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Facebook Marketing: what's working

Learn where marketers should focus their Facebook marketing efforts today.



First: What Isn’t Working on Facebook

First, according to Michael Stelzner, don’t even bother sharing YouTube video links. If you find a great YouTube video obviously belonging to someone else and you just love it and you want to share it, go right ahead. But don’t expect that page post to get much reach or engagement. YouTube is Facebook’s main competitor, so it’s automatically going to give that content less reach.

If the video is yours, load it up natively to Facebook. If the video belongs to someone else, look for it on Facebook and share it from the original owner’s upload.

Link posts, which used to be part of everyone’s strategy, are also getting tricky. BuzzSumo analyzed 777 million posts throughout 2018 and found that without question, link posts for any article, blog post, or website that lives outside of the Facebook ecosystem get the lowest reach and the lowest engagement.

And then there’s the fact that average organic reach is now 1% to 6%.

Further, because Facebook is trying to serve high-quality, meaningful content in the feed, memes or quote graphics aren’t working anymore. In fact, according to BuzzSumo’s research, video posts are outperforming photo and still image posts by 73%.

and now: What Is Working on Facebook

Video gets the best engagement on Facebook, followed by question posts with the second best engagement, and photo posts with the third best engagement.

Video outperforms photos by 73%, so let's talk about that.

Tips for 4 Types of Facebook Video

Four categories of videos are working are performing well with audiences.

1. Short-Form Square Video

You can use 15-second videos to drive traffic to your blog posts. Start with the title of the post, pull out one or two key points, include some moving images (stock footage or your own footage), and use some text overlay so people can watch with the sound off. Then add the blog post link in the first comment or put it above the fold.

A valuable trick is to put just a small amount of budget on the post via a boost so you get access to creating a clickable link that stays even after the ad is expired.

Stelzner shares that he's been experimenting with square, captioned video that’s longer than 15 seconds but shorter than 60 seconds (usually about 45 seconds long), and has been getting a really good retention rate.

2. Long-Form Video

Long-form video can be 3 or more minutes, but BuzzSumo’s research found that 3–5 minutes is optimal and gets the best reach and engagement. This type of video could feature you talking and teaching the viewer something or sharing a quick tip.

3. Live Video

Mari Smith's Live videos tend to run anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes long. She was blown away when a separate BuzzSumo study revealed the optimal length for a Facebook Live is between 3 and 4 minutes.

Live video is the thing most likely to meet Facebook’s meaningful interactions bar, and we struggle with meeting that bar in 4 minutes, especially when truly engaging with people. Mari says that engagement is the secret. If your audience is engaging with you for 4 minutes, Facebook will let you continue to broadcast.


If you’re a marketer who’s really not done much with live video yet, you could create a series of 10-minute videos to break down some teaching points by consistently going live once or twice a week. As your audience starts to engage with that content, you can experiment with longer broadcasts as long as you retain engagement.

4. Episodic Video

If you’ve got a weekly show, keep it somewhere between 18 and 22 minutes; our brains have been trained for decades that this is an average episode length. This type of video can be very expensive to produce, and if you’re not somebody famous with a big PR engine behind you, it can be difficult to get people to watch this type of content.

That said, Facebook is really pushing this type of video content as much as possible so they can monetize it and bring in more advertisers.


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Caney Creek Studio helps business owners discover what works with social media marketing. We are a full-service studio creating strategy, design & production across all platforms.

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