By Anna Hubbel | MAY 15, 2019
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: video is the strongest format for marketing on Facebook. It’s highly engaging, and it allows you to flex your creativity to tell a story or provide useful information that would otherwise be difficult to convey in a static image. A recent report announcing updates to Facebook’s video ranking further proves the importance of this engaging format.
Over the coming months, Facebook says it will be rolling out various ranking updates that will affect the prioritization of videos in users’ feeds. Specifically, the updates will give more weight to video ranking based on the three following factors: loyalty and intent, video and viewing duration, and originality. These factors already have an influence in video ranking, but the updates will more heavily consider them when determining distribution prioritization in Facebook’s News Feed, Facebook Watch, and “More Videos” recommendations.
Loyalty and Intent
As part of Facebook’s video ranking updates, loyalty and intent will play a more significant role. This factor looks at the videos users seek out and return to repeatedly.
Tips for Improving Video Ranking
How can you get users to seek out your videos repeatedly? Here are some suggestions for creating videos worth watching again and again:
Provide useful information. Whether it’s a demonstration on how to use a product or an educational bit relevant to your page, give users something they can refer back to whenever they need it.
Incorporate humor. Do so while maintaining the tone of your page, of course, but give your audience something to laugh about so they want to return to it and share it with their friends.
Share an emotional story. Bring a tear to their eyes or make them say “aw!” with a story users will want to save and come back to whenever they want to feel inspired.
Create a series of videos. For instance, divide videos into several parts, giving unique and useful information in each one. End each part with a lead into the next to keep users intrigued.
Use one or more of the above suggestions to improve your ranking for loyalty and intent.
Video and Viewing Duration
The amount of time users spend watching a video will also more strongly determine how it ranks across Facebook. According to Facebook, a quality video keeps a user engaged for at least one full minute. Highly engaging videos that are a minimum of three minutes long will now receive even more prioritization.
Tips for Improving Video Ranking
How do you keep users engaged with your video from beginning to end?
Capture your audience’s attention early on. The most captivating elements of your video should be included at the beginning of your video. For example, intriguing thumbnails, vivid colors, and stunning product photos should appear within the first few seconds.
Find a way to use humor, spark interest, or surprise your viewers. Nobody wants to watch a video in its entirety if it’s dull.
Clearly convey your brand at the beginning. For example, place any logos or symbols related to your brand or business at the get-go.
Include captions. Often users watch Facebook videos on their mobile devices with sound off. Although you want to create videos with great sound quality, you should include captions as well so users can still understand the video with no audio. This will improve the likelihood of more users watching your video to completion.
Format your videos vertically. Since more users will likely watch your videos vertically on their mobile screens (as opposed to rotating their screens to watch them horizontally), get creative with the vertical space. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Use height to direct the eye. Don’t feel like you’re limited to simply directing your audience to watch your video from top to bottom. Use zooming in-and-out effects, vibrant colors, or object size to guide your audience’s eye to where you want it to go throughout the video. Use your creativity and play around within the space.
- Use a split screen. Whether you divide the screen equally to highlight two different elements of your message equally or make one portion larger than the other to prioritize an element over another, you can experiment with a split screen based on what you want to convey.
- Try animation. Reel your audience in with 2D, 3D, stop-motion, or motion graphics animations. It can give your video some flare, showing your audience (and Facebook) your ability to produce high-quality content. Viewers will enjoy watching it, which means longer viewing durations.
With these tips guiding your video creation, more users will watch your videos in their entirety, improving your overall rank in feeds.
Facebook’s algorithm favors videos that are original, as opposed to repurposed content. The network limits the distribution of unoriginal videos and demotes those shared by pages participating in sharing schemes. As part of its video ranking updates, Facebook says it’s strengthening its limitation and demotion of this type of video content.
Tips for Improving Video Ranking
As long as you abide by Facebook’s limited originality policy and create content that is unique and original to your page, your video will rank high for originality. Content violates this policy if it does the following:
- It is in no way created or edited by your page.
- It is only slightly altered in a way that does not significantly change its source.
- It consists simply of a compilation of third-party videos.
- It was uploaded elsewhere first, and your page did not have a significant role in creating it.
Additional originality considerations may also determine whether Facebook limits or demotes your video, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the network’s originality policy to ensure your video will rank high under this category.
Giving the People What They Want
The updates to its video ranking considerations is Facebook’s way of improving the user experience. However, they’re also geared towards helping content creators reach more users.
“While there are numerous factors that determine video distribution on Facebook, these changes will benefit video distribution for Pages that create original content people want to watch and come back to,” Facebook says in its blog post. “We’ll continue to improve video ranking to show videos that people value and to help great video makers reach more people on Facebook.”
It’s a win-win for everybody.
Written by Anna Hubbel, writer at AdvertiseMint