In 2018, Facebook dramatically changed the way that its content feed algorithm worked. Rather than posting things based on engagement and chronology, Facebook now boosts the content of family, friends, and relevant groups. That was great news for most Facebook users, but it made marketing a bit of a challenge. Corporate and public videos are now pushed down in comparison to content, which makes beating the algorithm a necessity.
Here are 11 Facebook video secrets that will help you beat the algorithm.
1. Post to the right places
Facebook is concentrating on promoting things that are relevant to each user. As a consequence, content that is posted to groups that the user already follows and engages with is going to be promoted to them more highly.
Joining relevant groups and sharing your content (while following their content guidelines) can be a solid first step towards building your engagement. Once you are shared to relevant groups, your content will continue to proliferate through an audience that is primed to be interested in your products or services.
2. Think about evergreen content
It takes a little longer for Facebook content to build up momentum now, and that means that you need to think about investing in evergreen content. Evergreen content is non-seasonal and non-topical; it’s content that’s always going to be interesting to users. You don’t want to post a Holiday-themed post just a week before the holiday to see it gain traction just as the holiday is over.
3. Keep your videos short and sweet
When it comes to marketing, a lot of questions have vague answers. Depending on your audience, different content styles, and different calls to action, may be more effective. But length isn’t one of those questions. In fact, it’s pretty clear how long a Facebook video should be: between 60 to 90 seconds.
Once your video hits 90 seconds in length, engagement starts sharply dropping off. Most people aren’t primed to sit down and watch a long video. Interestingly, this pretty much correlates to average traditional commercial times. Attention span hasn’t really changed: the medium has.
4. Don’t rely on sound
Most people don’t want a video to start playing sound or music when they watch it. Instead, rely on captioning. Creative and engaging captions can keep your audience watching for longer and will help them understand your video without the sound one. Likewise, videos that automatically play loud music usually get people to close the tab entirely, rather than continue watching.
Newer audiences don’t just like captioning; they also like to see reactions, emojis, and other interesting video features. Take some time to experiment with adding reactions and emoticons.
5. Try out Live Broadcasts
Facebook’s algorithms are heavily promoting live broadcast streams. If you have a following right now, try out live broadcasts to improve your engagement. Live broadcasts have far greater levels of engagement than regular videos and can let you interact more directly with your audience.
Of course, live broadcasts need to be used alongside a more comprehensive video marketing campaign – live streaming is more likely to be viewed by your audience, so you need followers first.
Live broadcasts are especially useful for things like short updates, insight into your company, and question and answer sessions with your audience. They help your audience connect with you on a more personal level. A short, brief live stream once a day can be enough to keep your audience engaged and active.
6. Pay attention to your synopsis
As with all things in marketing, make it brief! The synopsis for your marketing video should be clear and concise, offering a short but detailed description. The best descriptions give the audience a little tease of the content to come but don’t spoil it; if you give them too much, they’ll feel like they already read everything they need to know.
A good synopsis tells your audience what they will learn by watching your video – this piques their interest. But make sure your content actually delivers on that promise, or they may be more reluctant to engage with your videos in the future. Just don’t leave your description entirely blank; not only does it make it harder for people to tell what your video will deliver, but it also means that your video will be less searchable and less easily promoted.
7. Promote shares and engagement
Ask your followers to share your content and engage with your content. Ask them questions and encourage them to post answers in the comments – such as by asking them to share their own thoughts, opinions, or experiences with you. Promoting engagement will promote your videos as well; the more comments and likes you get, the more likely Facebook is to promote your post to the top.
Pay attention to which of your videos get the best responses from your audience; often it’s a fairly obvious pattern. Your audience may specifically like things that have to do with product highlights or news features, and these are the content pieces that you should be focusing on when you create your marketing campaigns.
8. Inject some humor into your video
What gets the most engagement? By far, the highest amount of engagement happens with humorous videos. It makes sense: people are on social media and experiencing entertainment to have a good time, and when they laugh at something they immediately feel connected to it. It isn’t always easy to make people feel something like joy or pathos, but humor isn’t as hard.
9. Make sure your video has value
Valuable videos are the ones that are reacted to and shared the most. What is a valuable video? A valuable video is something that delivers the audience with some unique knowledge or a skill. Valuable videos include How-To and DIY videos. Many people share these types of videos with family members and friends.
Whenever you create a video, ask yourself two questions:
- How is this video useful?
- Who is this video useful to?
10. Review your statistics
Facebook offers comprehensive statistics regarding your post engagements. On your posts, you can view who is engaging with your posts, what types of engagements are being made, and how often your posts are being shared. Regularly review your statistics to identify any trends.
Your statistics will show you when people are engaging with your posts, which content they’re most interested in, and whether more posts are being shared than others. Sometimes a post may be more “shareable” but less “engageable”; you may see a lot of sharing going on, but no one is really commenting or liking. This is common for events.
Other posts may be frequently engaged with but seldom shared. These are often posts that are more personal to the consumer, such as goods that they’re interested in buying but have questions about, or controversial topics that they’re interested in weighing in on. Having a good mix of posts is a good way to stabilize and expand your audience.
11. Invest in some paid advertising
Paid advertising on Facebook is extremely useful. Not only does it grow your audience, but it’s also very well targeted. You can tell Facebook to show your ads to people who already mirror your current demographics. You can also ask Facebook to drill down to things like “people who have close friends who have birthdays this month” or “people who have children the age of 12 to 14 and who also like sports.”
While it’s understandable that you might not want to invest too much in paid advertising when initially growing your campaigns, it can give you a tremendous boost. Paid advertising builds out your audience very quickly, through which you can then begin to develop your traffic organically. Otherwise, you may need to spend a lot of time and effort building your foundation.
Facebook’s algorithms are a lot like Google’s – they’re designed to give people what they’re interested in. As long as you produce interesting content that your audience connects with, you should be able to defeat those algorithms. Thus, video marketing is just about figuring out what your audience is interested in, and what content best appeals to them.
The easiest method of doing this is by staying true to your statistics, developing an understanding of your audience demographics, and delivering them a clean and clear experience from start to finish. Once you’re able to do this, you’ll start to see your campaign growing and growing.
Guest author: Article by Joe Forte, owner and producer at D-MAK Productions, providing video production in phoenix specializing in producing corporate, commercial, digital and branded media content.