2015 is the year that video on Facebook looks truly set to explode, even challenging YouTube for the crown of #1 destination for video-viewing online. In November 2014, the share of video posts uploaded directly to Facebook overtook YouTube video links on Facebook for the first time, according to a study by Social Bakers.
Evidence on the ground, too, is increasingly showing that - in terms of reach and performance - uploading direct to Facebook is becoming the best method for marketers using the platform. Here are a few more statistics - direct from Facebook - that show the huge growth of its video output:
- In one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.
- Globally, the amount of video from people and brands in News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year.
- Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day.
With the numbers crunched, let's look at some of the ways that you can help to make your Facebook videos go viral. "Viral", of course, is a relative term and no one can guarantee you'll win the Internet on your first try, but the following strategies should help to give your content the best chance:
1. Grab attention from the very first frame
Videos uploaded to Facebook auto-play in the News Feed, so if you can plan to capture your audience's attention in the opening seconds of your clip - the moment they pause to glance at it before deciding to keep watching or scroll onwards - all the better. Check out the way that The Cheesecake Factory plays up to the popularity of summer blockbuster movies with a dramatic, attention-grabbing trailer for its newest promotion.
2. Try to catch attention even without sound
Auto-playing videos in the Facebook News Feed are silent until someone clicks on them, so if you can feature a powerful visual element that does not rely on sound to compel a person to watch, then you could be onto a winner. Check out how the Home Depot uses striking visuals in its countdown video to 2015; no need for sound to compel viewers to keep watching.
3. Short videos work best
While longer form videos can work as Facebook, when you're competing with content from friends and family in the News Feed and catering to a huge mobile audience, short clips are often the best option. They're more quickly and easily digested - and shared - plus, the reduced time and labour required to create a 10-second clip means that if one doesn't work, no worries, because you can create a try a new idea that might perform better.
4. Raw videos can be just as compelling as scripted
Raw, spur of the moment videos that are compelling and sharing can be just as - if not more popular - than those that you have spent much more time planning and shooting. If you're the face of your brand who wants to give fans a unique snapshot into your daily life - at home, work, at an event, or other occasion. Take a look at how British singer, Olly Murs, props up the camera at home to give wish his fans a happy new year.
5. Timely and topical videos work well.
You'll have noticed that several of the examples provided so far include timely topics like Christmas and new year. Associating your brand with such events is an easy way to showcase your personality, connect with fans, or launch a promotion. The same strategy works well with topical news events. Check out how Doritos used Christmas to promote its brand and launch a giveaway on Facebook.
Over to you
Will you be focusing more on Facebook video this year, or are you already making full use of the platform? Let me know in the comments below!
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.