Facebook Video

I. Why Should We Focus on Video Ads in Facebook/Instagram?

Great question. We measure audience growth and the effectiveness of audience growth with a stat called "Cultural Weight." Cultural Weight is a combination of different metrics that are vital to the performance of metros across all media. At the moment, the Cultural Weight formula looks like: 
  • (Site visits + (ECP visits x .5) + App Visits + Unique Email Opens + Twitter Followers + Instagram Followers + Facebook Engaged Users)
Through testing, we've identified creating Facebook Videos as one of the highest impact opportunities available for increasing your Facebook Engaged Users count, and consequently your metro's cultural weight.

To make a long story short, a long-term goal for Facebook is to challenge television and other digital video content providers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. But before King Zuck and the Goons at FB start working Facebook-created "episodic" content into our Newsfeeds, they "...[want people] to see Facebook as a place for interesting and relevant video content from professional creators as well as their friends.

The growth of video has created more opportunity for in-video advertising, Zuckerberg said. Facebook sees video (and video advertising) as a "...megatrend, on the same order as mobile." Because of this, he's rewarding video content producers and advertisers by "...putting video first across [Facebook's] family of apps and [making] it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.”

So think of creating digestible video content that is Facebook AND Instagram friendly in the same way that you would think about creating an ad that works in both desktop AND mobile. As we've seen with mobile browser usage topping desktop browser usage, Facebook is betting that we will see video content engagement make the same leap over static, clickable images. There's even plans to create AI that will match up video content to your interests and enter those pieces of content into your Newsfeed.

So, in short, Facebook not only favors video promotion for your ads, but also anticipates video being one of, if not the most, engaging form of content in the near future.

II. What Should We Make Videos Of?

Another great question! An easy suggestion would be to take your metro's editorial articles, with both text and photos, and use that already-created content for your video, with the captions or sections of your article as the captions of the respective photos. Here's a great example of Do512 creating a video post for their "Here Are Five Tacos We're Totally Dating Right Now" feature. Another example would be Do512's video post for their "The Most Elaborate Bloody Marys in Austin" feature. 

Something else we encourage CM's to do is follow accounts like Billboard, Pitchfork, BuzzFeed, Thrillist, GoPro, National Geographic and Vice as well as any additional accounts that create content you enjoy. Pay attention to how their videos look, what content they're using to create the videos and capture any techniques or practices you think you can use moving forward. The goal here is to find any 'formulas' that are easy to repeat.

As always, we encourage you and your team to get creative with these! As long as you're using media that has been cleared legally for use and are following applicable best practices, have at it. Experiment with what works and what doesn't for your metro and fan base. See more about what media you can and can't use in our DoStuff Policies section below.

III. Best Practices

Facebook has awesome, one-stop-shop guides to Advertising With Videos and Best Practices for Video Creative on Facebook. We highly suggest you read through these guides when creating your videos, as they offer both tips on how to create better videos, and necessary things like size ratios, tips on exporting videos, ad objectives and much, much more. But in the interest of time, we've listed out some highlights below:

Best Practices for Video Creative
  • Tailor your story to your audience and their platform.
    • Recent studies have proved that creating short videos of :15 sec or less can significantly drive up video completions. However, Facebook's algorithm has recently started favoring longer videos to up completion rate times. Consider your audience and whether or not they're likely to sit through a :15 sec video compared to a :30 or :45 sec one, and choose which format fits them best.
    • Design for mobile first. Maximize your impact through vertical video in every scenario possible.
    • Design for sound off but delight with sound on.
  • Use the first few seconds wisely.
    • Consider showing brand or product imagery in the first few seconds.
  • Tell your story with and without sound.
    • Since videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off, it’s important to make sure your video ads entice viewers even when muted. 
    • When enabled, your video’s sound should offer additional value to viewers and further bring your story to life.

IV. How Do We Make Videos That Are Facebook/Instagram Friendly?

At the end of the day, this is totally up to you. If you prefer one service over another and feel that you can create the highest quality content, then go for it. BUT, the folks here at DoStuff (with the help of some metros) have tried out a few services and listed out our recommendations on what services we feel are the easiest to use, most cost and time efficient and create the best content for their value.

Plain and simple, of all the services that we tested, Animoto had the best combination of (1) ease of use, (2) Facebook/Instagram platform compatibility, and (3) value. Plus it makes some pretty cool, simple videos with transitions, text, video and photo capabilities. Creating a :15-:30 sec video shouldn't take you more than 45 minutes on first try, and that process will get quicker and quicker the more familiar you get with the platform. 
  • Advantages: Easy-to-use, sufficient video creation capabilities, relatively inexpensive
  • Disadvantages: Capabilities are limited, you can pretty much only create slideshow-style content
Facebook Slideshow isn't much different than Animoto in that it's a quick, easy-to-use video creation service. Although it doesn't have all of the capabilities that Animoto has in regards to transitions, text and other cool design tidbits, we would also argue that it isn't as easy to use. It's basically Animoto Lite. But it is a perfect tool to use for a quick slideshow of photos with simple transitions and little to no text.

Slideshow does have quite a few advantages, though. First and foremost, while it may have little capabilities now in terms of custom video content like transitions and text, it is a Facebook product within the platform and in very early stages of development. Slideshow WILL get better and in a matter of time may be the only tool worth using for social video creation. Slideshow also works in publishers' favor because videos created in the service can be viewed on virtually any internet connection, as it uses 5x less data than normal video ads (according to Facebook).
  • Advantages: Easy-to-use, free, potential for increase of quality, lives within Facebook's platform, video is viewable on all Internet connection speeds
  • Disadvantages: Capabilities are very limited, quality of content is low
Everyone with a Mac computer should be familiar with what iMovie is (it comes standard with your computer), but not everyone has used it or knows how to use it. Honestly, it's not the most user friendly service in the world, and unless you have video editing experience, it's not super intuitive. 

With that being said, if you have video editing experience, you can make some pretty decent videos in a relatively short amount of time with iMovie. One draw back, however, is that iMovie doesn't support GIFs with the ease that other platforms do. You would have to have a MP4 (or other similar video format) file in order to use a GIF in iMovie and that could tack some extra time into your content creation process.
  • Advantages: Free (with Mac), high quality content
  • Disadvantages: Ease-of-use, GIF capability

V. DoStuff Policies

As for all content in the network, we ask that you exercise common sense and diligence when creating or sharing content that may be offensive, insensitive or copyrighted. If you're not sure if your content meets these requirements, feel free to reach out to Support for any questions. 

In the case of videos, please only use content that DoStuff or your respective metro either owns, or has permission to use. If you need to request permission to use something like a photo or song, please document the process so that if anything happens, we have a paper trail to prove that you had permission to use the content.