By Emma Fitzpatrick
While studies often attempt to understand just what makes a video go viral, the essence has never quite been captured.
Though, we’re getting a step closer.
Recently, Facebook released new data, which attempted to analyze “the science behind effective videos.” The social network had Facebook users watch over 850 videos and decide which ones worked best.
If anyone can solve this mystery, it surely is Facebook. Its users watch over 100 million hours every day, as of December 2015.
From 2014 to 2015, people posted 75% more videos to Facebook. During that same time, 360% more videos were featured in people’s Facebook newsfeed. In fact, more video is being uploaded to Facebook than YouTube.
With Facebook Live—its newly released live-streaming video tool—people will likely watch even more videos, specifically live broadcasts.
2016 is the year of the video. It’s the media your audience most wants to watch and engage with.
Learn how to create better video using these proven tricks from Facebook’s newly released study.
1. Use captions.
Facebook videos do automatically play. The catch? It plays without sound.
It’s here that you can either draw your audience in—or lose them.
76% of videos required sound for users to understand the brand’s message.
Before posting your video, take the time to either add captions or ensure its message can be understood exclusively through the visuals. You’ll quickly stand out from the crowd.
2. Get to the point—and quickly.
You’ve got 10 seconds to make your point. If users don’t understand what your message is by then, they’re out.
The opening sequence of your video is the most important. If it doesn’t grab or make sense to your watchers, they aren’t going to stick around to figure it out.
Before posting your video, have someone outside of your company watch it. Pause it at the ten-second mark and see if they know what your brand or product is at this point. Do it with and without sound to make the greatest impact.
3. Include the product, brand image or logo in every frame.
The Facebook brand videos that were most understood and memorable were the ones with the product or brand image in almost every frame. Really.
Microsoft found that users needed to be exposed to a message between 6 and 20 times before it sunk it.
The more you include your product in your video, the more likely it is your viewers will remember it.
4. Keep it simple.
You need to keep your message simple and craft uncluttered, easily digestible videos.
You don’t need to include every cool feature of your product. Users will become overwhelmed and opt out.
Instead, focus on the big picture. Aim to invoke a feeling. Or, share a message that could be summed up in under five words.
Before you film, cut the copy by at least 10%. Your video will be better for it, and your audience will better grasp what your brand message.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a Seattle-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online training in Facebook from ABA.