One of the jazzier ways we can help our Facebook Pages punch above their weight is by adding a Cover Video instead of a Cover image. This is a feature which has been around a few years, but few companies take advantage of this relatively simple way to spice up their channel. A great example is Fusion Guitars, where we can see that instead of a still image cover on the page, we can have a video instead.
Many of us might feel that Cover Videos are out of our reach – the time and effort to design and edit a video feels overwhelming especially if we don’t have any video footage or expensive video editing software.
However, you can create really simple video cover images using free tools online, and, even better, you can do it all in about ten minutes. Here’s how.
What are the requirements for a Cover Video?
Facebook tells us that a Cover Video needs to be:
- Cover videos should be 20 – 90 seconds.
- Cover videos recommended size is 820 x 462 pixels.
What free tools can we use to create a Video Cover?
To create a Video Cover, we do need two things: video footage, and a tool to resize our video to Facebook’s specifications. Luckily for us, there are free tools that already exist online to do this.
Finding Video Footage
If you don’t have video assets already, there are plenty of free, creative commons stock video sites online. You don’t want to end up in hot water by using videos which belong to someone else, so using creative commons videos is a great alternative to copyrighted content.
Just search the site for a video representative of your industry and download it. For this example, I searched for someone typing at a keyboard (because keyboard cats are way too hard to find.) ;)
Things to keep in mind when searching for your Cover Video:
- Without additional editing software, your cover video will not have any additional branding like your logo. So: ensure it represents your business.
- Secondly, Facebook’s cover videos need to be a minimum of twenty seconds – make sure the video you choose is at least 20 seconds. The one I chose happened to be 35 seconds. Perfect!
- Finally, remember that Facebook Cover Videos are long and thin, whereas most videos online are designed for in more of a boxy rectangle of 16:9. When selecting your video, remember that only a thin section will be seen, such as the top, middle or bottom – not the whole thing.
When you select the video to download, you choose what size you want. Make sure you download anything bigger than 820 x 462 pixels.
Editing Video Footage
Because we’re not doing anything whizbang with editing software, all we need to do is resize these videos to be the right size that Facebook needs. Remember that the video size needs to be at least 820 x 462 pixels for Facebook to accept it.
Plenty of websites exist today to help with the cropping! Biteable, Clideo, Clipchamp and Kapwing are just a few, especially if you resize things regularly and would like a paid service.
If you’re after a free service, EZGIF.com does the job with it’s “Crop Video” option, uploading a video and setting the crop to a width of 820 and a height of 462, drag the selection tool to where you want to crop, then hit “Crop Video!”.
For those looking for a quick and dirty option, the ratio of 16:9 is also pretty close, but Facebook will crop the bottom of your video off if you use this size, just so you’re across the fine print!
Upload to Facebook
Now your video should meet Facebook’s requirements: it is at least 20 seconds long, and has a size of at least 820 x 462 pixels. All you need to do is switch your Cover Image for a Cover Video.
If you’ve not done this before, ensure you’re signed into Business Manager if needed, then hover of the top left-hand corner of your cover image. You’ll see a dropdown menu giving you the option to upload a photo or video.
Upload the video, and drag it on the screen so it sits nicely within the frame, and then hit save.
And that’s it! You’ve created a Facebook Cover Video, using free, creative commons videos, edited and uploaded in a few minutes. You can see my new Facebook Cover video in action here.
Do you have any other tips or tricks to create simple Facebook Cover Videos? Let me know in the comments!
Originally written in 2017, updated in Dec 2019.
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About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.