Facebook vs. YouTube

Over a billion videos were viewed on Facebook each day in 2014. With the launch of its AutoPlay feature, the largest social network was able to significantly increase the number videos viewed and thus surpass the previous number one, YouTube.

Will Facebook one day replace Google’s own video platform? How does this development affect the distribution of the media budget? Boris Wollny, Managing Director of Betamodus and a veteran in the field of online communications, dedicates time to the focus groups for social media and video clips of the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW), a German digital business association and provides valuable background information in an interview with the Connected blog.

Online marketing on Facebook is trending. How long do you think this will last?

Despite a stagnating number of users, Facebook remains ahead of the competition in almost all relevant figures and will continue to shape the trends of online communication in the future. One of these trends is the increased use of video clips and over half of the videos shared in the world are viewed on Facebook. At the same time, Facebook is now increasingly offering advertising formats with video integration.

Why are video ads on Facebook so interesting for advertisers?

The level of social interaction is higher than on other video platforms if a user likes a video and is happy to share it. Facebook has also catapulted to the top of the mobile market in very short time. Almost a quarter of the usage of mobile content is spent on Facebook and Instagram. That is more than all other relevant networks like Google, Twitter or Yahoo together.

The average Facebook user looks at their mobile around a dozen times a day to view their timeline. Here they see Autoplay video ads that are geared to their interests.

Where do you see the greater potential for marketers who want to score points with video material in online marketing, on Facebook or YouTube?

In marketing, the target group has to be addressed in the purchase decision phase. With the customer journey in mind, it could well pay off to use both channels in order to optimize reach and visibility. As the second largest search engine on the internet, YouTube is better integrated in the Google search and the emphasis here is on the term “universal search”. The effort made here has a longer-term impact. Facebook has a shorter-term effect with a strong focus on mobile communication and user interaction. Both platforms can complement each other in their effectiveness.

What advertising opportunities with video integration does Facebook offer?

The video ads can be developed in Facebook’s ad manager platform or using the Power Editor – by uploading promotional videos or in the form of page post ads using videos that have already been posted. It is also possible to place video ads using managed services.

Facebook sees great potential in the video clip market and therefore this area is currently subject to ongoing development and testing. New things are being developed so fast that you have to constantly remain up-to-date in order to take advantage of all the opportunities.

What are the requirements for video ads?

The first image as well as the first three or four seconds are crucial. This is the deciding factor as to whether the user gets the message or ignores it and scrolls on down the screen. At the same time, the video has to tell a story even without sound, because Autoplay doesn’t include audio. And of course it should include a call-to-action for the user.

On YouTube, the respective target groups for ads can be precisely selected. How does this work on Facebook?

On Facebook, the target group can be selected according to demographics, interests and behaviour among other things. Here, the targeting is increasingly granular. “Custom Audience” can be used to address specific groups on Facebook, with which the company has already had contact via other channels such as its own website or app.

Does the use of Facebook video ads also make sense in B2B communications?

Facebook users primarily use the platform for their personal lives, but of course they also share with each other on a professional level and are susceptible to information affecting their job. That’s why Facebook now has the largest B2B reach despite the existence of special business networks like LinkedIn or XING. It is an excellent platform for explanatory videos or company and employee videos used for recruiting.

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