11 Proven Ways to Improve Your Facebook Video Watch Time

11 Proven Ways to Improve Your Facebook Video Watch Time

11min read  

7 May 2018

Facebook video is one of the essential and most influential tactics of digital marketing. The largest social platform enables brands to reach over 2.2 billion active users, while more than 500 million of them watch video content every day.

It’s obviously a huge marketing potential, but you can’t expect to make a breakthrough easily. Even if you convince users to take a look at your video content, a vast majority will not watch it completely. The attention span of an average Facebook user is very short and you need to give your best to create good videos.

To do this, you have to learn more than just basic rules of video production. In this post, we will show you 11 tips on how to improve Facebook video watch time.


  1. Start Strongly

An ancient saying suggests that well begun is half done. In terms of Facebook video, it means you have to grab users’ attention immediately. Videos should start strongly and intrigue your followers in the first few seconds. According to the research, 65% of people who watch the first 3 seconds of a Facebook video will watch at least 10 seconds, while 45% will watch it for 30 seconds. But if you start slowly and let users wait to see concrete action for too long, you will lose a lot of viewers quickly.


  1. Upload Videos Natively

Although it may seem irrelevant, it’s not the same whether you post native videos on Facebook or copy/paste links from other platforms. Native videos proved to perform better and inspire more engagement. Most marketers realized this by now – almost 90% of the overall Facebook video posts are native, while the number of Youtube and Vimeo posts is constantly declining.


  1. Optimize Titles and Thumbnails

Title optimization is very important if you want to extend video watch time because you need to suggest Facebook followers that your content provides real value. That’s why titles have to be attention-grabbing and appealing, inspiring users to click the ‘Play’ button and enjoy.

Besides that, you should avoid custom thumbnails. Instead, pick a quality image that you know will look good in the eyes of target users. What you choose depends on the style of your brand, so make sure to upload photos that resonate with the overall branding strategy.


  1. Add Overlay Text and Captions

More than 80% of Facebook users watch videos with the sound off, which means that overlay text and captions become more important than on other social platforms. Danny Langley, a content creator at Careers Booster, briefly explained why overlay text and captions are so important: “You need to upload SRT files to add captions to the videos. Captions provide additional explanations about the video, while Facebook can analyze content based on SRT files."

Facebook Live Videos


  1. Make the First Comment

As a publisher, you can make the first comment about the video prior to the release. This is a great way to provide more explanations about the content and motivate followers to share and leave comments. Besides that, the first comment allows you to tickle the mind of an average consumer and convince him to watch the video in its entirety.


  1. Stream Live Videos

Live videos are becoming more popular as a tool that reveals the backstage of your company and shows the human side of the business. This is crucial if you want to strengthen relations with the fan base, but it also affects the watch time. 

Facebook users love to watch live content because it allows them to post real-time comments and questions. Once they write a comment, users follow live videos longer than usual to see how you are going to answer. It’s a two-fold benefit since you boost engagement and extend watch time simultaneously.


  1. Determine the Ideal Video Duration

Shorter videos tend to perform better on Facebook, but there is no general rule for all brands. You should use Facebook page analytics to determine the ideal video duration based on the preferences of your followers. You can see how much time they spend watching your clips and what kind of content performs the best. Using such analytics, it’s much easier to revise production plans and design videos that fit the preferences of the average customer.

Facebook Ideal Video Duration


  1. Create Playlists

If your marketing strategy revolves around video content – and it definitely should – you will upload videos on a regular basis. In such circumstances, users will often visit your page to check out the video section. But as the files keep piling up, the page will look confusing and messy, so you should create playlists to ensure simple navigation. It will improve user experience, increase the number of views, and hopefully prolong watch times. 


  1. Choose the Right Timing

Content creation is the product of strategic thinking, so you don’t publish posts randomly. Every video must be planned precisely and published so as to make the biggest impact on your target audience. You should schedule posts to show up when most of your followers are active and when you want to promote new products or brand news. To do this, click the arrow next to the ‘Publish’ button, choose ‘Schedule Post’, and set time and date of your post.


  1. Include CTA

A call to action (CTA) is the crucial conversion element, but it should also help you to keep users interested in watching the video until the end. Use CTA to inspire users to engage. For instance, you should invite them to watch the related video or to share it with their Facebook friends. It’s a small step but very important when you want to boost views and watch time.


  1. Create High-Quality Content

The last tip on our list might seem obvious, but we have to mention it because lots of marketers forget that quality is still the most significant aspect of Facebook videos. In case you are able to write great screenplays and produce high-quality videos, you won’t have to worry about watch times. Your followers will soon realize that you continuously publish good content, so your fan base will keep growing and watch time will keep getting longer.



Video content rules the Internet and social networks, so you have to use it as part of your marketing strategy. But it’s not easy to outdo competitors and convince users to watch your videos for too long. On the contrary, you have to create outstanding content to make this marketing channel productive.

In this post, we showed you 11 tips on how to improve Facebook video watch time. What do you consider to be the most important tactic? Do you have other suggestions to share with our readers?

Eva Wislow

Eva Wislow is a career coach and entrepreneur from Pittsburgh. She is focusing on helping people break down their limits, find a dream job and achieve life and career success. Eva maintains a strong interest in bringing the digital revolution in human resources. Connect with Eva on Twitter.


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