How to create stunning videos on Facebook (it’s not as hard as you think!)

Posted on March 13, 2015 by

Facebook video is one sure fire way to boost your reach on Facebook without spending a penny. Facebook is definitely pushing native video content (video uploaded directly to the site), we wrote an entire blog post about how native Facebook videos were beating Youtube video with KO!

Social Bakers reported in January 2015 that Facebook had overtaken YouTube for shares and interactions on branded video.

If you look underneath any video on Facebook (and you will probably see a lot) you will see how many views it has had. This gives you a rough indication of how popular these posts are.

If you’ve added video posts in the past take a look at your Facebook insights. You will probably notice that video is vastly out performing your other organic posts.

Facebook video outperforms other post types.

Facebook video outperforms other post types.

But video content is hard to create right? You have to shoot, edit, add captions? It might be easier than you think.

In this post I will show you:

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  • What works well on Facebook video
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  • How to create video for Facebook
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  • Tips for uploading your Facebook video
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  • Measuring the success of your Facebook video

What works well on Facebook video?

Facebook video auto-plays silently in the news feed. As users scroll they will see snippets of videos. Some will stop and watch the video auto-play in full, fewer will click play to see the video full screen with audio.

Bearing this in mind we need to create videos that are:

1. Silent or captioned

As auto-play video is silent we have to be able to share our message without words or music. This doesn’t mean your video should be silent, it just means that it should still make sense without audio.

If you are sharing a tip use arrows or highlights to show what you are demonstrating. See this example from Business Insider:

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If you have to use words to describe your video add captions so that users can follow along without having to click play or turn up the sound.

I love the videos BBC News are sharing on Instagram:

Users can share directly from Instagram to Facebook so they are perfect for the Facebook feed. Interestingly they are sharing a longer version of the video without captions to their Facebook page. I think they are missing a trick by removing captions.

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2. Eye catching

Sometimes I look at my Facebook news feed and all I see are auto-playing videos. To stand out you need to be eye catching, you need to be able to stop someone scrolling to watch more. Here’s some ideas on how to stand out:

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    • Use bold colours. Nothing catches the eye like a bright colour. I use Canva to create my video title cards that are always bright yellow.
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    • Use movement. A static shot of someone talking in to camera is not going to encourage people to keep watching. By introducing movement into your video you will keep the attention of your audience.
      Using overlays can help make a static shot more interesting. See the example below from Irish Farmerette. (disclaimer I produced this video)

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Instead of a static shot of you talking to the camera think about creating a walking and talking shot. These are harder to create but are more likely to capture attention.

Look at this video from Lewis Howes. The walk and talk approach keeps me interested:

 

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  • Short shots. Keep your shots short and snappy. People will loose interest if they are staring at the same image for too long. You need a sequence of short shots that progress the story of your video forward. Research shows that the average human attention span is 8 seconds. Each shot in your video should be 8 seconds or shorter to keep the attention of the viewer.

3. Short and sweet

When we watch video it consumes us completely, we have to give it our full concentration. When we choose to watch a video we are investing our time in it.

Unlike YouTube Facebook doesn’t show you how long a video is before you click to play. Once a viewer clicks play they will see the duration of the video. That’s when they will make the decision to continue watching. To stop your viewers clicking ‘pause’ you need to keep them entertained. Your audience will be turned off by long video you will have to work hard to keep them watching.

4. Really useful

This is the hardest part. Whenever you create content for Facebook you need to ask yourself if it is educational, informative or entertaining. If the answer is no then don’t post it. This goes more so for video than any other kind of content. People will only stop to watch your video or click to play if they perceive there is some value in what you are sharing.

Avoid creating video for the sake of it, instead sit down and write a list of videos you can make. Tips work well, people love consuming knowledge that they can pass on in short snippets. Stories work well too, can you share a customer story? AirBnB have been phenomenal at these.

This story from their #onelessstranger campaign couldn’t fail to raise a smile.

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How To Create Video For Facebook

The one downside of video content is that it seems complex to create. The good news is you can do an awful lot from your smartphone. Here’s some tools that can take the pain out of creating video.

Vine

Online video changed when Vine launched in 2013. Twitter aquired the six second video app pre launch and it took off quickly.

The reason it is so popular is the interface. You can create six second, edited, multi shot videos all within the app. To record just hold your finger on the screen, remove it to stop. Move on to the next shot and repeat the process. The challenge is to get your message across in six seconds.

There have been some epic vine videos created. I particularly like the series from Honda that show you how much you can fit in their cars:

The downside of vine is that when you share to Facebook the video appears as a link rather than a video. Users have to click away to view. This negates all the benefit of using video. To get around this is to allow Vine to save your video to your phone memory and then upload to Facebook directly.

Instagram

Shortly after Vine launched Instagram introduced it’s video tool. The interface is similar to Vine but you get 15 seconds to tell your story rather than 6. The bonus is you can share your Instagram video directly to your Facebook page, no need to download and upload. You can also edit the information about your video once you have shared it from the Instagram app.

Flipgram

Flipgram is a smartphone app for iOS, Android and Windows. It allows you to create a video from photographs on your phone or from your Instagram account. You can then add captions and music. It’s a nice way to tell a story. Although it’s easy to use don’t forget to tell a story with your images. For example you could share a series of behind the scenes images from your office or a series of screen caps that show how something works. I particularly like this behind the scenes Flipgram from the motion picture ‘Boyhood’

Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse is a stand alone app owned by Instagram. It creates speeded up video. The speed of the video captures your attention. Hyperlapse is the ideal way to show a long laborious process quickly. I love these videos from Lowes. When you tap the screen the video pauses allowing you to follow each step.

This customner video from Mahabis showcases a great feature of their product.

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You can also use Hyperlapse to show people how to find your business. Walk the route whilst recording a Hyperlapse and show people to your front door.

Take it one step further and you can give people a short virtual tour of your offices and staff. Take a look at this one from the Whitehouse.

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Videos you make on Hyperlapse save to your phone memory or you can send them to Instagram and then on to your Facebook page.

Slow mo on your iOS device

If you own an iPhone 5s or upwards you can shoot slo mo video straight from the main camera app. Slo mo video is a great way to show how something works or to show off the natural environment. Here’s one I made of falling snow.

#snow #slomo

A video posted by @hamperlady on Mar 1, 2015 at 5:40am PST

Paid tools

GoAnimate

Have you seen those Whiteboard videos? Or the animated videos that show you how to do something? GoAnimate is a cool tool that allows you to easily create them. It’s fun to use and is a great resource for a more professionally finished video.

Camtasia

I use Camtasia for mac to edit all my videos. It’s packed with features including blurring, clip speed, annotations and transition effects.

Tips for uploading your Facebook video

You can upload a video from the ‘Pages manager’ app on your mobile device. This is great if you want to share a video saved to your phone’s camera but there is a downside to this quick and easy approach. Uploading video directly from your phone means that you are missing the opportunity to add a ‘Call To Action’ to your post.

Call To Action buttons are added to the end of your video to encourage viewers to follow up. These buttons can only be added prior to upload.

You can choose from a variety of calls to action and add a link for more information. This is great if you are sharing a snippet from a webinar, a trailer or if your video is part of a blog post.

Facebook Video Call To Action

Make sure you add a call to action before you upload your Facebook video.

Facebook Video Call To Action

Select the appropriate call to action for your video.

Editing Video Info

When your video is uploaded you have the option of ‘editing’ that video.

This allows you to:

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  • Edit your thumbnail. A thumbnail is an image that will display when your video is not playing. You can choose one from your video or upload a custom thumbnail.
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  • Give your video a title.
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  • Tag people that are in your video
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  • Add a sub title file.
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  • Add a location to your video.
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  • Feature your video. Featured video appear on the left hand sidebar of your page when viewed on the web or at the top of the page on mobile. Featured videos also appear full width at the top of your video tab on your page.
edit your Facebook video

Edit the details that accompany your Facebook video

Measuring success

Underneath every Facebook video is a view count. This displays the number of times the video has been played. It includes both auto-plays and clicks to play. You can find out more about how many people watched your video and for how long in your Facebook insights.

From the Facebook insights page click ‘Posts’

Find a video post and click on it. This shows you:

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  • How many views your video received in total.
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  • How many viewers watched for 30 seconds
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  • The average duration of views.
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  • How many people clicked to play your video compared to those who auto-played.
facebook video insights

See how long people are watching your video for

facebook video statistics

Find our how many people clicked to play your video

This is good information. If you find your views take a sudden dive it’s time to re-edit and try again.

Your Turn

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  • Have you tried using video content on Facebook?
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  • Have you seen positive results?
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  • Do you have any tips on creating video that works?