Facebook Video: How Cosmopolitan Boosted Its Engagement Rate 200% Year-Over-Year
"It is a great platform to engage our audience," says Hearst Magazines Digital Media's VP of Audience Brian Madden.
Cosmo Magazine is joining the long list of brands experiencing significant results with its Facebook video content.
After seeing a swift increase in video engagement rates on the social network last year, the brand launched Hacksmopolitan, a Facebook-exclusive video series.
“We know our millennial reader is checking Facebook regularly, and so we wanted to create short, funny, and shareable videos tailor-made for her to watch right in her News Feed,” said Cosmopolitan.com’s editor Amy Odell in a post on Facebook’s media blog.
According to Odell, Cosmo’s Hacksmopolitan videos generated 53 percent more shares than other posts on Cosmo’s Facebook page.
Hearst Magazines Digital Media’s vice president of audience Brian Madden works with Cosmopolitan.com’s editorial leadership and social teams on video strategy and overall audience growth. Madden says Cosmo’s Facebook video engagement rates climbed to nearly 2.5 million engagements in November, up more than 200 percent year over year.
In an interview conducted over email, Madden shared more insight on Cosmo’s Facebook video efforts and results.
Hearst’s VP of Audience Gives The Inside Scoop on Cosmo’s Facebook Video Strategy
Amy Gesenhues: What types of video content do you most often post on Facebook?
Brian Madden: Cosmo produces a mix of video including celebrity, humor and how-to. We continually analyze what is performing, and when it is performing, and tie our posting strategy to that.
For example, the “Hot Guys Doing Amazing Things” videos were posted in the evening when we saw more users viewing video on Cosmo’s Facebook page.
Amy Gesenhues: Approximately how many videos do you post on Facebook during a normal day, week or month?
Brian Madden: It depends. We upload a video when we think it makes the most sense for the audience.
Currently, we are not on a regular schedule.
Amy Gesenhues: What about on YouTube?
Brian Madden: With the exception of the exclusive video series created for Facebook, all of the videos are distributed to YouTube.
Amy Gesenhues: What is the average length of your video content?
Between one to two minutes, although much longer videos are posted as well.
The key is to create video that can quickly catch the attention of Cosmo’s audience as they are scrolling through their Facebook feeds.
Amy Gesenhues: How has your Facebook video efforts, or results, changed during the past year?
Brian Madden: As Facebook rolled out video, we began to test and experiment, and quickly found it is a great platform to engage our audience with video.
The series “Hot Guys Doing Amazing Things” has been incredibly successful for us, and is a series that we plan to continue into 2015.
Amy Gesenhues: Can you share any engagement rates?
Brian Madden: We have been extremely impressed by the engagement we are seeing on Facebook videos.
This video for example, “Hot Guys Doing Amazing Things Shirtless,” was viewed 500,000 times with over 4,000 likes and 15,000 comments.
Amy Gesenhues: How do your Facebook video engagement rates compare to Cosmo’s YouTube channel?
Brian Madden: Comparable, but it depends on the video.
Cosmo has a very engaged following of nearly 6 million fans on Facebook, and the brand saw nearly 2.5 million engagements in November 2014, up over 200% year-over-year.
Amy Gesenhues: Where do Cosmo’s social videos fit into the magazine’s overall digital marketing efforts?
Brian Madden: Cosmopolitan.com aims to be every millennial woman’s smartest, funniest, most insightful friend, delivering shareable and actionable content, both serious and entertaining, 24/7.
With this mission under the leadership of editor Amy Odell, the site has seen exponential traffic and social growth in 2014, more than doubling its uniques to 30 million.
Together, we see video as another opportunity to engage our always-on audience and to continue to expand our digital and mobile reach.