Video is the best performing content type on social media - it outperforms all other post types on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. No doubt you've heard and read this over and over again, but if you're not utilizing video, you should be considering it, as it can have a significant impact on your overall digital marketing performance.
Of course, not everyone has the capacity to create standout video content, but it should still be a consideration. All the usage stats and trends point to this.
But within the broader video trend, there are now also emerging patterns of behavior worth noting which can elevate your video efforts even further. For example, the popularity of the stories format has led to change in the creation and distribution of vertical video - which, in itself, is a relevant trend. The hype around live-streaming has lessened, but it still generates high levels of engagement. These, and more, may be key shifts of note for your video strategy.
To shed some light on this, A study I found from the folks at SocialInsider recently did a deep dive research of more than 9 million video posts on Facebook, from a total of 92 thousand Facebook business Pages. Based on this massive scope, they had put together a comprehensive update on key Facebook video trends. Here are some of the highlights from the study they conducted. It should be noted that while vertical video for whatever reason is still considered the go-to format for social platforms like Facebook or it’s counter-parts, Instagram and IGTV, are starting to conceded that there are those out there who still love to shoot in landscape and that landscape allows for better framing and content. The concessions are showing by the fact that IGTV has put the landscape option in its recent app update. Still vertical is the #1 preferred format.
1. Stories and the emergence of vertical video
As noted, the rise of Stories has changed video consumption - but just how big an influence it's had may surprise you. According to the report, vertical video is now the most used video format on Facebook, which could make it a more significant consideration for marketers, based on shifting consumer habits and expectations.
Vertical videos are generating more engagement on Facebook - and engagement is key to maximizing your Facebook performance, with the News Feed algorithm rewarding posts that garner more comments, likes and shares with increased organic reach.
If you've not considered vertical videos in your content planning, it may be worth giving them another look, and incorporating Stories-type updates into your approach.
2. Vertical video engagement - by vertical
Another element of the report shows which industry segments are maximizing their use of vertical video. Its little surprise that highly visual sectors like fashion and travel top the list, but it's also interesting to note the relatively low usage in the 'Recreation and Sports' sector, which, you would think, would have a highly visual product that would lend itself to vertical presentation.
3. Video length is less relevant
The bottom line I found is this. While video length remains an important consideration, it's far less about how long your video is, and far more about the relevance and quality of your content. The study showed significant variance in engagement on super short videos (less than a minute in length) as opposed to those longer than a minute in duration. But other than that, the response rates are very similar. It showed a variance of less than 0.1 in overall engagement activity. Again, ideal video length should be determined by the content, not necessarily an overarching target. If you need to create a video that's three minutes long to share your message, then you should, while a minute-long video may cater to your audience needs just as well in some cases.
The other consideration to keep in mind here is Facebook's recent algorithm change which will reward videos that keep people engaged - "especially on videos that are at least three minutes long". If you're looking to publish regular, episodic videos, in order to build a video following, then this is another aspect to factor in, but we don't have any data on the actual reach impacts of this change as yet.
This consideration is also different in regards to video ads, as it's more of a challenge to grab people's attention with an interruptive message, but in terms of the videos you share with your Page fans, it's best to create videos as long as you need, then measure the responses of your specific fans to each.
4. Live-streams show higher levels of engagement
The last point from the study is the report is that live-streaming still sparks more audience engagement - even if, as noted earlier, some of the early streaming hype has died down. That makes sense, people can respond and interact in real time on live-streams, but it is a point that should be highlighted, especially given the potential reach benefits of increased post engagement.
If you're looking to reignite your Facebook strategy, and boost brand awareness on the platform, live-streaming should be a consideration. Not everyone is comfortable going live, not everyone feels like they have something to share, or feels confident having a conversation through a camera. But it is worth keeping in mind in your planning.
If you're looking to maximize your video efforts, or considering adding video into your content mix, it’s definitely worth taking note of these trends, and factoring them into your thinking. I myself being in the business am not completely sold on vertical format for everything video, but I can see where it has it's purpose. I tend to mix it up but prefer landscape for many of my projects. Just saying...
Taqs: #socialmedia, #video, #digitalvideo, #verticalvideoshooting, #facebook, #instagram, #igtv
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