Credit: Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

Teodora Lozan is a content writer and SaaS marketer for Socialinsider, a social media analytics tool with a strong focus on benchmarking. She writes about the ins and outs of social media and helps brands get the best results out of their marketing efforts.

Video popularity has been on the rise, especially during the pandemic. In an online survey of 3,000 people in the US in October 2019, Facebook found that 94 per cent of respondents who watch publisher videos go on to share them. These type of videos are published by content creators (media platforms, TV broadcasters, Facebook original shows) and can be watched across Facebook but live in its dedicated tab, Watch.

According to a Socialinsider study, news and media pages post more videos on Facebook than any other industry, with two to three per week. These videos typically last seven to eight minutes, and 15 per cent of them are lives.

When dividing the industry into page category stats, we uncover some interesting insights and best practices for each type of media outlet.

Facebook pages under the category of TV Show have the highest engagement rate

The average engagement of all news and media pages is around 0.08 per cent, which means that news attracts only a tiny slice of all Facebook's shares, comments and likes.  

In comparison, TV show pages achieve double the engagement rate.

At the other end of the spectrum, videos posted by newspapers and TV networks fail in engaging their audiences, reaching average rates of only 0.04 per cent.

Most media outlets choose landscape videos

With the exception of pages under the categories Magazine, Media/News Company and Publisher, most media outlets use the landscape format when filming their videos.

A major factor in this decision might be because they want to repurpose the content on different platforms, including TV, where the landscape format is mandatory.

More than 80 per cent of Facebook videos posted by TV outlets are shown in this way.

Magazines and publishers, on the other hand, have room to experiment with formats. On magazine pages, more than half of the videos are square, a tenth are vertical and just over one third are landscape. On publisher pages, there are an equal number of landscape and square pages.

Radio stations post the longest videos, magazines the shortest

Radio stations post videos that last around 13 minutes on average, while magazines publish videos that typically last around three-and-a-half minutes.

Radio stations and broadcasting companies maintain their long-form content style on Facebook as well. But this might not be the best strategy.

Media videos between two and five minutes long perform best

Video length influences engagement. Similar to other industries, media videos that last between two and five minutes achieve higher engagement rates of up to 0.1 per cent.

This is a limit that most media outlets surpass. Only magazines, TV networks and some publishers keep their videos within the five-minute mark.

Media outlets rarely go live

Brands use live streaming to boost their engagement and keep their audience connected to their messages. The ability of lives to humanise a brand is a very useful tool.

However, not all media outlets leverage this power.

Radio stations, newspapers and broadcasting companies offer the most live streams, while the other news and media pages publishing mostly pre-recorded videos.

Lives and pre-recorded videos perform differently for each type of media outlet

A one-size-fits-all strategy is not the way to go when it comes to news and media pages. 

While lives perform well for pages under TV Show, News and Media Website, and Radio Station categories, they don't for those under Magazine, Publisher and Media/News Company categories.

In the case of TV Show pages, the average engagement rate for live streaming rises from 0.16 per cent to 0.19 per cent, while news and media websites rise from 0.09 per cent to 0.15 per cent.

When it comes to magazines, live streaming only achieves engagement rates of 0.04 per cent, whereas pre-recorded videos perform much better, at 0.1 per cent.

News pages publish on average between one and five videos per week

On a weekly basis TV Channel pages publish about five videos, while Publisher pages post just one video per week on average. 

This behaviour is easy to understand given the nature of the media outlet and the type of content they generally release.

TV channels, broadcasting companies and TV networks naturally publish more videos than publishers or magazines.

Wrapping up

While creating Facebook videos should be an important pillar in the social media strategy of any news outlet, the way pages leverage them matters just as much as the content itself.

It is essential to break down audiences as much as possible and understand what they need from a video, and then make the necessary tweaks to provide a product that is easy to consume.

Choosing the most effective video length, posting frequency and format is the difference between a winning and a losing strategy.

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