With 4 billion views of their videos daily, Facebook provides marketers the opportunity to capture a large number of online user attention — so long as you can get them to stop scrolling.
But what makes a Facebook video engaging? Let’s take a look at the research and best practices.
1. You Have Between 3-10 Seconds To Capture A Facebook User’s Attention With Your Video!
We all know that attention spans are short and getting shorter. “On the Facebook feed, each video ad starts autoplaying and stops as soon as people scroll past it,” Digiday reports. “This means that the brand must catch a person’s attention almost immediately — in the first 3 seconds.”
Executive Producer David Cohn of AJ+, a top Facebook publisher, offers a bit more leeway: “The first 10 seconds have to have very strong visuals and have to start to tell the story without sound.”
Cohn’s suggestion is no surprise when taking into consideration that 65% of all Facebook videos are played on mobile devices (meaning users don’t hear any audio when scrolling through their feeds).
Aurélien Viers, from L’OBS, France’s third-largest news site and another top Facebook publisher, adds that the key is “to create a real frustration in the viewer. They have to be eager to click and discover what’s next.” The company takes an interesting approach to Facebook videos by posting teaser clips as short as 5 seconds in length.
2. Don’t send mixed messages.
In addition to making sure the first few seconds of a Facebook video are compelling, video content should include a cohesive, focused message. Keep in mind that the human brain can only retain so much in a short period of time; according to Nielsen, for example, “short-term memory famously holds only about 7 chunks of information, and these fade from your brain in about 20 seconds.”
So rather than sharing a slew of statistics and data with your viewers, make sure to cut the information down and keep it simple.
3. Make sure your video content is Facebook-native.
When posting a Facebook video, something else to keep in mind is the importance of uploading your video directly to the social media platform, rather than posting a YouTube link.
Because Facebook is now directly competing with YouTube to become the top video platform, YouTube video thumbnails have a far worse appearance on Facebook in comparison. You can see an example of a Facebook video (below left), alongside a much less appealing YouTube link (below right).
In addition, YouTube videos are given less visibility on Facebook’s algorithm and are less likely to show up at the top of the newsfeed.
With these best practices, your video content will be better poised to stand out in the Facebook Newsfeed! For more insights into the best ways to engage customers on Facebook, get your copy of The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook and learn from our analysis of 1.5 Million Facebook posts.