A Facebook Video Plan Is Only Becoming More Important

Facebook released its financials for the fourth quarter and full-year 2015 on Wednesday, and in the ensuing conference call, announced that 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook on a dail...
A Facebook Video Plan Is Only Becoming More Important
Written by Chris Crum
  • Facebook released its financials for the fourth quarter and full-year 2015 on Wednesday, and in the ensuing conference call, announced that 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook on a daily basis. If Facebook video hasn’t become part of your strategy by now, that’s a pretty good reason to start thinking about it.

    Have you had success with Facebook video? Is it part of your strategy today? Let us know in the comments.

    Mark Zuckerberg said during the call that video continues to be an important part of the Facebook experience and that continued investment in it is important for “allowing people to share and consume some of the most engaging content.”

    We recently looked at some research from Locowise, which broke down reach and engagement rates on Facebook by post type. According to that, videos saw the greatest reach in December, compared to images, links, and statuses. Video came in second place for engagement rate, being edged out by images. Videos still received significantly more engagement than links or statuses.

    With the new ability to prioritize interests for targeting of posts, Pages have the potential to increase engagement across any post type, including video.

    Zuckerberg noted during the call that Facebook has been testing new experiences to help people discover more videos they might be interested in. These include suggested videos. He also noted that they’re “exploring ways” to give users a dedicated place to watch Facebook videos, though he stopped short of announcing plans for a standalone video app.

    Later during a Q&A, he was asked about a possible video app, but kind of danced around it. Last fall, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was developing one. It said:

    As conceived, the app would work on many platforms including Apple Inc.’s devices and those using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Development of the app is in early stages and it is unclear when or if the app will launch, said the people, who declined to be named discussing the confidential project.

    If this comes to fruition (and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t in some form), it’s going to present some major living room marketing opportunities.

    COO Sheryl Sandberg talked during the call about working with agencies and media teams: “They understood that people watch video differently in mobile News Feed than on TV. So they created videos to capture audience attention in the first three seconds even without sound. They drove over 380 million impressions and 49 million video views in key markets and increased purchases by 10 points in the U.S.”

    “Video ads are important on our platform and the most important thing that’s growing well,” she said. “Consumer engagement with video is growing. We have 500 million people watching video a day. And the fact that so much video is being consumed on our platform gives us room for an ads business to grow because we want the formats to match. Marketers also really love video and it’s a really compelling way to reach people and video is contributing to our growth. It’s important to note that it’s not just large brand advertisers that are doing video but all of our market segments. Direct response, SMBs who have uploaded 1.5 million videos and have both organic and paid in the last month, and developers. The video ad spend is not all incremental of course because every time we put an ad in News Feed, if it’s a video ad, it’s taking the place of an ad with another format.”

    She went on to say that video formats are different on Facebook, adding that some people are watching the whole 30-second video ad with sound, but others are doing that less, and watching shorter formats (sometimes without sound). She noted that Facebook needs to convince marketers and agencies to expand the videos with different formats.

    “You can do short form with sound off, you can be longer form with sound on and everything in between,” she said. “And our ability to persuade marketers to experiment is going to be a major driver of how much we can do here.”

    She later added that users are generating “a lot of really high quality content, often pretty short form that people are really happy to consume.” The company thinks this trend will continue because it’s still early days for many people really realizing the power of smartphones. This varies from market to market.

    According to a recent report from Nanigans, Facebook ad spend surged in Q4 (which is reflected in Facebook’s financials), and advertisers increased their investment in video in particular.

    Overall video ad spend growth was up 41% quarter over quarter with mobile video ad spend growth up 44%. Non-US video ad spend growth was 86% and non-US was 94%.

    Have you increased your Facebook ad budget? Your Facebook video budget? Do you plan to? Let us know in the comments.

    Facebook conference call quotes as transcribed by SeekingAlpha. Read the whole transcript here.

    Images via Facebook, locowise

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