Facebook’s New Video Ads Could Be a Tightrope Walk for Communicators

Facebook1Facebook on Tuesday announced that it would begin testing new ways to integrate video ads into its News Feed. While this decision is responsive to marketers’ growing demand for video, some skeptics are expressing concerns.

The reason some critics are unhappy with Facebook’s announcement is because the video ads will automatically play in a user’s feed. Although that tactic is aggressive, the videos will begin muted and the user will have to option to listen as well as watch the video.

Video marketing is more than a hot trend these days, and as Facebook seeks to add more value to its services, video will no doubt be a main engine for revenue. In other words, Facebook is betting big on video, and given increased ad spends in TV and online, it’s a pretty safe bet.

There are risks for Facebook and marketers. Namely, the last thing anyone wants to do is inundate users with too much promotional content. After all, the network was once an ad-free space where users connected with friends and family.

Speaking of video, there’s still a massive and free option for users and marketers to consider—YouTube. YouTube is still the online video behemoth, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Revenues for the video platform are expected to peak out over $5 billion in 2013. And YouTube provides brands an opportunity to create free or paid content. Best of all, users are in control of the content they see, thereby mitigating the risk of annoying them with too much promotional content.

There may be uncertainty surrounding Facebook’s new video strategy, but there is no denying that YouTube is already a great place for your video content to live. So as Facebook continues to experiment with video distribution, here are some actionable tips you can put to use right now on YouTube, compliments of Ola Lasman, senior account executive at Affect.

  • Use keywords: The use of keywords in your video’s title, description and tags is important information for search engines. These keywords and the title of your video should reflect the topic of the video, and your company’s overall product or service offerings. When considering what keywords to use, ask yourself what your target audience would search for, and then use that as an indicator. Remember, keep them broad—if they’re too niche, they’ll be too hard to find.

  • Add a video description: The video description is another key factor in making your video more searchable. The text in the description should align with the keywords in your title, as well as the message you wish to convey to your target audience. Include a compelling reason to watch and a call to action, which might include a link back to your site or your other social media channels.

  • Upload a transcript file: When available, upload a transcript file of your video for video captioning. While it might seem cumbersome, with the transcript file uploaded, YouTube will use this information to determine your video’s keyword relevancy. This act improves the search ranking for your video.

  • Don’t forget to engage your audience: There are several ways to create engaging videos. First, consider what will get your audience to view your video longer. Use a story line. YouTube gives relevancy credits for the duration videos are watched (it’s considered a measure of video quality). Next, don’t forget to both respond to comments on your own video as well as leave comments on others. YouTube also allows users to add video responses to existing videos, instantly exposing your video to completely new audiences. Both of these tactics will create link backs to your channel or website, both driving traffic and boosting rankings.

  • Build an authoritative channel: In order to increase the SEO power of your channel, follow these simple tips. Avoid posting irrelevant videos that dilute the channel’s search relevance. Use playlists to prioritize and arrange your videos, improving discoverability. Limit marketing speak and jargon. Use HD, which outranks standard definition. Upload relevant videos regularly. Include links to drive engagement and cross promotion with your other social media channels including your Twitter page, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page or blog.


Follow Caysey Welton: @CayseyW

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About Caysey Welton

Caysey Welton is Associate Editor at PR News and Folio: Magazine. He spent more than a decade as a chef and restaurant professional before switching tracks to pursue his passion for media and communications. Caysey has a deep interest in converging media landscapes and ecosystem disruptors, public relations and crisis communications. He holds a BS in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University.

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