Consumers are interacting with video content more and more. In fact, this year, the average U.S. adult will spend one hour and 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices.
Given this uptick in video consumption, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are offering new and powerful ways for brands to engage their audiences through video, like drastically increasing the reach of video content by creating a trickle effect from paid ads through organic-video sharing, reaching audiences at scale on mobile devices, and introducing sophisticated targeting that influences performance results.
Many brands have experimented with video advertising on Facebook in unique ways and are seeing impressive results. Safeway, for example, was experiencing declining reach and stagnant engagement on Facebook.
To combat this business challenge, the grocery chain and its creative agency developed new custom content for Facebook — including video ads — geared toward engaging its community through everyday moments with food. Safeway curated and amplified these posts with paid ads to increase engagement and grow audience size, fostering longer-term customer relationships along the way.
Safeway saw the organic reach of video content grow by 1,141 percent. For the new video content, the engagement rates from paid media also saw a boost in engagement of 487 percent over other standard post types on Facebook. Last — but certainly not least — Safeway was able to improve its cost per engagement for video content by 62 percent.
But, it’s not as easy as posting a video to Facebook and Instagram, and hoping it gets traction. There’s a science behind leveraging video effectively on social channels, and here are a few tips and tricks to help.
Make ‘Snackable’ Video Content
Facebook’s algorithm favors native video, so many marketers have quickly increased their use of it on Facebook as an alternative to linking to YouTube ads. However, marketers need to keep in mind that native video on Facebook will auto-play silently on both mobile and in the desktop News Feeds, so not all video content will be effective.
As a result, brands should consider creating more custom ‘snackable’ video content that has been shortened or modified to achieve the optimal viewing experience in the Facebook environment. Additionally, brands are finding creative ways to deliver more click-thrus and increased engagement, like adding subtitles to videos.
Think Beyond Traditional Video
Marketers shouldn’t feel confined to just tried-and true video content. Cinemagraphs, for example, are another hot video format to consider. Since cinemagraphs blend photography and video, these slow-moving images are almost mesmerizing. This creative ad type has a unique ability to draw consumers’ attention. They’re also gaining traction from some brands as a result of the video-advertising growth seen across Facebook and now Instagram.
Leverage Facebook’s Targeting Capabilities
Facebook allows its video ads to be retargeted based on view-through rate, which is influenced by several factors like the time of the day, audience, ad type, and ad context. This innovative way of sequentially targeting a creative is invaluable, as it allows you to segment and only target the most highly engaged audience of that video content.
While YouTube remains a large and important part of the media mix for video ads, Facebook really is making some big moves to take a larger piece of this market over time. Facebook’s inherent advertising benefits mean that those who want to sponsor content may look to reap the benefits of uploading video with Facebook’s native structure. Due to this, Facebook video advertising could be a true differentiator for many brands, and more excitingly, now Instagram as well.
Monica Lay is a senior product marketing manager at Adobe focused on social advertising solutions. A digital advertising and media industry veteran, Monica came to Adobe through its acquisition of Efficient Frontier, where she led display and social advertising efforts in Australia, focusing on product development and client management.