When we last checked towards the end of 2015, social media giant Facebook was racking up around 8 billion video views every day. Yep, you read that right: 8 billion. And that’s up almost 100% from as recently as April last year. This is of course partly because of the new autoplay function. And while this may make newsfeed videos difficult to escape, research has shown that your average video is far more likely to receive attention than any other type of media - especially once it has been optimised for mobile.
This boom in video engagement is a huge opportunity for travel brands, as easy-to-watch, shareable content is a fantastic way to get your message out to many people in a short space of time. Brands can even take advantage of Facebook’s ‘boost post’ function, which allows you to set a budget and target an audience to spread content as far as possible. Used in this way, Facebook video content can be a great supplement to a wider content marketing strategy.
Fairly controversially, Facebook states that - despite many videos play automatically on mobile devices - a ’view’ is any engagement of three seconds or longer. But while this may skew the numbers in terms of how many videos are being watched, there is no doubt that engagement is up, with Facebook Pages sharing around 40% more video content than before.
Because of this, video ads are becoming a common feature on every Facebook user’s newsfeed, meaning that with the right content, travel brands have access to an essentially limitless audience.
We all know that the travel industry caters to a huge audience, driven by curiosity, good humour and an adventurous spirit. Travel footage has the ability to tap into these desires and ambitions, providing people with inspiration and information - the perfect combination of things to create original video content. Ultimately, the success of any video will be down to its content, it's ability to provoke an emotional response that will make it likely to be shared.
But it isn't good enough for Facebook that your video be of high quality. One interesting challenge the social media platform has set for video advertisers is the need to be visually engaging instantly. Not only does any content have a short window (ie when the user is scrolling through the newsfeed) during which it can be engaged with, but the sound only comes on if the video is clicked upon. This means that attention-grabbing, shortform content is the way forward, especially if you want your message to be shared.
So clearly, any video is going to need a powerful first few seconds to hold the attention and force engagement from users. But also crucial is the accompanying caption written above the video. Luring people in through the mediums of suspense, surprise or outright mysteriousness is a skill that can be honed over time, but don't take too long perfecting things. This text is likely to play a big part in encouraging engagement, so it needs to be sharp and draw users in, fast.
The power of Facebook videos to draw attention to your travel brand is getting bigger with every passing week. A report from Critio shows that almost 40% of global travellers shop for travel on mobile devices. Another 33% finalise transactions on mobile. Smartphones’ global share of mobile transactions now account for 60% of all mobile transactions in the U.S. So billions of smartphone users will be searching for and booking trips on the same device as they use social media platforms such as Facebook. Conversion is literally just a swipe of the finger away.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to create viral video for Facebook and take your travel brand to the next level.