View Counts and Watch Time
Facebook counts your video as being “viewed” if it is watched for over three seconds. If a viewer sticks around for three seconds, more than half of them will watch a whole 10 seconds of your video. An estimated 40% will watch 30 seconds.
Grabbing viewer’s attention in the first three seconds and using captions is an effective way to increase the watch time of your videos.
You will get a much higher watch count if you post your videos directly to Facebook. That is called a “native” videos. Since Facebook competes with YouTube, it promotes native videos over links to its competitors.
Make Your Facebook Videos Worth The Investment
While the statistics above are a little depressing, people are still watching an estimated 100 billion hours of video on Facebook every day. What matters (according to social media marketers) is to create material that will get you the highest ROI on each platform.
One of the ways to get the most out of your Facebook advertising dollar is to create a series of short videos. What I do is film all of the interviews in one day. B-roll and pictures are added during the edits. If interviewees forget to say something important, or decide they need to say something differently like in my tutorials, I just grab additional audio that will run under the b-roll and pictures.
This method saves a lot of money, as I don’t have to set up additional video footage and match the lighting, etc.
Silent Movie Era Comes Back
We’re in the “silent movie” era with Facebook and Instagram. Estimates from social media marketers vary a little, but 85% of videos are watched with the sound off. At the time of this writing, Facebook and Instagram’s “Autoplay” sets videos to play with the sound on, but users have the ability to set their preferences to “off.”
But wait, here’s some good news:
Vertical videos are viewed with the sound on at least 30% more of the time, according to advertising researchers.
Great opening captions and compelling opening images are great ways too hook your viewers into watching more of your videos. Facebook will generate captions for you, but you’ll probably have to edit them, as voice recognition software isn’t perfect. If you are going to use part of the same material on Instagram, you’ll want to create your own captions and include them in your videos before you post them to Facebook. Captions are created in the video editing process.
Facebook Cover Videos
Businesses and popular personal pages can post a “Cover” video instead of a picture. Facebook Cover videos are long and narrow. The recommended format is: 462 pixels tall and 820 pixels wide.
Here is a link to my Facebook cover video as an example: