Facebook is always tweaking how their platform works.
Some of the changes are small and barely perceptible, while others make you sit up and take notice.
If you’re a regular Facebook user you have probably spotted that a lot of videos now start to play automatically – albeit without sound – as you scroll through your newsfeed, as opposed to having to click the ‘Play’ button. If you do click on the video, it will open full-screen with sound. This is Facebook’s Autoplay feature which came into effect earlier this year.
Facebook figures that, if a video starts playing automatically, users will be more likely to watch at least part of it, giving advertisers a greater opportunity to engage with their audience. This move has proved to be a tad controversial in some camps, with users unwittingly finding their mobile data usage being gobbled up by these autoplaying videos. However, the Facebook app settings can be updated so that videos only autoplay when their phone is connected to wi-fi, or the feature can be switched off altogether.
What does this mean for you? Well, for videos that you upload to Facebook, they will start to play automatically as soon as they appear in the user’s newsfeed. This gives you the opportunity to grab their attention with your product or service. You have to be quick though as users can scroll past your video in a flash.
There are some nifty things you can do after your video has been viewed:
When the video has finished playing, you can add a ‘Call To Action’ button that encourages the user to ‘Learn More’, ‘Shop Now’, ‘Sign Up’, etc.
When you create an ad campaign featuring a video, if users watch your video to the end – or near the end – it is pretty safe to assume that they are likely to be interested in its content. Wouldn’t it be great if you could target these people with follow-up content?
Well, Facebook can start to build ‘custom audiences’ based on how people viewed your video. One audience is those who watched it for at least three seconds, while the other comprises users who have viewed at least 95 per cent of your video.
You can then create content which is shown only to users in these custom audiences – very nice.
Points to note here are that these custom audiences only become available 24 hours after your campaign finishes, and your video must be viewed at least 1,000 in a 24-hour period for the audience to qualify.
Another important thing to keep in mind here is that all this applies only to videos that you upload directly to Facebook – you cannot pull videos that are hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and play them from there.
We are not done with Facebook video yet. Next time, I will delve further into how you can use video on Facebook and ways to use the statistics that it gathers for you.
Until then, good business.