As Facebook introduces new video ad metrics, we ask what this move means for brands and marketers.
New video metrics for Facebook's Page Insights and Ads Reporting will roll out in the coming weeks.
Previously, Page owners could only see the number of people who started to watch their videos. But now, brands will be able to gauge other aspects of their video stats, including video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view, and audience retention.
"People are spending more and more time watching videos online each month and online video advertising is also rising," says a Facebook representative. "The new metrics are designed to help advertisers learn what's resonating with people, and determine how to more effectively create and promote their videos on Facebook."
Here's a peek at what the new metrics will look like:
Through the updated Page Insights and Ads Reporting, brands will be able to see how well their video ads are doing. For example, companies can determine where to place key messages based on completion rates at various benchmarks in the video. They can also learn the number of video views they receive from a targeted demographic.
The new video metrics, which Facebook says it created without the help of outside companies, will be available for all paid and organic videos uploaded directly to Facebook Pages.
"The new metrics continue Facebook's efforts to streamline the collaboration between paid and organic media," says Andy Spry, media manager at social media agency, We Are Social. "Previously, paid media reports showed video views as standard while organic reporting was less immediately available. This move empowers Page owners with a much more visual representation of their content's performance, allowing for optimized video content creation."
He points out that the new metrics enable Facebook to catch up with Google in terms of measuring video content, as Google Analytics and Google AdWords are Facebook's main competitors for paid video promotion.
This metrics update follows the launch of Facebook's Premium Video Ad program in March of this year. A Premium Video Ad starts playing without sound when the user scrolls over it; the ad will play in full screen with audio if the user clicks it.
Some marketers worry the autoplay feature may affect the accuracy of Facebook's video view measurement if users don't actually watch the video while it plays automatically. But the social giant says that won't be an issue.
Facebook tells ClickZ that it has expanded the metrics capabilities for increased accuracy, and strictly followed comScore's definition for a video view.
"Regarding scroll/watching a video or not, a 'video view' is defined as a view of three seconds or more (not an impression) and will appear for all videos, including those that come to life as people scroll through News Feed," a Facebook representative says.
The three-second measurement goes beyond the Media Rating Council's new "viewability" standards, which require that 50 percent of an ad's pixels must be viewable for a minimum of one second in order to be deemed as viewable.
So what do the new video metrics mean for marketers? What kinds of videos should we be posting on Facebook?
Spry predicts that the most successful video content will be less than 60 seconds in length, preferably 15 to 30 seconds. Meanwhile, he suggests that brands and marketers should keep an eye on drop-off rates when they analyze their Facebook video stats.
"While view count is an easy metric to follow, pay close attention to drop-off rates, which show the exact times at which viewers choose to stop watching your videos before completion," he says. "A high drop-off rate is a warning signal and may indicate that your videos are not reaching the best-matched users for the content you are using."
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Yuyu Chen is an Editorial Intern at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
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