In the first part of our (groundbreaking) analysis on video marketing, Total Market Exposure looked at the current state of video and where it may go in the future. In the second part, we examined how you can build your audience and connect to them via the video tech giant YouTube. If you missed either, you should go check them out.
Watching videos accounts for about 74% of the internet’s total usage. If you’re not producing some form of video content, you’re missing out on three quarters of your potential internet market share.
In Part 3 of TME’s critically-acclaimed series on how you can grow your audience via video marketing and how you can convert those numbers into sales, we will focus on Facebook and its potential as a video platform.
Facebook, launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his Harvard classmates, is now the seventh-most-valuable company in the world with an estimated worth of $321 billion. It has over a billion users worldwide, and in the US, over 83% of 18-29 year old users are on it.
All of which to say, Facebook is obviously a big deal and a great way to amplify your message to the largest audience possible.
Facebook and Video
So where is this internet and personal marketing juggernaut heading in the future? Let’s turn to a 2014 speech by Mark Zuckerberg and see:
“In five years, most of Facebook will be video.”
Zuckerberg believes video is so important to Facebook, and by extension the future of media and online social interaction, that Facebook will be primarily comprised of videos by the year 2019. Holy cow!
When Facebook first started, its video capabilities consisted of being able to easily post and share videos from popular video-sharing services like YouTube or Vimeo. Facebook didn’t want to just funnel clicks and views to Google (who owns YouTube), so they started hosting their own videos.
Unlike other video sites, Facebook automatically plays its videos when you hover on them while scrolling down your newsfeed. While initially decried by advertising experts when it debuted in 2013, the auto-play feature has revolutionized Facebook video.
Since videos began auto-playing, views have risen almost 94% percent. People now watch almost 3 billion videos per day (Recent developments indicate that those numbers may be a tad high, but still)
Facebook videos tend to get over 7 times as many viewer engagements than videos on other mediums like YouTube or Pinterest. A main reason why is how much more central the comment section is to the Facebook experience. On Facebook, the ability to engage with and comment on the video is the whole point. When someone shares a video with you, they’re looking for some comment or opinion on it. With YouTube on the other hand, the comment section is basically just one big tire fire of racism and homophobia.
Facebook has also tweaked their algorithms so that videos are given greater priority on people’s timelines. The team of wizards at Facebook is always trying to ensure that the right content makes it onto your timeline. Their most recent development is to time how long you spend with content, and people spend more times with videos than with texts. So a video of your recent wedding engagement will almost certainly receive more likes than a photo of your ring because Facebook likes videos more.
In the US, 83% of 18 to 29 years olds are on Facebook. If you want to reach them (which you do), you need to start putting videos places where they’ll see them – like social media. Facebook is the best place to start.
When it initially launched, Facebook Live was only for celebrities. Now it’s for everyone, from the most famous celebrities to the least famous normal people to the most famous normal people wearing Chewbacca masks.
Here are some tips to make sure that you’re maximizing your brand’s presence on Facebook Live:
- Hype it Up- Your Facebook Live Stream is an event, and you should advertise it thusly. Let your followers know in advance when your live stream is happening and what it’s about. Hyping yourself up can be awkward, but it’s necessary to alert your audience and pique their interest. Otherwise, you’re just like U2 dropping some album straight into people’s library without any warning or desire from the audience.
- Be Prepared- If you promise your followers a 25-minute live diatribe on your haters, you better deliver it without your Wi-Fi dropping out or your mom busting into the basement. Take the time to check your equipment and lock your operation down before you go live.
- Write Compelling and Accurate Descriptions- There are so many places online for people to waste time. Why should a viewer choose to waste theirs with you? That’s why you need a compelling description to entice the viewer and let them know what they’ll receive if they choose to stop and watch your video. I added “accurate” because you can’t just describe your video as “Kim Kardashian said WHAT??” to try and generate views if you don’t actually have a video of Kim saying something astonishing enough to warrant an all-caps WHAT?
- Broadcast for at Least Ten Minutes- Think about it: the longer you broadcast for, the greater your odds of someone hopping on and watching your video. Longer videos also take advantage of what makes Facebook Live so unique. If it’s a ten second video, you might as well just send a snap.
- Engage with your Audience- Remember when we said that Facebook videos get much higher user engagement than videos on other mediums? That goes double for Facebook Live. If you want, your Facebook Live video can basically be a live Reddit AMA where people post their questions in the comments section and you respond immediately.
One of the issues Facebook has already experienced with Facebook Live is the impossible nature of moderating graphic or offensive content. When something is so ephemeral, you can’t monitor or control what gets put out. This has been both very good and very bad.
For example, there have already been several cases where citizens instantly broadcast abuses of power to millions of people, the most famous being when a Minnesota woman took a Facebook Live video of her boyfriend being shot and killed by the police during a routine traffic stop. Facebook Live helped shed light on a very problematic nationwide trend that for some people, you need to see to believe.
On the flip side, abusers have used it to publish their dastardly deals and crimes. While Facebook can take down the worst and most offensive videos, they can’t do so instantly despite a team dedicated to it 24-hours a day. Recently, a man bragged about shooting and killing his wife and son on Facebook Live. It was seen by millions before Facebook stepped in and shut down the video. Unfortunately, the damage was already done, and this deranged man had been able to broadcast his message of hate to the entire internet.
If you are operating a business page (or just aggressively promoting your own personal brand), make sure you pin videos that you think strongly encapsulate your brand and will attract new visitors.
If you spend the money and time to create a great video and then merely post it to Facebook, it will get shuffled down your timeline as your page gets more activity. Depending on your post consistency and page traffic, that video could take a minute of scrolling to find within the same day you post it.
However, if you pin it, the video will stay at the very top of your page until you decide to unpin it in favor of the most recent incredible video you produced.
Add a “Watch Video” Button
These buttons can be cause a huge jump in video viewership because anyone who is on your or your company’s Facebook page will see the easy option of watching your most recent video (See: Pinning videos above) or your featured video.
These buttons show up on the cover photo and are generally a great call-to-action. They’re great because they take people directly to your website, you know you’re getting high-conversion traffic.
The bad news is that for people to follow to the link, it’s assumed they’re already on your Facebook page, so you still have to worry about funneling consumers to your page.
Nothing worth having is easy. Building up your brand on Facebook will require one thing above all: consistency. You need to be willing to put in the work on a day-to-day basis.
This breaks down into two parts: practice and delivery.
You need to consistently produce video content so that you can get some practice and get good. Look, your first video won’t be Oscar worthy, and it won’t go viral with millions of views (If it does, you probably did something really embarrassing).
Malcom Gladwell made popular the theory of 10,000 hours – that to really master something, you need to practice it for 10,000 hours. Now you can be a competent and successful video content creator in much less time than that, but still, nothing is a substitute for practice and experience.
Once you master video content creating and amass a large following, you might think to yourself, “Hey, I’m good at video now. I can chill out and not put out content so consistently.” Wrong!
That is the perfect time to ramp up production and capitalize on your newfound popularity. Building any brand is hard, and YouTube is no exception. Once you start gaining traction or name recognition, you can’t let up off the gas pedal. Your YouTube channel is a service that you are effectively selling. Your customers may not be directly paying you for it, but they are investing their time and mental capital.
If your service is inconsistent, ie., you’re not regularly putting out well-done videos, your customers are going to stop buying.
Facebook is here to stay. And although it may not seem like it due to the amount they pop up in your News Feed, Facebook videos are just beginning to dawn.
If your business or personal brand are not using Facebook videos for their incredible promotion potential, you’re missing out on this publicity wave just as its cresting. Probably better to ride it into the shore.
If you have any questions regarding Facebook videos or online marketing in general, please contact Total Market Exposure, your Portland marketing agency, today! 503-305-6319