Facebook Video for Advocacy and Politics: 3 Can't Miss Tips
Make Your Facebook Video Ads Stand out on Newsfeeds
Since Facebook video launched on newsfeeds, it’s become one of the largest video platforms in the world. Due to the natural social pressure of the environment, it’s also a great place to run ads to promote your branding, persuade voters, and gain support for your advocacy or political campaign. Make sure you’re getting the most out of Facebook video for advocacy and politics with my three can’t-miss tips.
1. Flip the Script
Traditional TV ads are built to end at the most compelling message. But the world of online video, especially outside of a video viewing platform like YouTube or Hulu works differently. On Facebook, a view is counted when the first 3 seconds of the video plays, so you need to get your message in at the beginning of the video. Facebook’s newsfeed is also set up to be scrollable, so your message has to be eye-catching and clear from the start if you want anyone to see past those 3 seconds.
2. Silent Film is Back
Facebook video is automatically played on mute. To turn the sound on, a user has to click on your video. A lot of people scrolling through their newsfeeds are in a location where playing audio requires them to put on headphones, like in their office or on public transportation. As a result, a lot of videos are played in full without the sound ever being turned on. If you rely solely on your audio to get your video’s message across, you’ll miss an important part of your audience. You can use Facebook’s Video Captions tool to add captions to your video when you’re uploading it to Facebook. You can also design your Facebook video with the platform in mind by using storytelling methods like animation to get your message across. No matter how you do it, you need to make sure the message of your video is clear, even without the audio on.
3. Calls to Action
Facebook Video Views campaigns previously did not have the option to click out of Facebook to an external website. They’ve recently updated the platform to include that option, along with a call to action button. Like other Facebook campaigns, the calls to action are pre-set, like “Learn More” or “Sign Up.” You also have to have an external link added into your video ad to have a call to action, but it’s a great way to engage with your audience beyond the video and improve traffic to your site. Adding a call to action also tends to improve the click-through-rates on your ad, since it gives your audience a clear direction to take.
Facebook gets frequently updated, from its user interface to its advertising capabilities, so you’ll want to make sure you stay up to date on the latest offerings. Even as it changes, you still want to get the most out of your Facebook video. Make sure your message to be obvious, with or without the sound on, and to engage with your audience with direct actions whenever possible.
If your goal is to put pressure on an elected official to take a particular action, you should also ask yourself how much pressure can your advocacy campaign exert via Facebook? I would argue that the answer is very little. One of the challenges of Facebook for advocacy or other campaigns is getting people to act outside of the Facebook cosmos (and indeed, within it, beyond a like). If your Facebook for advocacy advertising plan and budget do not account for how you’re going to move people to take action, it’s probably beneficial to think of other, more direct ways to exert the pressure you need.
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