Facebook for video marketingSmart business owners are increasingly concluding that video marketing and social media are a match made in heaven. Social media is a brilliant way for brands and businesses to engage with their fans and build a dialogue, and throwing a shareable video into the mix is a fantastic opportunity to reach a wider audience and really connect with people.

If we’re talking about video marketing alone, there’s no doubt that YouTube is the social networking platform that can bring you the most views. However, marketers acknowledge that for many businesses, uploading video content to Facebook, itself the second largest online video platform, can be more important as an overall marketing strategy.

The Value of Facebook

Today, Facebook is a widely accepted means of communication. It’s a sort of never-ending virtual social gathering where we go to share personal updates with friends and family, reconnect with school friends, and stay in contact with those who live across the globe. We use it to chat to people online, play games and access apps such as travel, music or reviews. We learn information from pages that we ‘like,’ and promote and share content we think is relevant or that others would like.

Essentially, we turn to Facebook when we want to relax, catch up with friends and family, and be entertained. It satisfies the basic human need of wanting to belong to something, and is a way of presenting ourselves to the world. This is key to why Facebook is a great platform for brands and businesses to distribute their corporate stories.

Word of Mouth

Research has shown that most people who ‘like’ brands on Facebook do so simply because they genuinely like the brand, rather than due to any offers or freebies (although that did come a close second). People are keen to support a brand, receive updates from them and, crucially, share their interests with their Facebook friends – to show them who they really are.

This is where things get interesting for brands and businesses, because a friend’s recommendation is one of the most powerful endorsements there is. It goes beyond traditional marketing and becomes simple word of mouth. Friends trust each other. So it makes sense that Facebook users will trust content that’s liked or shared by friends with similar interests or by niche Facebook communities.

Which brings us to another key element of Facebook: sharing. Social media is an established part of the internet, and sharing has become second nature to us. When we ‘like’ a page, we go there to ask questions about the brand, get recommendations, use it as a form of customer service. We get discounts and incentives. And if we’re pleased with the service we’ve received, we return again and again, and we share our good experiences with our friends.

Video that’s shared on Facebook generally outperforms that shared on any other social network in terms of ‘likes,’ shares and comments. Users become more engaged in the experience, they tend to watch more of the video and then share it with their friends. In essence, viral video marketing is simply great content that’s been spread by word of mouth.

Facebook and Video Marketing

So, Facebook offers a brilliant opportunity for brands and businesses to distribute their corporate stories online. But how do you start planning your campaign? Here are some ideas.

Facebook isn’t a place where people generally go for deep decision-making. They want to be entertained, so entertain them. Red Bull is one brand that does just that. While it’s invested in a highly successful YouTube channel, it hasn’t forgotten about Facebook, and frequently posts its brand of high-energy action videos here, such as this one:

[facebookpost https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153349759125352]

Red Bull teaches us another valuable lesson regarding Facebook and video marketing: know your target audience and tailor your video content to your dedicated fan base, not a general audience. Let’s not forget that Red Bull is a sugary caffeine filled drink! But their marketing is so good that the brand has outsized the product. Their advertising is aimed at young people who love watching sports and are drawn to action, adventure and pushing the boundaries, whereas the following video found on the Burberry Facebook page is aimed at a different audience altogether.

This video oozes class – much like the brand itself. It shows a fashion shoot for the iconic British brand, in an iconic British location, London. It’s hip and stylish, full of young British talent, with a soundtrack provided by a well-known British brand. Yes Burberry, we hear ya.

Another key use of video marketing on Facebook is to use your video content to engage with your audience and encourage conversation. Unlike many other social networking platforms (aside from YouTube) Facebook allows you to upload long-form video of up to twenty minutes in HD. So make the best of it – after all, Facebook users are there for relaxation and to be entertained.

Upload your commercials to your Facebook page and ask your fans which is their favourite and why. Ask them what they’d like to see from you in the future. You can even encourage fans to share their own videos of your brand or business. Here’s what happened when Coca-Cola did just that:

The video tells the story of how two Coke fans created the second largest fan page on Facebook, which led to a meeting with the top bods at Coca-Cola and a request to make a fan video to tell their story. It also shows just how important fans’ stories can be to a brand.

There’s another way that brands and businesses can capitalise on the ‘word of mouth’ effect of Facebook, and that’s with sponsored stories.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Sponsored stories are based solely upon a user’s activities. When a user interacts with a brand or business, whether on Facebook or a Facebook-connected app, that action is shown in the News Feed or sidebar of that user’s friends, in the hope of encouraging them to take the same action. So if the brand or business wants more ‘likes,’ it shows page likes stories. If they want more people to enter into a competition, it shares competition stories with the user’s friends, and so on.

The great thing about sponsored stories is that they’re paid promotion of organic user activity, aimed at a target audience. They cannot appear on a user’s page with whom they have no connection. For this reason, they’re a perfect way of distributing your video content amongst your target audience – friends of users who are actively engaged with your brand. And by filling your video with fabulous, entertaining content, it will soon gain momentum as users and their friends share it with their friends and their friends of friends…

Page Post Ads

Page Post Ads allow you to spread your message even further. They allow you to promote a post you’ve made on your Facebook page, whether a status update, link, photo, offer, event, question or video.

There are many benefits to using Page Posts Ads. Firstly, it’s been said that only sixteen per cent of your fans will see a particular post, largely due to timing and the frequency people are online. By using additional paid promotion of this post, it will appear in the News Feed and sidebar, meaning that whenever your fans are online they will see it in the form of an ad. It also allows you to promote the post so that it can be seen by anybody on Facebook, even if they’re not connected to the page themselves (directly or via a friend).

In addition, it allows for greater engagement with the post. Unlike Sponsored Stories, which have a single call to action, if you promote your video using Page Post Ads, users can view the video, and choose to ‘like’ it, comment on it or share it.

If you wish to promote a video using Page Post Ads, choose the ‘promote page posts’ option on Facebook. Here you can choose which post to promote and choose a target audience based upon interests and demographics.

If you currently have a small following that are not all part of a tight community then Page Post Ads may be your best bet.

Using Facebook to Distribute Your Corporate Stories

By allowing users to upload long HD videos onto their website, Facebook is placing a high value on video content on a platform designed around sharing. It’s not necessarily aiming to be the next online video site – it really wants to be a little bit of everything to everyone. Facebook wants its users to bring the experiences they’re having all over the internet into one place.

Facebook wants people to be able to watch videos, comment, share, post, and discuss things without ever having to leave the site. By uploading great video content to Facebook, brands and businesses stand the best possible chance of distributing their corporate stories far and wide, and of discovering a completely new fan base.