November 22, 2015

Rachel Strella

Facebook Video vs. YouTube: What’s Right for You?

Facebook vs YouTube videoA client recently asked me about video sharing on Facebook as a result of an inquiry she received from her videographer.

She’s referencing Facebook native video, which is making big waves in the social media universe. It’s competing with YouTube for views, so it’s important to understand the differences so you can decide the best option for your business.

Facebook Video: Pros and Cons
First, let me share what makes Facebook video unique. Once the video is loaded to the feed (usually as an MP4), it will auto play in the feed. This means that the audience will see the video playing as they scroll through the feed, rather than having to click a button to play the video. Naturally, this has increased video views and engagement.

The flipside is that it’s passive viewing. In-stream video is not necessarily something people are looking to watch. And marketers need to remember that the Facebook algorithm meter is ticking! Once the video appears in the feed, if viewers don’t engage, it could adversely affect how many people see your content in the future.

There’s also no way to search for videos on Facebook.

Conversely, with YouTube, a user can search by topic. YouTube is also owned by Google and has hailed as the second largest search engine in the world behind Google.

But, again there’s no guarantee anyone will watch a YouTube video if it’s not something they are searching for or have an interest in.

So how do you choose which is right for you?

Facebook vs. YouTube: Which Is Best For You?
I will defer to the question I ask at any point of evaluation in social media: what are you goals?  If a top goal is search engine optimization (SEO), then YouTube could still be the outlet for you. But, if a primary goal is increased brand awareness or engagement, then Facebook could be for you. What if it’s both? Or what if it’s building website traffic?  In my opening sentence, I mentioned an inquiry from a client regarding Facebook video sharing. The inquiry from the videographer was in reference to a video that our client embedded into the CEO’s blog post. My client wanted to include his message with the video and push traffic to their website.

You could also consider sharing the video on both YouTube and Facebook.  In a recent blog, we shared a theoretical strategy in which we filmed the company CEO jumping out of a plane. The top goals for this client included driving website traffic, increasing SEO and generating brand awareness. In this case, we would certainly load this this video their YouTube channel and then share/embed that link on their blog, and share on social sites. But, we can also load the video directly to their Facebook fan page, which will allow it to play automatically in the newsfeed. With this, we would add a call-to-action at the end of the video where the viewer can learn more.

What About Our Clients? What Results Have They Experienced?
For our clients who share the same video on both channels, Facebook video views are significantly higher than views on YouTube. This doesn’t mean that Facebook video is a win for every business, but it’s worthwhile to note. It’s also of merit to mention that our clients typically film videos that are no more than 30 seconds in length. As a general rule, Facebook videos are ideal for short clips (20-40 seconds) and YouTube for longer videos.

Data released earlier this month revealed that Facebook is now receiving 8 billion video views a day -  a 100% growth rate since April – and the platform continues to make enhancements.  It’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. My short advice is to experiment with different ways of sharing video while keeping overarching goals in mind.


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2 comments on “Facebook Video vs. YouTube: What’s Right for You?”

  1. SEO and brand awareness are two different things. But both are really important for business. Facebook creates brand awareness which also means helping your brand to be socially engage. On the other hand, Youtube is a great social platform for your SEO goal. So whether you choose Facebook or Youtube, both can still give you a good traffic if done properly and effectively. That's how I understand this post of yours and I really hope I'm having a point. Thanks for sharing.

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