Video is an excellent tool for businesses to tell their brands' stories. In today's media driven society, videos are becoming more important as a tool for businesses to be using to communicate and connect with their target markets. Videos convey information in accessible ways. They create emotional connections between a business and its audience. But which online video sharing platform is the best to reach your customers? This article will compare YouTube versus Facebook video.
YouTube is the established juggernaut of online video sharing, boasting 1 billion users each month. Owned by Google, it is the most searched online video site on the web and certainly has a lot going for it including:
- SEO Ranking – Because YouTube is a Google product, its videos are more likely to pop up on the first page of a search result. Hosting your video on YouTube, adding a keyword rich title and including a detailed description with tags increases the search ranking of your videos online. It's a key way your business and product/service can be found online.
- Discovery Through Browsing – YouTube users frequently discover content by clicking on “related videos.” This makes it possible for users to stumble upon your video, and hence, your brand. By having videos on YouTube you increase the opportunities for people to find out about your company.
- Easy Uploading – Uploading videos to YouTube is quick and intuitive. They accept a wide range of video file formats and include troubleshooting assistance for files they don’t support. With tools to help you improve the video quality and even edit the video, YouTube has made it easy to create a great video product online for free.
With all these pluses, though, YouTube has some limitations that are significant for businesses looking to increase brand awareness.
- Ads – This is a big one. If you want to monetize your video by enabling ads, you have limited control over their content. Just imagine a potential customer having to sit through 5-30 seconds of a competitor’s ad before watching your video!
- Limited Promotion Capabilities – Once your video is on YouTube, how do you promote it? The options are limited within the YouTube platform. You can add tags and put videos into playlists, but to really connect with potential customers, external social media platforms are essential to drive and drive traffic to the video.
This brings us to Facebook Video. Facebook is already the #1 online platform to promote and share videos, regardless of where the video is hosted. It's also made significant inroads recently as a video hosting platform. Let’s look at the stats.
- Increased Market Share – In December 2014, brands posted 20,000 more videos on Facebook than YouTube. Prior to that, YouTube had been the unquestioned leader for years in Facebook uploads. Facebook now has overtaken them and is showing significant strength going forward.
- Growth as a Platform – In January, Facebook Video had 3 billion daily views. Less than 4 months later, that number has jumped to 4 billion daily views.
- Robust Ad Capabilities – Facebook offers targeted advertising, meaning that your business can easily connect with the demographic you want to reach. Moreover, if you create a video ad, you can easily track direct engagements and drive your ideal target to the video, and ultimately to your website.
- Connecting with Customers Where They Are – People are on Facebook, averaging nearly 40 minutes per day! Hosting videos within the platform makes your brand accessible and easy to share. Your video will pop-up on a customer’s news feed right between posts from their friends and family, and ideally, they’ll then share it with their family and friends!
- Auto-play – This feature allows you to hook your audience as they scroll through their news feed. Only Facebook videos have auto-play capability in the news feed. Smart businesses include catchy visual content in the first few seconds to keep people watching.
- Reach - Right now videos loaded to Facebook pages generally have much greater reach (fans seeing the post) in the news feed than other types of posts like text, links, and even photos. So it's smart to use what is working best on Facebook!
Even with its impressive promotional potential, Facebook video has a few drawbacks that users can find frustrating.
- File Size Limits - Currently, Facebook only allows videos that are maximum of 1GB and a maximum of 20 minutes. Most Page managers will not want to post videos longer than 20 minutes, but a high quality video can easily exceed 1GB in size, even if short. To contrast, YouTube users can request file limit increases to upload videos up to 128GB and 11 hours in length.
- Less Searchable - When it comes to a user's ability to find your content through search engines, Facebook Video simply can't compete with YouTube, which accounts for 82% of video search results on Google. While the shareability and viral capabilities are robust, a Facebook Video is unlikely to appear in search engine results.
The Verdict: Be Smart!
Load each video to both!
In the battle of YouTube versus Facebook video, YouTube is definitely a powerful online video platform, and it has the power of Google behind it. Videos should definitely be loaded to this platform for the SEO value and long term searchability power it offers. As well, videos should be loaded to Facebook when you want traction in the news feed that can drive engagement for your Facebook page and visitors to your website. It's not a "either, or" situation but a "both, and" really! One video can easily be loaded to each location and shared there, creating the power to help your business on each and across the web the most.