Video lives everywhere now, not just on your website, and not just where you can control how it’s watched. No single approach works for every distribution platform. Social networks in particular don’t just have varying format requirements, but their users will approach your video with different postures. People use different social media platforms for different reasons.
Facebook Video Marketing
Facebook in particular is an attractive option for digital video marketing, not just because of its reach but because of its many tools for targeting your audience. But one major downside to Facebook is that the rules are constantly changing. And one major thing to consider is that, currently, getting attention for your Facebook video marketing requires you to compensate for Facebook’s muting.
By default, videos in the timeline will auto-play without sound. As much as 85% of Facebook video marketing content is watched without sound. Viewers need to choose to hear your audio, and you need to make them want to hear it. If you are simply taking video from elsewhere and placing it on Facebook, you’re in trouble. If you don’t specifically design your video to communicate without sound, you won’t communicate anything at all on Facebook.
This shifts the burden of storytelling onto your visuals. You cannot assume that your voiceover will inform the viewer, or compel them to convert. So you need to get tricky, and there are two major strategies you could employ.
Hook ’em Early
If your message requires sound, make a persuasive visual case for viewers to unmute you. Facebook users have a wealth of options when they’re browsing, and you’re fighting their urge to scroll past you to whatever’s waiting next.
- The first three seconds. You have a vanishingly short window to make this happen. 47% of a video campaign’s value is delivered in the first three seconds, according to Nielsen and Facebook. So you need to put a lot of thought and effort into designing those first three seconds for your Facebook video marketing content.
- Call to Action. One way to do this is to deliver your entire message, call to action and all, in that opening window, then use the rest of the time for more information (or more fun). This example comes from outside of Facebook video marketing, but Geico is famous for gaming the YouTube pre-roll system, as in this video which takes advantage of the fact that nobody can look away from a dog. The first five seconds contain the pitch, and the rest is just delightful fluff.
- Q&A. The other way is to take advantage of the dreaded “curiosity gap”, a piece of pop marketing psychology that drove us all down the path toward clickbait. The principle is to raise a question that the viewer wants answered, so they choose to engage further. You can do this in a non-gross way by depicting something onscreen that entices the viewer to unmute. Someone speaking, musicians playing, suspenseful situations, things like that.
The other option is to damn the torpedoes and just ignore the need for sound all together. Obviously you can put in music or voiceover if you want, but it will be unnecessary or redundant to the message delivered in the visuals. This involves careful design and planning to create engaging stories with action, text, and graphics.
A Simple Exercise
Take a video (it could be one in progress) and put it in front of someone who’s never seen it before. Ask them to watch the video without sound and narrate it out loud. If they can recreate your message, you’ve accomplished this goal.
This approach is aided by using Facebook’s interface to add subtitles, or even hard-coding the subtitles into the video itself. The former practice is good from an SEO point of view, but any kind of captioning is better than none at all. It won’t just help your ad’s effectiveness, it’s a nice thing to do for those who are hearing impaired.
Regardless of your approach, the main takeaway here is that dealing with muted video is one of many complications you need to consider when you’re developing your Facebook video marketing. A good video producer will offer input and guidance based on your goals, and help you craft video that’s too good to ignore, with sound or without, wherever you decide to show it. If you need help producing engaging video content, consider a Video Brewery creative to help you with your Facebook video marketing content.