Are you producing video for a ‘sound off’ environment?

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With billions of users globally and an incredibly high number of Canadians counted as active members, it can be tough to cut through the clutter on Facebook.

News feeds are constantly updated and it is easy for marketing messages to get lost amid the endless parade of vacation photos, recipes and posts to the local buy-sell group.

That’s not to say that video on Facebook can’t be a strong addition to any marketing strategy. But, like most things, you have to have a good concept and know the rules of engagement to be successful.

Tips for building sticky and memorable video content at the recent Facebook Summit in Toronto came courtesy of Jessica Jensen, director of brand strategy and product marketing communications at Facebook and Instagram.

She said there are a few strategies marketers and OEMs could start using now to make their video content more successful.

Establish Momentum Up Front
The way people consume video content on mobile is different than how it is done on traditional mediums.

She said where a traditional storytelling arc builds to a main message at the end, videos on Facebook are nearly the polar opposite. The majority of the attention and message has to be frontloaded and tapers off as the video plays on.

“It really changes how you think about storytelling for mobile,” she said.

Another popular format is what she called heartbeat storytelling. Similar to how stereotypical heart rate monitors pulse with every heartbeat, this type of production puts the main message up front and then repeats it throughout the video with pulses of content.

Back to the Silent Movies
A number kicking around last year among several publishers was that upwards of 85 per cent of video on Facebook is watched without sound. The social media company has a video component built into a user’s news feed, but all video is muted by default. A viewer has to tap or click on the video to hear the audio.

Given that overwhelming majority, Jensen said marketers should create videos that can be understood without sound and use things like text overlays to help drive the narrative.

Frame Your Story
As televisions have gone from squares to rectangles, we have seen what happens when content shot vertically is forced into a rectangular environment. Historically, video has been shot with the aspect ratio of 16:9. A few years ago, it turned to 1:1. Now, it seems Facebook is betting on vertical.

“That’s where we think the future of video is going and that’s really a reaction to a lot of the behaviours we have been seeing with consumers and on different platforms,” she said.

Jensen noted that marketers could get more real estate out of the same shoot but that it has to be shot with this viewing orientation in mind.

Know Your Audience
She referenced a Toyota campaign out of the U.S. for the Camry. The target audience was segmented into four different groups including Hispanics and young parents. She said the data indicated Hispanics over indexed on family and music, so one spot was created based on that.

The young parents over indexed on fitness and running, so a spot was tailored for that audience. She said viewing rates on the targeted spots were much better than shots made for a wide consumption.