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[Facebook Study] What 10,596,877 Video Posts Tell Us About Facebook Video Strategy In 2020

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[Facebook Study] What 10,596,877 Video Posts Tell Us About Facebook Video Strategy In 2020

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 10.5 million video posts answer your questions.

This research will unveil data-proven best practices on how your business can create video content for Facebook that both engages and converts.

Last year, we looked into 9,036,594 video posts to see how this type of Facebook post performs. This year, weโ€™ve updated the info with another 1.5 million posts to understand what changes in algorithm and interest occurred over the past year.

Hereโ€™s how brands are using Facebook video marketing to promote their business and drive conversations.

Let's dive in โ‡ฃ

Facebook Video Strategy in 2020



A. Summary

B. Key findings

1. 15% of all Facebook content is video - an increasing percentage

2. Vertical videos with description lengths of over 300 characters can raise engagement rates from 0.18% to 0.39%

3. The optimal video length for better engagement is between 2 and 5 minutes

4. Only 12% of the video posts are live, despite generating double the engagement.

5. Live Videos that last over 1 hour increase engagement from 0.19% to 0.86%

C. Methodology


No time? Here's a PDF version of this study so you can read the Facebook video metrics later on ๐Ÿ‘‡

A. Summary

Reading this study, you'll discover:

  • How Facebook video format evolved over time - 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:

  • Brands started using more videos from year to year to promote their business.

Video marketing appears steadily on the rise, constantly increasing since 2014, and making up for over 15% of all Facebook content in 2020.

  • The optimal video length for better engagement across all pages sizes is between 2 and 5 minutes for uploaded videos.

Engaging people's attention for an extended period of time can present difficulties, especially for bigger brand pages, but a video post of about 2 to 5 minutes stimulates the intent and repeated viewership from the audience.

Live videos, however, may determine different results.

  • Longer video descriptions get more attention.

Itโ€™s not enough to have an amazing video. A detailed description can actually double the feedback and interactions your content receives from your audience.

  • Vertical videos outperform landscape and square videos in engagement.

Despite landscape still being the default video format, itโ€™s actually vertical videos that have a better grip on engagement. Vertical videos with description lengths of over 300 characters can raise engagement rates from 0.18% to 0.39%

  • Only 12% of brands go live.

Even though people respond better to live videos, brands are still reluctant to go live. When it comes to smaller Facebook pages, however, live videos can double engagement - especially the longer ones.


This infographic designed by Easelly offers key takeaways๐Ÿ‘‡

Key insights and takeaways from this Facebook Video Study


Intrigued? Let's dig into the details!โ‡ฃ

1. 15% of all Facebook content is video - an increasing percentage

It is beyond any doubt that the introduction of video format had a significant impact on social media.

Many people think that businesses should embrace this type of content, as it would be in their best interest to improve communication with potential clients.

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.

Facebook video marketing appears steadily on the rise. In 2020, 15% of Facebook content is video. A clear contrast to 2014, where the number of video posts published by brands on this platform made up for only 5.47%.

Facebook video content includes both videos uploaded to the network and live streaming videos.

Many businesses believe the way to increase reach and engagement on Facebook is to increase the volume of posts. However, more volume is not really the answer to beat Facebook's algorithms. Rather, strive to publish fewer posts and focus on getting higher ROI on each individual post.
My recommended content type ratio on Facebook is 70% video posts, 20% image posts and only 10% link posts. Video and image posts can still include links and CTAs.
Plus, take full advantage of regular Facebook Live broadcasts (once a week is great!), along with testing Facebook's Release and Premiere features which both allow you to upload videos and 'air' as if live.
I'd also love to see more businesses and brands utilizing the Watch Party feature -- this is a great way to gain additional visibility from content you've already published.

  • Mari Smith - Premier Facebook Marketing Expert & Social Media Thought Leader

Mari Smith


  • Bigger accounts of over 100k fans published 71% of the videos

Bigger accounts, typically owned by bigger brands, are posting the majority of Facebook video content - 71%.

Total Facebook video posts


Pages with fewer than 10,000 fans own 11.3% of video posts, while pages with a fandom of between 10-100K published 17.6% of all Facebook video content.

One plausible reasoning for this division has to do with the differences in resources available to brands.

2. Vertical videos with description lengths of over 300 characters can raise engagement rates from 0.18% to 0.39%


Before starting to analyze the data from one of the most popular social media platforms - Facebook, it is important to have a clear understanding of the evolution of its content formats and which content is currently successful.

If youโ€™re looking to get the most out of your content, there are a few decisions you need to make before you even press โ€œRecordโ€:

  • What is this video about?
  • What format works best?
  • How long should I record?

One of the best things you can do to boost your video's results is quite simply uploading it directly on Facebook - no third-party tools involved for this task.
It will mean you'll get a video that plays automatically as people scroll their feeds (so make sure to make the first few seconds as compelling as possible in order to get them to stop scrolling and watch) and a video that the Facebook algorithm can see which will, in turn, help you reach a wider audience and generate more engagement.


To better understand the impact of each and every one of these decisions, we turn to data. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘‡

  • Vertical videos versus landscape videos

At the moment, landscape videos are the most common on Facebook, despite dropping in popularity in previous years.

In 2020, however, the format seems to go through a comeback, as 52% of videos are landscape, 5% more than in 2019.

Facebook video format evolution


But engagement paints a different picture.

Vertical videos can generate a higher engagement rate of between 0.10% and 0.17%. In terms of Facebook stats thatโ€™s a significant difference.

Video format influences engagement


Data shows that itโ€™s not always enough to create a great video. The amount of work put into a great video results to nothing if people don't press play or engage with it.

Crafting an interesting, catchy description, without budgeting for words, generates higher engagement.

Descriptio length determines video engagement


A video description of over 300 characters can raise the engagement of your video posts to an average of 0.39%.

3. 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 captures viewers' attention for at least one minute.
  • Originality: content posted to Facebook should offer unique value to its audiences. ย 

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 is between 2 and 5 minutes, which stimulates the intent and repeated viewership from the audience.

The size of the brand page can also influence how their audience reacts to the brand posts.

Video length for Facebook pages with under 10k fans


Typically, smaller pages have fewer fans, but they tend to be more willing to interact and feel a stronger connection with the brand. This means that itโ€™s easier to keep them engaged for longer periods of time.

In the case of pages with fewer than 10,000 fans, while 2 to 5 minutes long videos perform well, longer videos up to 20 minutes are just as engaging, if not more.

The median engagement for pages with a Facebook audience of under 10,000 fans is around 1.08%.

Video length for Facebook pages with between 10k-100k fans


Pages that have between 10,000 and 100,000 fans confirm the rule, reaching higher engagement rates (0.37%) when keeping their videos between 2 and 5 minutes long.

The median engagement for pages with a Facebook audience between 10,000 and 100,000 fans is around 0.34%.

Video length for Facebook pages with over 100k fans


Even bigger Facebook pages with over 100,000 fans get the best results when posting videos with an average length of 2 to 5 minutes.

The median for pages with a Facebook audience of over 100,000 fans is around 0.11%.

4. Only 12% of the video posts are live, despite generating double the engagement.

Pre-recorded videos make up for 87.2% of the published videos, while live videos consist of only 12% - 1% more than in 2019.

This decision might have its explanation in the fact that itโ€™s much โ€œsaferโ€ to produce and edit a video, giving you full control over what you want to include or exclude from a recording.

Live videos versus pre-recorded videos


In reality, people are just not as interested in over-polished content. Itโ€™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.

Engagement in liv videos vs. recorded videos.


5. Live Videos that last over 1 hour increase engagement from 0.19% to 0.86%

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.

As opposed to pre-recorded videos, live videos have the power of retention over a longer period of time.

How long live videos doubles engagement.


Lives that last over 1 hour will generate an average engagement rate of 0.86%, regardless of the size of your Facebook page.

Discover which Facebook videos perform best on your page!

C. Methodology

To identify the best strategy for video content on Facebook, we analyzed more than 10,596,877 of video posts from a total of 119,032 business pages.

Within this report, we provide a representative sample of US and international brands that had an active presence on Facebook between 2014 and April 2020. These pages had Facebook fan counts between 5,000 and 1 million as of the same date.

We define engagement as measurable interaction on Facebook posts, including likes, comments, and reactions. 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.

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Adina Jipa

Adina Jipa

co-founder @ Socialinsider

Making successful mistakes as a co-founder @socialinsider. I love writing about social media strategies, psychology & consumer behavior.

[Facebook Study] What 10,596,877 Video Posts Tell Us About Facebook Video Strategy In 2020
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