Facebook favors longer videos, but only if we watch them
So Facebook announces that its ranking algorithm for its News Feed is now going to give priority for longer videos — assuming people watch. Facebook claims that they are doing this to level the playing field because they already rank videos according to percentage of total video viewed (along with several other factors) and that gives unfair benefit to shorter videos which can be viewed more quickly in their entirety.
For Facebook business, what it really comes down to is advertising revenue and competition for eyeballs with YouTube and Instagram. The longer a Facebook user engages with a video, the more than Facebook stands to gain from its ad strategy shown between videos in its News Feed.
The important issue is that it only matters if you post a longer video if people actually watch your longer video, in the process devoting more time on Facebook than they would with shorter videos. (Remember, video ranking in Facebook’s News Feed is based on completion rates.)
There is an opportunity here for savvy video marketers that extends beyond just this Facebook business strategy, but it requires even more compelling and entertaining (or at least interesting) content. The longer the video, the more challenging the content requirements to keep people viewing longer.
For healthcare providers (both independent physicians and hospitals), well-done storytelling becomes an increasingly greater requirement – but it also provides opportunities for prospective and current patients to engage more often and longer with their providers.
For example, longer videos allow more time to potentially influence patient behavior, including compliance and adherence to prescribed medications as well as more education on the health risks underlying symptoms that might otherwise be ignored or result in deferred treatment. In this way, longer videos can encourage better health habits as the reality of the true health risks are driven home.
Longer videos can allow more time to present effective programs and treatments, in some cases including patient testimonials related to the video and health topic.
It all comes back to how compelling and engaging your video content is or is not because that is what determines length of patient engagement (in this case, video viewing to completion).
For more help and feedback regarding your healthcare organization’s video and patient engagement strategy, call me at 800-924-5447 or email to Lonnie.Hirsch@HirschHealthConsulting.com.