A Look At How Meta’s Video Distribution Algorithms Work
Meta wants you, yes you, to post more video content! Specifically, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company wants your brand to post more Reels, as they noted that it is the fastest-growing engagement surface across its apps.
Video content, in general, is Meta’s most engaging content format, reporting that video makes up 50% of the time users spend on Facebook. Based on that statistic, it is not surprising that the company is pushing people and brands to post more Reels content, as these videos help to boost user activity on the platforms and encourage reliance on their tools.
To help you with your video marketing efforts across Facebook and Instagram, Meta has published an overview of the elements it factors into its video ranking algorithms. These signals are:
Meta summarizes its video distribution strategy by stating:
“Facebook’s video ecosystem values original content and encourages intentional and loyal consumption. We want videos on our platform to be authentic, enduring, and entertaining, which can turn casual viewers into passionate fans.”
Essentially, if you create original videos that keep users coming back for more, the platform will serve your content more often. For a deeper dive, keep reading about these four main elements!
Meta prioritizes videos created by the person or brand who is publishing them. The platforms will also prioritize videos that are not authentic if the creator adds something new and meaningful to the original content. For example, a creator could share valuable commentary on a video made by another individual or brand. In general, however, Meta stresses that users should avoid sharing content they didn’t create themselves.
Meta previously shared that it will reduce the reach of content like memes and GIFs as an engagement-baiting tactic, so it is time to pull back if that has been part of your previous digital strategy.
Keeping audiences engaged enough to watch a full video is a strong distribution signal for content across Facebook and Instagram.
As explained by Meta:
“Retention is one of the indicators of how well the content was received by the audience – a slow and gradual decline in the audience retention graph can show that the topic and structure of the video match well with what your audience wants to see, while an early drop off may mean that the content isn’t what the viewer expected.”
The company recommends planning your videos around one storyline, formatting them for mobile viewing, and investing in high-quality production equipment or vendors to increase your audience retention for videos.
When it comes to video content, loyalty refers to how often users come back to watch more of the creator’s content. The loyalty signal becomes even stronger when users search for a specific creator’s videos or visit their profile to view content. Meta recommends posting bonus content in addition to high-production uploads to increase loyalty. For example, while you work on new long-form content, you can share smartphone-quality Reels posts. You can also optimize for search results by writing clear titles and descriptions, and using relevant hashtags.
As you can guess from the word engagement, Meta prioritizes videos that generate comments, likes, shares, etc. However, you should avoid using engagement baiting tactics to get more comments and reactions, as this is one of Meta’s negative ranking signals. Not sure what engagement bait is? This tactic consists of urging people to interact with your content through captions such as “like if you agree!” etc.
Ready to step up your video marketing game? Call or email us at email@example.com to get started. We would love to help you create content that is favored by Meta platforms.
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