How Marketers Use Facebook Video to Elevate Consumer Engagement

by Gina Botti April 19, 2016
April 19, 2016

Keeping pace with Facebook’s feature updates can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. They’re constantly in search of monetization opportunities, and now they have a new shiny object: video.


Facebook has been pushing video for many years now, but they’ve stepped up their game over the past few months, and for good reason. For starters, over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day. They also receive over 8 billion average daily video views from over 500 million users. These numbers continue to grow.


People tend to consume more content on mobile and process it faster than on desktop. Video consumption on mobile devices has also steadily increased in popularity with the rise of smartphone adoption. In 2015, 35% of smartphone users watched more video than in 2014, and over a third of them watched mobile video content that lasted five minutes or longer at least once a day.


Marketers need to at least be aware of Facebook’s new video updates, and if they make sense for you to implement they can help boost brand engagement and expand audiences. Here are some recent updates:



  • Video Hub: offers live broadcasts and recorded videos.
  • Search: it’s now easier to find videos.
  • Facebook Live: video sharing platform has slowly rolled out to celebrities, businesses, the Facebook network and now, developers via an API.
  • Instant Articles: publishers can insert video ads for every 350 words of content.

While I could dive deeply into all of these features, I’m going to discuss one that I feel will garner the most engagement: Facebook Live. Then I’ll talk about the options available for measuring the level of video engagement, which will help when optimizing for social.


Why Care About Facebook Live?


It may not be new to the marketing world having launched in June 2015, but if you’re unfamiliar with this feature then here’s the simplest description: it’s live video. It’s fairly new compared to other video platforms, such as Periscope, Meerkat, and YouTube, yet it’s already the most popular, which makes it something that marketers need to pay attention to.


Live video is a great way for businesses to create real-time connections with their Facebook audiences. It adds a human element and fosters a high level of authenticity that appeals to consumers. In fact, they’re more likely to engage with a live video than a regular video. Comments are actually shared ten times more.


Interest in live streaming is also expected to rise thanks to their new Live API for developers. Not to mention the fact that Facebook is going to financially incentivize some publishers by covering production costs or offer a revenue share from ads viewed after a producer’s Live broadcast.


The Live API and financial incentives will help take Facebook Live to a whole new level of engagement. Businesses will have more ways to connect and create high-quality live experiences. As a marketer, now might be the time to start dabbling with Facebook Live.


Buzzfeed is a great example of the power of live video. They’ve begun testing the waters in an attempt to determine the types of content that engages their audience. They garnered over 800,000 concurrent viewers during their watermelon experiment. It depicted two employees placing rubber bands around a watermelon until it exploded. Five days after the post it racked up 10 million views, 320,000 comments, and 17,000 shares. If you’re curious, it took 44 minutes to explode.


How Can You Measure Video Engagement?


Facebook’s audience targeting options offers many ways you can target people on Facebook. From location, demographics, and behaviors, to custom audiences and lookalike audiences, the opportunities are diverse. One of the coolest new features is the ability to target based on the level of video engagement.


You can create a custom audience based on video engagement for people that viewed more than just 3 seconds and 95% of your video. Not only do you have the option to target people that viewed 10 seconds or at least 25%, 50%, and 75% of your video for a specific duration, but you can do it for multiple videos over different durations. This update gives you more flexibility in terms of your targeting efforts.


There’s One More Thing: Capturing Attention


Now that you have more tools to understand the level of engagement your videos are creating, what about the hardest part? Capturing attention. The first few seconds of a video are critical. Those who watch the first few seconds are 65% more likely to stick around for 10 seconds. They’re also 45% more likely to make it all the way to 30 seconds.


Facebook also helps marketers out by automatically adding captions to videos. This is a great feature because, since sound is automatically silenced when a video begins to play, it helps grab attention right away. It also saves us time from having to manually translate our videos. These captions have already helped increase view time by about 12%.


As Facebook continues to advance their video platforms to create a seamless engagement experience for the smartphone user, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more updates to accommodate how we engage with businesses day to day. For instance, imagine you’re a local business and decide to broadcast a live event to your audiences within 30 miles of your store. When over 50% of mobile shoppers have called a business, perhaps these Live videos could include a include a “Call Now” call to action after the video ends. This would allow the mobile user to immediately engage with your business after viewing a video.


If you use call attribution and conversion technology, then you’ll not only be able to route these callers directly to your store location, but you’ll be able to track the source of these calls back to your social media campaign. It’s another way to capitalize on the increased engagement from video while also ensuring proper attribution in your marketing campaigns.


Interested in more Facebook engagement tips? Learn how to target mobile-first consumers without breaking the bank.

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