If you have your own Facebook page, you might already be using it for marketing your videos. However, getting views and engagement on your videos can be quite difficult due to Facebook’s algorithm. In this article, I want to share with you a few ideas on how to get more people to engage with your videos on Facebook and how to drive more viewers to your YouTube channel or website.
At first, we need to be aware that there are two types of videos on Facebook:
- A 3rd-party video is a video that is embedded from other platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo
- A native Facebook video is a video that you have uploaded to Facebook directly.
Facebook treats native videos differently than 3rd-party videos. If you’ve ever shared a YouTube video on Facebook, you might have noticed it yourself: it’s pretty hard to get people to engage! You might get a few Facebook likes, but the traffic often won’t convert into many new YouTube subscribers. Sometimes it can be hard to get people to watch your video at all!
Reason #1: According to a study by Locowise, the average Facebook page post reaches only 2,6% of its fans – this means only 2,6% of your Facebook fans will even see your post. And this is just the average post.
Which brings us to reason #2: YouTube posts specifically could have an even lower average reach because here’s the thing with Facebook: they’re not a fan of Google and therefore not a fan of YouTube. In fact, Facebook would love to get more people to use their own video function and prefer videos that you upload directly on Facebook. Because of that, YouTube and other 3rd-party videos achieve a much lower reach than native Facebook videos. In a study performed by the Search Engine Journal, embedded YouTube videos reached 2x fewer people and received 2x fewer likes, 3x fewer shares and 7x fewer comments than native Facebook videos:
In other words, by sharing your videos from YouTube, you will miss out on a lot of views, likes, and shares you could get.
Does this mean that sharing your video on Facebook directly is a better idea? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Facebook video has a few big disadvantages for creators, namely:
1. You can’t monetize your videos.
Although Facebook has started a video monetization program recently, this isn’t relevant for the average creator just yet. Right now Facebook is sharing its revenue only with a few selected partners like Tastemade, Funny or Die, and Fox Sports. It’s likely that Facebook will expand this function in the future – at this point, it’s not clear when, though, and how big the earning potential is.
2. Driving people to your YouTube channel can be hard.
- Reason #1: If they’ve watched the whole video, their curiosity is satisfied and they will most likely keep scrolling down their timeline.
- Reason #2: By uploading your video directly to Facebook, it will be less obvious that you actually have a YouTube channel.
The result: You might get a few Facebook likes and views but they’re unlikely to convert to YouTube subscribers. Below I will share a few tips on how to avoid these two problems.
3. Facebook pages aren’t a good video hosting place.
They are hard to browse through and there’s no built-in video search engine that helps you discover new content. That means unless you are creating viral content it’s gonna be difficult to get video views on Facebook once your video isn’t brand new anymore.
Why you should use Facebook for your video marketing strategy
Even though Facebook isn’t the greatest platform for creators, it still makes sense to promote your video on Facebook because:
1. Facebook has a huge audience
1.59 billion people are Facebook users. Okay, not all of them speak your language and are in your target group but you will still be able to find thousands, if not millions of people who are interested in what you do.
2. Autoplay drives engagement
Thanks to Facebook’s autoplay function, people, who might otherwise have ignored your video, will find themselves watching it. Autoplay generates curiosity, drives engagement and thus can help you spread your video quickly.
So the question is: How can we use Facebook in a way that helps us grow your audience and promote our work?
How to decide where to post your videos
Depending on your content and your goals, there are two different strategies to do that:
- Video Marketing Strategy #1: Spread your video everywhere (including on Facebook).
- Video Marketing Strategy #2: Promote your videos on Facebook but make people watch them on YouTube.
Here’s how you know which strategy to choose:
1. If you make viral content:
If your video truly has the potential to go viral, strategy #1 might be the way to go. Due to Facebook’s autoplay function, viral videos can spread incredibly fast when you upload them directly to Facebook. Since you can’t earn money with Facebook videos, though, this option is only a good deal if you care mainly about the exposure (and not about making money). This might be the case if you have a brand or non-profit cause to promote. Also, just in general if you want to get more attention as a video creator. Make sure to also upload your video on YouTube (or other platforms) so the video can spread more easily and be embedded on many other websites as well.
If your content has the potential to go viral but you don’t want to miss out on possible earnings, it’s better to focus on strategy #2. Below I will share some techniques with you that allow you to direct as many people as possible from Facebook to your YouTube channel.
2. If you are a regular YouTuber:
If your content is likely not going to go viral and you’re mainly interested in building a base on YouTube, you need to make sure you’re sending as much traffic to your YouTube channel as possible. That’s why it’s not a good idea to upload your videos to Facebook directly. Strategy #2 all the way. Keep reading to find out how to drive people to your channel (and maybe skip 3.).
3. If you want to promote your business or brand
If you have something specific to promote, your strategy on Facebook should depend on your general video marketing strategy.
Is video content an essential part of your marketing strategy?
Example: a medical company that creates health advice videos on a regular basis.
In this case, you don’t want your video only to be seen but you also want to make your viewers aware of all your other video content. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a video base on YouTube (or somewhere else, for example, your website) and direct your viewers there. Choose strategy #2.
Does you video/do your videos serve mostly as ads or one-time promotional material?
Example: An image video or a commercial.
In this case, you just want the video to be seen by as many people as possible. Where they see it, doesn’t matter. Your goal, in this case, is not to increase your YouTube views or subscribers (although that can be a nice side effect) but to make them aware of your brand/project/organization. If this is your situation, it makes sense to upload your video to a few different platforms and promote them everywhere. Strategy #1.
Still don’t know what your video marketing strategy should be? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you figure out what makes sense.
All About Strategy #2: How To Make People Curious About Your YouTube Channel
If you want YouTube to be your primary base, you need to get people off of Facebook and on your YouTube channel. One strategy that many YouTubers use is to create a teaser video specifically for Facebook. A teaser video is an edited, shorter version of your video that will make the viewer curious so they want to check out the whole video on your YouTube channel. This is how a teaser video looks like on Hannah Hart’s channel, for example:
Ideally, a teaser video is informative and entertaining but doesn’t give away the gist of the content. You want to your viewers to wonder what will happen next. If you choose to create a teaser, make sure you upload it directly on Facebook.
Thumbnails + Still Images
Other YouTubers prefer to use thumbnails or other still images to make their audience curious about their video. This can make sense
– if you don’t want to give away too much of your content
– if you want to prevent your viewers from skipping around in the video to get to a specific scene in the video (this can mess up your audience retention)
Strategy #1 + #2: How To Drive People To Your YouTube Channel Or Website
After making your viewers curious with your teaser, still image or full video, you need to tell them where to go next. This seems obvious but I often stumble upon teasers and videos that don’t give any information on where I can find out more. Make it as easy as possible for people to check out your content or product by doing the following:
1) Brand your video
(Funny Or Die ends each of its videos with its brand logo.)
Ideally, your video should already give your viewer a hint, where they can discover more of your content. There are several ways to do this:
- Say your name or display your logo at the end of the video.
- Display a link to where your viewers should go to next.
- Simply ask your viewers to check out your website/channel/etc.
- Add a small version of your logo to your video.
- Use your brand color and style in your video.
(NowThis adds a small version of its logo to its videos and uses a specific font.)
2) Add a call to action
Facebook allows you to add a call to action to your video, which is displayed after someone has watched your whole video. With this call to action, you can direct your viewers to your YouTube channel, twitter profile or any other website. As you can only choose one link per video, though, make sure to choose the most relevant option.
3) Post a link in your video description
A clickable link in you video description can be a huge help because it sticks out visually and can be seen even if you don’t watch the video.
Increase Your Video Engagement By Using Subtitles
Now, before you publish your video, one more thing:
Add subtitles to your video.
I know, it’s an additional effort and it already took so long to make this damn video. However, statistically it’s worth it: In a study from 2016, Facebook found out that videos with captions were on average viewed 12% longer than videos without them. 41% of the videos Facebook reviewed, didn’t even make sense without subtitles and sound. And as the sound is turned off by default, you can’t rely on it to make your viewers curious. In 41% of the cases, all you can do is rely on subtitles to communicate your message.
I know how hard it can be to keep all of that in mind when you’re just trying to be noticed. So I made a little checklist for you:
For those who prefer spreadsheets, I made one for you, too.
On to you…
Now it’s your turn: What are you experiences with video marketing on Facebook? What do you do to get noticed? How do you drive people to your website/YouTube channel/project? I’d love to read about your experiences and ideas.
Article Photo by Casey Fyfe.