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Part of a series on what is going to happen with online video in 2019. Sign-up now to make sure you don’t miss out.

Times are changing

With the growing reliance on social media, we no longer search for news, or the products and services we wish to buy. Instead they are being pushed to us by friends, acquaintances and business colleaguesLet’s be honest. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all businesses. They have investors, a bottom line and a need to make money.

The product is a targeted audience. As people use social media to store and share their family pictures, funny memes and witty thoughts they give data about themselves and their interests to the platform.

The channel then offers us marketers the opportunity to target our audiences precisely for a cost or reach our audiences organically but with slightly less targeting.

February 2018 marked the beginning of the end for this status quo.

Facebook’s algorithm change

Mark Zuckerberg 2018 algorithm status updateBack in February Facebook announced a change to their algorithm.

Simply put, posts coming from business pages were going to receive less organic reach than those from friends, family and groups.

Facebook, like all social channels, uses an algorithm to determine what appears in a users news feed and the order it appears in. The reason for this is to provide content that the user will be interested in so that they stay on the platform. The longer they stay, the more paid advertisement they are exposed to and the more ad revenue Facebook can collect.

By limiting the organic reach of business pages Facebook has shrewdly encouraged businesses to pay for their reach whilst coming across as family friendly and user oriented.

Why does any of this matter?

2018 has set the tone for what is likely to come. In 2019 we will see more channels limit business reach outside of paid advertisement.

This means in order to be seen online you will need to pay more for the privilege.

For video it means that you will need to start planning video based on what type of paid promotion it will receive. Do you need a 6 second version to use as a bumper video? Will you need a 15 second version to create a non – skippable ad?

Although the strategy for distribution should always affect production it will become increasingly important in the future.

How pay to play can help?

Pushing businesses on to paid versions of their platforms means that social channels are starting to produce new ways for users to interact with businesses. 

Facebook has led the way again here focussing on Messenger For Business and new types of visual ads including carousels and inline buttons and forms.

People can sign up to your blog, purchase a product and connect with you without leaving the platform. This means you potentially get more engagement and better results. In other words you get more bang for your buck.

So although you need to pay more, if you do things right, you can get more from it.

It’s not all pay to play

As already discussed in another blog, building relationships with influencers can help limit the need to pay to gain reach. Additionally creating genuinely interesting, eye-catching and engaging content will help get your videos shared.

Don’t forget if someone’s friends and family are sharing it will be prioritised in the news feed. This, I believe, will lead to a trend of more universally likeable video about fairly niche products and services. (Blendtec mastered this years ago)

Final tips

As we get closer to a pay to play era it is easier than ever to be tempted to just hit that ‘Boost’ button.

Before running an advertising campaign featuring your video or boosting it push it organically. Post it on your page or your feed, tag people relevantly, share it yourself and encourage others at your company to share it, like and comment. Involve your entire company and social media suite.

Get as much as you can out of a video organically before you use it as part of a paid campaign. Otherwise you end up paying to reach people that would have watched it for free.


Good marketers know that sensible strategy and good content will always be effective organically. If you produce the right material then people will want to know what you have to say. All this trend means is that you will need to change the mix of paid and organic marketing to best suit a new environment.

Although we are getting closer to a pay to play mentality and economy on social media it shouldn’t affect your bottom line too much. The engagement you get from paid opportunities is improving and the ROI should hopefully balance this out.

Additionally the cost of creating the quantity and quality of video you need is coming down, which again should allow you to stay within budget. When it comes to video production the biggest value any producer will be able to offer is an understanding of strategy and how to translate this into content.

Next in the ‘Future of Online Video 2019’ series will be the final post full of ‘Survival Tips’.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.

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