How We Generated 1 Million Facebook Video Views: A HubSpot Experiment

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Gone are the days when social media publishing and participation could be tacked onto the daily responsibilities of an intern — as were many of the first roles in social media.

Today’s growth-minded organisations require a team of people ideating, creating, publishing, and promoting content on social media to drive meaningful returns on investment — and this requires day, attempt, and creativity.

Marketers are realizing this and dedicating more time, resources, and staff headcount to social media. In the 2017 State of Inbound report, more marketers said they planned to add social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to their marketing attempts than in the previous year’s survey.

Here at HubSpot, we’re constantly evaluating and changing the style we make content on social media to adapt to the style people want to stay connected. As our audience’s preferences for social media content evolve each year, so does our strategy.

In our survey, nearly half of respondents said they wanted to see more social media content — and more videos, especially. So we’ve operate a few experimentations excavating into what our audience wants to see, how they want to engage, and where they want to interact on social media.

We have our strategies, process, and outcomes to share that might inform your strategy, but our greatest piece of advice for any social media team — no matter the sizing — is to always experimentation. The social media space changes so much every month — it’s important to figure out what works, but it’s also important to remain agile so you can try new things whenever you can.

How We Increased Video Views 20 X by Making Native Social Media Content

Social media has changed.

That might read like the biggest understatement in the world, but hear me out.

As part of our previous social media strategy, our posts were connected to lead generation aims — and most had a strong affiliation to our brand and promoting our content. Now, our content is all about our audience — and not all about us. We needed to refocus and remember that our audience members are people, just like us. If we wouldnat want to see a piece of content in our Facebook News Feeds, why would our audience? We wanted to test the effect of focusing our content on our audience — what they want to learn about, what their goals are, and even what fights they face.

In short, we wanted to be more social, and less promotional.

This doesn’t mean we recommend doing away with sharing blog content or ebooks on social media entirely. After all, it’s hard to come up with new ideas for creating social media videos to share every day of the week. We’re just saying you shouldn’t post a link to a blog post or ebook on Facebook and call it a day. Instead, get inspired by the ideas and salient points, and repurpose your content into Facebook videos, Instagram albums, or Snapchat Story. You can still use the good notions — but use them to generate native social media content that performs better for the medium.

If your current social media strategy sounds like our previous, all-about-us approach, don’t worry — read on to learn how we’ve changed things up.

1) Different Video Topics

The Goal:

We examined our audience and learned what they did engage with in our previous social media strategy. Then, we researched the broader social media and digital sceneries. We wanted to learn what marketers and salespeople were already engaging with and detecting relevant, and how we could create content more specifically for them, instead of distributing our content on social media channels for our goals.

The Experiment:

We made a list of topics and headlines we believed our audience would respond well to — that were more lifestyle and culturally-oriented — and instantly started making content. Then, we started brainstorming culturally relevant and popular topics and saw how we could creatively submit their reports to this audience in such a way that attains sense for our audience and their world.

Our audience is made up of marketers and salespeople who want to learn how to grow and get better at their jobs — so instead of using our social media channels to simply push out content we were producing on our blogs, offers, and external channels, we’ve started generating content specifically for our Facebook audience based on what we know about what they like( like this video about constructing coffee to improve productivity — two things busy people love ):

The Results:

We went from an average of 50,000 video views per month to 1 million views in our first month performing these experiments. Our participation rate also shot up as the content resonated with our audience and they started penchant, commenting, and sharing our posts.

Take a look at our engagement rates from our previous social strategy( orange indicates reaching, and pink indicates clicks ):

And here’s what our views and engagement rate looked like under our new strategy 😛 TAGEND

Pretty big jumping, huh?

Key Takeaway for Marketer:

When you start evaluating how to generate more Likes, remarks, and shares from your Facebook audience, think about how you yourself use the platform. You might not be as interested in sharing a post that’s highly specific to one brand or organization, but you might engage with a post that’s highly relevant to you, right?

Conduct some detailed persona research, analyze your Facebook audience insights, and understand better how they’re spending time on the platform instead of simply use Facebook as a means to only promote what you’re doing. Create social media content specifically for your audience, and you’ll get better results.

2) Different Video Design Devices

The Goal:

We wanted to exam our videos to see if different designs and formats would lead to different engagement rates.

The Experiment:

We tested the effects of some new design devices. These included starting videos with a human face, putting title bars throughout the duration of our videos, ensuring there were captions throughout, adding a aBest with Sound ona animation, and a CTA with the goal of audience engagement.

Human face: We felt that people would respond best to a human face as they would feel connected. Here’s two examples. : We felt that people would respond best to a human face as they would feel connected. Here’s an example. Title bars: People are scrolling so fast we wanted to grab their attention and make sure they knew what our video was about in that quick motion. It also helps if anyone get confused during the course of its video, they will always know the topic. Here’s two examples. : People are scrolling so fast we are trying to grab their attention and make sure they knew what our video was about in that quick motion. It also helps if anyone gets confused during the video, they will always know the topic. Here’s an example. Subtitles: Our historical data showed that about 95% of people watched our videos without the audio on. We wanted to meet them where they were at and make sure that our videos could still be watched in that format. Here’s two examples. : Our historical data showed that about 95% of people watched our videos without the audio on. We wanted to meet them where they were at and make sure that our videos could still be watched in that format. Here’s an example. “Best with Sound On” animations: Knowing our audience primarily watches with the sound off, we wanted to make sure our videos that benefitted from voice were noted as such. Here’s two examples. : Knowing our audience primarily watches with the sound off, we wanted to make sure our videos that benefitted from audio were noted as such. Here’s two examples. Call-to-action: To help facilitate how people could engage with our video, we ask them topics, or ask them to react in some manner to our video. Here’s two examples.

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