Facebook Video for the Masses: 3 Types of Viewers

Written by: Katie Lipsett, Social Media Marketing Strategist

Video has rapidly become the most consumed content type in social media and it allows us to passively observe a marketing message. But do you know who’s watching? When we create videos it’s important to understand the different audiences we’re trying to reach and then tailor the edits to appeal to each group.

Still, I can promise that NOBODY is going to watch a 12-minute long video posted to Facebook about ANYTHING in its entirety. Short “snackable” videos with front-loaded content that do not depend on sound are paramount. Nearly 85% of Facebook users watch video without sound. And think about how quickly you scroll through Instagram – videos need to pass the blink test. They have to have the impact to stop the scroll.

In order to categorize video-viewing audiences, allow us to break it down into 3 groups based on the way users consume content:

The “on-the-go” Facebook video viewer

This person has very little time to spend on social, but they choose to pass the time they do have by quickly scrolling through their timeline. This audience responds best to short videos that catch attention very quickly with snappy content in the first 3 seconds – either with no sound or easy-to-read captions. They like to consume this content, usually while sitting in front of you at a red light, so the video needs to end before the light turns green.

Examples: Cinemagraphs, GIFs, loops, and Boomerangs.

The “lean forward” Facebook video viewer

This individual has a little more time to take in the video and is using social media as a way to break up their day. (We’re looking at you, person who’s hunched forward, low-key cruising Facebook from their cubicle.) They will watch 50-80% of a video, maybe even tag a friend in the comments, but will only do so if the video is relevant to them and catches their attention visually.

Examples: 360˚ video, carousels, time lapse (10-15 seconds) and canvas ads.

The “lean back” Facebook video viewer

This audience includes those who have the time to kick back and enjoy all the videos. They tend to have longer attention spans and they are likely already following your brand or are part of your digital community. They relax by checking out some videos, so they engage a little bit later in the day. (You know, lying in bed at night before a huge interview tomorrow morning. It’s only 9:30, you’ve got plenty of time to watch a few more cat videos, then suddenly IT’S 3:42AM WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!)

Examples: Facebook Live, how-to tutorials, influencer interviews.

The 70/20/10 Facebook audience rule

Creating a great mix of content when planning for a video campaign is vital for reaching each of the different audiences. We recommend the 70/20/10 ratio: 70% of your content should fall into On-The-Go category because this audience is the largest (and honestly, who doesn’t love a good GIF). The next 20% should be for the Lean Forward audience and the remaining 10% should focus on deep engagement with our Lean Back audience.

So get out there and start cranking out those tutorials, folks! But keep it snappy – you don’t want to miss that green light.

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