Content marketing plays a critical role within the marketing strategy of nearly every organization. Yet, many, maybe even on your team, fail to understand the true goals of content marketing. Each year at Content Marketing World, or CMWorld, we come together to learn from peers and experts who understand that content builds relationships. They teach us how to further the development of these relationships in an authentic way. Inevitably, this involves talking about one of the most personal channels available, social media.
The amount of content and learning tracks that the CMI crew create is amazing. While I had the opportunity to sit in on sessions about content creation, distribution, visual storytelling, and demand generation, I was particularly pleased with one social media presentation, Mari Smith’s lunch and learn: Social Video: How Companies are Succeeding with Videos on Facebook.
Not only did Mari substantiate a lot of the advice I’ve been giving the Brightcove audience on Facebook video (see my CMI webinar deck embedded in this blog) her expertise in Facebook marketing and inside knowledge on upcoming product releases made this session one of my favorites. So, don’t take my word for it, let’s see how Mari advises you on using Facebook social video for business in this summary.
What’s Next? Upcoming Advancements in Facebook Video
TV is being reborn, on the web. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks will be main avenues for consuming video content. And as we’ve seen, recent upstarts in the social media world like Instagram and SnapChat have been creating visually oriented content. To keep up with this, Facebook is experimenting with video projects like 360 video, sound on in autoplay, and even potentially an all video news feed, placing significance on live video feeds, Mari reveals.
Does this update get a “like” from you? (punny!) If not, you’ll have to keep in mind Facebook is always on the cutting edge and can convince users to accept their way of doing things. Remember how irritated we all were with News feed? And then Messenger? Facebook dictates the way we communicate on their platform and we adapt to follow suit, for now.
Other juicy updates? Facebook added Instant Video to Messenger. For personal communication, the functionality of this feature doesn’t seem too different from that of the iPhone’s Facetime. But the possibilities for business are endless for those that are brave. Businesses will now be able to create direct, 1:1 video messages between the company and their customers. This has the potential to be a massive business differentiator, especially for those invested in top-notch customer service.
All marketers want to experiment on Facebook Live (one of our tips listed below). Marketers often see the implications and want to utilize technology to accomplish our goals through unique methods. Well, Facebook is experimenting with the platform too -- through monetization. During her presentation, Mari shared with us that Facebook Live Video ads are in development. Unlike YouTube, these ads are being tested mid-roll instead of pre-roll. These Facebook Live video ads will appear 5 minutes into a live stream and can be up to 15 seconds long. I wonder about the implications for a truly live experience for users if ads are full screen. Or perhaps they’ll be footers. Not much information is available on this yet- we’ll have to wait and see!
How to Optimize Your Video On Facebook - Even More Optimization Tips!
Let’s pause on the future for a second and think of how we can do better with Facebook social video in the present. In our previous Facebook optimization post, Best Practices in Social Video: How to Use Facebook Video for Business, we gave you the following tips--
1. Upload native video: your video will be more prominently displayed in newsfeeds.
2. Grab attention and keep it: create a compelling video lead-in and keep your videos to 15 seconds if possible.
3. Utilize copy appropriately: both the copy that surrounds the post and copy with the video improve watchability and engagement as most video views are with sound off.
4. Optimize video throughout your Facebook business page: create a video greeting and set up your business page like a homepage. Take care of the visitor’s experience.
5. Create a personal connection: the most popular videos on Facebook elicit an emotional reaction. Individuals are connecting with each other on Facebook, not looking for brands, so be smart about how you approach them.
Mari’s talk covered many of the above points as well as gave some other tips for us to consider:
6. Give quality from the first frame: create content that has high energy and is entertaining. Pull people in and relate to your audiences on a human-to-human level.
7. Post videos outside of normal business hours. Perusing Facebook at work is typically frowned upon. Makes sense right?
8. Adhere to Facebook's branded content policy. If you’re mentioning or promoting another verified business, you need to tag them, not write their name in plain text. This can be done using Facebook’s “handshake” tool. This partner or third-party sponsor benefits, with the ability to access metrics, or share and boost the post.
9. Pay for engagement. As we outline in more detail below, any Facebook strategy cannot ignore a paid element. This is a restriction of the platform: you need to make a small investment to find your audiences. Consider utilizing a blend of boosted and promoted Facebook posts as well as advertisements.
10. Add captions for engagement and accessibility. As we mentioned above, text is important considering 81% of videos play with the sound off. Additionally, you can upload your SRT or captions file right to Facebook. An accessible web pays dividends.
11. Experiment with Facebook Live. Have a goal in mind and create live video content to answer this need. People like eavesdropping so keep it relatable and don’t forget to repurpose your content after the live stream!
How to Create Engaging B2B Content for Facebook
You’ve heard me say this before -- be personal, authentic, and elicit emotions. When marketers start to bash their heads up against the wall though it’s because, frankly, this sounds extremely hard for B2B marketers. And so what do they do next? They discredit the platform. As one CMWorld attendee asked our speaker, Mari Smith: Well, is my audience even on Facebook?
CEOs are on Facebook, they just might not be working. So craft your messages appropriately to gain their attention during this passive down time. If you want to influence the decisions of these C-level leaders and get your videos in front of them, you’ll need to tap their networks. So Mari posed this question back: “How do you make them (those that you want to share your content with) look good in front of their audiences?” Perfect. When we share a piece of content on Facebook, we expect our networks to gain some sort of value from the links and videos, or else we wouldn’t have taken this action. Friends and family often thank each other for advice, tips, recommendations or just outright positive inspiration. Shared content should garner comments like “Good article, thanks for sharing.” “This is the best!” “Great tips, I’ve been having this problem, thanks!”
The opportunity for video is clear as of the 7 weekly posts (on average) that brands share, less than 1% are video. Video compels engagement, but many businesses have yet to streamline the process of creation, management, and distribution. Those with a solid video marketing strategy are well poised achieve their goals by adding social to the mix.
Paid Engagement Strategies for Facebook Video Content
Simply put? Advertise. Mari introduced an interesting tactic-- simultaneous organic and paid campaigns on the same piece of content, building together over time. In our recent piece, How to Use Organic and Paid Social Video for More Marketing Impact, we outlined when and where to use each type of strategy, aligning it with the customer journey. But if engagement is your sole goal, Mari has some great advice.
The Facebook algorithm is going to give you better reach if you invest a little advertising spend behind your content. Interest in content can come in waves. Get ready to hang 10. Post your video organically first, driving traffic to this Facebook video through other channels. Once you peak and then start going into a downturn, pay for a lift utilizing the ad manager. This will give you an additional lift as click-through rates on social ads are an impressive 1.84% - higher than all other digital mediums.
Additionally, invest in retargeting. By using Facebook’s custom audience builder, you can ask viewers to re-engage with your content based on their previous video engagement. For example, if they completed 30% of a previous video, you can make this your threshold for retargeting and then can promote similar video content to this audience segment.
Keep riding these waves, analyzing the half-life of your content and then utilizing an organic and paid social video strategy.
The digital conversations we manage are becoming more and more complex. Marketers often wonder which kinds of content can gain the most traction and build a rapport with our audiences. Social video is here, pairing authentic, unprescribed, short-form communication with movement, sound, energy and the human element. The evolution of Facebook asks us to experiment with these new and varied methods to find audiences and capitalize on the strengths of both organic and paid strategies. But if you’d like them to like, interact, and share with your video content, remember that optimization can only take you so far. How are you making your prospects and customers look better in front of their network? Is your video making their conversations better? The social network belongs in social video.