9 Facebook Video Testing Strategies to Try
We’ve asked social media managers which metrics they care about when it comes to Facebook videos, and the verdict is in — you’re interested in the number of people you reach, the amount of views you get, and what your audience retention looks like.
Your “people reached” metric tells you how many people have actually seen your video — how many unique people your video content is touching. This matters to you because, especially from a brand awareness perspective, you want to touch as many people as possible.
Your view count metric is pretty straightforward: how many views has your video content received? Paying attention to this metric (and coming up with a benchmarking system around it) helps social marketers gauge the relevance and appeal of their videos.
Your audience retention metric tells you very specifically where people lost interest and clicked away from you. This matters to you because it tells you exactly where your video fell flat and how to improve next time.
Here are some tests you can try if you want to boost your performance in any of these three major categories.
This Amount of Money vs. That Amount of Money
Facebook Insights make it very clear how your video views relate to the amount of paid spend you put behind that video…
…But what about people reached? How is this number related to your ad spend? Test the same video one week with your maximum ad spend, and the next week with no ad spend. In the third week, split the difference. This will give you a solid foundation for understanding the ideal relationship between your ad spend and the number of people your videos reach.
This Person vs. That’s Person’s Voice
Test whether content featuring an actor or employee on-screen…
…performs better than does a voiceover on top of animated content or slides:
This will tell you how to best craft video content suitable for your audience moving forward. A great way to boost reach (especially among people who aren’t aware of or engaged with your brand yet) is to get Facebook followers to organically share your videos because they think they’re important, informative, or funny enough to recommend — which means tweaking your video content to suit your Facebook audience’s tastes is absolutely crucial to your Facebook video strategy.
Something to note here: our voiceover videos have done better than videos with people in them, but our social media manager theorizes that this is a combination of the voiceover having more appeal and news content doing better for our brand than case studies, because they are more timely and relevant.
This means we’re going to have to test again, broadcasting newsy content but with a human face, to determine if her theory is true. This is a great lesson: sometimes you’ll have to test several times to make sure you’re drawing the right conclusion from the data.
Tagging People vs. Tagging No People
Run a test to discover whether your reach improves by tagging people in the caption on your video post or not.
For instance, this Nike Football post tags Oregon’s football team. What kind of difference did this tag make in this video’s reach?
Find this out by posting the same video twice on the same day, once with the tag and once without it.
Video Views vs. Video Views to 95%
Facebook Insights allows you to see exactly where people stopped viewing your video. Since Facebook autoplays videos in user feeds (albeit without sound) and counts any view over three seconds as a view, it can initially be difficult to understand whether your content is being consumed actively or not.
By comparing your overall video views to how many views got through at least 95% of your video, you can come up with a “golden ratio” you can test all future video content against.
Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Content
Test a video which you promote as “exclusive content,” and then post the same video with the caption exactly the same — except for no mention of exclusive content.
This kind of test can help you understand whether giving Facebook fans an experience they can’t have elsewhere is an effective social strategy or not worth missing out on engagement on other social networks.
This Time of Day vs. That Time of Day
Experiment with the time of day at which you post videos.
It might be best to release videos at a different time of day than you post photos or normal statuses.
When looking at a specific video on Facebook Insights, you can identify retention dips. This will tell you which areas of your video appealed, and where you lost your audience.
If you identify that 50% of viewers drop off after 14 seconds, laser-focus on that part of your video to discover where exactly you lost people. This will help shape your brand’s messaging, and provides you with the alacrity to modify and repost the video almost immediately. Here are some tests to try.
This Video Length vs. That Video Length
Find out what the ideal video length is for your brand by testing various lengths over the course of your campaign, from videos as short as 16 seconds…
…to videos as long as 30-40 minutes, like interviews or “a day in the life” segments:
This Suspense vs. That Clarity
What works best for audience retention rate for your brand: building suspense and giving the answer at the end…
Or through an ongoing, immersive experience…
…Or telling ’em what you’re going to tell ’em at the very beginning, as in a how-to video?
Serious vs. Not-So-Serious
Will your audience hang on for longer if you’re publishing light-hearted video content on Facebook or more serious stuff? There’s only one way to find out: post two videos, one of each disposition, during one week.
The video with the greatest audience retention will show you which way you should shift your Facebook strategy.
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I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.