©2018 by Sylvia Gorajek, San Francisco, CA

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  • Sylvia Gorajek

Is YouTube or Facebook the best place for your marketing video?



In the age when dozens of online platforms are competing for people’s attention, it can be hard for marketers to know which ones to choose. For video content, Facebook and YouTube are clearly the frontrunners - but does it really matter which one you select?


The answer is yes, absolutely.


You may think the choice of distribution platform can be made at the very end, when the video is ready for upload. Well, it’s actually the opposite. The choice of platform needs to be made well in advance of shooting or even coming up with the creative. Ideally, it should be the first thing to think about!


The choice of platform needs to be made well in advance of shooting or even coming up with the creative.

Here is why:


Facebook has surpassed YouTube for video content.


A survey done this past summer by Slidely, a visual content platform, found that 47% of consumers get their video content from Facebook, whereas 41% get it from YouTube. The survey also found that 56% of those surveyed spent more time on Facebook than any other platform. 70% surveyed said they will sometimes, often, or very often visit the business’s website after watching a Facebook video. Facebook has made a big splash in the video marketing world and could definitely be the right choice for your video.


70% surveyed said they will sometimes, often, or very often visit the business’s website after watching a Facebook video.

But don’t make your final decision just yet! Although Facebook has become a prime resource for video content, this is not the case for everyone.


Facebook and YouTube have a fairly different demographic of users.


Which generation are you targeting? If you’re primarily trying to reach a younger generation, you may want to select YouTube.


Pew Research Center found staggering data that 44% of people ages 18 to 29 deleted the Facebook app altogether in 2018. Facebook usage has also gone down 20% for users between ages 13 and 17 in the last few years.


YouTube, on the other hand, still seems to be an important part of many Americans’ lives. People often turn to YouTube for news, instructional videos, and entertainment. 96% of people ages 18 through 24 visit YouTube every month, according to Statista.


People often turn to YouTube for news, instructional videos, and entertainment.

The juicy part: videos that thrive on YouTube may not thrive on Facebook.


Facebook and YouTube are fundamentally different. YouTube is a medium designed exclusively for watching videos—if you’re on YouTube, you already know that’s what you’re going to be doing. Facebook, however, is another story. People will casually tune into Facebook throughout the day, often without any specific intent. Because of this, your video will need to be a major attention-grabber if you want people to stop scrolling.


If you decide that your video will be flashy and exciting with lots of graphics, then it will likely do well on both YouTube and Facebook. If it makes more sense for your video to be rational and to-the-point, then YouTube will be your best bet.


Your video needs to be a major attention-grabber if you want people to stop scrolling.
If it makes more sense for your video to be rational and to-the-point, then YouTube will be your best bet.

Time is a big factor to consider as well. If your video will be over a minute long, Facebook definitely isn’t the best place for it. Long and/or detailed videos will do much better on YouTube, which is actually becoming more geared toward longer videos.


You’ll also need to capture your audience’s attention within the first few seconds, and make sure you keep it, especially on Facebook! Viewers are forced to watch your advertisements on YouTube, but on Facebook, they are able to close out and keep on scrolling.


Don’t forget about the little things.


Oftentimes, the little things really are the big things. For example, if you decide to upload a marketing video to Facebook without the subtitles, you will lose all the people who are at work, in class, etc. and can’t turn their sound on.


The title of your video is also what makes or breaks it. If your title is interesting, it could grab people’s attention who might otherwise have just scrolled past it. Do not underestimate its role and spend a decent amount of time on crafting the best headline!


At the end of the day, Facebook and YouTube are both extremely dominant platforms. The differences between the two are what you should be thinking about a lot in advance - having a good understanding of this will give you a huge marketing advantage!