In the beginning of the second millennial decade, there was a popular saying among marketers:
“Content is king!”
And when they referred to content, they undoubtedly were talking about text content. The emphasis at that time was shifting from keyword bombing and link farms into high-quality texts that Google gave respect to, and humans wanted to read.
Marketers tried to figure out how to make this transition. How long should their text content be? If Google seemed to reward longer pieces over 800 words, then how could marketing teams stretch out a story that only merited 500 words, tops? And, did 1500 word stories gain more favor in ranking than the 800 word stories did? Were the 300-500 word stories useless?
While this was being figured out (and no one ever came up with a hard and fast rule for word counts), the focus then shifted to adding engaging content. It was thought that digital readers and consumers wanted a wider variety of content to consume. And this came to include:
…and streaming videos, especially from authority sites such as YouTube.
In the midst of all of this, another phenomenon happened:
Consumers began to show an interest in reality-based media. By this point, reality television shows were dominating the airwaves. Viewers loved consuming entertainment and information that was easy to digest, and highly relatable.
Enter the streaming video.
Streaming videos soon became a no-brainer for digital marketers, and eCommerce brands. Because of platforms such as YouTube, they became a very inexpensive way to reach masses of people who are already on the platform, saving marketers untold sums of advertising money.
In addition, streaming videos became the visual representation of the ever-growing and popular medium known as the podcast. And somewhere along the way, a mighty social media platform known as Facebook was transformed to compete with the most popular streaming video and podcast platforms around.
Enter the age of Facebook video engagement.
Locowise was quoted on the topic, stating this:
Videos are the Facebook format most likely to reach and engage audiences. The average video post in April 2017 reached 12.05% of the total page audience, just ahead of photos at 11.63%, links at 7.81%, and status updates at only 4.56%. Videos also had the highest levels of engagement.
But marketers should keep in mind that the popularity of video content is often unique to Facebook. For example, a web-based publication (especially one that started as a print publication) might find that its readership still prefers print content. But when it comes to sharing the same information on a platform like Facebook, the publication’s consumers often want to digest the information via streaming video.
For marketers who are consider what type of video content they should post in order to generate the most engagement, they should consider the following categories (as borrowed from a chart courtesy of Buzzsumo). Here are the top five:
Food videos by far generate the most engagement, and this is great news for food/snack/beverage eCommerce marketers. But the other categories do well because they address other aspects of human needs. Household pets are included in the basic needs category because for many, their pets are extended members of their family.
Conversely, here’s a listing of the lowest performing Facebook video topics:
It should be noted that the last three topics generate next to nothing regarding engagement, or shares. This could be due to a few factors:
How long should the videos be?
This is the video version of how long of a word count should an article contain. If it’s too short, the the consumers might miss the message, right? Make the video too long, and it might bore some of them. Is there a fast and loose rule for video length?
In general, marketers should keep in mind that digital consumers have short attention spans. Having said that, some of the best viral videos go past the two minute mark (although not much further).
A good rule of thumb would be for marketers to think of their industry segment, and the topic of the video. In general, it’s been said that 90 seconds is the sweet spot, but there are videos that go to the three minute mark, especially if the video contains detailed info, such as making food, or a DIY project.
In the end, it’s up to you how long your video is and what the topic is. Sometimes a simple 15-20 second video makes the most sense. Sometimes a marketing video targeted to a very specific audience can work incredibly well. It’s all about finding that sweet spot. But regardless of length or topic, the undeniable truth is that Facebook video marketing is here to stay.
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