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User Engagement: Examining Facebook & Twitter Video Ads

By Rory Witt    |    April 17, 2017

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Let’s be honest. At this point, if you haven’t started incorporating video into your social media marketing campaigns, you’re probably already behind your competition.

It might be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s most likely true. 60 percent of marketers reported using video as part of their social media campaigns in 2016, and you can rest assured that those numbers are only going to grow—especially when you take a look at the stats:

  • Product videos have been found to increase online store purchases by 144 percent
  • 90 percent of consumers feel that videos help them make a purchasing decision
  • 77 percent of that same group are convinced to make a purchase by watching a video
  • 92 percent of mobile users share videos with others

And all that is before we even dive into the numbers specifically related to video marketing on social media!

As you can see, digital video marketing has a lot of potential. But how much of a difference can it make for your social media campaigns?

Facebook Video: The Stats

Let’s start with Facebook. Naturally, the world’s largest social media platform is going to get a lot of attention in any social marketing campaign, but its recent growth in the video streaming world has been particularly noteworthy.

Take, for instance, the fact that over 100 million hours of video are consumed on Facebook each day. People who go to Facebook are inherently drawn to video content, in part because it is more visually interesting than a simple text post, but also because of Facebook’s increased efforts to promote video content of any kind (including live video).

So how does this translate to engagement with your ad campaigns?

Well, the reach and engagement rates for Facebook Video advertising are especially impressive. According to eMarketer, native Facebook videos achieve an average engagement rate of 6.3 percent—a level that significantly outweighs the engagement of photos, links, or text-only content.

Quite simply, Facebook users want to see more video content in their news feeds. That’s why Facebook is continuing to deliver more and more video content in the first place. And it’s why video should become an integral part of your social media marketing strategy.

Facebook Video: Some Key Campaign Notes

With these numbers in mind, there are still a few things you should be aware of when optimizing your video content for Facebook users. First is the fact that approximately “85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound.”

Facebook video ads will auto-play without the sound—which only comes on if a user clicks to turn it up. And most users are clearly content with watching a silent video. In a nutshell, this means that you can’t ignore the importance of captioning (or just using text for your video) if you want to make an actual impact on your viewers.

Making a strong impression during the first ten seconds of your ad is also crucial for recall. A study by Nielsen found that the vast majority of a video ad’s impact on consumers—in terms of ad recall, as well as building brand awareness and driving purchase intent—occurs during the first ten seconds of your ad.

While people who watch your ad through to the end are even more likely to recall the ad content or make a purchase, knowing that the first ten seconds are the most important should drive the content of your ad. If you manage to keep their attention for the first ten seconds, case studies find that you should be able to keep approximately one third of your audience for the entire ad.

Twitter Video

Now, we’re not going to try to tell you that Twitter can boast the same impressive reach and engagement numbers as Facebook. It doesn’t. This shouldn’t be surprising—Twitter is a different platform, with a different audience. But this doesn’t mean that incorporating video into your Twitter ad campaigns won’t deliver value.

As with Facebook, Twitter has experienced remarkable growth in the use of video content. According to ClickZ, the last year has seen “220x video growth.” We’re not entirely sure what that translates to in percentage points, but it’s a lot.

As with Facebook, native video content on Twitter also yields higher engagement than other types of content—it is “six times more likely to be retweeted than photos and three times more likely than GIFs.

Twitter itself reports that 82 percent of its users watch video, and they want to see more of it. In fact, 37 percent of users surveyed said they actually want to see more videos from brands! That type of engagement (and level of interest) can’t be ignored, especially if your target audience is active on Twitter.

Of course, Twitter’s engagement levels don’t match Facebook for video ads—similar to behaviors with other types of content. Twitter video ads are less likely to be viewed to the end than those published on Facebook, and as a result, your cost per video completion for these campaigns will be higher. One advantage Twitter does have, though: those who do engage with your video content are much more likely to recall the ad content—even if they only viewed it for a couple seconds.

Because Twitter users tend to engage less frequently and scroll more rapidly through their feed, you may wish to experiment with shorter-form advertisements on the platform (just think of the success Geico had with its 15-second YouTube preroll ads). When done right, however, video advertisements on Twitter can deliver much better results for your social media campaign than other forms of Twitter advertising.

Conclusion

So is incorporating video into your social media marketing worth it? As ESPN likes (or liked) to say, “Numbers Never Lie.” And the numbers don’t lie regarding the potential impact Facebook and Twitter video ads can have on your campaigns, either.

While you’ll naturally need to invest the energy and creative juices required to produce quality video content, you can rest assured that when you do this, your social media advertising will be that much more effective at driving clicks and purchases and encouraging meaningful engagement with your brand.

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