Video has become huge on Facebook, with both companies and individuals using the medium more than ever, in the hopes of drawing additional attention to their content. And with the addition of Facebook Live, people now have even more tools for creating video content, right at their fingertips.
But you have to use Facebook videos wisely if you want to get results. Simply slapping a clip on your page isn't necessarily going to increase traffic or improve your image.
Everything from the topic chosen, length of the video, the content itself, and the amount of text will affect your results, and getting it wrong could see your video flop.
On this, some recent data collected by BuzzSumo, an exceptional tool that helps you identify popular content, is mind-blowing.
Steve Rayson, the director at BuzzSumo, analyzed 100 million Facebook videos that were published in the last year and used the data to determine the key factors which lead to more engagement with Facebook video.
Here are seven insights from BuzzSumo's research that can help you create higher quality videos, which will be shared more frequently and attract more likes and comments on The Social Network.
1. Video Rules Engagement
When it comes to reaching your audience, video is the way to go. Based on data from April 2017, the average video post caught the attention of 12.05% of the total page audience. Photos grabbed 11.63%, while links and status updates only captured 7.81% and 4.56% respectively.
Even for publishers who reach their core audience through other forms of content (like text articles) on their own sites, they still saw the highest rate of engagement with videos when it comes to their Facebook Page.
2. Time to Get Topical
The number one video category (by far) on Facebook is food - in fact, it gets twice the number of average interactions than the second topic on the list, Fashion & Beauty.
And while the top sectors are important to note - it's also worth looking at the categories generating the least engagement. The bottom five on the list are Education, Cars, Marketing, Real Estate, and Finance/Stocks.
3. How Long Will They Watch a Video?
Typically, shorter Facebook videos are more likely to attract attention from viewers than longer ones.
The highest rated duration includes clips that fall from 60 to 90 seconds - after 90 seconds, engagement falls consistently until you reach the 6-minute point, where it remains fairly constant.
But hitting the 31-second mark is especially critical, as videos below 30 seconds performed worse than any other category.
4. What About Facebook Live Feeds?
The popularity of Facebook Live video is growing, with around 20% of all Facebook video content coming from the source based on April 2017 data.
Most people interact with live feeds longer than regular videos, with around 15+ minutes being the sweet spot. In fact, the top 10,000 Facebook Live videos came in at an average of about 20 minutes long.
5. Average Number of Interactions
In general, the difference between the average engagement levels for Facebook and Facebook Live videos was fairly small. Traditional videos reach an average audience of 928 while live videos saw 1,043.
But, it is important to note that users report a higher level of engagement with Live videos, and about 25% more comments tend to be left on these when compared to regular clips.
The disparity in the comments could be that Facebook Live may be used for Q&A sessions, with viewers posting questions in the comments section during the event.
6. Emoji Time - Popular Viewer Reactions
After analyzing the most common reactions to Facebook videos, laughter is distinctly number one and love is number two.
Many videos use humor and joy to convey their message, regardless of the selected topic, and show that people often want to enjoy themselves when viewing videos.
Facebook Live had different results, with love taking the top spot and sad coming in second.
7. Text Introductions
It appears that, when people are interested in a video, they don't want a long headline.
In fact, the best performing video headlines averaged a mere 84 characters, with the median coming in at 61.
What This All Means for You
If you want to create engaging Facebook and Facebook Live videos, there are a few key takeaways that can help you improve your content.
First, keep your videos short, aiming between 60 and 90 seconds. Your Live videos, however, need to be longer, falling above the 15-minute mark.
When it comes to the intro text, get to the point quickly. Be concise and give users just enough information to entice them to view the clip.
Choose the right topic for your video. When in doubt, how-tos, hacks, and tips often perform well, along with anything that's humorous or inspirational.
Ultimately, you want your content to be shareable. People enjoy telling others about videos that are entertaining or provide value, so keep that as your overall goal when you create your videos.
So, when you produce that epic unicorn video full of magic, wonder, and spectacular rainbows, try to make sure it speaks to the masses. That way, you can give your unicorn the biggest chance to be shared with the world.
A version of this post was first published in: Inc.com