Optimise Your Video Format to fit its purpose

Post by 
Mia de Rauch

usinesses have been utilising video within social media platforms at an increasing rate because video cuts through to audiences. It’s for this reason that Facebook and LinkedIn – as well as a number of other social platforms – encourage the use of video by serving it to users more frequently. As fantastic as the use of video is, it’s also essential to ensure that your videos are optimised for the platform and intended audience.

While there are a range of important considerations for ensuring that you cut through to your audience – such as building authority, establishing trust and remaining accessible to your clients – video optimisation comes first. In particular, if you intend to use video as promoted content, you need to ensure not only that it sends the right message, but also that it fits the allotted time. It may sound pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t understand these constraints and don’t get this right. For example, while you have a fair amount of flexibility in the length of videos you can post to your own Facebook business page, there’s a 15 second limit to videos being used as promoted ads.

Throughout this lockdown period, I’ve been spending probably a little more time on Facie than I should have, and I’ve noticed a number of videos that seem to stop mid-message when the 15-second slot runs out. Why!? I expect that businesses have made a video to post to their business page, and then have simply used that same video as promoted content without first optimising. If you’re making a video specifically for use as a Facebook ad, tailor it to be 15 seconds long. If you want to repurpose a longer video for use as an ad, you must edit it down the 15-second limit. This doesn’t just mean changing the length to 15 seconds from the start; you need to make sure you deliver your entire message within that 15 second period. It sounds challenging, but I can promise you that you can create great videos with a strong message, that fit within a 15-second slot.

The benefit of ensuring you achieve this is critical – you’re paying money to serve your audience with 15 seconds of video. If you have a brilliant video with a strong message, but that message is delivered after the 15-second cutoff, you’re not just wasting all of your advertising spend, you’re also wasting all the time, effort and money that went into producing the video in the first place! This doesn’t just affect the video either, it undermines your brand, it reduces your authority, erodes trust and stretches the connection you’ve worked so hard to build up with your audience. This is not a good look, especially if you have a marketing and social media team running your show, but small details related to ad format constraints have evaded many professional marketers in the past. Forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, there’re a few basic guidelines to ensure that you can compress a great video and strong message into your 15-second window: Following these three simple tips will ensure that you don’t waste your advertising spend:

1.     Consider the purpose of the video before you create it; have a plan about where it’s going to be served, what message you want to deliver and what action you want your audience to take.
2.     Know your target audience, and tailor the placement and the format of your video to ensure that it connects with them and builds authority and trust.
3.     Spend more on the media ad space than the content itself. It hurts me to say, but simple content can go a long way. As a minimum, 60% of your total budget should be allocated to advertising spend, with the remaining 40% used to plan, shoot, edit and finish your video.

Video content is a powerful means of connecting with your audience, building authority, growing trust and remaining accessible, but it’s essential that your video is platform-optimised to deliver your strong message within the available time. Be aware of who your audience is, what platform you’re going to be using and the constraints imposed by that platform, to ensure that you can cut through and engage!

Good luck, have fun and happy video making! ♥ Mia


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