Silence is golden. If you want to grab people’s attention with Facebook videos, the message of the video should be loud and clear, even if your viewers keep the sound turned down.
No one wants to be the person whose smartphone or laptop suddenly starts loudly playing a video in the middle of a coffee shop or other public space. Yet, thanks to autoplay features, that scenario happens more frequently than a lot of people would like. When it does happen, 80 percent of people have a negative reaction to the creator of the video and to the platform it appeared on, according to Wired.
To protect themselves from coffee shop embarrassment, plenty of people keep the sound on their devices turned way down.
Although their devices might be on mute, people are still viewing lots of videos every day. In November of 2015, Facebook announced that its 500 million daily users viewed eight billion videos per day, as reported by Fortune. Six months later, Digiday reported that 85 percent of Facebook videos were viewed without sound.
Facebook added the ability to see how many videos are viewed with the sound on as well as with the sound off in February of last year. Around that time, it also added automatic captioning of videos played without sound so that people can get the gist of what’s happening without turning up the volume.
Why Facebook Videos Matter
Since there are so many options available for video ads and marketing online, why should you bother with Facebook Video? As it turns out, Facebook’s video option offers marketers more value for their money than options such as YouTube.
According to a thorough analysis conducted by Moz, Facebook videos are viewed for longer than YouTube videos. The cost per 1,000 impressions is also considerably cheaper on Facebook, meaning your video is likely to be seen by more people for less money.
Finally, Facebook videos show an increase in conversions. In 2014, Facebook ran a test. Working with an advertiser, it experimented with three different ad sequences.
One group saw a video from the advertiser for four days, following by a static ad for the next four days. Another group saw a static ad for four days, followed by a video for four days. The third group saw two static ads, for four days each. A control group didn’t see any ads at all.
At the end of the study, the number of conversions among the group that saw the video ad followed by the static ad was 1.3 times higher than the conversions among the control group. The video-static ad group was more than 30 percent more likely to make a purchase compared to the control group.
Optimizing Your Videos for Silent Playback
Although Facebook’s auto-caption feature is a nice touch, there’s a lot you can do to better optimize your videos for sound-free playback. Making the first few seconds of your video attention-grabbing and eye-catching is critical.
According to Facebook, 65 percent of people who watch the first few seconds of your video are going to keep watching for at least 10 seconds. Use images that will grab their attention and make them want to keep watching. Bright colors, famous people, and shots of your product are three things that keep people engaged.
It’s also important to be clear what your video is about up front. If you can show a logo or label within the first three seconds, do it. Don’t leave your audience guessing or confused.
Another way to optimize your video for silent viewing is to create it without sound at all. Clear images of what you’re promoting and easy-to-read text describing what’s going on will get your message across, without the viewer having to turn up the volume.
Decades ago, people used to watch entire movies without the actors on screen speaking a single word. If people could get the meaning of an entire film without sound, marketers should be able to get the message of a 30- or 60-second video across without having to make a peep.