Facebook videos account for billions of views each day. The marketers who have discovered how to align their video content development to Facebook’s best practices are more likely to reach their audiences and achieve their objectives.
However, what you may not realize is that a new video series from Facebook itself is a not-so-secret tool that could transform your Facebook video development efforts.
10 Facebook video insights from experts
In August 2020, Facebook launched a video series that takes a deep dive into how marketers can better use the tools Facebook provides to kickstart their video efforts.
Since late August, the company has released a dozen videos featuring experts who work for Facebook sharing inside information about Facebook’s video tools on topics ranging from how to use graphic overlays in live productions, to the importance of closed captioning, to improving Facebook video storytelling.
1. Creator Studio now allows creators to create and publish videos on the go.
When Creator Studio was first launched in February 2020, it was mostly designed to be a helpful analytics tool. However, after Facebook received feedback from those who were using the app, it became clear that the ability to create videos from the app was a significant priority for users.
Since receiving the feedback, Creator Studio now allows video publishers to do the following:
- Access comprehensive video-specific metadata features: Using the Creator Studio app, you may add video titles, video descriptions, and video thumbnails directly from the app —making the app a helpful tool to utilize for making your Facebook videos more searchable and findable.
- Publish from the right account: Many have found that it is difficult to know if they are publishing from their personal profile or public page. With Creator Studio, videos may only be published from your public page, so accidentally publishing from your personal profile isn’t even an option.
- Publish live videos: Facebook Live is now integrated into the Creator Studio app — allowing users to go live immediately directly from the app.
2. Facebook Live should feel authentic — but don’t forget to plan.
Given the pandemic and the work-from-home environment, the utilization of Facebook Live has increased throughout the last year. However, just because more people are using it does not mean that more people are using it well. In fact, Facebook proposes that those who use Facebook Live should be deliberate and think about the experience they want for their viewers to have.
Some of the things that Facebook invites creators to think about include:
- Your message and objective
- Sound quality
- Internet quality
Colyn, a Facebook Live product marketing manager, shares in one of the videos the following about pre-planning vs. on-the-go Facebook Lives:
“There are certain cases when you think of journalism or capturing a moment that was unplanned. Of course, there is only so much prep you are going to be able to do, but if you have the luxury of prepping, it is worth doing so.”
3. Pay more attention to your playlists and series for Facebook Watch success.
If you haven’t seen your video content spread on Facebook the way that you would like, perhaps you are not paying enough attention to creating series or playlists in which the videos can live. In a recent video tutorial, Astha, a product marketer on Facebook’s video team explains that when a creator utilizes a playlist or a series, Facebook’s algorithms pick up on that content and it becomes more likely to be served up in a discovery experience for Facebook Watch users.
For those who don’t know if they should create a playlist or create a series for their videos, Facebook explains it like this: if it is meant to be viewed in order, create a series. If order is not important, create a playlist.
4. You can take steps to decrease the risk of copyright problems with music you use on Facebook.
You may have received a notice from Facebook telling you that it has flagged a video because of copyright issues. While Facebook feels it is important for them to protect the copyright owned by others, there also are some safe ways in which you can use music.
Jeniece, a product manager on the Rights Manager team, shared that those who are seeking to use music in their videos should be cautious if they don’t explicitly own the rights to the music in the videos. She also explains that your music and videos should always have a dual audio-visual element. If you are simply playing long clips of copyrighted audio, for example, you likely run a greater risk of having your video flagged for a copyright violation.
5. Captions are functional well beyond only accessibility.
Al, who manages the video creator and publisher experience, explains in a recent video that although captions traditionally were created for helping those who needed help hearing or understanding what was happening in a video, since the advent of the internet, Facebook and other companies have used captioning as an additional tool for those who use social media and digital media with the sound turned off.
Facebook recommends that video creators consider the following when developing video captions:
- Don’t just consider using captions — use them. Facebook’s automatic caption generator makes using captions easy.
- Capture clear audio when shooting videos to minimize mistakes with the automatic caption generator.
- Use a microphone to capture even better audio that Facebook can use to create captions.
6. Focus on telling stories for Facebook video success.
Ultimately, Facebook is a platform for connecting through stories, and there is no better tool for storytelling than video.
In an episode all about the art of storytelling, Roxanne, who works with Entertainment Partnerships for Facebook in India, explains a few key aspects to keep in mind when using Facebook to tell a good story:
- Be consistent by following a publishing schedule or cadence that your fans come to expect.
- Monitor video retention by examining how long your audience stays with a video. The longer they stay with a single video, the more likely they are to come back to it. Retention leads to loyalty.
- Experiment and try new things. Make at least a portion of your content something new.
7. Be deliberate in your planning to tell the best stories.
Anybody can tell a story, but the creators on Facebook who tell the best stories are those who are willing to go the extra mile to spend time planning the stories they tell and ensuring that the stories are told in a way that resonates with their audiences.
Dan, the lead for Entertainment Partnerships for Facebook in Northern Europe, shares these tips to help you think deliberately in your storytelling opportunities:
- Know your audience in a way that helps you differentiate them from the other two billion people who use the platform.
- Consider the narrative of the story you tell in your edits. Make sure you put something exciting at the beginning of the video. Get people to stop scrolling to grab attention.
- Develop a creative description and title for the video. Again, this is another element that may get somebody to stop scrolling and engage.
- Engage in the conversation with your followers to help keep the story flowing — even after the video is over.
8. Repurpose your video content to give it new life.
For creators who develop content that is cyclical and that follows a publishing calendar, there is no reason you need to recreate the wheel every year with every piece of content. In many instances, if you published something that worked well before, it may work well again.
- Check the distribution score of past videos in Creator Studio to see what resonated.
- Use the calendar filter in Creator Studio to find content you published in prior years.
- Use custom labels in Creator Studio to help you keep your content organized and internally easily findable.
9. Use graphics in Facebook Live videos.
Whereas Facebook Live was once a static experience with graphics, it now includes many of the functionalities one might see in pre-produced videos. One of the little-known secrets of Facebook Live videos is that these videos now can feature lower-third titles, tickers that accompany the video along the bottom of the screen, the ability to highlight viewer comments, and live polls.
10. How to use video insights to improve future video projects.
Video Details Explorer is a new tool within Creator Studio that allows content creators to learn from their videos and understand how to adjust their future video content strategy.
- This tool allows creators to see how a video was viewed during the first 48 hours of its release, potentially helping you better understand when your audience comes online.
- The Distribution Summary section allows you to see how your current video relates to past videos in relation to views, engagements, comments, and shares.
- View the retention chart to see how long people are staying with your video. If people are dropping off quickly, consider adjusting your videos to be front-loaded with the information you want to convey.