Business

What Facebook’s Plan for Video Means for Your Business

Megan O'Neill

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Last week, February 1, 2017, Facebook had their Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results Earnings Call. On the call, Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed the social network’s commitment to video, saying that he continues to “see video as a megatrend on the same order as mobile. That’s why we’re going to keep putting video first across our family of apps and making it easier for people to capture and share video in new ways.”

What does this mean for you and the way you go about marketing your business on Facebook? We’ve pulled together some of the call’s highlights, opportunities, and implications for your social video marketing.

Videos Stand Out on Facebook

Facebook as a video destination

First things first, we’ll take a look at what Facebook has in store on the video front. “Today,” said Zuckerberg, “for the most part, people pull Facebook out when they have a few minutes, when they want to catch up and see what’s going on in the world with their friends and in the news and everything that’s going on. That’s very different from saying, hey, I want to watch video content now.”

But Facebook wants to change that. Zuckerberg said, “We want people to think of Facebook as a place for interesting and relevant video content from professional creators as well as their friends.”

With the help of a dedicated video tab, which was recently rolled out in the United States after a year of testing, Facebook is aiming to become more of a YouTube-like destination for video viewing, beginning with a focus on short-form video content. Zuckerberg breaks the short-form content on Facebook down into three types:

  1. The videos people create socially for friends.
  2. The videos businesses and celebrities create to promote themselves.
  3. Premium content, created by professionals.

As a marketer or business owner, how will this impact you? Well, with the introduction of more professionally-created content, Facebook is on its way to becoming even more of a video-focused social network – a destination for video viewing. As a result, there will be a growing opportunity for businesses to communicate and express themselves with video.

The good news? We’re still early in the game. Sheryl Sandberg said, in an interview with Forbes, that last month 3 million small businesses posted organic videos on Facebook. By getting started with Facebook video now, and using it to communicate regularly, you can really set yourself apart and stand out in the news feeds of the audiences you are trying to reach.

Optimizing video for mobile & the news feed

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared some updates about the number of businesses on Facebook. “65 million businesses are using our free Pages product and 5 million are using Instagram Business profiles.” The number of businesses that are advertising continues to grow as well, now at 4 million on Facebook and 500,000 on Instagram.

A majority of these ads were viewed on mobile. Facebook CFO David Wehner shared that “mobile ad revenue reached $7.2 billion, up 61% year-over-year, and was approximately 84% of total ad revenue.”

What does this mobile viewing boom mean for marketers? Sandberg told Forbes that “people are starting to understand that you want to optimize for the format of news feed and the format of mobile. People consume video differently on mobile, so the best marketers are optimizing their creative.” This means everything from using large, eye-catching text, to creating videos that can be understood with the sound off.

Sandberg told Forbes, “The opportunities for small businesses are huge. We are all walking around with a phone that has the ability to shoot a video that would have taken a camera crew three years ago.”

And it’s become easier than ever to piece those photos and video clips together as well. Our new Marketing Video Builder has best-practices for great-performing social video baked in, including pre-built storyboard starter templates, tested for optimal performance on Facebook.

PRO TIP: Start watching all of your videos on a mobile device, as well as a computer screen, before posting them to Facebook to ensure that they look great no matter where viewers are watching.

Did you listen to or read about Facebook’s latest earnings call? What did you find most interesting? Leave a comment below, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.