Wistia’s Guide to Facebook Video

Everything you need to know to add some flair to your Facebook feed with video.

May 17, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

Frank Emanuele

Marketing

Over the years, Facebook has kept us connected with our family and friends via pictures, posts, and videos. It has also become a tremendous connector of people beyond our known networks; due to its ability to virtually connect people who share common interests, it’s been a key place for niche communities to begin and evolve.

According to Hootsuite, Facebook is the world’s third-most visited global website, behind only Google and YouTube. And in terms of reach, Facebook is unmatched with 2.74 billion monthly active users. These days, most businesses know they should be creating content to share on Facebook to take advantage of this consistent audience — and that includes video content.

So, what makes Facebook so great for sharing videos? We’ll explain everything in this complete guide. Read on to learn where to place your Facebook videos, the best types of videos your business can make, Facebook video tools, and much more!

Why Facebook is great for video content

There are a couple of reasons why brands and businesses continue to create and publish video content on Facebook.

Video gets more reach

The Facebook algorithm favors video content. As organic reach on Facebook continues to decline over time — it was down to 5.20% as of the end of 2020 — relying more on video is a simple and effective way to ensure more of your audience sees your content.

Video gets more engagement

It’s no surprise that more visibility often leads to higher engagement. The average engagement rate for all types of posts on Facebook is 0.18%, whereas video posts have an average engagement rate of 0.26%. That’s almost double!

Facebook video placement

There are a number of ways to share video on Facebook. Let’s take a look at the current available options.

Facebook News Feed videos (organic & paid)

Facebook News Feed videos are the most common video placement on the platform. They’re available on both mobile and desktop. News Feed videos are posted to a brand’s Page and show up organically in the main feed as people scroll. They also appear on the “Home” and “Video” tabs of a brand’s Page.

Note
Paid video content can also be promoted in the News Feed.

When it comes to creating content to share on the News Feed, the Facebook algorithm prioritizes longer videos that keep people engaged — so don’t limit yourself on time. You should also think about ways to make the first few seconds really count. Your audience should want to stop scrolling immediately and watch your video (more on this later!).

Take this example from password manager, 1Password. They don’t take a long-form content approach, but their execution is pretty scroll-stopping!

TECHNICAL SPECS

  • File Type: MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:5
  • Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Captions: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Sound: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Duration: 1 second to 241 minutes
  • Maximum File Size: 4GB
  • Minimum Width: 120 pixels
  • Minimum Height: 120 pixels

Read more on Facebook News Feed video requirements.

Want tips for being more intentional with your video ad strategy on Facebook? Dig into this post to learn how to make your ad performance more predictable by setting concrete goals and iterating on your success.

Facebook in-stream video (paid)

Facebook in-stream videos are paid placements that are only available on mobile devices. These short ads break up long-form video content as a user scrolls through the “Watch” tab on the Facebook mobile app. Ad placements can be five seconds to 10 minutes in length, offering marketers the creative slack to deliver complex messages in hopes of driving longer view durations.

After 60 seconds of main video content in someone’s “Watch” tab, the in-stream video placement will play the first 15 seconds of your video ad. So, make these first few seconds super engaging! Anything longer than that will prompt the user to tap “Continue Watching” to see more.

See Facebook’s example below:

TECHNICAL SPECS:

  • File Type: MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1
  • Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Captions: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Sound: Optional, but strongly recommended
  • Video Duration: 5 seconds to 10 minutes. Video duration limit may vary by objective.
  • Maximum File Size: 4GB

Read more on Facebook in-stream video.

Facebook Marketplace (paid)

Facebook Marketplace is known for being a hot spot for buying, selling, and discovering goods in your community or from around the world. Marketers can use this ad unit to reach folks who are actively researching or ready to make a purchase of a certain product or service.

When you show off your product or service with video on Facebook Marketplace, your video will appear among the search results on mobile or desktop devices. Don’t be afraid to tell your brand story here, either! Your business could be exactly what someone was searching for.

Check out this example from Facebook:

TECHNICAL SPECS:

  • File Type: MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:5
  • Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Captions: Not supported
  • Video Sound: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Duration: 1 second to 241 minutes
  • Maximum File Size: 4GB
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 3%

Read more on Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Stories (organic & paid)

When Instagram introduced Stories to compete with Snapchat, it was a safe bet that Facebook wouldn’t be far behind. Sure enough, Facebook Stories are 15-second clips that appear for 24 hours and then disappear automatically. Anything longer than 15 seconds will be split into additional 15-second segments or Stories cards.

If your Instagram and Facebook pages are connected, you can share your Instagram Story to your Facebook Story either automatically or manually. It’s a mobile-first experience, but it’s also available on desktop.

Facebook Stories appear to viewers as full-screen vertical videos, so embrace the vertical video format when recording and editing your content. There are also options to add stickers, emojis, and other creative elements like text to help you communicate clear messages to your audience.

Note
Paid Facebook Stories will appear to viewers between organic Facebook Stories.

Take a look at how Photoshop uses Stories to feature artists who use their software.

TECHNICAL SPECS:

  • File Type: MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Video Settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Captions: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Sound: Optional, but recommended
  • Video Duration: 1 second to 2 minutes
  • Maximum File Size: 4GB
  • Minimum Width: 500 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 1%

Read more on Facebook Stories.

Facebook Live

Now let’s chat about Facebook Live videos. Live streaming has become an important way for brands and businesses to actively engage their audiences; however, according to one Socialinsider’s study just 12% of brands go live.

We already talked about the Facebook algorithm favoring long videos, and this same study indicates that people do, too. They found that live videos lasting longer than one hour saw 350% more engagement on average, regardless of the size of a business’s Facebook Page! Just another reminder not to restrict yourself when it comes to time (if the content is relevant and high-quality, of course).

Curious about what type of live event to host? Educational events like short webinars or tutorials, or thought leadership like interviews or Q&A panels, work well for B2B brands. These events can be lower in production value and therefore a bit easier for teams to execute.

You should always promote your live event in advance to give people a chance to sign up and spread the word. After all, it’s not a party if nobody knows about it! Schedule a Live Video Event and let your audience RSVP up to one week in advance. Will you have a featured guest joining your broadcast? Ask them to share it with their audience, too.

During your broadcast, it’s important to actively engage your viewers. The beauty of going live is the real-time audience access. Talk with them directly and answer their questions in the live chat — live streaming is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and potential customers on a deeper level. Every so often, take a pause to recap for people who are joining your broadcast mid-stream. Provide context around who you are, who your guests are, and what you’re discussing.

Take MailChimp, the marketing automation platform, which went live with their Director of Commerce Marketing, Deana Thornton. Thornton led a panel conversation with e-commerce experts covering eight tips to maximize online sales. If you have an expert in your company who can offer valuable insights, consider going live with them in this way to engage your audience and provide value.

If there’s one lesson to take away from this, it’s that your business shouldn’t overlook the power of live streaming!

Tip
Nervous about going live? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to live streaming for tons of tips and tricks to make your live launch smooth and easy.

Read more on specifications for Live Video on Facebook.

Tips for great Facebook video content

Talk about a lot of ways to use video on Facebook! Next, we’ll share a few insights and best practices for creating content on the platform.

Edit your videos for each placement

A video you create for your News Feed likely won’t translate well for a Story. You should remember to edit your videos for each placement in order to maximize your engagement efforts.

Socialinsider found that vertical videos have the highest average engagement rate of 0.35% compared with landscape (0.25%) and square videos (0.18%). Keep this in mind as you concept and create.

Consider Facebook’s video ranking factors

What factors will Facebooklove about your video? Facebook’s algorithm will boost your content in people’s News Feeds if they find your video is attracting repeat viewership and folks are watching with intent. This is why it’s super important to offer unique value to your audience.

Viewing duration is another factor Facebook will rank for; capturing viewers’ attention for at least one minute is a good sign that your video is full of engaging content.

You should also be mindful of video length. As we mentioned before, Facebook’s algorithm loves long videos, especially when folks go live. However, for videos uploaded to the News Feed, the optimal video length for better engagement is between two and five minutes.

Accessibility matters

Great content is for everybody — so make sure everybody can enjoy it by accounting for accessibility.

Captions on your videos are a absolute must-have. Luckily, Facebook allows you to upload an .srt file or auto-generate captions on Feed videos.

Note
85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. Adding captions will convey your message better than relying solely on your creative visuals.

You should also make sure your content complies with the color contrast ratios recommended by WCAG.

Get Inspired
Learn how to make social videos that shine with these six scroll-stopping tips!

Best types of videos for Facebook

Whether you’re running ads, posting organic content, or a little of both, Facebook is wonderful for connecting with new and existing audiences. Here are a few types of Facebook videos that tend to work well for B2B brands (with examples!).

Brand awareness

For B2B companies, Facebook is a great place to bring your brand story to life with video. You have the opportunity to introduce your brand and your business to new prospects, as well as deepen your connection with existing customers. Authenticity is key here — if you don’t believe the story you’re telling, why should viewers?

In this example, Frame.io, the cloud-based collaboration platform for video, shares how their software makes it easy for video production teams to work together.

Product launches & announcements

Is your company rolling out new products or features? Or maybe you’re spinning up a new video series or podcast to support your brand? Whatever you’re about to put out into the world, Facebook is the perfect spot to announce a launch. Company news and announcements are also key moments you can share through Facebook videos.

At Wistia, we announced the launch of our new series Show Business with a trailer we shared on Facebook.

Tutorials & how-to guides

Since long-form video performs well on Facebook, consider videos that show off how your existing products or features work. Do your customers have common questions or pain points that you can use video to address? Tutorials or how-to videos can demonstrate both your thought leadership and the value you can offer people.

Although not a long-form example, in the video below Dropbox provides a short demo of their integration with Zoom, which shows how you can instantly start Zoom Meetings directly from the Dropbox desktop app.

Culture

You know what else makes for great Facebook video content? Videos that show your audience the talented people who make your company what it is. Let people behind the curtain. If you host an employee event, share some fun highlights for folks to get a glimpse into your brand’s culture.

Inviting employees to share their experiences working at your company can also be an excellent way to boost your recruiting efforts and offer transparency into your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Note
Always make sure to secure employee permission before sharing their images!

At Asana, home of the work and project management tool, they celebrated members of their Employee Resource Group for LGBTQIA+ Asana and allies for Pride Month. Here, Sebastian from their Customer Success team shares his thoughts on Asana’s approach to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Facebook video tools

So far, you’ve gotten a look at why Facebook is a great place for video, where to place your videos within Facebook, why live streaming is awesome, and some helpful tips and types of videos to consider.

Before we wrap things up, here are a few of our favorite tools for elevating video content on Facebook.

OBS Studio

You can easily start a Facebook Live broadcast from a laptop, desktop, or a mobile device. But if you want to level up with a multi-camera setup, custom graphics, or other professional touches, you might want to take a look at OBS Studio. This free, open-source software will turn your Mac, Windows, or Linux PC into a bonafide broadcasting studio.

Typito

If you’re looking for a video maker that can help you create stunning text videos, look no further than Typito. This video editing software makes it easy to create marketing videos for your brand with high-resolution photos from Unsplash, instant captions, over 500 templates, and different video formats and aspect ratios to fit your needs, from Feed to Stories and everything in between.

Soapbox by Wistia

Soapbox is our free Chrome extension webcam and screen recorder tool that makes it super easy to step in front of a camera, create a polished video, and share it in minutes. Do you have an important message to share that affects your customer and audience? Soapbox is the only tool you’ll need to spin up a video post for social media! Whether it’s an explainer video, tutorial, slideshow, or a video ad, you can use Soapbox and easily make shareable social media content. Give it a try for free!

Alert
Check out a full list of our favorite social media video tools to make your content shine.

Reach for the social media stars with Facebook video

Adding video to your Facebook strategy will help you get the most out of the platform’s reach and allow you to gain new fans and nurtureyour existing audience. By understanding Facebook’s video placements, options, and requirements, you can better brainstorm ideas for what types of videos might work well for your brand.

May 17, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

Frank Emanuele

Marketing

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