7 Steps to Scroll-Stopping Video Trailers | Travel Research Online


7 Steps to Scroll-Stopping Video Trailers

Remember the last time you went to the movie theater and saw teaser trailers of all the upcoming movies? Such a great way to have a sneak peek and then make a date to see the movie.

The beauty of the movie makers’ marketing magic is that you get to see the most intriguing part—the hook. And then, you’re hooked! The movie theater is nearly guaranteed to sell more tickets. What if you could use this same genius marketing theory to attract more video views on your own Facebook business page? You know, create your own intriguing, gripping trailer. News flash: You can do this now!

With the most recent update in Facebook’s Creator Studio, you can choose a snippet of your video to show as a preview—just like a movie teaser trailer. Here’s how it works: when a viewer comes across your video in their feed, they’re shown a short preview. Once the preview finishes, the video starts playing from the beginning. Your viewers have just experienced the genius of movie marketing from your brand. Powerful! Let’s dig in and explore how you can set-up this innovative, impactful feature on your own videos.

Creator Studio has been around for awhile, and it’s a great tool to use when planning and analyzing your Facebook and Instagram presence. This new feature, called Smart Preview, is game-changing! Let’s run thru how to set-up Smart Preview for your next video.

Access Creator Studio

The first thing you do is navigate to your own Facebook business page. Then, select the Publishing Tools tab on the left side of your screen (figure 1). Then, choose Creator Studio (figure 2).

Pro Tip: Working with a client recently, we learned that Creator Studio works best in Chrome or Firefox, rather than Safari.


Figure 1 – Navigate to Publishing Tools


Figure 2 – Choose Creator Studio


Upload a Video

Once you’ve accessed Creator Studio, start uploading your video by selecting the Upload Video button. As you upload your video, you’ll add a title and description along with any relevant tags (figure 3). At this point, you’ll see an option to Edit Video. In order to start creating the Smart Preview, click the Edit Video button. Then choose Create Smart Preview (figure 3).


Figure 3 – Create Smart Preview


For the time being, that’s all you can do with the Smart Preview. Facebook takes over and automatically creates the preview for you. Below, we’ll talk about how to view and edit it.
Carry on creating your video post by adding a thumbnail, captions, and polls (figure 3). Schedule your video for a future date and time.

Pro Tip: Remember to review your captions for punctuation accuracy. I find quite a few errors!

View Your Smart Preview

Once your video is uploaded and scheduled, the Facebook algorithm works it’s magic and chooses the section of the video that it feels is the most appealing. I don’t always agree with the choice.

In order to view and change the Smart Preview, you’ll navigate back to Creator Studio’s main page. Then choose the “pre-published” tab to access your scheduled videos (figure 4). Click the green video reel icon on the right-hand side to access smart preview for a particular video.


Figure 4 – Click the green video reel icon to begin previewing the trailer


Once you click the ‘review’ button, you’ll be able to see what Facebook has chosen as your smart preview and change it as you’d like.

Be Smart About Smart Previews

There’s two ways to strategically think about this Smart Preview:

  1. Do you want to simply hook people, so that they watch the entire video? If so, then choose a catchy, super-engaging snippet of the video as your Smart Preview. This may work if you want to attract a new audience or want to create suspense.
  2. Do you want to give people the meat of your video, so they get the good stuff without any intro or lead up? If so, then choose the heart of your message. This may work if you know your audience is pressed for time and wants only the ‘cliff notes’ version of information.

Whichever method you choose, try to make the preview at least 3 seconds. This will be helpful when setting up an ad using this post. When you set up your ad, select “3-second video view” so that you can capture the largest number of views. This will help you create results-oriented future ad audiences.

Changing Your Smart Preview

Once you’ve clicked the green reel icon, you have access to the Review section so that you can review and customize the Smart Preview. Start by clicking “Trim” on the left hand side of the Preview screen (figure 5).


Figure 5 – Click “trim” to adjust your Smart Preview


Make changes to the start and stop points of the Smart Preview by sliding the yellow bar to the section of the video you’d like to appear as a preview (figure 6). Once you’re satisfied, remember to Save as shown in figure 6. Also, turn on the Smart Preview by switching the radio-dial choice above the trimmed video to “Include smart preview when published” (figure 7).


Figure 6 – Grab and slide the yellow bar to adjust the Smart Previe


Final Review

Now that you’ve saved your Smart Preview, you can play the entire project by clicking the play button on the right-hand side (figure 7). This will show you the Smart Preview followed by the entire video, so that you can see what your Facebook viewers will see when the video launches on your business page.

Before clicking Save with Smart Preview, double check that the “Include smart preview when published” is ticked ON! (figure 7)


Figure 7 – Preview the entire video production


Avoid These Mistakes

Think about the best movie trailers you’ve seen in the theater. Most of them include one or more of these hooks: emotion, action or intrigue. Consider incorporating hooks when choosing your Smart Preview.

Don’t make the mistake of making the preview too short. For example, if the preview is 3 seconds or more, you can capture those video viewers in your ad targeting. This will give you a potentially bigger ad audience, so that you can reach back out to those who caught a glimpse of your video. Talk about a brand-building opportunity!

Cultivate more brand-building opportunities by adding captions to all of your videos. This can be easily done within Creator Studio.

Taking a page from big-screen movie productions is getting easier for small-screen producers like us. Using the growing number of tools hiding in plain sight helps connect us to a relevant, super-interested audience.


Catherine Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

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