Facebook Video Marketing: Tips for Increased Engagement

In a sense, the core mission of a modern marketer is to battle for attention in a dwindling supply of it. If we’re going to move someone into any kind of marketing funnel, we have to get them to look at us and away from everyone else, for at least a beat or three. 

Few places make the harsh reality of that battle as clear as the big, busy land of Facebook. By Q3 2023, Facebook was pulling in a hefty 3.049 billion monthly active users, millions and millions of them filling timelines with a steady stream of content. 

Facebook is the largest app in the world, and despite what’s been thought and said about its surely imminent demise, it just keeps on cockroaching its way to the top of the attention economy.

For those of us posting on Facebook to promote a brand, the sheer size and productivity of that audience can feel like a double-edged sword. It’s great to have access to such a large group. But it’s a mighty struggle to break through all the noise (and fight the platform’s algorithm to get content delivered in the first place).

One of the most powerful counter-weapons we can wield: Facebook video marketing.

Why Sound Strategy is a Must

With its ability to captivate, inform, and connect, video grabs attention on social media. It’s been the best-performing content type across all platforms for a good minute, and with the growing prevalence of live video, that’s only become more true.

Nearly half the time on Facebook is spent watching videos. The platform clocks 8 billion video views every day.

But here’s the other side of the sword: We’re in for disappointment if we think just posting a video on Facebook is enough. Facebook users may be showing us that they want video, but with all the competition, effective Facebook video marketing requires sound strategy.

If you’re looking to develop a Facebook video strategy that invites engagement, here’s where to start.

Grab Attention in the First 3 Seconds

Harsh reality: We all have about three seconds to hook viewers before they scroll past. A slowburn intro might be creatively fulfilling, but it’ll almost surely hurt your Facebook video’s performance. 

So a good, general guideline: Open strong, and open with a heavy hook. Think about a powerful question, a jaw-dropping statistic, or a funny frame that catches viewers off-guard and compels them to stick around.

Tap into emotions. Making a user laugh, piquing their curiosity, or tapping a relatable pain point can create a connection.

Bring in your brand’s personality. If you’ve put in the time to develop and refine your brand, you have a well-defined and unique voice, tone, and persona to share. Let it shine through, so your audience gets a better sense of who you are. It’ll also ensure that your video content aligns with all the other marketing materials you’ve worked so hard to develop.

Those first three seconds are, fortunately or unfortunately, every Facebook video’s make-or-break moment. So if you’re hoping to come out on the “make” side, think of that segment like a cinematic trailer for your story, leaving viewers rapt and determined to see how the rest of it unfolds.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Most of us saw those “humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish” stories flying around in 2023 (quite consistently on Facebook). It’s probably safe to take that data with at least a few grains of salt, but even if we’re not working with an eight-second attention span, we know attention is brief and fleeting on Facebook. 

The takeaway: Embrace the power of short-form storytelling.

Guidelines that can help:

Facebook prioritizes videos under 15 seconds for organic reach. Aim for this range if you’re going for maximum visibility.

For video ads, Facebook says about 15 seconds is the sweet spot, too. It goes by fast. Keep your message clear, concise, and impactful.

Struggling with brevity? Consider creating a series of shorter videos that tell a cohesive story across multiple posts. It can keep viewers engaged and coming back for more, and allow you to unfurl a longer story without knee-capping performance.

Tailor Your Message for Maximum Impact

Pretty much every kind of content strategy recommendation we make starts with “focus on your audience.” It’s a marketing basic, but it’s too often overlooked. And it’s always the key to connecting with your people. If you understand their wants, needs, and behavior and you develop content that directly speaks to all of that, your chances of meeting your people where they are increase exponentially. 

Here’s how to start getting audience-centric with your Facebook video strategy:

Define your target audience, on Facebook specifically. If you’re crystal clear on who you’re trying to reach through this content—their demographics, interests, and pain points—you can craft video content that speaks directly to them.

Follow the data. Facebook Insights offers valuable data about your audience’s engagement with your existing video content. Analyze which types of videos resonate best and use that information to guide your content development.

Engage with your audience. We can’t approach social media like we’re on stage and the audience’s experience is secondary. Reply to comments and respond to messages to better understand your community and address their concerns. Those conversations can help your content strategy stay relevant and aligned.

Craft Compelling Narratives to Connect With Viewers

Video is a storytelling medium, plain and simple. And a Facebook video without a compelling narrative to guide viewers through your message… it’s boring at best.

Storytelling tips that can help you frame a narrative and leave viewers wanting more: 

Focus on a central theme. Don’t bombard viewers with a laundry list of features and statistics. Choose one key message or benefit and build your video around it.

Form around a structure. Stories with a simple beginning, middle, and end are easy to follow and, by and large, naturally coherent. Make it easy and clear for your viewers.

Add emotion. It’s human nature to connect with what we know, and we all know emotion. Incorporate relatable characters, unexpected twists, or heartwarming moments to make your story come alive and pull on viewers’ heart strings or tap them on the funny bone.

Add Eye Candy to Stand Out

Video engages two senses: sight and sound. But since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, we really need to lean into the visuals to grab attention. 

Here’s how to make sure you’re offering an eye-grabbing experience:

Don’t settle for less than high-resolution. Unless your brand is based around low-fi aesthetics, aim for crisp, clear visuals that don’t leave viewers squinting at pixels.

Ensure proper lighting to avoid grainy, dark footage. Most video production experts will tell you that natural light is your best friend. But if you’re filming indoors, invest in good lighting equipment. Nothing ruins a good visual like bad lighting.

Adorn your footage when and where it fits. Animations, text overlays, and subtle graphic elements can add visual interest, support your branding look, and enhance your message. Just make sure to keep a steady hand and don’t overdo it—too much adornment can distract from your story.

Add a Call to Action to Help Viewers Take the Next Step

If you’ve produced a strong enough video to grab your audience’s attention, the last thing you want is for them to shuffle off to the next video and the next brand. Remind them to move forward and get more, and tell them how and where to do it.

A clear call to action or CTA tells the viewer exactly what to do next, in a way that’s centered in their wants and needs. Effective CTAs for Facebook video ads that you might try:

“Visit our website.” Direct viewers to your landing page where they can learn more about what you make, sell, or do.

“Follow us on social media.” Encourage viewers to follow you for more content like this.

“Sign up for our newsletter.” Capture leads by offering more useful content (in exchange for an email address).

“Shop now.” If you’re selling a product, you can make it easy for viewers to buy directly from your video ad.

A well-conceived and well-placed CTA isn’t demanding—it’s a friendly push toward something your audience wants (and toward your brand’s goals).

Use Facebook Ads for Maximum Reach

Organic reach on Facebook (and every other social media platform) is… tricky. It’s been declining for years—research says just 0.07% of a Facebook page’s fans engage with the average organic post. 

There’s a lot you can do to optimize for organic reach (and Snapshot’s social media team is always glad to share insights). But if you’re hoping to ensure your video hits the right eyes—or a certain number of eyes—investing in targeted Facebook ads is the way to go. 

Pointers for optimizing a Facebook video ad campaign:

Again, define your target audience. In the creative process, this points you in the right direction. When we’re talking about Facebook ads, audience targeting is way more literal—it’s pointing you right at their front door. When your ads start delivering, you’ll want the targeting parameters tailored to the demographic most likely to be interested. 

Write sharp ad copy. The space you’re working with is short and sweet—a handful of characters in a few key places. Strong Facebook ad copy is important, though. Users are scanning visuals and words for clues about whether this content aligns with their needs. So aim for engaging, informative, and clear.

Choose the right ad format. Facebook offers multiple ad formats, from single video ads to carousels and slideshows. Pick the one that best suits your video content and campaign goals.

Set your budget and timeline. It’s somewhat cut and dry—how much are you willing to spend on your campaign, and how long do you want it to run? And yes, more spend equals more eyeballs. But there’s art and science to Facebook ad budgets and timelines. As you deploy and test, you’ll get a stronger, data-backed sense of how to hit your goals with the best ROI.

Track and analyze results. To get that stronger, data-backed sense, you’ll turn to Facebook Ads Manager, which provides deep detail on your campaign’s performance. Key metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions will help you grasp what is and isn’t working, so you can adjust your strategy for the next Facebook video ad campaign.

Building a Sustainable Facebook Video Strategy

That old saying, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”? Extremely true of Facebook video marketing. To succeed and to grow, you need to focus long-term. And that means looking beyond what’s doable and considering what’s sustainable. 

A few pointers that can help you build a sustainable video strategy:

Use a content calendar. Plan your video content in advance and keep it organized in a dedicated calendar that your team can access and update. This ensures consistency and allows you to align your videos with upcoming events, product launches, holidays, and cultural happenings. Many social media scheduling platforms have calendar planning functions built in, and plenty of social media managers prefer to rely on tried-and-true spreadsheets. We like Airtable, since it’s approachable and adaptable.

Repurpose and remix content. This isn’t a lazy creative process—it’s smart strategy. If a small subsection of your audience sees every social media post, blog post, and email marketing blast, it makes sense to reuse and recycle content to reach as many users as possible and wring maximum value out of your creative output. There are multiple ways to approach this: cut longer existing videos into series with short episodes; pull teaser clips out of other videos; adapt sections of blog content into social media video snippets; or just develop a cadence to repost video content, as-is.

Experiment and analyze. Try different video formats, lengths, and styles to see what resonates best with your audience. Analyze your results and adapt your strategy based on what you see.

Track trends, but don’t blindly follow. Social media, Facebook included, thrives on viral trends and memes. It’s fun to be part of those conversations, and it can be fruitful. But rely on the expertise of your social media manager here—wading into certain trends without grasping the context can be damaging to a brand. Know when to hold ’em. 

Building a successful Facebook video marketing strategy isn’t easy, and it isn’t quick. But it can and should be an important part of any brand’s social media marketing strategy, since more than half of the entire U.S. population are Facebook users.

Find a Facebook Video Partner in Snapshot

Snapshot started as a full-service video production house, so crafting compelling video content is a specialty and a passion. But we’ve grown and broadened considerably since our early days—our team still produces tons of beautiful video marketing content, but we also build full-scale paid and organic social media strategies, manage digital ad campaigns, and wrangle nearly every other angle of strategic digital marketing.

If you’re looking for a partner that can handle your Facebook video marketing needs from strategy to execution, we’re here and ready to help.

Take a look at some of our video work in the Snapshot portfolio, and reach out to the Snapshot team to get started.