The "4-S" Approach: How the Largest Video Publishers Succeed on Facebook
Do you want to get more eyes on your video content?
Did you know that there's a rule you can follow to grow your video views?
If you've been on Facebook lately, you know that publishers are producing more video content every single day - our timelines are full of video, and it looks as though it's here to stay.
With that said, some publishers are using the platform better than others, carving out a space for themselves before it gets crowded. Here are three publishers dominating Facebook video, each in the top 10 for video views in the past month. Each of these brands has also implemented the "4-S" approach (described below) which is a sure-fire way to grow your video views.
Facebook Page Likes: 16,739,644
Video views in April 2016: 720,365,000
Description: "We created Tastemade with one goal in mind, to connect the world through video. Some of the most unifying and special moments of our life center around a meal, the place where people come together. We know that we cannot do this alone, nor would we want to. It will take a community of deeply passionate people. Luckily tastemakers, like you, from around the world are already creating amazing content, communities and engaging with your passion. Share it with others and touch one more person each day."
Facebook Page Likes: 9,912,272
Video views in April 2016: 474,897,000
Description: "Money-saving hacks and DIYs for upgrading your home and life that will have you saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Facebook Page Likes: 5,803,789
Video views in April 2016: 811,082,000
Description: "A brand new video network built from scratch for people who get their news on mobile devices and through social streams."
These Facebook pages ranked 7th, 6th, and 9th in total video views in April 2016, respectively. Each of these publishers is doing a great job of getting eyes on their videos.
Without further ado, let's dive into the "4-S" approach, something all of these publishers are following to ensure success with their video content.
The 4-S Approach to Video Content
#1: Short Videos
If you follow any of the Pages mentioned above, you'll notice that most of their content is under two minutes long. Social media is a busy place, and if you're looking for lots of views you need to cater to a short attention span. Two minutes is plenty of time to get your message across or tell your story, you just have to be savvy with how you plan your content.
With such a short amount of time to work with, all of these Pages make good use of the first 3-7 seconds of their videos. This is the time where viewers decide whether or not to turn on the sound or continue watching, so you need to add a hook to get people to follow through with your content. Add a teaser that tells viewers what they'll find if they stick through and watch your video, add interesting visuals, and be sure to include closed captioning for those watching with the sound off.
#2: Specific Topics
Tastemade does delicious recipes, NowThis features news bites, and Nifty handles arts and crafts projects. These brands never get off topic, and they continue to add great videos that focus on their audience's wants.
If you're going to succeed in video creation, you need to make sure that your brand message is narrow, and you stick to it. Define your strategy before you ever turn on the camera.
#3: Sound Optional
It may sound crazy (sorry for the bad pun), but 85% of Facebook video is played with the sound off. Videos are set to auto-play within user's feeds, and it's ultimately up to the viewer to choose whether or not to turn the sound on.
Dealing with this truth brings about additional considerations in the planning phase - are you going to encourage your viewer to turn the sound on by adding closed captioning that will hook your audience, or create content that is altogether fine to watch without sound?
Both strategies work nicely, but you can't afford to avoid both. NowThis, Tastemade, and Nifty all chose the latter option and have created channels that provide just as much value with the sound off as they would with the sound on. They add relevant captions so that the viewer doesn't get lost, but by no means is sound necessary to enjoy the content.
All of these brands know how to satisfy their audience, and that's not a coincidence. They plan their videos well and focus on their specific message. Each of these Pages leaves the viewer wanting more content, and this allows them to rank well in their audience's News Feeds.
If you want to satisfy with your video content, you'll need to really reinforce why people are interacting with your brand in the first place.
Tastemade focuses its videos on visually presenting recipes, from start to finish. If they started showing videos of the best spatulas or frying pans, they'd likely see a dip in viewership. Tastemade knows that their audience is hungry for delicious recipes presented in a way that makes them look undaunting to the average home cook. These videos leave viewers satisfied, and coming back for seconds.
If you follow the "4-S" approach, you'll be on your way to creating much better video content for your social channels. The strategy has worked brilliantly for the three brands mentioned above, see if you can boost your video traffic by implementing the same.
Video Views Source: Tubular Labs
Follow Justin Kerby on Twitter