Posting a video you created on social media can be like throwing a party at your house. You get everything ready: Theme, snacks, drinks, games, invites, etc. Then the day of the party you sit around the house patiently waiting for the guests to arrive. And when you finally click ‘post’ you sit around waiting for the likes, comments, views, clicks, and shares to start rolling in, just like when you throw that party. But when the dreaded happens – no one shows up except your weird Aunt Martha – you may want to evaluate what went wrong here.
Did you schedule the party for a time when many of your friends would be busy? Did you invite enough people? Did you invite them with enough notice?
The same can happen to your video. Maybe your aunt Martha was the only one to watch your video on social media (27 times to be exact).
How do we avoid the pitfalls of a poorly planned distribution strategy? A good place to start is by understanding the big four platforms and what they have to offer. In this post we will cover the biggest of them all:
Your Aunt Martha goes on Facebook everyday. In fact, statistics are showing an increase in age among Facebook users. According to a 2016 Pew research report, young adults continue to report using Facebook at high rates, but older adults are joining in increasing numbers. Some 62% of online adults ages 65 and older now use Facebook, a 14-point increase from the 48% who reported doing so in 2015.
It seems younger generations are getting caught up in newer apps like Instagram and Snapchat. While older generations are finally jumping onto Facebook at similar rates as the youngsters. This is something to keep in mind when deciding on how to allocate your ad budget. If your target audience is a bit older, Facebook is an excellent place to reach them. If they are a bit younger, you may want to spread your budget across a few different platforms.
Even more, statistics are showing that 85% of videos watched on Facebook are viewed silently. You want to consider this when making your video. If you plan to share on Facebook, which in most cases you should, make sure that it is easy to follow without sound and/or with subtitles. You don’t want your beautifully crafted video to get lost in the shuffle of daily life. Most people will be on their phones in places where volume use could be considered rude.
When you post your video to Facebook, depending on your following and the content you share you will need to set aside a budget to boost your ad. Sadly, Facebook makes it nearly impossible for your content to be seen otherwise. In a recent case, we created ads for the Bellingham Public Schools Foundation. They had so much hype from the initial video drop that we didn’t need to boost their video until a day and a half after the post. Their organic traffic and views had fizzled out, so we went in to boost and create a custom ad. The point is, they didn’t need to pay for every click. Each case is unique. We usually suggest a starting budget of about $500 a month for ad spend. This of course is dependent on your organization’s resources, offerings, needs, and audience.
Now let’s talk about video length. Short videos are useful for grabbing a longer percentage of video view time per video. According to Wistia, shorter videos generally have higher retention rates. People watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds. Longer videos though, when viewed fully, have higher impact on memory. And on average, people only watch 20 seconds of a video they clicked to play on Facebook; if a video is hosted on a company’s site, people are likely to watch the video for at least four minutes (source.) The key here is to get your most important message(s) through and engage with viewers early on in the video when posting on Facebook.
Different video lengths are good for different reasons. I’ve seen the success of a long video and a short video posted on Facebook. The real focus should be on targeting. If your video does not have a clear audience from the set out you may have a hard time targeting the ideal person. With so many videos on Facebook today, you want to make sure your video (short or long) is seen by the right crowd. Luckily, Facebook has an excellent in-depth targeting platform that allows you to filter based on anything from income to hobbies.
After you’ve created the ad, budget, and perfect target audience. You cannot forget about analyzing your results weekly. I mean it! Set aside a half an hour a week to at least look at the data on Facebook Ad Manager. The insights will be invaluable to the success of your campaign. The most important ones to track include:
- Video views to 100%
- Link clicks
- Cost per click
Lastly, don’t change your campaign’s too quickly. It can be easy to want to change your ad on a daily basis depending on what is happening. You cannot get a solid idea of what is happening with your ads for a couple of weeks at least. So sit back, relax, and analyze the data. Then after a few weeks make some adjustments and repeat.
Keep making adjustments. Make sure you follow a plan. You don’t want Aunt Martha to be your only engaged viewer.