In today’s media-heavy world, posting a video on your website, YouTube page, or Facebook page is a no brainer. Actually posting the videos tend to be intuitive, with each platform having an upload button. But when it comes to Facebook, there are a few different ways to get your video on your page, and Facebook prioritizes each approach differently. This is huge when it comes to companies that want to get their video out there (and potentially make it go viral).
The following is the prioritization that Facebook gives:
- Facebook gives preference to posts with videos uploaded directly to Facebook.
- After Facebook-native video, Facebook gives secondary importance to posts with images uploaded directly to Facebook.
- After native images, Facebook prioritizes text-only posts.
- At the lowest priority, Facebook prioritizes posts with a YouTube link.
Most companies have a YouTube channel, whether it is for posting professionally produced content, or in-house customer reviews, Youtube is valuable for hosting all of that media. And Youtube is owned by Google. Google is a direct competitor to Facebook for your ad dollars and media content, so you can understand why Facebook isn’t eager to have a post that will redirect people to go to YouTube. When facebook developed auto-play videos, they also adjusted their algorithm to show native uploads more frequently at the top of the newsfeed. They also made the actual post much more appealing to users, as shown below:
Once you’ve uploaded your video directly to Facebook, you’re seeing your views reach huge numbers. That means tons of people are watching your video right? Well not really. A Facebook view is defined as 3 seconds. So people are skimming through the app on their phone and your video plays and they keep scrolling through the newsfeed. If it takes them 3 seconds to do that, it counts as a view. The downside to this sort of metric is that it over inflates how many people actually watched the full video.
The upside to this is that if you’ve created an effective video, it will still help with your branding and visibility. Another upside is that by direct posting, Facebook allows you to see reporting on views, users and retargeting to help define your overall campaign strategy and help strengthen future campaigns.
If your campaign is about visibility, Facebook direct posts are the best route to go.
However if your campaign is centered around a very specific and strong call to action, then YouTube may be the better platform. Also, YouTube will be the platform to use if you want your consumers to be able to search for your video. Facebook videos will not show up in a Google search result, nor can they be shared to other platforms (your website for example).
As with any advertising that you do, the best approach is a mixed approach. Each platform has different pros and cons, and by utilizing both, you’ll maximize both your exposure and your engagement.