As you've no doubt heard, video content is huge right now.
The usage numbers speak for themselves:
- Facebook - 700% growth in video views in the last 14 months
- Snapchat - 150% growth in video views in the past 12 months
- Instagram - 150% growth in video consumption in the last 6 months
- Twitter - 50% increase in video content since the beginning of 2016
Given the rise in video demand and consumption, and the increased accessibility of video creation options, it makes perfect sense for brands to also be considering how they can tap into video as a means to better connect with their audiences and create stronger bonds with their target markets.
But in order for brands to maximize their video performance and provide more of what their audience is looking for, they need to be able to measure what works - which, given the variable nature of a video, can be challenging. And that's something that Facebook's looking to help with.
Today, Facebook has announced a new range of video metrics and data points to help provide video marketers with additional perspective on how their audience is responding to their content. And those insights can be extremely powerful - here's an overview of the new options.
To help publishers create more focused video content, Facebook's providing new viewer demographics data for all videos - including Live and 360 content.
"Publishers will now be able to break out minutes viewed by age, gender, and top geographic locations. Moreover, publishers will be able to compare and contrast demographics for a specific video with typical video viewers on that Page."
As you can see in this example (below), the new audience demographics will show the most engaged audience for your video (at the top), with specific age brackets and how much of each group watched of your video on a bar chart below. Hovering any subset within the bar chart brings up a specific note and comparison to that Page's normal video audience.
You'll also be able to see where your video is resonating with a new geographic tab, which will be helpful for targeting your promotions and providing more context about your most receptive audience (including posting times).
Engagement with Live Video
Facebook's also providing additional data on Live videos specifically.
With Live content, viewers can submit Reactions at any stage to share their response in real-time - and as such, those Reactions can provide additional context as to what points, specifically, your audience found more relevant and resonant within a broadcast.
Facebook's new Live metrics will show how your audience reacted throughout your video, displaying the total volume of reactions, comments, and shares at each point in the broadcast.
Publishers will also be able to break the data down to specific reactions - if you want to see what point had people tapping 'Love', for example, or 'Angry'.
These additional breakdowns can help provide a better understanding of your audience interests, enabling Live creators to focus more on the elements people want to see, or on which specific areas to highlight and focus on in future. If you answered a question that got a good response, for example, or made a statement that resonated, that might help clarify your content focus and enhance your Live strategy.
And even better, if you want to view the actual segment which got the best response, you can click on the graph and be taken to that point in the video.
The Sharing Effect
The amount of shares your video gets has a strong correlation with views. In fact, according to Facebook:
"48% of video watch time on Facebook comes from shares."
As such, shares of your video content are crucially important - but more than that, understanding what kinds of content viewers share, and how that sharing activity results in user action, can also play a significant role in your video creation and distribution process.
Facebook's making this easier with new sharing metrics:
"For all videos, publishers will be able to access breakdowns of views and minutes viewed from the original video post versus shares and crossposts of the video."
As you can see in the bottom chart, there's a specific breakdown of views and how many have come from the original post or via shares (a similar breakdown of total minutes viewed is available on a separate tab). Used in comparison to your regular video performance, these new stats will help publishers devise and enhance their strategies to focus on boosting shares by focusing on the content that's generating more response, and learning what video lengths and content resonate best.
The new video metrics will be available from today - both the demographics and sharing data will be available for all videos, while the reactions metrics are Live content specific.
In addition to these new metrics, Facebook's also released a couple of interesting new features for 360 content. And while 360 video creation is beyond the realm of many, it's going to become a bigger deal in future - and as such, it's important for Facebook to evolve and advance the platform to cater to coming demand.
And worth noting, more than 250,000 360 videos have been uploaded to Facebook since the option was made available last September.
The first 360 addition is called 'Guide'. As titled, Guide helps direct viewers to relevant content within a 360 video.
For example, say you're looking around at all the different things you can see in the video - checking out the crowd while sitting courtside at a Warriors game or looking at the sunset from a jet cockpit. Say you're doing this, but something significant is about to happen - a player is about to walk by behind you or another plane is about to appear to your left. You might miss it - which might be fine, as that's the whole point of 360 content, you can look wherever you want - but in real life you'd likely have some indicator of where you should look, a noise or something to attract your attention.
Because we're not at the stage of fully immersive VR as yet, Facebook's sought to address this by adding in a new option to click on the guide compass and have the video automatically focus on the relevant point for you to look at.
As shown in the video, 360 publishers can choose where they want people to look and at what stage in the video in the post options. If a view wants to use Guide, they can click on the compass - if they manually look around, Guide automatically switches off.
It's an interesting and helpful addition, particularly in narrative-driven content - here's an example from ABC News, a virtual tour of New York Harbor.
Facebook's also adding a new Heatmap for 360 content (seen at the end of the above intro video). Heatmap helps show 360 publishers which content within the video that viewers find most interesting.
As per Facebook:
"[Heatmap] shows you the specific portions of the field of view that audiences have spent the most time watching, displayed as a visual map that highlights the "hottest" parts of your video. This information is pulled from aggregate data of our view ports, measuring every time your viewer moves 30° within the scene."
In line with their other, non-360 metric additions, Heatmap can help provide more context into what your viewers are interested in, and if you were to also use the new Guide option, the heat zones highlighted would likely be good points at which you should be directing viewer attention within your 360 content to boost response.
In order to provide relevant data on this, Heatmap will only be available to 360 videos with more than 50,000 views. And while 360 content might only be an option for larger publishers, it is interesting to see how Facebook's developing metrics on this front, and evolving the option ahead of coming demand.
Overall, these are some solid additions for Facebook video metrics. As noted in the intro, looking at the increased user engagement stats, if you're not considering video in your marketing strategy, you're likely missing out. And while not every video option will be relevant to every brand, it is definitely something worth considering.
These new metrics and data points only provide additional impetus to investigate what's possible.