Using Facebook to Reach Smartphone Video Viewers

156 million people, over 65% of the mobile market, own smartphones according to the latest data from comScore. These millions of smartphone users have been watching more and more video with each passing quarter. Adobe’s Q4 2013 analysis of over 22.5 billion video starts found that mobile devices accounted for 20% of video streaming. Additionally, video viewing on smartphones has seen tremendous year-over-year growth (86%) and now makes up 12.8% of all digital video consumption.

The number of smartphone owners is growing as well as the number of videos viewed by this segment. If brands and advertisers want to reach these users with video content, marketing on Facebook is a must. In its data, comScore reported that Facebook reaches 86% of the mobile media audience and is the top smartphone app, reaching 77.4% of the app audience. Adobe also claims that Facebook is the king of video social sharing with 80.6% of the 6% of starts from video shares coming from the site.

In 2013, Facebook averaged 556 million mobile daily active users, a 49% year-over-year increase. The audience and targeting capabilities this social network offers are ideal for brands and advertisers. Smartphone users are actively engaging with Facebook on a regular basis and are more likely to share video content on the site—point blank: you need to serve branded video to users on Facebook.

One way to do this is through Instagram Video. Acquired by Facebook in early 2012, Instagram and its 150 million monthly active users are tied to this social media giant. According to Unruly, nine out of 10 Instagram video shares occur on Facebook and 40% of the 1,000 most-shared Instagram videos come from brands. Social video sharing on Facebook is especially important for companies as new studies report that nearly seven in 10 millennial social users are at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post. Simply having Instagram video content will improve your brand’s ability to generate word-of-mouth advertising on Facebook among smartphone users.

Video marketing directly through Facebook was only made available to a select group of companies in late 2013; the use of these mobile video ad units has yet to become widespread amongst brands and advertisers. The focus of Facebook’s video ads, at this point, seems to be branding which is why established companies like Nestlé and Estée Lauder were the first to take the plunge.

Ultimately, there are two ways that marketers can leverage video within creative mobile ad units. The first, placing a video within a mobile app install unit to drive app downloads. The second, embedding a video into a sponsored post for a Page with the goal of branding. Brands have also begun to incorporate an autoplay feature which prompts a video start as users scroll past it.

Industry leaders have commented on the value Facebook offers in terms of reach and engagement with video content.

“Video has introduced a new layer of engagement and relevancy, empowering marketers to reach Facebook’s 875 million person mobile audience with content in motion—content that delights, entertains and inspires consumers” said Cheryl Morris, director of marketing at Nanigans, Boston.

“Consumers are watching more and more premium video on their smartphones and tablets, so it only makes sense for advertisers to market in that space,” said Paul Bremer, general manager at blinkx Mobile, San Francisco.

The smartphone user base is growing and so is the percentage of them that share video content. Facebook is a major hub for mobile users to engage with branded videos. In order for you to maximize views, shares and conversations with your mobile videos, establish a strong presence on the site and constantly deliver videos to content hungry users.

About Hannah Brenzel

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