Marketing Bootcamp

Why Facebook Says Your Video Ads Should Be Silent

The mid 1920s were a big deal in the world of film because the first “talkies,” or movies with sound, came out. Now, almost a century later, there is a move to go back to silent movies.

Social-media behemoth Facebook just released a new set of features and recommendations designed to help businesses create and feature videos that don’t depend on sound.

If a video in a Facebook feed starts playing sound loudly when people aren’t expecting it, then four out of five people will react negatively both to the platform on which the video is playing and the advertiser, according to the social-media giant’s research.

Therefore, Facebook says, advertisers should be making videos that do not depend on sound. To help business owners, Facebook says it will be unveiling a tool in coming weeks that will allow businesses to opt in for automatic captions on videos, rather than having to independently add them. Also, businesses that advertise on Facebook now have access to a new reporting metric that displays what percentage of people watch video ads with sound.

Related: The 4 Pillars of Stellar Video Marketing

In addition to not offending a viewer with sound, your video content needs to engage the viewer’s attention quickly. Almost half of the value of a video ad is delivered in the first three seconds, according to research that Facebook commissioned from audience ratings and research company Nielsen. Seventy four percent of the value of a video ad is delivered to the audience in the first 10 seconds.

One common element of effective video ads -- as reported by Facebook after researching video ads on the social network as well as Instagram --  is an engaging image that displays before a video starts playing, Facebook says. Also, be sure that if your video does have sound, it does not depend on the audio to get the message across. Four out of 10 video ads on the platform do not make sense without the audio, according to Facebook.

The takeaway for businesses trying to get customer’s attention with video? Get to the point fast, and do it quietly.

Related: Check Out the 4 Original Shows YouTube Is Launching