If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the past couple of years you probably know about Facebook. For the uninitiated: it’s how people interact with each other. And it’s huge. Facebook boasts 1.59 billion monthly users (Source: Wikipedia). With an audience this big, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you aren’t using it to advertise your brand.
But before you begin, you need to understand that social media isn’t like mainstream media. If you want to be successful, you need to change your game a bit. Think of communicating on Facebook vs traditional media like dialogue vs a monologue. Broadcast media is all about telling an audience something in a one-to many style. Social Media is more about starting a conversation and including everyone. If you want your video to thrive, you need remember this. In this post, I’m specifically talking about creating videos for Facebook. If you want to create videos for your website or for Youtube, then click here.
So the reason you shouldn’t just paste your website video onto Facebook is to do with the way we interact with social media. People don’t go to Facebook to be sold to. They go there to be entertained and they don’t like investing a lot of time. They’re browsing. So to be successful, your video needs to cater to this.
You also need to know that you’ll have a lot of competition on Facebook. Not just from other companies. Everything on Facebook is a potential distraction. You need to make sure that you grab your viewers attention straight away. Or they’ll just move onto the next thing.
So how DO you approach video on Facebook? These are the three most effective approaches for making video on Facebook that works.
- Create content that people WANT to share
- Have users come looking for your video by giving them information they’re interested in
- Give people an experience they couldn’t otherwise get
1. Create content that people WANT to share
If your video resonates with people, they’ll make sure it get’s watched and distributed. Facebook users like to share content that tells their followers who they are and what they believe in. So how does this help your video? If somebody watches my video and clicks like or comments on it, then a number of people who know me will see that. If somebody likes my video so much that they share it, then everyone they know on Facebook will see it.
It’s like you’re gaining temporary access to somebody’s phone book to send all their contacts a message. Only, they’re choosing to do it themselves. You just need to make sure you have a message that people want to share.
In the example below, we shot some videos for mobile phone manufacturer HTC when they made their ‘One day I will’ campaign. The idea of this campaign was to challenge people to follow through with a dream that they haven’t fulfilled yet. To participate, users would record a quick video telling everyone about a dream they’re going to fulfil and then challenge a friend to do the same.
This is powerful on two levels: it challenges and inspires people to get involved and at the same time, it’s an opportunity to show your friends that you’re a proactive and adventurous person. For this campaign, HTC weren’t directly advertising their brand or a product, they were supporting a desirable lifestyle/image and were aligning their brand with it. The goal was to make people think of HTC when they thought about living their dreams. This ‘soft sell’ approach is ideal for Facebook because people tend to click away if it’s obvious they’re being sold to.
We produced a video campaign for Sherrin. Sherrin is an Australian athletics company that supplies all of the match balls to the AFL. They wanted to spread the word about a competition they’re running, using social media.
While the marketing message was more direct, it’s softened by a personal delivery. In the video, Hawthorn football captain, Luke Hodge is speaking directly to the audience. It’s more personal than if the same message was coming from a brand or corporation, familiarity and believability go a long way in compelling somebody to watch a video. Having a well-known sportsperson deliver the message also gives it a high chance of being shared.
2. Have users come looking for your video by giving them information they’re interested in
People come to Facebook for more than just socialising. They’re interested in solving problems, spreading ideas and learning. Aspiring chefs join cooking groups to share recipes, athletes join exercise groups to find workout tips, you get the idea. So by producing content that teaches people, your content will naturally find an audience. You’ll be advertising your brand by positive association rather than direct marketing.
We created this type of content for Spalding. Spalding are an Athletics apparel company that had just released a signature range of apparel in collaboration with former olympic swimmer Giaan Rooney. With Giaan being a well know sports personality, it made sense for her to feature in the video. She’s also an authority on this topic, which gives her opinion credibility. So we created some videos that contained simple tips on exercising and working out. They’re short so that viewers don’t need to take a lot of time to watch them. This is crucial because a typical Facebook audience is in a browsing mindset where they have a short attention span. Think of it like they’re snacking on content, they’re not interested in a full meal at this stage.
The good news is that you can use your video to bring your audience back to your website, then you can then give them something longer (the full meal). Video hosting platform Wistia (https://wistia.com/learn/marketing/does-length-matter-it-does-for-video) did some split testing to see what performed best between shorter and longer videos. The results showed that shorter videos were far more likely to be viewed all the way through. So it’s best to keep your videos under a minute. These bite-sized Spalding videos are informative, believable and short!
3. Give people an experience they couldn’t otherwise get
These days everyone with a smartphone is a potential news reporter. In the past, only big TV networks had the technology to deliver content that was very current. But advances in technology mean that anyone can now output videos in a short period of time. It’s worth doing because people are much more likely to watch something if it’s relevant to them now. So if you can capture and communicate an event that you know that an audience is interested in, and you can show them what it was like to be there, and distribute it fast, this is something they’ll value.
Take this video we made for Audi as an example. It’s for the Melbourne International Film Festival, which Audi sponsored. With big names like Geoffrey Rush, Fred Schepisi and Asher Keddie attending, Audi wanted to capitalise on the event and add value to their investment by sharing it with the world. To keep it relevant, it needed to be shot and edited in the same day so that it could be released the next day. It involved burning the midnight oil to finish the edit but take a look at what we came up with below.
Another similar shoot we did was for luxury watch maker, Tag Heuer. Again, it needed to be shot and edited in the same day so that it capitalised on an exhibition match between Manchester City and Real Madrid in Melbourne.
These kind of videos are also about giving people the experience of what it was like to be at a certain place or event. This is popular because it allows the audience to experience something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
We recently did exactly that for the Magic the Gathering Grand Prix in Melbourne. Magic The Gathering is a popular international fantasy based card game. The Grand Prix brings thousands of players together to compete and win big prizes. The event also featured a pop-up escape room, an immersive experience where participants are locked in a mad scientists laboratory and need to use logic and teamwork to escape.
Our brief was to create a video that gave people all over the world a sense of what it was like to attend this event. For this to work well, we needed to take a journalistic approach, rather than choreographing every shot and using a set script. This works to make the viewer feel like they were there, which is why people like to watch these kinds of videos. Within 24 hours, the video we created was live on their website and has attracted 10,946 views. It worked to generate buzz for the same event coming to other cities around the globe. It’s one thing to put content out there that people will enjoy but if you manage to generate interaction then you’ll spread your video further and potentially attract new followers. If you want to take a look behind the scenes of this shoot too, just click here.
As you can see, creating content for social media is all about creating content that suits the media, rather than just following the traditional broadcast format. You need to produce something that’s engaging enough for people to want to share. You do this by:
• producing something bite sized that’s easily watched and shared
• creating something that is unique and stands out against everything else that want’s attention
• Serving up niche content that you know a specific audience is interested in.
So these are some tried and tested ways of integrating videos into Facebook marketing. Have you thought about how you might create Facebook videos for your own business? What kind of content would grab your audiences attention? What would they watch that would motivate them to share with their friends? If you want to learn more about Facebook videos then take a look at this interview we did with social media expert Jen Sheahan.