Facebook’s New Video Features Can Boost Your Page’s Audience

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By Allison Chen

Along with Facebook’s weekly tweaks and system updates to its algorithms come several new features that take some time getting used to. This time around, companies and marketing agencies will need to focus on utilizing Facebook’s video platform to optimize audience engagement with their Facebook posts. It’s clear that Facebook is targeting YouTube to compete in the social media video content space.

Growth Through Video Content Integration

Video on Facebook has the potential be an extremely effective tool for getting audience attention, while it traditionally appears to be less commonly used. Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign, for instance. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, gained viral attention through a series of videos posted on Facebook to raise awareness and support for research. To complete the challenge, nominated participants were required to either film themselves pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads within 24 hours, or donate money to the ALS Association.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos gained lots of attention through their high interaction rates (because, who wouldn’t want to see their Facebook friends drenching themselves in ice-cold gallons of water?), as friends tagged friends, liked, commented, and clicked on one another’s posts. Over 2.4 million videos dubbed “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” were posted on Facebook, and the ALS Association raised about $79.7 million at the challenge’s peak, in comparison to the $2.5 million raised at the same time just the previous year.

Updates to Help Expose Your Brand

How does Facebook’s video platform particularly help brands that are trying to be noticed? You may have noticed a new “Videos” tab in your Page Insights. Facebook has recently added video metrics and to improve its video tools and to display analytics, allowing the brand to engage more of its audience.

Video metrics allow Page owners to see the total number of people who watch their video, and in the following weeks, it gives them information on unique video views, average duration of video view, audience retention statistics, and demographics. In “Video Views,” Page-specific views are measured in total and at the 30-second view mark, where Page owners can toggle between three different view breakdowns: organic vs. paid, auto-played vs. clicked-to-play, and unique vs. repeat. The “Top Videos” tool allows Page owners to identify top performance videos over any specific period of time. Finally, video metrics can be viewed for videos that Page owners have shared from other Pages. What this means for marketers is that new wide-span statistics of video views may play a role in the organic boost of the post in addition to likes and comments.

Auto-Play + View Count

Over the last few months, Facebook has made significant changes to its video player algorithm in order to piece together a feed that is tailored toward each user. Videos that appear on each Facebook user’s News Feed will automatically start to play silently as long as it is on the screen, and they can be played with volume once the user “taps” or “clicks” on the video itself. An auto-play video had previously counted as a “view” for Facebook, but this meant advertisers were paying whenever users scrolled past it. Facebook will change this unit of measure for 10 seconds of watch time to account for a “view.”

Boost Your Video

Premium Video Ads gives Page owners opportunities to reach larger audiences. Similar to Facebook’s 20%-text rule for promoted image posts, Facebook also has a program to “objectively” gauge the video’s creative quality before becoming a paid ad. These tools are designed to make Facebook’s video platform for companies operate just like TV ads, which are measured by Targeted Gross Rating Points and Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR).

Detachable Video Player

If you see a Facebook video while scrolling through your News Feed, you may be able to drag it outside of its designated spot and onto your feed! Facebook is currently testing this on various accounts. This feature allows users to simultaneously watch and continue to scroll, which means a higher chance that users will watch the video longer, if not full time.

Sharing Ad Revenue with Content Creators

Facebook currently shares its ad revenue with only big publishers and brands, but it is likely that more videos on Facebook could create more opportunities for content creators to earn their shares as well.

Embed Facebook Videos on Your Site

Although this feature was introduced earlier in the year at Facebook’s F8 conference, it is important to note that Facebook has an embedded video player that lets users add Facebook videos to any website, as long as the video is public. Facebook hopes this update will help others share more easily. For Page owners, this means more total views in their video metrics. Easily generate an embed code here, as seen below:

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The launch of Facebook video’s new features and insights could eventually result in a graveyard for other video hosting sites like YouTube, whose video posts won’t be compatible with Facebook’s video metrics. While Facebook’s new video tools are primarily designed to help Facebook, many of these new updates to its video platform are good news for marketers.

 

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