Doing Facebook Videos Right
Facebook did some research on videos. It served up the videos in a way that mimicked the Facebook News Feed on mobile and asked users to evaluate the pieces based on four dimensions: first impressions, branding, messaging and video features. In fact, every ad was evaluated twice based on 19 questions falling within those four dimensions. If you have an interest in the whole study, check it out here.
There are very clear takeaways, and I am outlining those below and providing some context around them relative to nonprofits.
As people scroll through their news feeds, videos start automatically but are silent in the beginning. If this is not managed properly, it creates confusion with the viewer and most likely a missed opportunity. The videos that ranked the highest used visual cues during the no-audio period. The videos that did not use visual cues during the no-audio were considered misunderstood or confusing. And, with the speed people move through their news feeds, something that is confusing likely will be passed over.
For nonprofits, there are often wonderful stories involved in the videos with storytelling audio and music. So the initial no-audio period is critical. Make sure people watch by using headlines and other branding elements to draw someone in and make them want to watch the full video.
Facebook specifically states:
Since the feed-based environment is quick, leading with brand cues and messaging upfront can help make an impression. By making your brand stand out from the first frame, there is an opportunity for your brand or product to grab attention and get thumbs stopping.
But, it’s not just about the audio and getting through that silent period. You must be able to get your message across without providing too much information. This is especially critical for nonprofits. This video is not the chance to showcase everything you do. This is to generate recognition of your mission, evoke an emotional reaction and ultimately drive viewers to the next engagement (giving, signing up, etc.). In addition to creating a video that succinctly shares your story, make sure you have narration along with the visual cues that start your video. Consumers absorb information in multiple ways, and a good Facebook video will cover them all.
Additionally, your brand must be immediately recognizable. We all know commercials where we get sucked into a “story,” and, at the end, the brand is a surprise. That is not what you want for your Facebook videos. The brand should be visible from the start—whether through logo presence or on something featured in the video. Even if someone does not stop and watch, those first seconds provide clear brand recognition, which is still valuable.
Finally, I know as nonprofits we often don’t want to think of ourselves as selling things, but we most definitely are. We are selling a mission—a chance to be involved in something important, an opportunity to help someone fulfill a desire to help. So, keep that in mind, because if your video does not highlight this chance and opportunity for the vast majority of the video length, you are not selling the best way for Facebook users.
As I often say, take this information and look at your own marketing. How do your Facebook videos compare relative to these key points? These are findings from people on Facebook looking at videos—consider it golden and use it.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.