What Facebook’s Latest Video-Ranking Updates Mean for Your Small Business
Facebook recently announced that it’s tweaking its News Feed algorithm to reward creators who publish video content that sees longer average watch times, and generates more repeat views. At the same time, Pages posting unoriginal or repurposed video content are going to be penalized through limited access to visibility and monetization.
“Last year we announced that we would limit distribution for unoriginal or repurposed content from other sources with limited or immaterial added value — as well as demote video content from Pages that are involved in sharing schemes. We will more strongly limit distribution and monetization for this kind of content.”
Essentially, Facebook will now reward Pages which build loyalty, get views, and post original content – but what does that mean for your business?
In this post, we’ll break down the three components of Facebook’s update, along with ways you can use the changes to set your brand up for success with video on the platform.
Loyalty and Intent
Simply put, Facebook is focusing on video content which keeps viewers coming back for more. That means that, going forward, Facebook will prioritize videos that users seek out via Search, or by visiting a creator’s Page. This will apply to the News Feed, Facebook Watch, and Facebook’s “More Videos” recommendations.
So, how can businesses ensure their audience remains engaged over time, and coming back for more? Here are a few ways to do just that:
- Share valuable content – It likely goes without saying, but when you add value for your audience, they’re more likely to come back. Keep folks engaged with educational how-to’s or inspirational videos throughout the week.
- Optimize for search – Consider what search terms customers might use to find you, then look to include them when adding a title, description, or keywords to your video content.
- Stay consistent – Maintaining a regular cadence on Facebook is key when it comes to building visibility and trust with your audience. Posting regularly lets your audience know what to expect from you, making them more likely to search for or return to your Page for similar content.
Video and Viewing Duration
The new update also rewards content that gets users to keep watching for at least one minute. Specifically, Facebook says that it will, “add more weight in ranking to videos that keep people engaged, especially on videos that are at least three minutes long.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind when curating longer video content on Facebook:
- Start with a storyboard – Avoid sharing a three-minute video for the sake of length. Instead, try creating an outline for your longer video content, ensuring that it’s useful, entertaining, and/or inspiring to your viewers.
- Save the best for first – Start with your strongest images and video clips to hook users in the News Feed, so they don’t scroll past your content.
- Optimize for sound off – 85% of Facebook viewers watch videos with the sound off. Include text to keep your story clear, and your audience engaged.
In a recent blog post, Facebook recommended sharing content that “you wrote, shot, edited and published yourself, or with the support of a production partner.”
Original content that compels users to tag their friends, or share your videos, and encourages meaningful conversation, will be ranked highly. Here are some easy ways to make sure your content is authentic, and gets optimum visibility:
- Avoid resharing – Reposting content that exists elsewhere can limit distribution and monetization for your videos. Out of ideas for what to share? Check out some pre-built video templates for inspiration.
- Share meaningful content – Like reposting content, posting a video with a mass-produced or duplicated clip can also hurt your originality signal on Facebook. That being said, Facebook will accept this type of video clip if the content has been “meaningfully repurposed” and is not simply stitched together. For example, incorporating voice-over, commentary, graphics, or creative editing can all be considered ways to meaningfully repurpose video.
- Don’t spam your audience – Instead of telling viewers to comment, share, or react to your posts, give them a reason to do so. Entertain, educate, and inspire viewers with videos, and they’ll feel more compelled to engage with your content.
Incorporating these tips into your strategy can keep your brand’s videos visible across Facebook, and easier to monetize. Stay ahead of these updates, and keep them top of mind for your next Facebook video.
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