Facebook has spent the past year building a video infrastructure to challenge YouTube, but which platform is the best choice for video marketers? To find out, Visible Measures, an engagement platform for branded videos, researched the topic.
In a nutshell, Facebook is a better outlet for trending videos, but it can’t touch YouTube for long-term views and total video viewership. Facebook needs to be a part of any video marketing campaign, but it can’t be the only part. When marketers want to make a splash, Facebook is tremendous at driving impressive growth for timely content.
Looking at brands that posted campaigns to both YouTube and Facebook, Visible Measures found that Facebook lead with immediate views. Over time, however, YouTube views caught up and even dominated. Consider the numbers: Facebook campaigns reach 85 percent of their total viewership in the first week after launch, while YouTube campaigns only reach 63 percent of their total viewership by the first week.
To understand why the results differ, consider how each platform works: Facebook content discovery relies on newsfeeds which show what the user’s friends are sharing. Hot content gets passed around quickly. YouTube, on the other hand, is a video library, and viewers go there to discover videos—or get directed there through Google search referrals. That gives YouTube content a much longer shelf-life.
“If something is hot and of the moment, such as a newly released campaign, the Super Bowl, or even a cultural phenomenon like Fifty Shades of Grey, Facebook and similar social media sites are incredibly effective for driving the spread of timely content due to the trending nature of the newsfeed,” says Brian Shin, CEO of Visible Measures. “But the strength of Facebook to promote trending content also highlights how powerful YouTube remains as a platform for continued viewership.”
If Facebook really wants to compete with YouTube, it will have to ramp up its video discovery and search options, Shin adds.