Facebook is working to reward brands that produce videos that spark the interest of users and hold their attention. A new announcement from the biggest social networking site in the world details the changes in how videos are ranked. The main component of these changes revolves around whether or not a user has watched a video and for how long the user watched. Up until now Facebook has ranked videos using the same metrics as every other post such as likes, comments, and shares. So far, videos are a hit, with Facebook reporting that the number of people looking at videos has more than doubled in the last six months.

This means people who watch videos on Facebook will see more videos in their feeds, while those who skip over them will see less. Meanwhile, videos that are watched for longer periods will reach a larger audience than videos that people ignore, or stop watching quickly.

This move continues Facebook’s trend of attempting to make every user’s newsfeed as personalized as possible. Because Facebook wants people to spend as much time on the platform as possible, one way to do that is to show content that the user will find engaging, entertaining and useful. By adding the time watched metric to the algorithm, Facebook can move one step closer to ensuring the best video content is displayed as often as possible.

To maximize the reach and ultimately the engagement of videos on Facebook, brands should follow these 3 best practices.

1.     Focus on the Video Metrics that Matter

In May, Facebook debuted a slew of new video metrics to keep an eye on how each individual video performs. These metrics include views, which encompass the following: the video was watched for at least three seconds, the amount of views that make it to 95 percent completion, and audience retention that tracks exactly where users stop watching the video.


On the page insights section, brands can track the number of views that reached certain checkpoints – 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, 95 percent and 100 percent.

This data, which should be carefully monitored and tracked, is what will help brands take advantage of Facebook’s algorithm change and maximize the exposure of every video. For brands the key is to test different types of videos, video lengths, posting times and freeze frames to find what works best and then focus on the most effective strategies.

2.   Watch and Emulate Two Big Brands Finding Success Today

One brand that does a great job at making engaging videos on Facebook is Red Bull. The energy drink company uses videos to promote and advance the brand’s culture more than the product itself. It also tends to keep its videos on the shorter side, with most videos being between 15 seconds and a minute and a half. This keeps the videos long enough to get the message across while not being too long to the point where a viewer gets bored and moves on before it finished.

Another option for brands is to use Facebook videos to promote a longer version of a video being promoted through other marketing channels like television. Beats by Dre, which was recently bought by Apple and one of the world’s best known headphone brands, has used Facebook to share and promote a viral campaign that precluded the World Cup. The video, which is more than five minutes long, is an extended version of a commercial that the brand has been running on television during the sporting event. Beats has been able to keep the attention of Facebook video watchers by including dozens of athletes and other celebrities, using eye catching and high quality video and a unique soundtrack. By racking up more than 4,200 likes and 1,200 shares in two weeks, Beats has been able to spread the video organically, which was likely the brand’s goal.

3.  Focus on Quality Over Quantity

With the number of people watching videos on Facebook increasing at a rapid pace, and Facebook putting a premium on videos that people watch, the goal for brands should be to create the most engaging videos possible. They can do this by using high quality footage, invigorating music, interesting freeze frames and catchy headline. As marketers test video lengths, video messages, and more, they’ll each discover what elicits the most engagement from fans by using the available metrics. Brands that focus on creating the best videos possible, instead of focusing on creating the most videos, will see the best results in terms of engagement, and gains in fans and followers.

The article was originally published by Socialnomics.

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