Featured in Forbes: How To Make Your Facebook Videos More Clickable

by Kelly Ehlers, Forbes

In today’s crowded social market, it is exceedingly difficult to grab -- and, subsequently, keep -- the attention of consumers that are ferociously scrolling through their Facebook feeds.

As Facebook continues to update its algorithm to prioritize engaging content and meaningful interactions between users, the competition becomes even more fierce between brands. Today, it is not enough to simply post a continuous stream of videos to your page in hopes that your audience will see them -- you need to find a way to truly engage your audience.

To make the most of the Facebook platform, we encourage our clients to put a strategy in place that aims to make each video they post click-worthy. As you design and optimize your Facebook campaigns, keep in mind the following tips for video.

Start Off Strong

Research on the Facebook platform has shown that desktop users spend an average of 2.5 seconds with any one piece of content before moving on. For mobile, that average is only 1.7 seconds. People lose interest fairly quickly and there simply isn’t enough time for a long, informative introduction that builds up to a video’s main point. Don’t bury your lede.

Kick off with your video’s strongest thumbnail and visual element to entice the viewer to watch more. Trying to showcase a new product? Get that product shot or demo its facetime in the first three seconds. Make sure your video is queued up and ready to go as soon as a viewer makes contact with it.

Include Text Overlays

According to Digiday, as much as 85% of Facebook video views happen with the sound off. As users scroll through their feeds, they are required to physically click on a video to hear its accompanying sound. If a viewer has a hard time understanding your video without sound, it is likely they will continue onto the next video that captures their eye.

Try inserting an appealing and engaging text overlay that reveals a piece of brief or exciting information. Something as basic as a few lines of well-written text can be the key to capturing a loyal brand fan.

Provide A Call To Action (And Repeat)

You must be clear with your viewer on what you want them to do. There are numerous opportunities to get the viewer involved in an effective way as long as your message is clear and concise.

Often, brands will use videos to direct viewers to their website, using calls to action like: “Click to read our post on our latest product” or “Sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.” On other occasions, the main goal might be to elicit a response directly on the post: “Comment on your experience below the video” or “Share the video with friends for a chance to win.”

Pick one and make sure you are repeating this call to action in as many forms as possible -- through your video’s sound, text overlays and its caption and title, as viewers tend to pop in and out of your stream.

Consider Going Live

According to Facebook: "People spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact."

Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to rank live videos more favorably than prerecorded videos. Consider going live on your page. This could lead to more overall traffic for your other, non-live videos.

Caption And Tease Wisely

The goal of your video title and caption should be to entice your viewer to watch more, not to give away the bulk of its content. Aim to provide a brief and clever caption that draws viewers in. The more descriptive your title, the easier it will be to search your video on the platform, as well.

Brand Subtly

As much as you’d like to plaster your branding front and center, make sure you are promoting your brand in an organic way. To capture the attention of the viewer, you should aim to work your brand into the video in an entertaining, inspiring and authentic way that adds value to the viewer’s experience.

Consumers trust brands that are real. Tap into the emotion of the viewer and showcase the key attributes of your brand and what you stand for through visuals, rather than simply sticking your logo in the bottom righthand corner of the video. Allow viewers to feel your passion firsthand.

User-generated content is a great way to weave your brand into your video in an authentic way. Try showcasing your fans in real-life settings, like the comfort of their own homes, candidly experimenting with a new makeup or hair product. Content that is relatable and entertaining is more trustworthy and inspirational for potential customers.

Create Custom (Not Repurposed) Content For The Platform

What works for your Twitter and Instagram feeds may not necessarily work for your Facebook audience. Create custom videos that are specific to the Facebook platform.

According to a Quintly study, videos that are uploaded natively to Facebook receive 530% more comments. Additionally, a Buffer study showed that videos that follow the square rather than horizontal format on Facebook receive higher average views, engagement and completion rate compared to landscape videos. Create a custom experience for your Facebook audience that they can’t get elsewhere.

Boost Posts

If you have a budget for Facebook, consider putting a small spend behind your best performing posts to boost them to a greater audience. By using Facebook’s targeting tools, your video can continue to reach and engage viewers.

The Facebook video experience is constantly evolving. Don’t be afraid to test out new tools and strategies, see what is successful, pivot and try again. With over 8 billion daily video views on the platform, it’s important to continuously educate yourself on the best way to break through the clutter and get your brand in front of the right audience.

Read the full article on Forbes.com

Monica Hickey