A friend recently shared a video on Facebook from the Facebook page "NowThis" about President Obama's plan to help make college education more accessible to prisoners. What struck me even more than the political message was how the video had been perfectly crafted for Facebook.
So, what did this political video accomplish that you should be applying to make your own great Facebook videos?
1. It's Short
The video overall tells you everything you need to know about the who, what, where, how, and why. It explains what the POTUS' plan is, how he intends to make it happen, who it will benefit, and why it should be done. It accomplishes all of this in 48 seconds.
We've already talked about how important it is to get your message across as quickly as possible - because so many people are sharing content based on the title alone or after quickly skimming an article, it's important that your content is easily digestible and well-explained, so that it can quickly be consumed and comprehended by your audience. This gives you the best possible chance of having your video content be shared.
2. You Don't Need Sound
This is really important for making great Facebook videos. I've seen the difference between overall Facebook video impressions (the number of times your video appears in the feed) and how many people actually click on the video. In my experience the click-through rate has been around 5% of total impressions.
Since videos are muted by default on Facebook, it's really important that your video can grab a viewer's attention and tell a story from within the feed without them clicking on it.
This is especially important for mobile. Considering that 70% of Facebook users are mobile and 30% of Facebook users are only using mobile to access the platform, you need to be designing your video content with mobile users in mind.
If I'm out in public standing in line, waiting for someone in a restaurant, or in the lobby at my doctor's office, I'm probably not going to want to click a video and start blasting audio at everyone around me. That would make me a jerk.
Mobile users need your video to be digestable without having to listen to the audio, because if they have to click on it and listen to understand what's going on, they're probably just going to move on past it in their News Feed.
3. It's Uploaded Directly to Facebook
Rather than upload the video to a third party site like YouTube and sharing it as an embedded video, this video was uploaded directly to Facebook. The most obvious benefit here is that Facebook, unsurprisingly, favors their platform over YouTube. Your video will achieve more organic reach if it is uploaded directly to Facebook rather than as an embedded video from another site.
- Search Engine Journal found that native Facebook videos drove more reach and interactions, with double the reach of third party videos and double the likes, 3x as many shares, and 7x as many comments!
- SocialBakers found that by the end of 2014, Facebook videos received more organic reach than any other post type, with a 135% increase over the organic reach of a photo, and more fan reach as well, with 148% increase in reach to your existing Facebook audience over posting a photo.
How Could This Video Be Improved?
One benefit that is glaringly missing from the video is a call to action. The video mentions that President Obama can't accomplish this goal on his own, and that it is up to Congress to support this mission. A call to action to reach out to your representatives would have given the video a purpose and could have made it part of a more effective campaign to support this goal.
The video was created by a news site that seems to specialize in creating this type of easily digestible content about complex political news, so the goal for NowThis was probably just to inform and to create a video that would be shared and viewed frequently, rather than to get you to take action.
However, chances are that your brand needs to accomplish more than just informing your audience - you also need them to take action. When you pair an effective video with a call to action, you can reach a larger audience and drive more of them to get involved with your cause, learn more about your product, make a purchase, or otherwise take actions that directly support your business goals. In fact CopyBlogger claims you can boost conversion rates anywhere from 20% - 95% by using effective calls to action in your content.