Keeping Up With Facebook’s Video-First Future Can Be Effortless

Facebook’s video-only News Feed is big news for your friendly neighborhood SMB

In our digital-first world, video has become the medium of choice for businesses and brands. Video impact pushes far beyond that of simple text or traditional ads, providing businesses with the means to pack as much messaging as possible into a single advertisement.

Facebook, the social media bellwether, is becoming more and more “video-first” by the day, as attested to by its new video-only News Feed.

For small and midsized businesses interested in getting ahead via social media, developing video content is no longer an option–it’s a must. But as business owners and marketers adapt themselves to this digital-first, video-first world, here are some crucial issues they should keep in mind:

Dwindling attention span

A report from Microsoft confirmed what we already suspected: The attention span of millennials and other online browsers is dwindling to eight seconds. This is of significant strategic importance as it means that to capture one’s audience, marketers and businesses are required to grab their attention immediately and continuously stimulate to maintain viewership from start to finish. Slow loading times, low-quality video and just the right duration are parameters that can lead to success–or your competitor’s.

Facebook has acknowledged that its ad load is expected to grow, meaning that more ads will be squeezed into every individual feed and suggesting that competition for hearts and eyeballs will be fierce.

It may seem daunting for businesses trying to get their message across through social media, but video content must nevertheless be perceived as an opportunity and not an inconvenience. A video requires a focused narrative that delivers your message in a creatively distinct fashion, aligned to your brand or business. If you had just eight seconds to sum up your “who you are” and “what you do,” how would you say it?

Cutting through social clutter

Many small businesses ask themselves if it’s truly worthwhile to invest in social media marketing, especially potentially costly video ventures. They weigh the pros and cons–the benefits if a video campaign is successful and the costs if it’s not.

However, video marketing provides an array of added value and returns on investment that many business owners neglect to consider. When an individual or business generates video content on social feeds such as Facebook, they take advantage of precision targeting, detailed measurements, multiformat video displays and the chance to be a part of the world’s largest communications network. Many SMBs and entrepreneurs have successfully leveraged social media to drive conversion, subscriptions and online sales, as well as the value of reacting to trends and current events online—see Oreo on social media.

The potential is clear: Reach a wide audience, resonate with influencers, partner with other brands or services, etc. The shelf life of video content far surpasses traditional marketing mediums and can cause a digital ripple effect, drastically extending the reach of your message. Add to that users’ ability to share, like and love videos on social, and there’s a strong argument to be made for diverting advertising resources more towards social media.

Videos made easy

Finally, whereas once creating videos required Hollywood-sized budgets and talent, these days, generating your own video ads no longer requires enormous funding, film crews or professional actors.

Take Kickstarter, for example, a venture that highlights and promotes unique products for crowdfunding. Many entrepreneurs have produced incredible videos on tight budgets that have led to stellar results on this unique platform. And you don’t need to be a creative genius, innovation guru or marketing professional. You just need the right tools to wrap your ideas into a stunning ad.

There are a variety of services that offer easy and affordable solutions to achieve consumer visibility through the clutter social media. Cross-pollination of YouTube for hosting and HitRecord, an excellent app for collaborating on art, music and every other creative medium can be helpful in preparing a marketing strategy that includes video content. Affordable content-creation platforms for SMBs such as Videolicious, Promo by Slidely and WeVideo help enable this creative process.