Video is the best performing content type on social media - it outperforms all other post types on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. No doubt you've heard and read this over and over again, but if you're not utilizing video, you should be considering it, as it can have a significant impact on your overall digital marketing performance.
Of course, not everyone has the capacity to create standout video content, but it should still be a consideration. All the usage stats and trends point to this.
But within the broader video trend, there are now also emerging patterns of behavior worth noting which can elevate your video efforts even further. For example, the rise of the Stories format has lead to change in the creation and distribution of vertical video - which, in itself, is a relevant trend. The hype around live-streaming has lessened, but it still generates high levels of engagement. These, and more, may be key shifts of note for your video strategy.
To shed some light on this, the team from SocialInsider recently conducted an analysis of more than 9 million video posts on Facebook, from a total of 92k Facebook business Pages. Based on this massive scope, SocialInsider has put together a comprehensive update on key Facebook video trends.
The full report covers a range of elements, but here are some of the highlights from the larger data set.
1. Stories and the emergence of vertical video
As noted, the rise of Stories has changed video consumption - but just how big an influence it's had may surprise you.
According to the report, vertical video is now the most used video format on Facebook, which could make it a more significant consideration for marketers, based on shifting consumer habits and expectations.
More users viewing more content in vertical format means more acceptance of the option, and potentially, more expectation of the same. It's interesting, then, that Instagram's IGTV, which was originally solely focused on vertical format, recently announced support for landscape videos too, but that's likely part of a broader push to increase IGTV adoption, not a statement on the overall popularity of vertical presentation.
And according to the subsequent engagement stats in the report, vertical videos are, indeed, popular.
Vertical videos are generating more engagement on Facebook - and engagement is key to maximizing your Facebook performance, with the News Feed algorithm rewarding posts that garner more comments, likes and shares with increased organic reach.
If you've not considered vertical videos in your content planning, it may be worth giving them another look, and incorporating Stories-type updates into your approach.
2. Vertical video engagement - by vertical
Another element of the report shows which industry segments are maximizing their use of vertical video.
Its little surprise that highly visual sectors like fashion and travel top the list, but it's also interesting to note the relatively low usage in the 'Recreation and Sports' sector, which, you would think, would have a highly visual product that would lend itself to vertical presentation.
Really, this chart only underlines the opportunities here - the sectors which are generally considered to be winning out in social are tapping into the rising vertical video and Stories trends, which all other industries should take note of, and consider in their own approach.
3. Video length is less relevant
Here's the thing: while video length remains an important consideration, it's far less about how long your video is, and far more about the relevance and quality of your content.
Case in point - check out this chart from the report which shows the average engagement rate by video length, looking at Pages with fewer than 10,000 fans specifically.
Now, there is a significant variance in engagement on super short videos (less than a minute in length) as opposed to those longer than a minute in duration. But other than that, the response rates are very similar. We're talking about a variance of less than 0.1 in overall engagement activity.
Again, ideal video length should be determined by the content, not necessarily an overarching target. If you need to create a video that's three minutes long to share your message, then you should, while a minute long video may cater to your audience needs just as well in some cases.
The other consideration to keep in mind here is Facebook's recent algorithm change which will reward videos that keep people engaged - "especially on videos that are at least three minutes long". If you're looking to publish regular, episodic videos, in order to build a video following, then this is another aspect to factor in, but we don't have any data on the actual reach impacts of this change as yet.
This consideration is also different in regards to video ads, as it's more of a challenge to grab people's attention with an interruptive message, but in terms of the videos you share with your Page fans, it's best to create videos as long as you need, then measure the responses of your specific fans to each.
4. Live-streams still see higher levels of engagement
The last point of worthy of specific focus from the broader report is that live-streaming still sparks more audience engagement - even if, as noted earlier, some of the early streaming hype has died down.
That makes sense, people can respond and interact in real time on live-streams, but it is a point that should be highlighted, especially given the potential reach benefits of increased post engagement.
If you're looking to reignite your Facebook strategy, and boost brand awareness on the platform, live-streaming should be a consideration. Not everyone is comfortable going live, not everyone feels like they have something to share, or feels confident having a conversation through a camera. But it is worth keeping in mind in your planning.
As noted, there's a heap more in SocialInsider's full report, which is worth a look, purely based on the scale of the dataset alone. If you're looking to maximize your video efforts, or considering adding video into your content mix, its definitely worth taking note of these trends, and factoring them into your thinking.