Video has always been a highly engaging part of the Facebook experience.
But how many pages have included video in their digital strategy?
Who goes live on Facebook?
What's the ideal video length for greater engagement?
Over 3 million video posts answer your questions.
By making a comparison with the previous year, in 2021 there are four major changes worth to be taken into consideration by social media managers when developing a communication strategy:
- live video’s usage has increased with 55%, from 12% to 18,8%
- videos assure a CTR of 29, 66% for small accounts
- vertical videos are the most used format
- captions shorter than 10 words drive greater engagement
Going even deeper into the matter, this research will unveil data-proven best practices on how your business can create video content for Facebook that both engages and converts.
We’ve joined our forces with Wave.video in order to see how brands are using Facebook video marketing to promote their business and drive conversations.
Here is what we learnt!⇣
Facebook video strategy in 2021
Reading this study, you'll discover:
- How Facebook video format evolved over the last year - we reveal what type of video format is used more frequently on Facebook.
- How often are brands posting videos on Facebook - we discover how often are videos posted and what size of pages publish more videos on Facebook.
- The use of live videos compared with the pre-recorded ones - this section reveals what type of videos do brands prefer and the differences in results their strategy achieves.
- The impact of video descriptions on engagement - we discover the ideal video description length on Facebook.
- How long your Facebook videos should be - we look at the length of live videos, as well as the length of pre-recorded ones
B. Key findings
Here's a sweet taste of what's in this report:
- Vertical videos generate higher engagement rates on Facebook across all profile sizes.
- The usage of live videos has increased with 55% compared to 2021, reaching a percentage of 18,8% of the total Facebook videos.
- The usage of videos for brands with less than 5k followers assures a CTR of 29,66%.
- Over 15.5% of all Facebook content is represented by videos.
- Captions up to ten words are actually the best shot at increasing your engagement rate up to 0.44%.
- The optimal video length for better engagement across all pages sizes is between 2 and 5 minutes for uploaded videos.
Here's a PDF version of this study so you can read the Facebook video metrics later on 👇
1. Facebook’s video usage is increasing, reaching a percentage of 15,5% in 2021
It is beyond any doubt that the introduction of video format had a significant impact on social media content strategy.
And the data shows that this is exactly what is happening.
Video has always been on the rise.
Slowly, but surely, more and more brands choose this type of post year by year.
Compared to last year’s Facebook metrics, which indicated a usage of 12%, it becomes clear that Facebook video marketing appears steadily on the rise, in 2021 reaching values up to 15,5%.
Facebook is still a photo-sharing platform for most brands.
While brands get a greater organic reach using videos, most brands choose to publish photos on Facebook.
Bigger accounts, typically owned by bigger brands, are posting 16,83% of Facebook video content.
Small accounts publish only 12,51% of video content on Facebook.
2. Vertical videos with a description length up to 10 words increase engagement rates from 0.29% to 0.44%
Before starting to analyze the Facebook video data, it is important to have a clear understanding of the evolution of its content formats and which content is currently successful.
Dorien Morin van-Dam: Community manager 👉 While the traditional format of landscape live video shows still has merit and validity, the vertical live video segment is growing rapidly.
Content creators are moving away from their home studios and desks, instead producing more vertical live-video-on-the-go! This mimics trends we are seeing on apps like TikTok and Instagram (reels).
This vertical format, coupled with a brief call-to-action could be the Facebook success formula to take your live video production to the next level.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your content, there are a few decisions you need to make before you even press “Record”:
- What is this video about?
- What format works best?
- How long should I record?
To better understand the impact of each and every one of these decisions, we turn to data. 🤓👇
Vertical videos increase the engagement rate on Facebook for all profile sizes.
If in 2020, landscape was the most used video format by brands, the vertical video format experienced a surprising rise, reaching a peak in March 2021.
Now, let’s see where things stand in terms of engagement in 2021 for each profile size.
From a glance, it seems that vertical video is the most engaging format type of cotent on Facebook.
Depending on the account’s size, this type of video is the one that can generate an average engagement rate between 0.20% and up to 1.77%, as in the case of small profiles.
Which we have to say, is huge in terms of Facebook engagement stats.
Chase Chappell - Facebook Expert & Founder @Chappell 👉 Vertical video content is ever increasing as more individuals adapt to this format of watching content more on their phones then Tv's and home devices.
As a creator using these insights and putting that in combination with live video you'll see engagements will only get better.
Consumers want to feel connected to creators and live vertical content is one intimate way of doing so.
A caption length with less than 10 words can raise the engagement of your video posts to an average of 0.44%.
Data shows that it’s not always enough to create a great video.
The amount of work put into a great video results in nothing if people don't press play or engage with it.
If last year longer descriptions were a thing, in 2021 you should consider pairing your videos with shorter captions, since those seem to perform better.
3. Videos on Facebook assure a CTR of 29,66% for small accounts
When talking about ads and pay per click platforms, Facebook remains number one.
Also, given the huge impact of video marketing these days, it is very important to know how much traffic you can get using this type of content, compared to all the other ones.
Given its more entertaining nature and power of presenting more information in a short period of time, videos brings more traffic across all profile sizes.
For smaller accounts the CTR for Facebook videos is 29,66%.
Whether it’s an ad or a simple post, just imagine the traffic increase potential and possible conversions and sales, just by adding more videos into your content plan for Facebook.
4. Live videos are on the rise, increasing its usage with 55% since 2020
Pre-recorded videos make up for 81.13% of the published videos, while live videos consist of only 18,87% - there’s still an increase of 55% compared to 2020.
This decision might have its explanation in the fact that it’s much “safer” to produce and edit a video, giving you full control over what you want to include or exclude from a recording.
But in reality, people are just not as interested in over-polished content.
It’s no secret that authenticity is the best strategy.
While you can still retain some authentic traits in pre-recorded videos, a brand gains personality during live videos with real people.
As proof, live videos get double the engagement.
5. The optimal video length for better engagement is between 2 and 5 minutes
When it comes to video, Facebook looks at three factors:
- Loyalty and intent: intent and repeat viewership are important factors for ranking videos to people in News Feed.
- Video and viewing duration: it's important to ensure that videos capture viewers' attention for at least one minute.
- Originality: content posted to Facebook should offer unique value to its audiences.
The question now becomes:
How long can I actually keep my audience engaged and when does the video stop being interesting?
As we discovered, considering engagement across all page sizes, the optimal length for uploaded videos remains the same as for the previous year, which is between 2 - 5 minutes.
This particular length is supposed to stimulate the intent and repeated viewership from the audience the most.
The size of the brand page can also influence how their audience reacts to the brand posts.
The secret of these video posts may be their initial release as a live video, this particular technique being a golden ticket in terms of engagement, as we’ll see later on.
6. Live videos that last over one hour increase engagement from 0.26% to 0.46%
Digging a little deeper into live videos, it becomes obvious that in this case more is more, regardless of the size of your brand page.
Lives that last over one hour will generate an average engagement rate of 0.46%, regardless of the size of your Facebook page.
As opposed to pre-recorded videos, live videos have the power of retention over a longer period of time.
Dorien Morin van-Dam: Community manager 👉
Video content continues to out-perform static images and text posts, gaining a larger share on all social media platforms including Facebook.
As video content consumption on Facebook continues to grow, those who produce live video report a large jump in audience reach and video views.
To identify the best strategy for video content on Facebook, we analyzed more than 3,977,401 of video posts from a total of 503,175 business pages.
Within this report, we provide a representative sample of US and international brands that had an active presence on Facebook between May 2020 and May 2021. These pages had Facebook fan counts between 1,000 and over 100K as of the same date.
We define engagement as measurable interaction on Facebook posts, including likes (reactions too), comments, and shares. The engagement rate is calculated based on all these interactions divided by the total follower count.
The Facebook data was also analyzed based on page size, defined by the total number of fans that liked the business pages from the Socialinsider database.
We used Socialinsider to find out the engagement rates, the frequency of posting, post types, video length, and to analyze the performance of native video content compared with live streaming.