By Tom Buckland

If you think that videos have a greater impact than images on Facebook you’d be right. There are figures to back this up: videos have been shown to have 135% better organic reach than images, with users more likely to interact with video posts.

These opportunities don’t just apply to big brands – small businesses can greatly benefit from incorporating Facebook videos into their marketing strategy, leading to better brand awareness, more sales leads and ultimately more revenue and business success.

However, the production process of visual content such as explainer or brand videos takes a lot of time and resources. This is why a lot of businesses invest in product video production and marketing services as video marketing experts and freelancers can help you with the ideation, production, and editing of your content which will best tailor and target your potential target audience.

Here are some tips to best take advantage of the potential of Facebook video marketing.

1. Post Videos Directly to Facebook

One mistake many people make when it comes to video marketing is sharing a link via Facebook to a video uploaded on Youtube (or elsewhere), rather than uploading the video on Facebook itself.

Videos uploaded natively (directly) receive up to 4 times more views than other video formats, as well as receiving a better organic reach.

The better performance of natively uploaded videos is probably largely due to their auto play feature – Facebook automatically plays videos which have been directly uploaded (on mute) for users scrolling through their newsfeeds. Naturally, this is not only more attention grabbing, but gives your video a few seconds of moving picture to capture the user’s attention rather than just as image and post text.

2. Capture Attention in the First Few Seconds

Your audience members likely have a newsfeed which is packed with videos, images and other engaging content. In order to stand out against all the noise you need to make sure your videos are attention grabbing.

More importantly, they need to grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. As we’ve already mentioned, videos uploaded directly to Facebook will automatically start to play as a user scrolls through their feed. You want to make sure that when this happens, your customer or potential customer is drawn in by your video and keeps watching it, rather than continuing to scroll. They will make this decision within the first few seconds of the video, so it is critical to make these seconds count!

Engaging content which will encourage users to keep watching could be unique, entertaining, inspiring or something which they connect to on an emotional level. Your video doesn’t have to hit all these points, and certainly not in the first few seconds, but remember to start out strong.

Also, keep videos short and engaging. People are more likely to watch videos which are thirty seconds or less. More importantly, they are more likely to watch the video until the end.

3. Be Strategic With Your Thumbnail

The thumbnail of your video is the screenshot which displays before users click play on the video, or before it starts playing automatically. Like the first few seconds, it is essential that the video’s thumbnail is something which will get users’ attention and encourage them to pause to watch the video.

When uploading videos you can either use the thumbnail which is automatically selected, select a screenshot from the video or upload your own image. Unless the automatic thumbnail happens to be perfect, make sure to customize it to something which is engaging, attention-grabbing and represents what the video is about.

Another point to keep in mind is that Facebook only allows thumbnails which are 20% text or less so you cannot select a screen shot which is heavy on text. In any case, engaging images or graphics with less text are more likely to draw attention.

4. Include a Call to Action

In any kind of marketing, one of the most important elements is the call to action or CTA. This is the moment where you call on your customer or potential customer to do something.

This could be one of many things — purchase a product, visit your site, get in touch for a quote, sign up for your newsletter or something else — but is something which directly or indirectly contributes to sales and revenue for your business.

Although not all forms of content you put out have to (or indeed should) include a CTA, it is important that at least some do. Selling involves encouraging your customers to take action, and a good CTA is critical in pointing them in the right direction. In general, it will be a good idea to include CTA on your Facebook videos. Once you have got your customer’s attention with a fantastic video it is a great opportunity to get them to take the next step, whatever that might be.

You can actually use Facebook to add a call to action to your video. After uploading a video to Facebook, select “Add a Call to Action” near the bottom of the post window, before scheduling or posting your video. Facebook then allows you to select from various CTA’s including “book now”, “shop now” and “learn more”.

It is up to you whether you want to add a call to action using this functionality or include one or more CTA’s in the post text or the video itself, if it is a video you have created in house.

5. Use Live Video

Marketers and businesses are not only using more videos to promote their products, but in 2018 the use of live video has become more and more popular. This is good reason for this: Facebook reports that users watch for 3 times longer and are 10 times more likely to comment on live videos compared to regular videos.

Live video is an exciting way to promote your small business. Not only is your customer base more likely to engage with live videos, but they also give you the opportunity to engage with your audience on a more personal level. On Facebook, you can stream live videos onto the platform using the Facebook Live function.

There are lots of possibilities in how to use Facebook Live, so the most important thing is to be creative, original and unique. However, general ideas to get you started could include hosting a live Facebook event, broadcasting from an on-site event at your business, or hosting an interactive Q&A.