2015 has been the year of video for Facebook, and as that year draws to a close, Facebook is giving Pages some new tips for publishing videos.
Have you begun a Facebook video strategy yet? Do you anticipate beginning one in the coming year? What do you think of Facebook video now that it's been in wide use for a while? Share your thoughts in the comments.
"In the past year, Facebook has unveiled several new video tools for Pages to give publishers more control and customization for their videos," a spokesperson for the company tells WebProNews. "As a publisher, reaching the right audience at the right time is a key to success."
Facebook is offering ten tips in a blog post. These are as follows:
1. Schedule videos to automate your content calendar.
2. Set expiration dates for videos.
3. Add captions to tell your story with and without sound.
4. Edit and manage all your videos with your Video Library.
5. Embed your videos elsewhere.
6. Utilize secret videos.
7. Manage video distribution settings with your Video Library.
8. Explore your "Top Videos".
9. Monitor your retention graph.
10. Track engagement metrics.
Scheduling can help when you're planning an exclusive release or preparing for an understaffed day or weekend, as Facebook notes. To schedule a video, click the arrow next to "Publish" when you're uploading it, then select "Schedule Post" from the dropdown menu. You can then select the date/time. You can select an expiration date from the same place, and the video will automatically unpublish at that time.
The tip about captions could make a huge difference in your results.
As product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza explains, "Since videos on Facebook autoplay in News Feed with sound off, it’s important to think about how to tell your story without sound. In some cases, we’ve seen publishers provide text overlays and banners to keep viewers engaged even with muted audio, while others have experimented by narrating data points and statistics with moving graphics and images. Another option is to add captions to your video so that viewers can easily follow along when watching your video — this can even be helpful with sound on."
"Captions are added as .SRT files to your video during the upload or edit process," Gomez-Ortigoza adds. "On the web, people who watch your video can click “CC” on the bottom right-hand side of the video to enable captions. On mobile devices, captions display automatically when a viewer has volume muted."
The Video Library can be accessed from your Publishing Tools tab on your Page. From there, you can use search and filtering tools to find specific videos by title, description, etc. You can edit details, add captions, additional languages, and change thumbnails from here.
Embedding videos other places is crucial to expanding visibility. While Facebook does love to show native videos in the News Feed, it can't hurt to have them appear away from Facebook as well. To grab embed code for a video, click the dropdown arrow next to the video on your Page's timeline. Then, just copy and paste where you need it.
This week, Facebook also introduced some improved embedding tools for developers including the Embedded Video Player API and oEmbed support. More on these here.
The tip about secret videos refers to the videos that you can upload and make accessible only to those who have a link. These videos aren't visible or searchable on Facebook, but can be useful if you want to host videos on FB, and just embed them on your sites or share them with specific client or staff.
To utilize this feature, upload a video like norma, but click the "Advanced" tab and select "Custom" distribution and check "Add as Secret Video". It will give you think link.
From the Video Library, you can manage your video distribution by prohibiting third-party embeds, publishing videos to the News Feed, and/or viewing/managing secret videos.
When Facebook says to explore your Top Videos, it means using the Top Videos section to see the best performing content across any given date range. You can click a video for more performance metrics like audience retention and engagement. This can be accessed from the Videos tab in Page Insights.
"The retention curve helps you understand where in the video your audience drops off," says Gomez-Ortigoza. "It’s normal to see some audience drop off at the very beginning, as people scroll through their News Feed. However, if you see a point in your video with significant drop-off, take a look at the content to understand which part of the video may not be as engaging to viewers."
Finally, tracking engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares lets you better understand audience sentiment and how a video is being received. This will help you adjust your strategy with future content.
In recent months, there have been rumors that Facebook is considering launching a standalone video app, which would make a great deal of sense considering it's competing more and more directly with YouTube these days. Facebook also recently launched an SDK for tvOS which should bring more Facebook integrations to Apple TV.
Do you expect Facebook video to become as vital a marketing tool as YouTube? Do you believe it already is? Let us know what you think.
Images via Facebook