you will need to optimise your video title, descriptive text and metadata.

The best performing introductory text for Facebook videos tends to be no longer than 60 characters. This is enough to be descriptive enough to encourage viewers to click and find out more.

If you want to get creative with your copy, you could consider asking a question, adding a quote from your content or using some emojis.

For SEO purposes, including a suitable title that contains keywords around a topic you are focussing on. This will increase the visibility of your video.

Video CTA

A video call to action helps move viewers along the buyer’s journey by providing them with some relevant next steps. CTAs encourage higher conversions, click-through-rates, and traffic to your website or other video content.

You can place your video CTA in your Facebook post copy, or at the end of your video using an overlay.

Experiment with Facebook Ad Campaigns

You can give your video a leg up with sponsorship that targets an audience based on their location, age, interest and other individual factors.

When you sponsor a post it will appear on the newsfeeds of users that may not be a part of your network, but fit a specific profile. This can be a very fruitful task after going through the process of defining buyer personas.

These are just come ideas on how to improve your Facebook video engagement metrics. For a more complete guide on how to create inbound marketing videos, download our eBook. 

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Published by Jeremy Knight July 25, 2018
Jeremy Knight