As a content manager, we all know that posting videos instead of images on social media can be more efficient as it helps the audience memorize the content shared by the brand. Especially now since Facebook introduced its new feature ‘Facebook Watch’, the way how videos are consumed might change completely. However, when posting content on social media or blogs, you have to think about what would be the best way to give your audience an exciting, powerful and rewarding experience. You definitely want to share content that your audience will want to talk about. Here are some tips that will help you to get more Facebook video shares.
Make longer videos
Even though the short videos performed better in the last few years the tendency has now changed and is going in the other direction. In January 2017, Facebook has announced updating its algorithm to rank the videos appearing in the News Feed in a different way. This will enable the longer videos to get more visibility in people’s News Feed, which means you are not restricted to one or two minutes anymore and you have no more excuses to create inspiring stories!
Upload your Facebook videos natively
A few years ago, Facebook offered their users the chance to not only publish YouTube links, but to also upload videos directly from their computer. Since then, they have been intensely promoting this video format. In March 2017, I analyzed more than 167,000 profiles and found out that Facebook native videos have a 1055% higher share rate than other video formats. Having said that you should definitely upload your videos natively in order to get more shares.
Tell a meaningful story
This technique is well known in the marketing sector as it is one of the most efficient techniques to get the audience’s attention in an authentic way. Indeed, nowadays when people watch commercials, they do not want to see a brand promoting a product or service for its benefits anymore. They want to be told a story which will make them want to buy what the brand offers.
In September 2013, the Irish beer company Guinness had released an interesting advertisement. In the video, you see some friends playing basketball in their wheelchairs. They play for a while and when the game is over, most of the characters get up from their wheelchairs, only one of them remains seated. In the following scene, we see them all sitting in a pub, drinking a Guinness and having a good time.
The brand was globally congratulated and the commercial was ranked number 3 of the Top 10 Best ads of 2013 by Adweek. The campaign worked very well because it tells a story based on values and moments everyone can relate to: compassion, supporting a friend, a nice evening spent with our loved ones, etc.
Another example of a well made storytelling: the German campaign #heimkommen for Edeka. An elderly man simply wants to gather his whole family for Christmas, and he manages it in a very surprising way.The brand also chose to use emotions, compassion, and a situation we can relate to tell the audience a story, and it works pretty well.
The power of most video commercials using storytelling is that you usually don’t know where the story is going, which brand has created it and why: it makes it captivating and you feel like you need to know how it ends.
… or try putting your product aside
There are different types of storytelling, and one of them is putting your company behind a cause. It will enable you to widen your audience, to show you have other interests than simply selling your product or service, and of course to give your brand’s support to an actual cause. You have probably heard of Always, the feminine hygiene products brand, and its famous Like a Girl campaign. The company’s aim is to help young girls and women understand that being a girl is not a bad thing, and its strategy to do so can inspire everyone. This campaign was released in June 2014 and the brand has actually been renewing it constantly since then as it encountered a big success.
Putting your product aside is a way to show your audience that you want more than just selling products or services: you want to create a relationship with them. You can see that on both of these campaigns the product is never explicitly shown or even shown at all.
Measure the performance of your Facebook videos
To get more Facebook video shares, you have to know what kind of posts your audience enjoys the most as well as what makes them like, comment and share posts. The best way to figure it out is by using a social media analytics tool. It will enable you to try various types of content in your videos to see what works best. With an analytics tool with in-depth Facebook Analytics such as quintly, you will for example be able to see the average time your videos have been watched. It will help you understand what could have gone wrong and at which point.
Also, you will be able to know how many organic views you had on your videos. This means you can make the difference between the number of people who have been brought to your videos through an ad, and the number of persons who came by any other way.
Use Facebook Live
There is currently a growth in the use of live video, it can for example be seen in the increased rate of Periscope users. The algorithm on Facebook is in favor of live videos, which makes them appear easily on top of the News Feed. Facebook Live is a great tool for brands to bring some human elements in their marketing. This video format should definitely be part of your strategy on the long run, in order to give you and your videos a higher outreach on a longer perspective.
Also, SEJ used Facebook Live for two months and compared their results to two months in which they did not. They found out that the “average post engagement for Facebook Live videos was 178% higher than average”. They also discovered that their Facebook referral traffic increased by 213%. They added not having changed their Facebook strategy in the meantime. If people engage more with your posts, you should get more visibility, which means that you will probably get more followers and therefore more shares on your posts in general.
Nevertheless, before planning a Facebook Live, you have to make sure that your audience will have a reason to watch it. As we usually say, less content is better than bad quality content in a higher frequency. Also, be sure that everything will work as planned to avoid any failure as HBO has experienced in March 2017. Indeed, to reveal the date of the released of the seventh season of its famous show Game Of Thrones, the american television network has chosen to do a Facebook Live. The date of the release was in a big block of ice which people could set fire to by commenting on the post. As people would comment the post, the ice would melt and the release date would appear. Problems: the video was interrupted twice and it took more than an hour to melt the whole block of ice. The audience was first really excited about HBO team’s creativity but was then fast disappointed and annoyed to wait such a long time for so few information.
Next year, @HBO, a press release will do. #GameOfThrones
— Brienne of Tarth (@BeautyBrienne) 9 mars 2017
We can admit that HBO’s idea was very original and inventive, therefore, always check that everything works as planned to be sure your creativity will not be spoiled.
The 5 first seconds are the most important
When creating a video for social media, keep in mind that your audience will only pay attention to quality and attractive content. Animoto, a video creation service, mentioned that after the five first seconds of your video, the audience will have already made up their mind on whether they want to see the rest of the video or not. Therefore, make sure that the beginning is captivating enough to keep them watching. Also, the autoplay feature enables the brands to capture the audience’s attention right from the beginning, and to keep it.
Make videos your audience wants to share
Content is often being discovered thanks to users sharing the posts they enjoy. Also, you have to remember that people rarely share your content to talk about your brand, instead they usually share it to talk about themselves. We can see on Facebook, for example, the current trend which consists in tagging a friend in a post to let him see it.
To create content your audience wants to share, you have to know your audience perfectly and you should ask: “what would my followers share with their friends?”. It can for example be content relating to a cause your audience is likely to support, food, or any kind of cute animal. If you target millennials for example, you have to know that they are food addicts. According to Forbes, “52% of food social video traffic comes from millennials”.
Anyway, whatever you choose to post, keep in mind that it has to be consistent with your social media strategy and needs to fit specifically to your unique community.
Create exclusive content to get more Facebook video shares
Yes, it takes a lot of time, but all social media has a specific purpose. Even though they tend to offer similar possibilities (e.g after Snapchat and Instagram, users can now also post stories on Facebook), the same post on Twitter would not engage the audience in the same way it would on Facebook. Not adapting the content to the individual network might have worked in the past, but nowadays the audience expects more from the brands. Creating content for each social media will make it easier to get your audience’s attention. Also, doing so will encourage your community to follow you on each of your networks to be sure they do not miss anything, so deliver a benefit to follow you on Facebook as well as Instagram. You will surely be rewarded for your efforts in the end!
Add captions for your Facebook videos
You have probably been in this situation before: you are in a waiting room or public transport, and you have no earphones. You are going through your Facebook News Feed, and a video you are interested in appears. Problem: there is no caption displayed on the video. You try to understand what is being said or shown, but you can’t comprehend anything. Adding subtitles to your video will enable anyone to see and understand it without having to listen to it. It also shows that you know your audience’s behavior and that you care for them. In addition, Facebook has said that adding subtitles increase the viewing time by 12%, which could help you raise your engagement rate.
Add a “call-to-action” button on your video
Choose only one action: your audience’s attention has to be focused on the action you really think is the most interesting at that point. Otherwise, you take the risk, by offering too many options, to reduce the engagement.
You can add it at the end of your video: if people have watched it to the end, they are probably interested in sharing it, but also learning more, watching more videos, or buying your products. But you can also add this button anytime in your video if you want to redirect people to any website you are talking about in your video. If you aim for higher shares, then ask people to share the video if they enjoyed watching it. They are more likely to do so if you ask for it.
Summing things up, I can say that there is no way around videos anymore. Videos need to be part of every strategy. The challenge is to get people to see the content, especially as a smaller brand. These 7 tips will not help you to reach more people with your videos, but also to get more Facebook video shares. Following some rules such as measuring videos is essential in order to get something in return.
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