Marketing Tools – Facebook’s Secret Video Weapon
In a world where businesses market themselves extensively online, and customers have demonstrated their high levels of engagement with online video, it’s not surprising that businesses often turn to sites like YouTube and Vimeo as the first choice online video marketing tools. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, the compatibility of the playback software on these sites is universal, and they enjoy consistently high levels of popularity. However one approach that’s often overlooked and yet should be one of your key marketing tools is Facebook.
Facebook possesses an incredible secret weapon that can take video marketing to a new level. Now Facebook’s video player isn’t as intuitive as the one offered by YouTube and it doesn’t give you as many viewing options as Vimeo (the precise quality level, closed captions, and annotations for instance.) BUT it is fast becoming a major player in global video sharing, and here’s why.
With each new update, Facebook has improved upon its video player and how it reaches new audiences. And as mentioned Facebook’s video player has a secret weapon…it’s called…
Basically what this means (and I’m sure you will have seen this already) is that video content uploaded to Facebook automatically starts playing video when a user scrolls on to it! If it’s part of a news feed or a shared story then every user who’s connected to the sharer will also see it autoplay, and that could mean thousands of potential viewers watching quickly and easily.
“So?” I hear you say
Well, this autoplay is an incredibly powerful and useful tool. If we place video marketing on Youtube or Vimeo and then share links on other social media platforms the user still has to physically click on the thumbnail or link to start the content playing. With the amount of content that’s out there you sometimes need fairly strong motivational or enticing elements to get that ‘click’ to happen. The user has to make an ‘opt in’ decision.
But with Facebook automatically playing the video as soon as it’s in view, it offers brands a chance to engage viewers even before they’ve had a chance to make an ‘opt in/out’ call. Brands can use it to connect with casual browsers in a way that feels much more at home with the social media landscape.
OK, so before we get too excited about this, there are some drawbacks. When a video autoplays it does so without audio so there’s no sound. But if you produce your video marketing with powerful visuals in the first few seconds, you will encourage the user to click on the already playing video, which then triggers the sound. It almost creates the need for a ‘call to action’ at the front of your film rather then the traditional closing one.
It could be argued that Facebook has the edge here when considering online video marketing tools. Sharing video on YouTube and Vimeo can be a clumsy business and let’s face it, no one really “hangs out” on Youtube or Vimeo in the way they do on Facebook. When most people share a video with friends or followers they do so on Facebook. And with Facebook’s autoplay that shared video is guaranteed to autoplay in every connected friend or follower’s timeline. Instant connection!
With the arrival of autoplay video it is clear that Facebook understands the power of online video and the capability it has to distribute it.
There are videos on Facebook with millions of views that have never been posted on YouTube, and though Facebook isn’t the biggest video sharing site or the most obvious one, the results are starting to become difficult to ignore. Add it to your arsenal of marketing tools and see what a difference it makes to your reach.