Video on Facebook has exploded with around four billion daily views. Considering the massive amount of time people spend on the social network, it’s no surprise that it is quickly becoming a real rival to YouTube and the choice platform for video marketers.
There is enormous potential for brands to leverage their video content on Facebook, however ensuring those videos get seen can be tricky. Gone are the days of throwing up a link and hitting post; marketers now have to be savvy if they want videos to convert customers. Facebook’s constantly changing platform leaves brands scrambling to stay on top, but tech-minded brands that are open to adapting can leverage the power of this social media giant.
Outlined in this post are three tips to mastering the Facebook video algorithm and achieving maximum organic reach for your video marketing efforts.
#1 Tip: The Native Facebook Video Algorithm
Facebook has made some big changes in the way that content is distributed on the platform and the type of posts most likely to reach the masses is now without a doubt, video content.
A recent study by Socialbakers indicates us that a video post receives an organic reach of 8.7 percent, which means nearly nine out of every 100 fans see a video post. But there’s a catch: “native” video content is far more effective at reaching audiences and outperforms linked videos (such as YouTube videos). Native video content, meaning directly uploaded to Facebook, keeps users on the site and is therefore rewarded by the algorithm.
When PopSugar, the online media network oriented toward a female audience, started posting video content directly to their Facebook pages they went from 20,000 video views their first month in September to a whopping 14.3 million video views in March.
There are a few tips to take away from the strategy PopSugar uses to optimize its videos for Facebook. First, PopSugar features bold text graphics throughout its videos because the native videos will autoplay without sound. This creates an informative and engaging viewing experience regardless if the viewer chooses to turn on the sound or not.
Second, the company also keeps its Facebook videos short, which works well for Facebook users who can be easily distracted. The biggest takeaway brands should keep in mind is to opt for uploading videos directly to Facebook over posting a YouTube link. When you share a video link on Facebook from YouTube, or another video hosting site, Facebook will not auto play the video and it will result in a lower quality resolution.
#2 Tip: The Facebook Video Newsjack Hack
Facebook LOVES trends. The platform first introduced Trending Topics on the desktop version of the site in January 2014 and later on mobile in December 2014. It then added a News section that allowed Facebook users to discover even more trending topics in five predefined categories: Politics, Business, Science, Technology, Sports and Entertainment.
With the recent tweak to the Newsfeed to prioritize posts that match current events or trending news stories, this algorithm update has created an easy way for brands to boost their Facebook engagement via “newsjacking", or creating video posts that revolve around trending stories. The popularity of a news story may drop off quickly, so in order to get your posts to appear higher in the News Feed, you’ll need to act fast. Opt for a simple video tool to create your video content and couple it with relevant hashtags when posting. If you can provide a unique twist or commentary on a popular story, your fans are guaranteed to share it.
Pampers UK used this approach to newsjack the breaking story of the birth of the new Royal baby, Prince Charlotte, by posting a native video to its Facebook page entitled "Every Baby is a Prince or Princess". The video, which celebrates all births, royal or not, has generated over 44 million views since 3rd May 2015.
#3 Tip: Capture Leads with a CTA Video Hack
We now know that uploading video content directly to Facebook means more organic reach, but what many still don't know is that uploading native video content also gives brands a huge opportunity to push a “call to action” within a video post. After a native Facebook video plays, the viewer is presented with two options: replay the video or click the designated call to action button.
While the call to action options are a bit limited, it is still a key feature for encouraging video viewers to further engage with the post or take the next step to “Shop now” or “Learn more” about a brand.
What is great about these three Facebook video hacks is that brands do not have to master them all, but Facebook is making it nice and easy to do so. The tools, such as a custom call to action, allow brands to have more control over what happens after the video finishes, making videos more effective in converting potential customers to actual customers. These tips and tricks will help you boost your video content's organic reach and potential on Facebook. If you have any other tips for mastering the Facebook video algorithm, share with us in the comments.