Video for Facebook

How to make video for Facebook.

Making a film that works on different channels is a challenge but it’s a skill that charities need to get on top of. This week Dan Smyth from Teenage Cancer Trust shares his expertise in 5 easy tips on hot to make video for Facebook.

1. Adapt for your audience or pay the price

A film that works well at an event may not work at all when you share it on social.

Every year The Teenage Cancer Trust produces a film which is shown at our event at the Royal Albert Hall. This film tends to be around 4 minutes long (or more) talking about our work and it’s brilliant for the setting it’s intended to be shown in. It’s emotive and often features young people who’ve directly benefitted from our services.

But sharing the video for Facebook or online is a completely different matter to being presented to a room full of people who’ve paid to be there though…

2. Shorter films mean more donations

We found sharing the full film on social led to very few people making it to the end, where we traditionally had our call to action. So it’s worth looking into the average viewing times for your videos.

With this in mind, we trawled through all the footage we had from the recording of the film and sought out stand-alone segments that could work individually. More importantly, these segments could then be cut to 15 sec, 30 sec and 1 minute segments and shared natively on our different social media platforms.

We found that on Facebook, these shorter videos meant that completion rates more than doubled from 15% (on the full 4 minute video) to  an average 38% on our edited versions.

This means more viewers reach the call to action quicker – while still engaged –  and hopefully resulting in more donations.

3. Silent movie classics

The vast majority of video content on social is consumed without sound. Users are often on the move and scrolling past something that catches their eye. Unless they were specifically seeking out your video then you’re going to want to make sure the message of your film is still conveyed without needing audio.

As our films were young people and their parents talking to camera the message could’ve been very easily lost so we opted to create subtitles. These were transcribed and then added in by the production agency – Kream –  we’d be working with to create the main film.

4. Subtitles for free

If you don’t have the resources to get someone else to create subtitles for you and overlay them onto the video, there’s still a way to make your content accessible across multiple platforms. When you upload a video to YouTube (even if it’s private) you can transcribe them yourself and then export the .SRT file from YouTube and upload it when adding your videos natively to Facebook too. You can find more in depth instructions on the University of Iowa website.

5. More posting equals less reach.

One final thing we did learn from all this though is to think how about you then plan to share this content and spread it out.

We used several of the cuts on Facebook over the course of a week and found that each time we posted our reach was lower and lower. This was at a time when Facebook was pushing any and all videos to everyone in its battle with YouTube.

What we hadn’t factored in was a new algorithm introduction which was designed to reduce similar content ‘spamming’ your feed. Facebook had deemed our videos visually similar enough to each other that it didn’t want users to be seeing the same or very similar content more than once in a short space of time. If you can spread the videos over the course of a longer campaign and ensure the content is ideally as varied as possible I would certainly recommend it.

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Written by Dan Smyth

Dan Smyth is the Digital Communications Manager at The Teenage Cancer Trust.

He’s responsible for charity’s social channels, the development of their website and he leads on fundraising and awareness campaigns across platforms with teams from around the charity. He’s also a skilled photographer and shoot stills for the charity’s events and key supporters. You can follow him on Twitter @dansymythphoto

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Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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