Until recently, marketers had a relatively established video marketing formula: Homepages usually hosted some kind of champion video, and YouTube picked up slack for regular content with its expansive storage capacity and helpful tools; marketers embedded and linked to YouTube wherever appropriate. When Facebook video was updated to support native hosting, sharing, and promotion, many just saw it as an update to their previous video offerings— and it pulled some traction away from YouTube and other video hosting sites.
Recently, however, marketers have begun to take advantage of the video marketing potential of Facebook, finding that the social media giant’s targeting and interface may actually give them an edge that other platforms cannot. And now, a newly released study from Quintly seems to show that these impressions are not only correct, but that Facebook as a whole may be cornering off the video marketing space.
Splitting Versus Redefining Your Metrics
One of the first concerns when Facebook began pushing native hosting for videos was that marketers might end up “splitting” their audience, effectively diluting their view counts. While not a primary metric for success (marketers are typically interested in whether their video marketing is able to convert an audience or keep them on a page longer than they might otherwise), the concern was that an audience might not be as interested in content that appears to be unpopular.
However, rather than diluting audience interaction, the Quintly study actually found that Facebook improved audience engagement with video content—by up to four times.
Further, Quintly found a proportionally impressive overtaking by Facebook video when it came to the types of videos shared. Though Facebook still supports YouTube embedding in a user-friendly way— albeit with fewer stats in News Feed about things like views as compared to natively hosted videos— the type of posts shared on Facebook likewise heavily favor Facebook content as opposed to YouTube.
Certainly there are some confounding factors to consider here: It’s not unusual for some Facebook users to re-upload content they found on YouTube as their own Facebook video, and Quintly also cites what most marketers have assumed for some time now— that Facebook’s EdgeRank gives some preference to videos hosted on Facebook.
Other social media sites seem to have trouble keeping up with the juggernaut of Facebook when it comes to video marketing and content. Twitter has tried to keep up with their Periscope app, which does provide a source of video material that’s exclusive to its platform. But while Periscope broke the 10 million users mark in August, it doesn’t even add up to a single percent of Facebook’s user base, who each on average watches three videos per day. Instagram, for the time being, primarily focuses on photos (which makes sense, given that the platformed is owned by, rather than competing with, Facebook) and platforms like Pinterest continue to move towards e-commerce functionality rather than trying to compete.
Given the impressiveness of Facebook’s video marketing offerings, here are a couple tips to keep in mind for getting the most out of your video content:
- Upload Twice (or Three or Four Times): With Facebook demonstrating a huge capacity for driving interaction and views, you can take advantage of the increased visibility and SEO benefits of hosting your video content natively in multiple places.
- Test Multiple Goals: While Facebook seems to offer improved interaction, the nature of its platform means that interaction is primarily Facebook based— Likes, shares, and comments on its site. While this is great for social media promotion and visibility, consider using different interfaces and CTAs in other places to encourage more goal-winning conversions and to gather more data about how your audience interacts with your content.
Overall, it should come as no surprise that Facebook is excelling at many forms of content it chooses to distribute. However, the scale and speed with which it has been able to grow its platform is astounding, and the clear wins for engagement are an element that marketers really can’t afford to pass up. Considering Facebook to be your primary vehicle for socially distributing content, while utilizing other hosting for specialized needs (internal/private viewing, content in review process, embedding for websites, etc.) may help you get the most out of your video content in 2016.