Facebook Video for Marketers: Strategy for Future Success
Wondering how to best leverage your videos on Facebook?
To explore Facebook video strategy, I interview Jay Baer.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Jay Baer, a digital marketing and social media strategist. He authored Hug Your Haters, a book about social care, and also hosts the Social Pros Podcast and the Jay Today show.
Jay discusses the differences between video on Facebook and YouTube.
You’ll discover the tech and tools Jay uses to produce his own videos.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
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Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
Facebook Video for Marketers
Facebook Versus YouTube
Jay says a lot of people do very well with YouTube videos, and just as many do well with Facebook videos. However, not too many people do equally well with both because each platform has a specific use case. People watch YouTube as a replacement for television entertainment or they’re searching for how-to videos. On Facebook, videos appear in the news feed and can interrupt people while they’re on the platform.
At Convince & Convert, Jay says they advise clients to think about what the video is and under what circumstances people will want to watch it. Based on that assessment, choose one of the platforms as the primary home for the video.
I mention how views of The Last Jedi trailer on Facebook far surpassed views on YouTube within the first 30 minutes of its release. Jay responds by noting a few factors that might have contributed to that difference at that particular point in time. One is that Facebook allows users to share content with others easily. Also, Facebook defines a “view” differently than YouTube.
Although we both suspect most viewers of The Last Jedi are watching the whole trailer, marketers should remember that Facebook counts 3 seconds as a view, whereas YouTube requires 30 seconds.
Also, a video on Facebook may receive substantially more views immediately after it’s posted but the YouTube video may receive more views in the long run, especially on a strong YouTube channel.
To clarify how The Last Jedi example pertains to the everyday marketer, Jay stresses that Facebook drives exposure based on engagement. So if you put a video on Facebook and a disproportionate number of people like, comment, and share, then a disproportionate number of people will see the video in their feed. This visibility gives even more Facebook users an opportunity to share the video with somebody else, and the cycle continues.
Jay sees this ripple effect every time he posts a video on Facebook. If he gets immediate engagement, then more people see it. If he doesn’t, users’ engagement with the video will plateau.
Next we talk about streaming live video to Facebook versus YouTube. For vlogging, Jay says that you could use both Facebook and YouTube. Jay does something like this with his Jay Today show. He streams the live video first on his personal Facebook profile and posts the video file elsewhere afterward.
Jay explains that Facebook’s API prevents you from live-streaming anywhere else while you’re streaming to Facebook Live. To stream to Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube Live simultaneously, you would need multiple phones or computers. That limitation is one reason Jay goes to Facebook Live first; he can’t be anywhere else.
He also notes that on YouTube (for now at least), you need to have 1,000 or more subscribers to stream live video from a mobile device. So YouTube’s live video feature isn’t as widely accessible as Facebook’s.
Listen to the show to hear Jay discuss his approach to going live on Periscope after he writes a blog post.
A Facebook-Only Strategy?
When I ask Jay if marketers would benefit from a Facebook-only strategy, he says no, for two reasons. First, after you have the video, putting it on YouTube and other places isn’t a tremendous effort. Second, as Jay has said since the beginning of Facebook, you should never build your house entirely on rented land.
Right now, Facebook over-emphasizes video and live video. That wasn’t the case in the past, and at some point won’t be the case again. So if you make big strategic decisions based on Facebook’s current rules, someday you’ll be disappointed. Jay says he would never advise a client of any size to put anything only on Facebook, particularly not video.
However, especially if you’re going to do live video, Jay thinks Facebook is the best training ground. You’ll likely pick up viewers more quickly because people are more likely to be on the platform. Plus, you can now schedule your live broadcasts and tell people when to tune in.
Facebook is definitely the best place to start figuring out your style and what works for you. Later on, because of the nature of your programming or your preferences, it may make sense to use Periscope, YouTube Live, or something else instead.
Listen to the show to hear what Jay says Facebook does better than anything else.
Jay’s Video Strategy
I ask Jay about videos people can do that don’t require a lot of extra work. Jay explains how his Jay Today show is a good example. Two years ago, Jay did Jay Today, Season 1, and was one of the first people to do regular short-form video blogging.
For the first season, Jay focused on social media and business. He posted the show mainly on YouTube because that was the primary game in town then. (He also occasionally posted the show on Facebook.) He did three episodes per week, three minutes per episode.
In January 2017, Jay Today returned with Season 2 and made a few changes. The show covers social media and business, as well as marketing, life, and so on. Jay does just two shows per week, three to five minutes each, and each episode typically debuts live on his personal Facebook profile.
After each episode finishes, Jay’s team has a process that allows posting a lightly edited version of the video to his other platforms quickly. Someone downloads the file and cleans up the captions using Rev.com. The cleaned-up video then goes on Jay’s Facebook business page, the company page, and YouTube. The whole sequence is usually done within 24 hours.
During Season 1, Jay recorded a video, saved it to his desktop, and uploaded it to Dropbox. His team then grabbed the file, added the captions, and syndicated it. Now, he live-streams the video on his personal page and emails his team when a new episode is ready. They download the file from Facebook, do the captions, and syndicate the video from there.
Jay’s team cleans up the captions a bit because in the live show, Jay might make a mistake or say something in a way that the automated closed-captioning bots can’t decipher. To add the cleaned-up captions, they simply upload the SRT file (a caption file) to Facebook instead of remastering the video.
After the video is posted, Jay’s team transcribes the show and turns it into a blog post, which goes on LinkedIn, Medium, and his website. Each three- to five-minute video ends up living in seven different places. When I ask about his show flow, Jay says he’s lucky because he doesn’t need to prep much to do video. He attributes this to his experience as a speaker and emcee.
As Jay reads and observes things that he believes deserve praise or criticism, he’ll save a two- to three-word note about the idea to his phone. Then when he has a chance to do an episode, he just turns on the camera and goes.
Jay does most of the Jay Today episodes on his laptop using Wirecast so he can show the Jay Today logo, the sponsor logo, the title of the episode, and some other graphics. He takes that three-word inspiration, does his three- to five-minute routine, and then he’s done.
Because the videos are short, Jay doesn’t interact during the live broadcast. Instead, he interacts with people in the comments afterward. Although Jay doesn’t interact during the broadcast, he does his video live because Facebook Live broadcasts send out a notification.
Listen to the show to discover why Jay doesn’t go live on multiple platforms.
I ask Jay whether limited Internet access is ever a challenge for his live show. Jay tries to always go live for his show; however, if hotel WiFi isn’t great when he’s traveling, he’ll record his show using ScreenFlow and upload the video later.
Although Jay’s show isn’t intended to look perfect or studio-grade, he does use some basic audio, lighting, and video equipment.
For broadcasting on the road, Jay used to bring his Yeti microphone that he uses for podcasting; however, it’s large, heavy, and a hassle to carry. He now has a Shure MV5 snowball mic, which is the size of a racquetball, lightweight, and a good microphone. For video, he uses the new 9-series Logitech webcam, which shoots in 1080. He also has external fold-up LED lights.
For my Walk with Mike vlogs, I use a YunTeng Selfie Stick and a Rode lavalier microphone that plugs into my iPhone. I suggest that anyone who wants to go low-tech for their videos could use the camera built into their laptop and the smartphone headset plugged into their computer. Jay agrees.
Unless you have an old machine, the camera on your laptop is fine, he says. However, if you’re going to spend money, this is the order Jay suggests. For shooting indoors, first get some sort of microphone. The next priority is decent lighting (outdoor lighting is more forgiving than indoor). Then invest in a camera.
Jay reveals he’s more comfortable sitting in a chair, talking into the computer, than he is doing videos on his phone. However, when he did the show originally, he shot every episode on his iPhone.
Listen to the show to learn about the Facebook Video Analytics feature in beta that’s coming soon.
Jay likes Instagram Stories, and mostly stopped using Snapchat (along with 200 million others) as a result. He finds the interface more comfortable and more of his existing contacts are on Instagram. He’s not using the 18-second videos in Facebook Stories yet, and thinks Facebook’s decision to put Stories on everything wasn’t a good strategy. It confuses marketers.
When you have a good piece of content, now you have to decide if it’s an idea, a day, a story, or a multi-part video concept, and figure out whether to put the content on Instagram, Facebook, or Messenger. Plus, his clients were just starting to get comfortable with Instagram Stories, and now they have to contend with Facebook Stories and possibly Messenger Day.
Jay says he feels like short-form video, especially the Stories format, is like the new blogging. Stories have the same cadence, style, concept, and point. You have a comments section, although the comments aren’t public in the same way as for blogs. To Jay, the similarities are very apparent between what blogging (or even Twitter) was and what Story-based short-form video is becoming.
When I mention it’s good that people can download and reupload their content, Jay says he’s heard people refer to this as an omnichannel strategy, but it’s really syndication. Plus, he adds, how authentic is that approach? Is taking the same stuff, word-for-word and pixel-for-pixel, and putting it on every channel really using social media to its best advantage?
Jay says that Stories seem like the gateway to live, rather than long-form video. A long-form video is more of a show. The differences between Facebook Live and Stories are that live videos are slightly longer and aren’t broken up into clips. Other than that, they both use the same mechanism and are less formal.
Listen to the show to hear my thoughts about short-form video.
The camera (which is software that works inside your smartphone) will have the ability to add a three-dimensional virtual layer on top of reality. In a demonstration, Zuckerberg typed a few words that showed up as blocks stacked on his desk. As he moved the camera, the blocks seemed to be physically there.
Jay, who thinks Facebook’s new AR camera is brilliant, has been saying for a long time it’s not about virtual reality, it’s about augmented reality. Virtual reality is amazing, but there are only so many circumstances where you can put goggles on your face. With augmented reality, you use existing hardware, like the phone you already have in your pocket, and do more things with it. Think Pokémon-Go.
With the augmented reality camera, Jay thinks Facebook knocked it out of the park. They really understand what’s viable and what’s too much. One thing he thinks people don’t give Facebook enough credit for is how good they are at incrementalism. They push technology just far enough, just fast enough, for users to get on board.
On the other hand, the whole history of Google in the last 10 years is pushing too far, too fast. A lot of the things that are now commonplace Google came up with, but Google tried to roll out the technology too quickly and people weren’t ready for it.
Facebook’s AR camera will be a huge opportunity, Jay adds. He’s also really bullish on the audio version of augmented reality. (Facebook hasn’t talked about it yet, and Apple may take the lead.) With audio AR, your headphones could say, “There’s a restaurant nearby that has a 4.8-star rating on Yelp. Turn right to go there.”
Jay believes augmented reality, artificial intelligence-powered earbuds will be something everybody has within five years.
Listen to the show to hear more of our thoughts about the future of video.
Write Behind is a cool iOS app that allows you to place text behind people or objects in your photos. The effect makes your images look like professionally designed magazine covers.
The app is simple to use. After you open the photo in the Write Behind app, you select a font and type your text. Then use your finger to tell that app what parts of the photo should appear in the foreground. For example, you might trace around a person so that text appears behind them.
Jeff Sieh, who does most of our Instagram image creation, has used Write Behind to insert text and create quote images. You can also see examples of what Write Behind can do on its website.
The iOS app is free, and in-app purchases unlock additional fonts and styles.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Write Behind works for you.
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What do you think? What are your thoughts on Facebook video for marketers? Please leave your comments below.
May 11, 2017 at 10:08PM