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E-Marketing Performance Blog

The Anatomy of An Effective Facebook Video

facebook video best practices
There’s no need to explain why Facebook should be an essential part of your marketing plan. They have over a billion daily users, making it one the largest, if not THE largest, database of people on earth.

The question is: How can we do leverage properly? And the best answer is: With video content. Why? For starters, 100 million hours are watched every day on this platform. It’s a fabulous tool not only to increase engagement with your followers but also to stand out. That’s why in this article we’ll break down all the features that make a great Facebook video have a real impact.

Facebook videos have grown exponentially in the last couple of years. We first saw it with timeline videos and then with live streaming, a huge step forward for videos in general. Fidji Simo, product management director at Facebook, stated that they “really believe that the future is going to be more immersive, and video is a big part of that.”

And to reinsure this bet, they’ve recently confirmed to TechCrunch that they’re testing 4k video uploads and viewing. This would be a huge upgrade regarding video marketing, whether you use commercials, educational videos, explainer videos or even short animations that can work as GIFs.

So, with that in mind, let’s dive into some best practices to help you leverage the potential of Facebook Video.

7 Essential Elements of the Perfect Facebook Video

#1: The right video type

Educational videos are an effective tool to engage viewers as they help them understand their problems and also position your brand as a reference. These types of videos are more shareable, that’s why they work so well on social media. A good idea is to make brief videos with quick tips or teach something useful related to your product. People love to learn cool stuff while scrolling through Facebook. Here’s an example:

#2: Fun!

This might sound obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing. For the average user, social networks are the place to take a break and have some fun. You can take advantage of this by making your videos entertaining.

An animated explainer video or a commercial can be a great way to make a quick introduction to your product in a fun and compelling way, with stunning motion graphics and cute characters. This will increase your impressions and make your video more shareable.

#3: Customization

If you are a Facebook user yourself, you’re probably been overwhelmed at times by the amount of information that’s in front of your eyes in just one minute of scrolling down. People tend to pay more attention to the content that suits their interests best, so customizing your video to your target will perform better and give you better results.

Tip: You can create different versions of the same video to address different audience segments.

#4: Square Format

Yes, Facebook videos should be square. You might think landscape videos work better but that’s an old tradition. Today most of social media content is watched on mobile, for which square images are the best format. Why? People don’t want to tap into full screen or rotate their phone just to watch a video that’s played automatically. And also, according to Buzzfeed’s insight, square videos are more shareable.

#4: Quality

People are used to watching high-quality content these days, and standards will only increase with upcoming generations. Video content must have outstanding quality and offer really striking visuals to stand out. The wow factor might be the most important to make an impact and be memorable.

#5: The Right Duration

Remember that social media is dynamic. “Brief” is a mandatory quality. People’s attention decreases as time goes by, so be strategic and create short videos — starting from 30 seconds and no longer than 5 minutes — that deliver a simple message.

Tip: Show the most important part of your video — your brand or your product — in the first eight seconds. That’s when people are more receptive. After that, our attention decreases.

#6: Compelling Visuals

When videos autoplay on our Facebook timeline, the sound is off by default. That’s why 85% of Facebook videos are watched muted. It’s essential to tailor your video to this fact and make it visually narrative. You can also add captions or text so you won’t depend on a voiceover to narrate your message. The Facebook environment is mostly silent, so take advantage of this and bring beautiful images to your audience.

You don’t need the sound on this McDonald’s Facebook video to get the point:

#7: The Right Settings

Now that you have your video ready, it’s time to upload it and adjust all the settings to make it stand out. Here are a few things you have to take into account to make it more engaging:

  • Upload it natively: When you upload a video directly to Facebook, instead of a link to YouTube or other platforms, they autoplay in the newsfeed. If you link it, people will have to click on it to watch it, and that will decrease your reach drastically. Also, videos uploaded to Facebook get better reach and more engagement.
  • Title and description: These details are very important. Think about a simple and appealing title. It should provide a clear idea of your content. Add a good description that shows what your video is about and also a link to your site.
  • Calls to Action: Facebook lets you set several CTA options in your video. For instance, you can add a button at the end of the video such as “shop now” or “sign up”.
  • Thumbnail: When you upload your video, you can choose a thumbnail that will be displayed as your video icon. When someone goes through your timeline, they will see this image. So make sure you choose an attractive pic that catches the eye instantly. You can select a still image from the video, but it will be better to make a customized thumbnail to upload.


Facebook is really stepping up their game in terms of video content. With more than 8 billion average daily views, they are a strong competitor to the biggest video platform, YouTube. That’s why this year more than 40% of marketers planned to put their money on Zuckerberg’s social network.

However, videos are watched differently in each platform, with different settings and practices. That’s why it’s important to follow the tips above to create outstanding Facebook videos that adapt perfectly to this social network’s customs and habits.

What’s your experience with Facebook videos? We would love to hear from you if you have more tips to share with us!


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