September 26, 2017

Promoting Your Videos: Facebook Ads versus Boosted Posts

Video content consistently receives higher engagement across social media platforms than text or photos alone. As companies look to expand their digital footprint, videos offer a unique opportunity to showcase the authentic personality of your brand. Promoting videos on social with just a few advertising dollars can help drive traffic to your website, get new followers, and create buzz both on and offline.

Recently, one non-profit client decided to use a Facebook video post as part of their back-to-school marketing. They asked whether they should boost this post or opt for creating a video ad campaign. Our recommendation: post the video organically to the page tagging the star of their PSA – but save the dollars for a formal advertisement with short copy fit to intrigue an audience that is likely unfamiliar with the organization.

This strategy has a few benefits. Facebook’s Ads Manager allows you to target your audience more specifically, includes deeper analytics, and results in better conversion through call to action buttons. The reason to have chosen a boosted post would have been the automatic audience targeting that Facebook offers through its algorithm, but given that we knew our non-profit client’s audience extremely well (the hyperlocal, 18+ demographic), we didn’t need this input from the platform. What we did want from Facebook Ads was the auto-spend option to spread out our budget in the best possible way. We decided on a “Lifetime Budget” instead of a “Daily Spend” to make sure Ads Manager showed the video at the highest impact, lowest cost whenever possible. We also selected the “Automatic Placement” option so Facebook would feed the content into the “Suggested Videos” that appear after a user finishes what they’re currently watching.

In addition to the paid ad campaign, posting the video directly to the company page made sure that any current followers who may be left out of the targeted demographic could also see the video. It lives on the page, and in the videos section, meaning users can find and share it with their friends even weeks after initially posted. Tagging other pages further expanded the organic reach, though it did make the copy expand beyond the few lines that are readily viewable as users scroll through their feeds. Given their interest in the page already, followers are likely to stop and read the longer text if the video excites them.

Don’t forget: Facebook prioritizes native video (uploaded directly through the platform) over videos that link out to YouTube or other websites. While followers will still be fed the non-native video post, the algorithm that decides what to show first may bump the post below another page’s organic post that has native video or other high-priority content.

One final thing to remember is that people don’t always listen to the sound of videos while they’re scrolling, but will stop to read a narrative. That’s why, in addition to being more ADA-friendly, adding a caption file can be extremely helpful in boosting video views. Chances are there’s an existing script that can be easily formatted for this upload, but Facebook is gradually rolling out an automated captions function to improve the viewer experience.