New Data Will Change Your Facebook Video Strategy

People are not listening to videos on Facebook. If you have a video talking about your product’s features and benefits, or even a testimonial from a customer, guess what: Very few people hear it.

YouTube is a destination for video with the sound turned on for virtually all videos, but Facebook is very different. Early numbers suggest only 10 to 20 percent of people listen to videos in their feed. Most simply watch with the sound off or scroll by. Before, we were only guessing at that number; now, we have real data to prove it.

Changes to the metrics of video reporting now allow us to see when the sound was on or off on a video being viewed. Here is Facebook’s blog post about the new metric. You can find the new metrics in the Facebook Insights tab.

So what do we know? At best, 20 percent of people are listening to your marketing messages; at worst, that number is 10 percent. The good news is we now have a wealth of new data that will drive strategy and content creation. It’s time to evaluate how you are communicating.

Here are four ways to improve your return on investment when it comes to video on Facebook:

  1. Add subtitles.

While many social users don’t hear your video, they may still want to watch it. Look at duration and average completion metrics for clues on what your audience is doing. Adding subtitles will help with audience retention.

  1. Make content without voiceovers.

It’s harder, especially when we have hundreds of features and benefits to describe, but it’s important to show instead of tell.

  1. Think mobile.

At least 75 percent of Facebook video content is watched on mobile devices. That means audio settings on phones are even more important to take into account. Make your text easy to read; small subtitles and text overlays are annoying and will be ignored.

  1. Entice a click to start the audio.

Get their attention fast. Slow brand intros get skipped. Content is what social users want, so create videos that start strong and make distracted users pay attention.

Video and how we track its engagement is always changing, but one fact won’t change: It’s here to stay. Video grabs attention more than almost any other kind of content; we just have to learn the best way to leverage it for business objectives.