Youtube vs Facebook

Online video is on the rise – it’s estimated that by 2017 video will account for 69% of all online traffic.  Most importantly, original video content provides great returns – 71% of marketers who created video said that it outperformed other content in terms of conversion.

Video has never been easier to create – a quick online search will show hundreds of free apps that can turn your mobile device into your own editing studio.  Once the creative work is done though, how can you be sure that your video gets seen?

Easy! I’ll just put it on YouTube….?

Putting your content on Youtube is undeniably a good option.  For years YouTube has been synonymous with online video.  Indeed, it is still a huge player in the industry – every month 1 billion unique users visit the site, watching 6 billion hours of video.  In addition, 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute.  However, YouTube is now facing some serious competition, namely from Facebook.

Facebook’s native video option has been expanding rapidly since its inception – last year Facebook reported 1 billion video views per day and in November 2014, for the first time, the number of brands natively posting video to Facebook surpassed the number of brands posting to YouTube.  Facebook has also altered its algorithm to give preference to videos directly uploaded to their platform as opposed to links shared from YouTube.

Easy!  I’ll just put it on Facebook instead….?

Given Facebook’s rapid success with video, it is a safe bet that your content will be seen if you upload it to Facebook.  Not only does Facebook give native video priority, it also plays it automatically so you can be sure that at least a few seconds of your piece will be seen.  Facebook lends itself to virality too, automatically bringing videos that might be of interest to the user to the surface in their news feed, where on YouTube, the user is more likely to have to deliberately search for something in order to find it.

Facebook video does have its drawbacks though.  While the viewing statistics for native video on Facebook are impressive, the criteria are not the same as on Youtube.  Facebook counts 3 seconds of autoplay as a view, whether or not the user actually chooses to turn on the sound or play the full video, whereas YouTube requires at least 30 seconds of the video (or the full duration if it is less than 30 seconds) to be played before it counts as a view.  Also, given that Facebook is a closed network – a video’s reach is confined within the network.  Facebook isn’t as easy to search as YouTube either, so users looking for specific content will have a more difficult time finding it on Facebook.  It’s also worth keeping in mind that while Facebook boosts Facebook videos, Google boosts YouTube videos.

So which is better….?

Both!  Don’t limit yourself to one platform, extend your reach and reap the benefits of both.  Just remember to treat your video like any other piece of content, adapt it for your platform, re-purpose it, make it shareable and snackable!

Post long-form video to YouTube – YouTube users are used to watching longer content on the platform – and make sure to give it a name that is easily searchable for people looking for content on your industry.  Use the embed code from YouTube to display your video on your website and blog, this way you can easily keep track of views.

Make a snackable version of your video and upload it to Facebook.  Give it a striking opening and don’t forget to include text if necessary for clarity– remember Facebook videos are silent until a user turns on the sound so make sure your video has the hook to make your audience listen!  You can also use your Facebook video as a teaser for longer content – include links at the end of your video to guide the viewer to the full version on your website or on YouTube.

With your distribution strategy complete – make sure your movie is up to scratch.  At the end of the day, regardless of how well you publicise your content, unless it resonates with your audience it is essentially useless.  Make it useful, informative, funny or emotive.  Remember, if you really want your content to move, make sure it moves your audience.

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