A creative, high-quality video posted on Facebook or YouTube that plays to the viewer’s wants, motivations and needs can go far to bridge the gap between you and your target customers. No matter your video’s purpose (to explain a complex product or service in simple terms, to make company-wide announcements or to help drive traffic to an e-commerce site), placement is key. In other words, where your message lives is just as important as the actual message itself. I have been helping companies and brands produce high-quality, engaging video content for over a decade now and have seen how big of an impact it has on every single one.
Overlooking where the finished video will eventually be posted can be a barrier to success and undermine all the hard work you’ve put into making it. Before you choose Facebook or YouTube, spend some time to understand the differences between two dominant social media outlets and approach your video’s production with its home in mind. Deciding early will also help you better prepare your Facebook or YouTube ad strategy and ad buy, since the ad characteristics that will successfully drive viewers to your video vary just as much as the two social media sites.
How Audiences View Facebook and YouTube
When people visit YouTube, I’ve found that they are going on the website with the specific intent to watch videos (well duh, right?). What this really means is that your viewer is already primed for a video watching experience. They likely already have time to sit and watch. They are also probably looking at the proper screen for quality video viewing and have access to decent audio via speakers or headphones.
When people visit Facebook, I’ve found that they tend to be on-the-go, using their phone in line at Starbucks or hurrying between meetings and typically are jumping around a lot on the site. If your viewer is on a computer, he or she is probably at work, in class or somewhere where they don’t have the luxury of time. All of these scenarios are not ideal for watching videos with undivided attention. Small screens and audio limitations mean your Facebook audience probably will not enjoy the full effect as you intended it.
How to Adapt
When creating videos for your Facebook page and the supporting Facebook video ads, you can help the distracted viewer out by making sure the videos can be completely understood with visuals only. Use large bold text and graphics, make sure the visuals explain themselves (think “Tasty” recipe videos), add subtitles where needed and work in animations to engage an audience without audio.
Another thing to take into consideration is that when people watch YouTube videos or ads, they are forced to watch them in order to view the content they are looking for, whereas with Facebook, users just scroll right on by if they are not interested. Make sure that your content is engaging and draws the viewer in during the first three seconds, otherwise, you will likely lose them.
More tips for making a successful Facebook video ad:
- Keep it short: The current format is 60 seconds. But for most people, that’s too long. It’s typical for viewers to spend just seconds on a video and they might not engage at all if it appears lengthy.
- Engage them: Make sure the entire video is purposeful and interesting. Don’t waste your viewers’ time. If they choose to spend it on your video, you have to use every second and give them a reason to be there. In standard video content, there are often slower sections or even pauses. But on Facebook, jam-pack your shots with content from the first second to last.
- Add a bonus: Provide a compelling offer or deal that will drive the viewer to visit your site, purchase your product or take another action. Give them a discount code, limited time offer or even an entry into a contest for clicking on your link and driving to the website.
- Name it: A catchy title can compel a potential viewer to pause and enjoy your full video.
In the end, video is video. That said, if you are looking to maximize all of your media and advertising posts, make sure to optimize your videos based on platform. Give it a shot and leave your results in the comments.