Facebook video views are growing at a very rapid rate.
On Facebook’s Q3 earnings call, the company announced it sees an average of eight BILLION video views per day. This is double from four billion since April 2015.
Keep in mind, Facebook counts just 3 seconds as a view. Nonetheless, clearly, Facebook users are voracious consumers of video.
It’s the movement that catches our eye when scrolling through the news feed.
And, depending on those first few opening seconds, a good video can draw us in to want to watch more, and more!
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What Caused Such a Big Surge in Video Views?
Facebook started out with zero video views per day just a few short years ago and jumped to four billion views by early 2015. Along with regular tweaks to the algorithm, Facebook credits two significant events that caused this spike:
- Autoplay, which Facebook first began testing in September 2013, and
- The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, with more than 17 million videos viewed more than 10 billion times by 440 million people from June 1 to September 1, 2014.
Facebook is currently really emphasizing 360 video, creating a more immersive experience for users.
Organic Video Posts Get the Highest Reach
A study by analytics company SocialBakers revealed that Facebook native video gets the highest organic reach of all post types. That is, the video file is uploaded directly to Facebook and is not a link to another video site, such as YouTube.
Ideally, you want to get at least some organic reach and engagement on your video posts. Then, go into Ads Manager and amplify that reach by targeting segments of your audience.
How to Create Effective Facebook Videos in Less Time
Despite the readily available video technology and tools at our fingertips, on our smartphones, many businesspeople can still face resistance when it comes to creating and posting video content.
Certainly, we want to look our best for recording to-camera shoots.
And, it stands to reason we want to give good thought as to an effective script and call to action on the video.
The good news is there are really simple ways you can create video content, almost all of which don’t require you recording yourself… if you prefer not to.
Create Video Montages
Desktop and mobile tools such as Animoto and Magisto allow you to create beautiful videos from your own images and video clips, add in music, text and voila, you have a gorgeous end product without much time and effort.
You might also check out Adobe Voice. Exclusively for the iPad, this app turns your story into a stunning animated video in minutes. Select from a large collection of thousands of fabulous images or use your own. Then, just touch to record your voice, one line at a time.
Boomerang by Instagram is a fairly new app that simply takes a burst of photographs and stitches them together into a 1-second video and loops it forward and backward. It’s not an animated GIF, but it’s designed to look one. This is a really easy and fun way to make a statement in your business’s Instagram feed. Here are examples of brands using the Boomerang app.
Remember, with Facebook’s autoplay feature, it’s the movement catches our eyes. If possible, also add large subtitles to your videos to draw your audience in and want to click the audio. Or, create powerful video ads that stand alone with or without sound.
Facebook’s Slideshow Video Ads Tool
Facebook recently rolled out the Slideshow tool – available in both Ads Manager and Power Editor. If you have limited time and resources, Slideshow gives you a very easy way to create video ads from still images.
Facebook states that the Slideshow tool is geared for advertisers who want an easy way to create a high-quality video without the hassle or expense of video production. And, because the file size is super small, Slideshow ads can be used when you are targeting people on low-end devices, particularly in countries with slower mobile connection speeds.
For example, use connection targeting to show videos to people on Wi-Fi and 4G, and slideshows to people on 3G and 2G connections.
In the Ad creation section, click on Select Video and then the Create Slideshow button.
Select three to seven images (use Facebook stock photos or upload your own). Then choose the length of the ad (up to 15 seconds), transition preference and thumbnail. For best results, use high-quality images and avoid grainy images. For dimensions, keep them all the same, ideally 1280 x 720 pixels or an image ratio of 16:9 or 4:3.
Add Your Call-to-Action
Here’s an important tip for all your organic video uploads: when you do upload your video to Facebook, remember to go in and edit afterward and add in the a CTA and URL where you want your viewers to go once the video ends. It’s not obvious at first to do this, but you can edit the video after it’s loaded.
New Video News Feed Coming Soon
Facebook is currently testing a dedicated video news feed on mobile. This has huge potential for impact.
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…we’ll be testing a dedicated place on Facebook for people to go when they exclusively want to watch video—whether that’s videos they’ve saved for later, or videos from friends, Pages they follow, and other video publishers on Facebook. This new videos section helps people discover, watch and share videos on Facebook that are relevant to them. It can be accessed by tapping a “Videos” icon at the bottom of the Facebook app on iPhone or in the “Favorites” section on the left-hand side of News Feed on the web. We’ll be testing this with a small number of people now, so this isn’t something most people will see on Facebook right away. We look forward to seeing how people use it to discover, watch and share videos with their friends.
As video consumption continues to rise on Facebook mobile in particular, and as we go into 2016, businesses would do well to ensure video is a prominent feature of your content marketing plan to share in both organic and paid methods.