I interviewed Chris Mottau, General Manager for the software developer North Social, about their video apps for Facebook Pages. Chris shared with me why he says Facebook and video are perfect for each other, why a business with a Facebook Fan page should have a video app, and tips for choosing and building a video app for your own Facebook Fan Page.
North Social's Facebook Video Apps
North Social says that their video apps offer one of the fastest ways to setup and manage a custom video experience on a Facebook Fan Page, right on a Facebook tab. The company's website offers two video apps for Facebook, and includes a video demo of each app right on their own Facebook page:
Single-video: The Video Player app allows you to display a large single video from Youtube directly on your Facebook Fan Page.
Multi-video: The Video Channel app is designed to integrate an entire channel from YouTube. It allows you display and organize your YouTube video content directly on your Facebook Fan page, presenting a featured video along with a slider of additional videos. (4 videos are displayed at once, which you can scroll left-to-right to see more.) "It's good for people who have a ton of video content that they want to integrate into their Facebook page." Says Chris.
What I like about North Social's Facebook Video Apps:
- Landing page setup – you have the option of creating a landing page graphic (which is what all users would see first) and requiring people to first "Like" your Facebook page before they get past the landing page graphic to view your video channel. "This is a great feature if you want to drive up your 'Like' count and you consider your content to be like-worthy," says Chris.
- Channel options – you have several options for how you want your YouTube channel to feature your videos on your Facebook page: By relevance, publish date, view count, or rating. You can also have a channel made up of just your "Favorites" already selected in your YouTube channel (and not just the YouTube videos that you produce).
- Descriptions – Directly underneath the video or videos is an area to insert your own title, and description of the video, which can be separate from the title and description of that same video featured on your YouTube channel.
- Comments – a commenting module is integrated with the Facebook social plugin. Comments can be turned on or off.
- Share settings – you can manage the content that gets displayed on a user's wall when they click on the gray "Share" button. With shared content, you can edit the title, the thumbnail, and up to 300 characters of text. "It's a really simple way to integrate a lot of video assets, using the Facebook share button." Says Chris.
- FearLess Cottage – recordings of a live video show
- RealD 3D – 3D technology for movies with glasses
- Osiris Shoes – shoes, tees, hoodies, hats, and other clothing accessories
- Clif Bar – organic nutrition bars, food and drinks
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (single video example)
Facebook Fan Page Examples Featuring North Social Video Apps
I'd be remiss not to include the Facebook fan page of ReelSEO contributor, The MockingBirds by Daisy Whitney. Daisy shared with me that she was looking to create a special Facebook fan page for her teen novel "The Mockingbirds," now available for purchase online. Her own Facebook and social media advisor recommended her to North Social, and she has high praise for their ease-of-use and capabilities, including with presenting and sharing video.
"Videos are a key component of a social media strategy and users have said they enjoy having the easy access to them." Says Daisy. "Though I rely on a graphics designer for creating the images, North Social is remarkably easy to use, and they make my videos so easy to share (on Facebook)! I've been very happy with them, with the whole experience.”
My Interview with North Social's General Manager, Chris Mottau
Why do you believe Facebook and video (together) are important for business?
Video on a Facebook Page has been shown to really drive up the "Like" count and the number of fans. That's because video is the perfect sharable content, and Facebook is the perfect place to share. Facebook and video together really is the perfect pair. The consumption rates of online video, along with the minutes spent on Facebook, are mind-boggling.
Why should a business have a video app for their Facebook Fan Page?
A business should have a video app on it's Facebook page to showcase content and make it more viral, sharable, and engaging. Anything a brand can do to increase the discovery rate and engagement with their fans should be an important piece of the marketing plan.
How can your company's Facebook video app benefit someone's business?
Our apps come with integrated commenting, share features, and header images – which go way beyond what most other vid app developers can do. Plus, you can turn on a feature we call "like-gating," which places a landing image over the video content, making it available only after a user has liked the page. If a visitor "likes" your page, the app will instantly reveal the "Fan Only" exclusive video(s).
We've seen "like-gating" double or even triple the conversion rate of page visitors into page fans. In some cases, it's even accounting for thousands of percent page growth in just a few days. The simple video you have now can become hugely viral even before it's viewed.
Do your video apps only work with YouTube, or can it work with other video sharing sites?
It only works with YouTube for now, and we plan for integration with Vimeo to come soon. (We love Vimeo, but hey, we had to start somewhere, right?)
How does your pricing plans compare to the costs of custom software development for a Facebook video app?
Price ranges for a relatively simple custom video app on Facebook can run $1K – $10K. Any revisions to that app mean spending more $$. We offer an out-of-the-box solution with pricing plans between $19-$99 a month (including a free trial period.)
What do you recommend businesses consider when choosing a Facebook video app, and also a marketing strategy built around that app? How show they weigh an out-of-the-box solution versus a customized development solution?
The North Social Blog has our rant on these questions, which I just posted this week. It has more general thoughts than specific answers to your questions, but I think the main points we need to get across to your readers if they are looking at jumping in to video apps and promotions on Facebook, are these:
There's a common fallacy that custom, deeply involved tabs on Facebook; which are created by big, slow, and expensive agencies are better than flexible, white-label applications. Yet most of the time and energy spent developing these custom tabs is spent on designing the tab itself, neglecting the fact that content matters most. When you neglect to give your fans the content they need, your design doesn't matter anymore (especially when your promotion is late and way over budget). You need to focus your time, money, and effort on creating great videos, not worrying about the design of the delivery application.
Smart marketers work towards efficiency in their efforts. Spending weeks or even months planning a Facebook video app for a custom promotion, is a gigantic waste of time and money when you look at the conversion rates, compared to a quick hitting promotion that can be launched in minutes, and quickly updated, at a fraction of the cost. (Truth be told, conversion rates are all that really matter, anyway.)
What is more important than making sure everything is in perfect place at launch is the ability to change things quickly when necessary (after the promo is live). You have to offer the right video content at the right moment, and the target is a moving so if you can't adjust your sights in real time, you're setting yourself up to miss. That is why a Content Management System (which includes and integrates video) is so pivotal in improving your social media management. Don't fall into the trap of creating the "perfect" video app or promotion, only to realize that the cost of making changes ends up costing you more than you're making from the promo in the first place.
About North Social (and Special Offer!)
North Social provides simple software that enables anyone to quickly create, publish and manage a custom Facebook page. You can see all of their applications at http://northsocial.com.
Special offer for ReelSEO readers – Enter the code freenorthsocial at signup and get 30 additional days free. One account unlocks all the apps, not just the video ones. (45 day free trial...offer is valid for new Basic level plans only).
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! We're going to be creating a list here on ReelSEO of all known Facebook video apps. Do you know of a Facebook video app that you'd like us to include? Please email: grant [at] reelseo.com with the name and link of that app.