It’s 2016, and the times are changing once again for video. It’s time to start focusing on silent video again.
Why, you ask? Well, people are now collectively watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. Think about how people view their Facebook feed: often silently scrolling on their phone while waiting in line for a coffee or secretly while at work when they should be doing something more productive. This means many of these views are coming from mobile autoplays which are muted, or in a cubicle where volume is not an option or is frowned upon.
Two brands have been doing an amazing job utilizing silent video marketing on Facebook and have seen great success: Now This breaks world news in bite-sized pieces using silent video, and boasts over four million Facebook likes all generated by this video content. BuzzFeed Food features delicious food and recipes delivered in short silent videos, and has racked up almost 20 million Facebook likes.
So what does that mean for video advertisers? That video you made for the Super Bowl, YouTube, or any other medium won’t have the same impact while viewed silently on a user’s Facebook feed. When a video is played without audio, you miss the impact of music, sound effects and voiceovers that normally help drive home an advertiser’s message. Brands need to be making a conscious move to create specific content for every delivery system, including the no-audio land of today’s Facebook videos.
If planned correctly, you can create these Facebook-focused pieces of content with just a little forward thinking and a bit of extra editing. Here’s how to get started:
- Think visually. It’s crucial to make your images big, bold and visual so that the video will “pop” on Facebook’s platform. You need to catch your viewers’ eyes while they are scrolling a sea of Kardashians, exes, and the well-educated and opinionated posts about “Making a Murderer.” Your images should be high-contrast so that it is not confused with the normal video content that needs audio to explain what is happening. Build a reputation of creating digestible silent content, and your viewers will remember to slow down and check out your video in their feed.
- Create content that explains itself. Content that doesn’t require audio to explain the frustration, happiness, or “cool factor” of a product or business needs to make an impact immediately. Hook a viewer with a question, shocking statements or easy-to-understand use cases of your products using just visuals.
- Use large graphics. Need a little help getting your idea or point across without the use of audio? Get creative with large titles emphasising key steps or features of your video. Work with animations and flashy transitions to draw more eyeballs, but make sure they stick to your brand’s look and feel to stay consistent with the rest of your marketing.
- Incorporate animation. Animations are visual-heavy by nature, which allows the transition to a no-audio version to be very easy and effective. Think about designing your script or outline to work without a VO, and your animation will make a quick transition to Facebook without much extra work.
- Play off of memes. Ready to add some humor to your brand’s feed? Try creating a few memes. Remember to keep them light, and don’t take yourself too seriously. There is less content with memes than with videos, but they can still build a solid following.
- Add subtitles. If you have no time or can’t think of any possible way to translate your video content to the silent film era, add subtitles while uploading to Facebook. It’s the easy way out, but it will get the job done. Don’t miss out on the millions of views living on your silent news feed.
I am sure you have ideas brewing already on how you can take advantage of this massive silent audience of Facebook — these tips will help put you well on your way to racking up new views.
A version of this post originally appeared here.