With over 1 billion (yes, that's an "illion" with a "b") video views on Facebook¹ each and every day around the globe, the social behemoth has been fine-tuning their product offering throughout the year. Just in the last few months alone we've seen six major enhancements, two of which are still in their infancy as they continue to be rolled out over time.
With as many as 93% of brands reporting that they use video in their marketing campaigns², many have already been taking advantage of features already released. Here's a quick recap of what they are:
Video views, duration, completion rate and CPV (cost per view) can all be tracked.
Ads are shown to users who are most likely to view videos (across devices and audiences).
After the video, a button will appear (Shop Now, Book Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Download or Watch More) to encourage conversions.
Brands can elongate storylines and multi-video engagement by retargeting users who've already watched at least one of their videos in the past.
Of course, Facebook didn't stop there. With video ads estimated to grow to become 15% of the digital advertising market by 2017³, The 'Book is well aware of how lucrative it can be to make their capabilities worthwhile to marketers like you and edge out key competitors like YouTube. That said, there are two additional enhancements that have just begun to be made available to select areas:
All public videos (from people and pages) will show how many views they have received, which will aid content discovery and add a new success metric for marketers.
Videos will automatically play in News Feeds, but will only be counted as a view after 3 seconds (consistent with the industry standard). Users have the option to unmute the sound by clicking a button, or expand the player to a full screen view.
Since the introduction of Auto Play, Unified has seen over a 90% decrease in CPV for some clients. This is good news of course, but the really great news is that we've also seen a drop of more than 80% in CP Completed Views (cost per completed view, when users watch the entire video)-slow clap for Facebook.
The Reviews Are In For Marketers
In order for brands to fully capitalize on their Facebook video campaigns, there are a few best practices that should be considered:
Using native videos not only offers a better user experience for your fans, but these new features (View Counts and Auto Play) and metrics are only available for media uploaded directly to Facebook. Embedding a video from another player or driving users off-site to watch may be counterproductive, due to lost data and valuable insight into audience behavior.
Keeping on top of audience retention for your videos indicates how engaged users actually are with your content. These new metrics can help pinpoint what type of creative, themes or music best resonates with your fans. Side note- for best results, your video should be 15-30 seconds long.
Although there are some great enhancements to work with here, you may want to consider incorporating 3rd party measurement to see a complete picture of both your online and mobile audiences. This will enable you to ensure your message is reaching the right people wherever they log on to maximize ROI.
¹ Facebook.com - Website
² RealSEO's Video Marketing Survey and Business Trends Report - Website
³ eMarketer via Pew Research - Website