How We Generated 1 Million Facebook Video Views: A HubSpot Experiment

How We Generated 1 Million Facebook Video Views: A HubSpot Experiment

How We Increased Video Views 20X by Creating Native Social Media Content Social media has changed. Now, our content is all about our audience -- and not all about us. 1) Different Video Topics The Goal: We examined our audience and learned what they did engage with in our previous social media strategy. Our audience is made up of marketers and salespeople who want to learn how to grow and get better at their jobs -- so instead of using our social media channels to simply push out content we were producing on our blogs, offers, and external channels, we've started creating content specifically for our Facebook audience based on what we know about what they like (like this video about making coffee to improve productivity -- two things busy people love): We went from an average of 50,000 video views per month to 1 million views in our first month performing these experiments. Create social media content specifically for your audience, and you'll get better results. 3) Different Video Sizes The Goal: We want to create videos that are eye-catching and attract our audience's attention in the Facebook News Feed to increase our video views and engagement on the platform. The Experiment: We've started experimenting with different video sizes and formats to improve engagement and increase video views. Tl;dr: Native Social Media Content Think about creating content for social media the way you think about optimizing blog posts with on-page SEO elements. Think about these video devices and strategies like on-page SEO -- but for social media. Subtitles, title bars, animations, and video sizes all work together to make it easier for your audience to view your videos and interact with them the way they want to -- primarily on mobile devices, and without turning up the volume.

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Gone are the days when social media publishing and engagement could be tacked onto the daily responsibilities of an intern — as were many of the first roles in social media.

Today’s growth-minded organizations need a team of people ideating, creating, publishing, and promoting content on social media to drive meaningful returns on investment — and this requires time, effort, and creativity.

Marketers are realizing this and dedicating more time, resources, and staff headcount to social media. In the 2017 State of Inbound report, more marketers said they planned to add social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to their marketing efforts than in the previous year’s survey.

Here at HubSpot, we’re constantly evaluating and changing the way we create content on social media to adapt to the way people want to stay connected. As our audience’s preferences for social media content evolve each year, so does our strategy.

In our survey, nearly half of respondents said they wanted to see more social media content — and more videos, especially. So we’ve run a few experiments digging into what our audience wants to see, how they want to engage, and where they want to interact on social media. We’ve also started experimenting with collaborating more closely with influencers and media professionals to generate buzz on social media — akin to offsite SEO strategies we know and love already.

We have our strategies, process, and results to share that might inform your strategy, but our greatest piece of advice for any social media team — no matter the size — is to always experiment. The social media space changes so much every month — it’s important to figure out what works, but it’s also important to remain agile so you can try new things whenever you can.

How We Increased Video Views 20X by Creating Native Social Media Content

Social media has changed.

That might read like the biggest understatement in the world, but hear me out.

As part of our previous social media strategy, our posts were connected to lead generation goals — and most had a strong tie to our brand and promoting our content. Now, our content is all about our audience — and not all about us. We needed to refocus and remember that our audience members are people, just like us. If we wouldn’t want to see a piece of content in our Facebook News Feeds, why would our audience? We wanted to test the effect of focusing our content on our audience — what they want to learn about, what their goals are, and even what struggles they face.

In short, we wanted to be more social, and less promotional.

This doesn’t mean we recommend doing away with sharing blog content or ebooks on social media entirely. After all, it’s hard to come up with new ideas for creating social media videos to share every day of the week. We’re just saying you shouldn’t post a link to a blog post or ebook on Facebook and call it a day. Instead, get inspired by the ideas and salient points, and repurpose your content into Facebook videos, Instagram albums, or Snapchat Stories. You can still use the good ideas — but use them to create native social media content that performs better for the medium.

If your current social media strategy sounds like our previous, all-about-us approach, don’t worry — read on to learn how we’ve changed things up.

1) Different Video Topics

The Goal:

We examined our audience and learned what they did engage with in our previous social media strategy. Then, we researched the broader social media and digital landscapes. We wanted to learn what marketers and salespeople were already engaging with and finding relevant, and how we could create content more specifically for them, instead of distributing our content on social media channels for our goals.

The Experiment:

We created a list of topics and headlines we believed our audience would respond well to — that were more lifestyle and culturally-oriented — and immediately started creating content. Then, we started brainstorming culturally relevant and popular topics and saw how we could creatively present them to this audience in a way that makes sense for our audience and their world.

Our audience is made up of marketers and salespeople who want to learn how to grow and get better at their jobs — so instead of using our social media channels to simply push out content we were producing on our blogs, offers, and external channels, we’ve started creating content specifically for our Facebook audience based on what we know about what they like (like this video about making coffee to improve productivity — two things busy people love):

We went from an average of 50,000 video views per month to 1 million views in our first month performing these experiments. Our engagement rate also shot up as the content resonated with our audience and they started liking, commenting, and sharing our posts.

Take a look at our engagement rates from our previous social strategy (orange indicates reach, and pink indicates…

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