If you’re thinking about replacing the cover photo on your Facebook page with a video, you’ve come to the right place.
This quick guide will show you how to use a video instead of a cover photo, and we’ll give you some great examples for cover videos that work.
Video vs Picture
The way Facebook profiles are designed, the cover photo is the first thing a person sees when they visit your page. It’s impossible to miss, because it occupies the entire top portion of the screen. Returning customers or fans won’t pay it much attention, but for people visiting your page for the first time, the cover photo conveys a lot of information about your brand story. If a picture can do that, just imagine how much better a video would be.
The cover video will automatically play when the page is loaded, so it draws attention to itself immediately. A good video will keep someone on your page longer and make them more interested in your brand. Of course, a bad video might just have the opposite effect. Bad video can quickly turn potential customers away. Bad video can mean anything from offensive to just poorly done. A boring, uninteresting video will make your brand seem boring, too.
All videos on Facebook that autoplay will do so without sound. Sound can always be turned on with a simple click, but many people will choose to watch the video in silence. That means your video can’t rely on sound to make its point. If it does, it will not be effective. Sound in a cover video needs to be a bonus that improves the experience, not a crucial part of it.
You need great visual effects to draw and keep a person’s attention with no sound. That means lots of color as well as white space, and clean lines. For a great example of a cover video that works just as well with the sound off as it does when it’s on, check out Chipotle’s Facebook page. Their cover video is fun to watch and the sound effects are not at all important to the experience.
You should also make sure that the video looks great when it’s paused. That way your page will always look clean and professional. Look at the Chipotle video again. Pause it a few times. Do you see how the video still looks great no matter where its paused? At no point is that video ugly or unprofessional looking. That’s what you’re going for.
If your page doesn’t have the cover video feature, you may want to contact Facebook customer service. This feature was rolled out a couple of years ago, and should be available for every business page by now.
Uploading your Video
The process to upload a cover video is no different from uploading a cover photo. As soon as you hover the pointer over the cover picture, you should see an icon popup that says “change cover”. Once you click on that you’ll see a drop-down menu with options to choose from photos, choose from videos, or upload a photo or video.
Facebook does set some specifications for their cover videos that you need to be aware of. The video cannot be smaller than 820x312p, and they really prefer it if it’s 820×462. It has to be at least twenty seconds long, but it cannot be longer than ninety seconds. If you try and upload a video that doesn’t meet those specifications, the upload will fail.
How to Use a Cover Video
Animate a Picture
One of the best and simplest ways to make a great cover video is to add animation to a regular photo. The beauty of this approach is that it requires no sound, will always look great paused, and it is still much more interesting than a still picture.
This video from Disney World advertising the Pandora section of Animal Kingdom is a perfect example. The image itself is full of color, so it’s interesting even when still. But by adding very simple animations to it, they’ve brought it to life and made it even better.
A very effective way to hook new visitors to your page is a simple video demonstration your product. Videos of that nature, like tutorial videos, are popular on social media. You’ll get more traction with new visitors using a demonstration video than you would with a more traditional marketing video.
Again, this is a video that requires no sound to be interesting and it can showcase how great your product is. Most importantly, the first thing a potential customer will see is your product in use, and that’s a powerful marketing tool. It explains more about your product than a written description ever will.
Give insight into your brand culture
People like to know more about the brands they buy from. They want to know your story, your culture, and why you do what you do. Video is a much more compelling medium to communicate all of that than pictures or written words.
This cover video is an excellent example of one that clearly shows off the culture and personality of the brand in a relatable way. The only downside is that videos like these are difficult to make in a way that does not require sound. That makes them less than ideal, although they can still be very effective.
Video is quickly taking over social media. Every major social media sight is pushing video in addition to, or sometimes instead of, pictures. That’s because social media users are increasingly drawn to video instead of simple pictures or status updates, especially with silent videos growing more common.
This is a good thing for you, because a video can tell your story and show off your product all while grabbing and holding the attention of the people viewing your page. In fact, if you don’t have a cover video already, you’re behind the curve. Quick, creative, colorful videos are rapidly becoming the sort of thing that people expect of the brands they’re interested in, which make a lack of those videos very disappointing.
A page with no videos or with bad videos is not just a disappointing experience, it can be the sort of thing that turns customers away from your brand. Your page, and therefore your brand, could easily seem boring and uninspired without good videos. Facebook has made the process of adding a cover video very easy, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.