As you know, often the key to a successful campaign is simply doing something original.
It’s not news that Facebook video is on the rise, and day after day more Pages are getting on board the video train. However, most are simply sticking to using the basic functions.
That is – upload the video, add a description, maybe tag some other pages, use a call-to-action button, and… that’s it!
What many people don’t realize is that there are some amazing extra features available on Facebook video.
Plus, because not many people are taking advantage of the features, when you do you will get an advantage over your competitors.
You want to know how and what, right? Well, I’m about to tell you, so read on!
1. FACEBOOK VIDEO CAN BE EMBEDDED
If there’s a clear sign that Facebook has started a war with YouTube to gain control over social media video content, it’s without a doubt, video embedding.
Facebook video can be embedded into a website or newsletter in a very similar way to the way regular posts are embedded, but with one small difference. The content can be displayed as just a video, without the text or additional elements associated with a Facebook post, like: profile image, likes, comments, etc…
This provides a much cleaner and nicer experience, because the user can play the video without distraction, but it also maintains some of the common Facebook functionalities. By hovering over the video the following options will be displayed:
- Like video
- Share video
- Link to the profile publishing the video
- Direct link to the video
- And of course, common player controls, volume, expand, HD and time bar.
You can see this in the following example.
However, everyone wins because if you prefer the Facebook post style with all the additional elements, you can also share a video as a post. You can see the difference for yourself in this example!
The main advantage of either option is that users can play and watch your Facebook video on other channels, like your website or blog, without interrupting their browsing experience and having to visit your Facebook Page.
When choosing to embed a Facebook video you should consider these few things:
- Make sure the video being embedded is public. You can still embed private videos, but only those with permission to watch the video and logged into Facebook will be able to watch them on your website.
- This is a pretty new feature on Facebook, and as they still use Adobe Flash player to play a Facebook video on desktop (on mobile they use HTML5) it means if users haven’t installed Shockwave Player they won’t be able to play the video.
To embed a Facebook video on your website, click into the ‘Options’ menu of the video and from the menu select ‘Embed Video’ (or ‘Embed Post’, if you prefer the post style version).
Facebook will generate the code that you need to copy-paste into your website.
2. INCLUDE CLOSED CAPTIONS / SUBTITLES
Another useful feature available in YouTube and now also available on Facebook is subtitles.
This feature comes in very handy when:
- Your Facebook video includes a lot of background noise which can make it hard to hear the message
- You require subtitles when using a video for people speaking different languages
- The video features someone with a thick accent (like me!)
- You want to make your Facebook video available to viewers with hearing problems
- When viewers cannot play the video with sound (eg. they are at a library, noisy place etc.)
Including subtitles under these circumstances will certainly increase your engagement and also help with your reach and brand reputation.
As many Pages are not including subtitles to their Facebook video, this is a great way to position your brand as being user focused!
Adding subtitles to your Facebook video is quite simple if you follow these steps:
- Create a SRT file with your subtitles. You can use a text editor for this, as explained in this guide.
- Name the file following Facebook’s standards in the format ‘filename.[two-letter language code]_[two-letter country code].srt’. For example, a file with english subtitles for the US would be ‘filename.en_US.srt’
- After you’ve posted your video, click on ‘Edit Video’ and then ‘Choose file’ from the add subtitles option.
- Select the file you’ve previously created.
Once a subtitles file has been added, the video will display the ‘CC’ icon where viewers can activate or deactivate subtitles.
Keep in mind that you can add multiple files for multiple languages which will allow you to promote your content in several countries. Now, that’s a winner for increasing engagement beyond the language barrier!
3. REPLACE BORING THUMBNAILS
Many users, especially those accessing Facebook from mobile devices, deactivate the autoplay option for Facebook video. Other times, if the connection is not fast enough videos won’t play automatically when users scroll through their news feeds.
And even for those who haven’t deactivated autoplay, a Facebook video won’t start playing automatically until most of the video window is displayed in the news feed.
In all these cases, the video is displayed in the News Feed as a static thumbnail.
Due to this, selecting a good thumbnail could be the difference between people playing your video or ignoring it all together!
When uploading a video, Facebook will give you the option to select between different thumbnails that are frames selected from the video itself. Unfortunately, often none of these are very appealing.
This is particularly the case for video tutorials containing screencasts (ie. nothing very interesting to use as a thumbnail!)
Don’t worry though, there is a solution to this because you can replace your video thumbnail with an image that is not included in the video at all!
There’s no need to include a play button on the image either, as Facebook will automatically do this for you. Just focus on creating something engaging that will get the user’s attention.
Doing this is very easy, just follow these steps:
- Click on your video, and on the Options link click on ‘Edit Video’
- On the ‘Select Thumbnail’ section, click on ‘Upload Thumbnail’
- Select an image from your files.
Easy- a crazy cat picture is now your thumbnail for your video tutorial (if that’s your style)!
4. USE VIDEO AUDIENCES
Another terrific feature, that not many people are currently using it is creating video audiences when developing a Facebook video advertising campaign. By selecting this option, and if your video has received at least 1,000 views in a 24-hour period (note: it seems as if Facebook has silently decreased this number), Facebook will create two separate audiences of users:
- Those who have viewed at least 3 seconds of your video
- Those who have viewed at least 95% of your video.
These audiences can be used as a targeting group in new advertising campaigns.
The real beauty of this feature is not the audience itself, but how combining these two audiences and also using some Website Custom Audiences, can allow you to target different users based on their level of engagement.
I wrote an article for Top Dog Social Media explaining the benefits of combining these audiences. Here’s quick summary of its applications:
- Target users who didn’t play the video
- Target users who started viewing your video, but stopped at some point
- Target users who watched most of the video, but didn’t click on the call-to-action displayed at the end
- Target users who clicked on your call-to-action button, but didn’t convert.
5. USE FACEBOOK VIDEO IN CLICKS/CONVERSIONS CAMPAIGNS
Did you know you can also use videos as the creative of an ad?
Many believe the goal of video in advertising campaigns is just getting as many views as possible. In fact, videos are great for branding campaigns, and to create awareness about you company or a product, but what happens when you need conversions, leads, or to simply send traffic to your site?
The obvious answer is to create a Clicks to Website or Website Conversions campaign. Many think the only creative option for doing this is using a link style post, with all its associated elements (image, heading, link description, call-to-action, etc).
What not many realize is that you can use a video in any of these campaigns!
Some of the benefits of using a video instead of a link in these campaigns include:
- You can use more text and visual elements than in a normal link ad (the 20% text rule still applies, but only on your video thumbnail)
- Users don’t need to be directed away from Facebook to receive your message
- Content with Facebook video usually has higher engagement from users
- You could filter junk traffic because only those watching the video will see the call-to-action button and thus be given the opportunity to click through to yours site.
To use video in a Website Conversion or Website Clicks campaign, just follow these steps:
- In Power Editor select Clicks to Website or Website Conversions Campaign
- Create your Ad Sets as you’d normally do and don’t forget to select your conversion pixels!
- When creating your Ad, fill all the fields as you would normally but change the default ‘Image’ selection to ‘Video’
- Select or upload your video and remember to include subtitles and a call-to-action button if you want.
6. USE CALL-TO-ACTION ON ORGANIC CONTENT
How many times have you watched an interesting video but it ends suddenly without giving you the chance to find out more?
Usually in these cases you click the Page name and try to find more content yourself. Yet many users don’t bother doing this and even if they do it will only take the user to your page and not your website.
Whilst you could include a URL as part of the text description of your video, it could have the opposite effect and make many users click on the link without even watching your video.
Did your ear just prick up because you think that’s a quick way of driving traffic? Think twice: consider the number of users clicking on the link who may not be interested in your content and will become a bounce on your landing page. Not so great now, hey!
Don’t worry though, there is an easy fix for this, and all you need to do is include a call-to-action button at the end of your Facebook video.
Call-to-action buttons on Facebook video are not new, however most pages only use them when creating an advertising campaign. In fact, so much so that many think that’s the only time when these buttons are available!
Remember: A call-to-action button can be included in any video, even those you want to use organically on your page or as a featured video.
To do so, you need to create a video post using the Manage Pages tool available in Power Editor.
1. In Power Editor, go to the account name on the top-left side of the screen and click on ‘Manage Pages’
2. Select your Page and then click on ‘Create New Post’
3. In the new pop-up window, click on the ‘Video’ option. Power Editor will display a menu like the following:
4. Complete all required fields and click on ‘Create Post’. This will create a dark or unpublished post for your Page
5. Click on the new post and when it’s highlighted, click on ‘Publish Post’
This blog may have been full of good surprises for you because, as you can see, Facebook video offers much more than most people realize. The best part is, since Facebook is trying to become an industry leader in video content, they will likely keep adding new features to make videos even more powerful!
Have you used Facebook video yet? What experiences have you had when watching ads using Facebook video? Do you think using subtitles could be beneficial for your business? Let me know in the comments section.