Marketers Need to Create More Video for Facebook. Right Now

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Mari Smith dishes on how Facebook has changed, and why it's a great time to grow a video channel on the network.

The queen of Facebook, Mari Smith, has made a career off of her inherent talent using Facebook as a marketing platform. She was even hired by the company. She took that talent, and her insider knowledge, with her to the stage at Unbounce's 2017 Call to Action conference in Vancouver this week. She shared a number of tips, but the most salient and pervasive subject of her talk was video. 

“Facebook is now where YouTube was 10 years ago. Create more video. You have to make more video,” she said. 

Facebook made its video-centric priorities clear these last couple of years. The network launched one of the most popular live streaming platforms on the market, and massively ramped up its efforts to compete with YouTube, and the newsfeed algorithm has grown increasingly fond of video content. Yet for all of that, Smith says that content creators on Facebook are woefully underutilized video. 

“Even though video gets three-times the engagement, 80% of all posts on Facebook are still links, 19% are photos, and less than 1% are videos,” she said, citing a Buffer study from 2016

This means that marketers actually have a rare opportunity to grow a video brand on the largest social network in the world. And it behooves them to do so.

 “As of this summer, Facebook is running out of ad inventory,” Smith said. “It's getting harder to cut through.” 

According to Smith, Facebook is encouraging advertisers and creators alike to invest in video, not only because it wants to pivot more into that format, but because it has such a strong penetration in the newsfeed, and can help the company keep its massive ad business afloat. 

Several publishers are already leveraging Facebook's video-friendly stance, and are generating billions of views. In fact, the top 10 publishers in May pulled in a combined 16.3 billion views, according to TubularInsights

Smith also mentioned a planned video-only newsfeed that is currently in testing at Facebook, and offered a couple of tips on how to best grow a channel with video: 

  • Go live. Facebook like is a great way to get organic traffic to a page, and helps grow a community in the process, which is important because…

  • 40% of video views come from shares, according to Smith. Having a strong community around your content can help foster sharing and engagement.

  • Use Facebook Pixel. It allows you to retarget and remarket across Facebook. Smith feels it is massively underutilized.

  • Spice up your content offerings by including animations. Smith notes Lumyer and Animoto as powerful and useful apps to this end.

  • Make sure your content is shot in portrait, and Facebook crops landscape videos in a way that makes them look unnatural. This is often a mobile environment, after all.

  • “Remember that content is king, but engagement is queen, and she runs the house,” Smith says. Guess what content format runs engagement on Facebook...

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