Video is now an instrumental component of many online marketing strategies. The reasons for this are numerous but primarily it’s because video provides as an engaging form of media that can be easily shared.
It’s also because video significantly boosts your online visibility as YouTube is a huge force in the SEO game (it’s actually the second largest search engine), and it has great potential for unexpected or innovative creativity.
Video and Facebook
Facebook is hands down the largest of the social networks, boasting more than 1.4 billion monthly active users as of March 2015. A report called The State of Video Advertising: Facebook’s Rise to Dominance from US-based advertising software company Mixpo offered some interesting insights on the subject.
Most notable of which was that 87% of respondents to the survey said they planned on running video ads on Facebook, compared to only 81.5% on YouTube.
However, Mixpo went on to argue that even though advertisers will be turning to Facebook instead of YouTube this year, their use of Facebook as their video marketing platform of choice doesn’t align with the way everyday people use social media. Basically, not everyone wants to see branded videos fill up their news feeds.
Despite the name of Mixpo’s report, YouTube is still dominating video. But, with the rise in engagement on short-form video platforms like Vine and Instagram, there may be a power shift on the horizon. Especially when you consider that Facebook reported in September last year that users were watching 1 billion videos per day. Popularity of video on Facebook illustrates its ability to blur the lines between entertainment and marketing.
Facebook Vs. YouTube
Only last week Facebook announced two new features that will help brands to make full use of their video libraries. Advertisers can now highlight a feature video and also create YouTube-like playlists.
Facebook’s knowledge about its users’ behavior may well be its biggest advantage over YouTube. In their study, Mixpo quoted Omnicom Digital CEO Jonathan Nelson: “When you have that much known information, tied to analytics and an ad server, you can start doing messaging in a way no one’s ever done before. That’s marketing nirvana.”
Facebook video is growing, but YouTube can be monetized. Thousands of channels in the YouTube Partner Program are making top dollar. Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a partner program, which means Facebook pockets every penny of the advertising revenue from videos, with zero going to anyone else.
Plus, if you upload a video to Facebook directly, it’s much harder to use other social media to improve your content’s discoverability and any time spent watching your Facebook video doesn’t help your YouTube video’s ranking one iota.
So, if you create and upload two versions of a video, one to Facebook and the other to YouTube, then it actually costs you more and hurts your YouTube ranking. Therefore, online video marketers are best off sticking to a YouTube-first strategy.
How to use video on Facebook
Facebook has confirmed that timely, relevant, and short video performs the best on its news feed, and urges brands to post “raw videos that are compelling and sharable clips that no one else will have”.
But before video is used as part of any strategy, there are some key considerations to make to ensure your video achieves its goals.
How does the video feed into your content marketing strategy?
Video should be seen as only one part of a wider content marketing strategy. Video is a medium that can be used to convey a message in a way that other content can’t. How the video itself is delivered should be considered carefully, in line with both the objective of the video itself and a wider content marketing strategy.
Does the video encourage social sharing?
Using social sharing icons and referencing social profiles will increase your chances of social success. Reaching viral status may be a stretch, but a well produced and value rich video has the potential to reach a broad target audience.
What metrics will dictate the performance of the video?
Regardless of your video’s objective, there’s a host of metrics with which to rate its success, such as views, leads, view durations and inbound links. You’ll want to ensure that before you post your video you have the analytics in place to allow you to measure as many of these as possible. This data returned becomes the driving force behind any adjustments you might need to make in your approach.
How will the results of the video feed back into your strategy?
Whatever your data is telling you, it’s important that it feeds back into both your video strategy as well as your overarching marketing strategy. This may mean simply adjusting keywords or focusing more on specific social channels, or it could mean reassessing the processes for producing your next video.
With the potential to convey a message that other content can’t, video is an opportunity to add another dimension to your content marketing strategy, acting both as an engaging element for existing inbound traffic and as an opportunity to drive new inbound traffic.