Facebook’s video offering has been in the news, and any new moves by the tech giant are certain to have major impacts for online marketers.
What are the likely effects, and how can the opportunities presented be maximised?
Short and sweet
Short video clips can have a major impact, which is why Google’s non-skippable five-second sections of ads remains a working approach.
However, this can lead to confusion when it comes to analysing data because simplifying reporting by using a straight comparison between Facebook and YouTube video views doesn’t quite pan out.
Facebook views are similar to impressions, so YouTube’s own metric should be used, otherwise you could end up with a number in the region of ten times higher than the actual displayed view count. This difference between view count and watch time could sum up the user behaviours that marketers can expect on each site.
Facebook could be seen as being better at grabbing the brief attention of a consumer, while YouTube’s appeal lies in the fact that a user is more likely to view something in its entirety. The basic split is because of a difference between scrolling and an active attempt to find specific video content.
When a video automatically begins silently playing in a news feed, it is taking advantage of autoplay, and this is something that Facebook has embraced.
Although the effect can be to make a whole page more active, it also takes away user choice. Also, when a video has been autoplaying for only three seconds, Facebook counts it as a view.
This is within industry standards, but it doesn’t accurately reflect user interaction with the video content, so it can result in misleading metric data.
Facebook news feeds are inevitably going to rely more on moving video images and less on static photos.
This means that marketing opportunities for brands to engage will grow enormously as users become more used to the changes.
However, this also means using the “three second rule” more liberally, as well as taking into account that images may have to take precedence over sound to make the most of silent autoplay.