Video Marketing: Facebook vs YouTube

Video marketing is scary. Marketers’ tunnel-vision gets them stuck on production costs and time-consuming edits and finding talent. But the rise of Snapchat and the subsequent appreciation of in-the-moment marketing and realistic, transparent content, has lowered the bar for acceptable video marketing. That is, it doesn’t need to feel like polished, brand-push marketing. It just needs to feel authentic.

But let’s set aside what to shoot for now, and talk platforms. Everyone knows YouTube. Everyone knows Facebook. But not many know the best ways to publish videos on each.

YouTube Video Marketing Strategy

Treat YouTube as your video library, because no one’s going to find your videos organically.

Okay, slight hyperbole – I’m sure someone will stumble upon your videos within YouTube itself. But most of your views will come from links you post on social media, other people sharing those posts, etc. Sure, YouTube has subscribers, but not many brands garner a large following, and the payoff of that fan base isn’t as lucrative as other social platforms. Users tend to browse for entertainment, not your brand’s video marketing.

Use your YouTube channel as a place to save all your promotional and informational videos. Make playlists to organize similar content. Feature a video on your page that auto-plays if someone clicks your channel name. These things don’t have major impact, but a backlog of video content (just like blog and social posts) implies a certain level of expertise in, and attention to your industry. Plus it’s a great internal directory to have all your videos handy and linkable.

The biggest opportunity in YouTube is the low cost of video ads.

Yes, those annoying pre-roll ads you wait to skip before watching Kanye’s latest PR stunt… those things can be dirt cheap. We’ve paid as little as 14 cents(!) per view. And don’t worry, you only pay if a certain length is actually watched. A word to the wise: Don’t just count on an existing video to perform well as an ad. Those first five seconds need to pack in a visual stimulant, brand identification, product or service offering, and maybe even a call-to-action.

Facebook Video Marketing Strategy

Don’t paste YouTube links. Post videos directly onto Facebook.


Auto-play is king.

Pasting a link to your YouTube video merely shows the thumbnail of the video. Posting the same video natively to Facebook kicks off the video as soon as someone scrolls to it. Sure, the sound won’t play unless they actually click on it, but that’s why you’ve put subtitles on the video, right? (RIGHT?!) The motion of the post practically guarantees significantly higher engagement compared to a mere video thumbnail.

Expand the lifetime of longer content by splicing it into smaller clips. Five to 30 second clips (with subtitles) of previously-posted videos is a great tactic to increase reach with minimal effort. Post a different clip every few days, or even weeks down the line, and then link to the full video. Keep that thing alive by sprinkling those little punches of value.

Facebook Video Advertising

Video marketing ads work the same way as any other boosted post on Facebook’s marketing platform. That is, the videos don’t run before other people’s videos like they do on YouTube. Instead, it shows up in users’ feeds just like other sponsored posts; it just has a video attached to it.

Although not as cheap (probably) as YouTube, they’re still very reasonably priced if you’re not in an extremely saturated market. A “view” is counted at the 10-second mark.

The great part about video marketing on Facebook is the greater attention to the text of the post. Whereas your description on YouTube probably won’t be seen, and it doesn’t make sense to keep updating it with promo codes, specials, etc., the text in your Facebook post will almost always be read when your video is watched. Plus, with the short clip method mentioned above, you can continually post and promote content from the same video, with evolving or revolving calls-to-action.

Don’t Be Lazy. Seriously.

YouTube is not your end-all be-all solution for video marketing. But its advertising can provide some high value for low costs. Organic (free) views will probably have to be earned or purchased, as even your subscribers likely won’t know you’ve posted something new.

Facebook rewards native video posts with auto-play, and boosting video posts allows you to be more engaging with supporting text. Plus, your existing followers are more likely to engage and share quality content. It makes more sense on this platform to splice up and re-use video content.

Remember, don’t get too caught up producing a major, perfectly polished piece. People like realism. They appreciate transparency.

Spend your time appropriately to get the most out of every video post by being respectful to and aware of the platforms on which you’re publishing. Video marketing, in many — especially local — industries, is currently one of the biggest marketing opportunities to set yourself apart from competition. Do it better.

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