Facebook VS. Youtube – Which is better for building video content?
“What platform is best for pushing my video content: Facebook or Youtube?”
This was a question I started asking earlier this year as I began building a video-driven brand and, after a bit of research, it seemed like a question many shared. After a lot of good ol’ trial & error and research I found the answer depends on your business goals. So which platform is best for you? Let’s get into specifics to find out.
**Edit this post to give different advice based on what their goals are. Section for youtube, for facebook and one for both. Also add why a brand would want to choose one over the other.
Pros of Facebook Video
- There is no equal to native Facebook video for Facebook. All other video players have at least one big issue that greatly reduces functionality and, more importantly, watch rates.
As seen below, the top post is how a Youtube link shows up when posted to Facebook. The video thumbnail is much smaller and the video does not play automatically. The second post is a native Facebook video that spans the entire width of the Facebook newsfeed and plays automatically. Simple difference, huge change in view rates.
- Facebook Virality – Given the above you are much more likely to see higher engagement rates on native Facebook video content. When you have a high engagement on a piece of content, all the ‘friends’ of the people interacting with your content are much more likely to see your post even if they don’t directly ‘like’ your page. This is a great way for you to reach a larger audience even when your direct following is small.
- The newsfeed of Facebook constantly pushes old content out of view so there is more urgency to watch your video now or risk having to dig for it later in the newsfeed or lose it entirely. If your content is meant to be viewed in a timely manner then Facebook is great for this.
- Content library – Facebook is great for brands because it is much more than a simple video, photo, blog, product or random-thought sharing app… it’s all of those. Facebook allows you to harbor all of these different content pieces in one place which helps build up a library of your content. If someone likes one of your posts, odds are they might like more of your content so this is highly beneficial.
Pros of Youtube
- Google is the #1 search engine, by far. Do you know the second biggest search engine? Youtube. Also, Google happens to own Youtube so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Youtube videos are heavily favored when it comes to search.
- Unlike Facebook where content engagement peaks in the first 48 hours then dies down as it gets buried in users’ news feeds, Youtube videos are much more likely to keep growing in views as time goes on. This is largely due to Youtube being the world’s second largest search engine meaning your content is continually re-discovered as people search for your content (why SEO for video is important).
- Calls to action – If you’ve ever visited a well-produced Youtube channel the videos probably end with a content turnstyle like the one below. In this example from my Youtube series you can see one of the huge benefits of Youtube which is the ability to add links and calls to actions at any point in your videos. A few ways this can help is if you have links to more of your content at the end of your video, buttons for subscribing to your content, links to your website and more. Facebook doesn’t currently allow any of this.
- Embedding – Like I mentioned earlier, there is no other video player that is better suited for Facebook than Facebook’s own video platform. But once you’re off Facebook this benefit immediately ends. You cannot embed Facebook video in emails, blog posts, your website or other important places. Youtube let’s you embed on all of those sites.
So, which platform is best for you? I believe Youtube is mandatory because it allows you to place videos on your website, in emails, in blogs, etc. and is a great way for potential customers to discover your company via search. If you want to have a brand presence on Facebook then it’s no question you should be uploading directly there. I recommend uploading to both.