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With 1.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is by far the largest social media network on the planet and the most popular social media platform for paid advertising appearing within social networks, social network games, and social network apps (eMarketer). For brands, keeping abreast of the latest Facebook trends can help marketers craft the most effective social media marketing strategies and retain an edge over their competitors.
Online video consumption is increasing. According to eMarketer, the growth of digital video will account for over 20% of digital ad spending in the U.S. through 2020 and, as a result, an estimated 71% of marketers are now looking to invest in social video ads in the upcoming year. To address this trend, Facebook recently launched Facebook Live, which offers content creators and brands a way to create livestreaming videos in addition to the existing Facebook Video feature. After being streamed live, Facebook Live videos are viewable (and searchable) as standard videos.
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Extreme athlete Steel Lafferty broadcasts his Statue of Liberty wakeboard adventure with the help of Facebook Live and Red Bull.
Like Instagram Stories and Snapchat, Facebook Live looks to capitalize on this trend by allowing users to share and watch live experiences. Unlike standard Facebook video content, Facebook Live will allow people and advertisers to create and share content that doesn’t require excess scripting or editing and is accompanied by an app notification when a livestream is happening. As an added boon to social media influencers and brands, Facebook Livestreams also generate 10x more engagement (i.e. comments) than standard Facebook videos (Facebook).
Related Post: 5 Ways Brands Are Using Facebook Video Advertising
Attracting and investing in top digital influencers is fast becoming a staple for major social media platforms to generate interest and retain users. For example, YouTube recently built a new studio in London for the sole purpose of retaining influencer talent (Digiday), and blogging platform Tumblr announced it will begin giving contributing bloggers a cut of ad sales (Fortune).
Facebook, too, is looking to increase its popularity by recruiting social media influencers and content creators. The social media network has collaborated with influencers to debut standard video and Facebook Live features and demonstrate its worth to both other content creators and their large social audiences. As more influencers gravitate toward Facebook, advertisers must learn to effectively utilize these powerful tools to connect with Facebook users.
Facebook reportedly paid top content creators like Ray William Johnson (above) $2.2M to make Facebook Live videos (Wall Street Journal).
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The combination of Facebook’s two video-based features (standard Facebook videos and Facebook Live) and the participation of social media influencers has important implications for the ways that brands will advertise on Facebook now and in the future. Partnering with social media influencers—especially those who have established reputations as trustworthy content creators and have cultivated robust followings—can be the fastest, most efficient way for companies to increase brand awareness, establish a positive brand identity, and disseminate engaging video content to Facebook’s 1.7 billion monthly active users throughout the world.