How PopSugar gets people to watch its Facebook videos for 30 seconds
Publishers can put up gigantic Facebook view numbers, thanks to videos automatically playing in the news feed, but the real trick is getting people to watch for 30 seconds or longer.
PopSugar, which made video the centerpiece of its Facebook video strategy beginning in September, found that meant making some simple tweaks: make sure videos have an eye-catching video and on-screen text for silent viewing. Those changes helped the publisher greatly increase “real” views (30 seconds or longer) across its five categories. For instance, just 21 percent of PopSugar’s fashion videos’ views were longer than 30 seconds; now 42 percent stick around. Across the board, 35-50 percent of views now reach 30 seconds, according to PopSugar Studios president David Grant.
“Facebook says we’re doing a gazillion views, but we can say with confidence that — while, yes, by 30 seconds the number of views still goes down — these are not bullshit numbers,” said Grant.
Here’s an example of an early PopSugar Facebook video, which does not lead with a striking image or example that pulls viewers in within the first three seconds:
The video only retained 15.6 percent of viewers after the first 30 seconds. This is in direct contrast to a more recent video, which starts with an image that Grant calls the “money shot” to draw viewers in.
“At the beginning, people were actually so intrigued by the opening image that they went back and replayed the video,” said Grant. “Having your audience on Facebook understand what’s important in the first few seconds is critical to conversion rates.”
While just one example, Grant said PopSugar is seeing similar performance across all of its Facebook videos, as long as the content in the video itself resonates with its audience. According to Tubular Labs, Pop Sugar gets 51 million Facebook video views a month.
“We are in the business of telling stories; if our business was built on a three-second view, there is no business there, whether Facebook counts it or not,” said Grant. “It was about practicing and seeing what works on Facebook — just as we did with YouTube. If we are not engaging with viewers for a longer period of time, then we’re not doing it right, regardless of platform.”
Image via PopSugar and YouTube
‘We need to see ourselves as a media business’: AC Milan’s endgame for content
Italian football club AC Milan has joined the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona F.C and Bayern Munich in owning its production arm.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: ‘I literally didn’t sleep last night’: Publishers share their concerns about the future of data
Publishing execs today face big questions about how to value their audiences and who holds the keys to that value.
California’s privacy law has had ‘no impact’ on ad revenues or inventory, but indirect effects could hurt
Publishers, ad tech firms and ad agencies say they felt a bigger hit from opt-ins in Europe than from opt-outs in California.
SponsoredThe advanced marketing degree has become a remote-work option for marketers
Uncertainty has been the name of the game for marketers since March 2020. Even before the onset of the pandemic, senior marketers faced increased scrutiny: With an average tenure of only two years, they’re typically under pressure to be the business’s driving engine by securing a viable lead stream with high conversion rates. In some […]
‘Isolated and voiceless’: Burnt out young workers are turning to tech for mental health support
Gen Z workers think robots are more helpful than humans for mental health support — a factor that hints at deeper work-culture issues.
Cheat sheet: Facebook brings news back to platform in Australia – who it includes and under what terms – remains murky
Facebook will still have to pay publishers directly for content. But the payments will reinforce power structures rather than upset them.