We are living in a video-first world, where moving images are at the heart of all apps and services.
Facebook recorded an increase of 800% in video consumption from 2015 to 2016, jumping from 1 billion views to 8 billion views in just a year.
During Social Media Week, Ian Crocombe, Regional Head of Facebook’s Creative Shop presented all the opportunities that video content may offer, both for publishers and advertisers on Facebook.
Moving from TV to social media
Video ads on Facebook are different from the ones we knew on TV, and they also lead to a different behaviour from the audience.
Moreover, users have a shorter attention span when using their mobile devices, which also requires a different perspective when creating a video.
This creates the need for brands to adjust their content when they have to transfer their message from TV and traditional marketing to social media and Facebook in particular.
Adjusting content for Facebook videos
Facebook’s Creative Shop aims to help brands understand what makes an effective Facebook video and how they can make their message heard to an increased audience.
They are responsible for “feed proofing”, which means the process of taking the brands’ ideas and making them work on mobile.
It focuses on four main areas, all aiming to improve the success of the video – Capture, Design, Frame and Play…
1. Capture attention quickly
Facebook suggests you place the brand and the product at the centre of the video, keeping the message simple and clear from the very first seconds.
This informs the audience what the video is about, and if it’s creative enough to grab their attention quickly, it makes them watch more of it.
2. Design for sound off
According to Facebook, 80% of videos are currently played without sound, which means that you cannot ignore this when creating a new branded video.
Instead of making customers turn the sound on, how about delivering your message through text?
Subtitles are better than nothing, but text overlays offer the best way to increase comprehension without a sound.
3. Frame your visual story
Cut extra footage from existing ads to reinforce the key message. Crop the video in square, pick the right frames and experiment with the best format that could be more appealing on Facebook.
4. Play more
Ian Crocombe’s main tip is to “be really playful” with Facebook videos. Don’t stop experimenting with new content, take a creative idea and play with it.
For example, how about starting your video with a question to spark curiosity?
Feed proofing is good, but it’s quite defensive. There’s also the need for a new creative approach when starting with mobile-first content.
It’s time to work with new story arcs…
New creative approach
A new creative approach needs its own tips to make sure that the audience is interested in the video content. Here’s what Facebook suggests for an increased engagement.
1. Heartbeat frequency = attention
There’s no need to have a theatrical narrative, following the traditional sequence of beginning, middle, end.
It may be more effective to deliver loops of the story every few seconds to keep your audience interested. A new vignette may start after a few seconds, creating multiple stories with a consistent message.
The duration of the content is not important, as long as you’re able to keep the audience interested.
2. Zigs & Zags = hook
It has been observed that 65% people who watch 0.03 secs of Facebook videos can watch up to 0.10 secs and 45% who watch 0.10 secs can watch up to 0.30secs.
Zigs and zags try to move people across by hooking them at the beginning while getting the product visible. Once the hook occurs in the introduction, users can watch more of the video, with short and repeated stories contributing to the promotion of a brand’s message.
3. Start with the end
This tip is focused on “super logical people” with Facebook suggesting we start a video with the product shown in a visually appealing way, then end with the product’s benefits.
This can be a clever way to capture the audience’s attention by offering the emotional reward and the solution to the problem from the very first seconds while proceeding to the actual description of the problem through the rest of the video.
Ian Crocombe sums up his presentation by reminding us that “video on mobile is different”, and as we are heading into a more visually-focused world, it’s time to experiment with more creative approaches.
This is an edited version of an article originally published in on our sister website ClickZ: New creative opportunites on Facebook for a video first world.