The rise of online video content is showing no signs of slowing down, with video expected to represent 80% of all consumer-based traffic by 2019. YouTube may be the initial go-to platform for online distribution of your brand’s content, but this may not always be the best place to upload your new masterpiece. Facebook has been making noteworthy strides in order to create its own network of video channels and features.

Depending on your advertising goals and budgets, Facebook could be a better platform to host your brand’s content. The introduction of Autoplay and Facebook Live has given YouTube its first real competitive threat, but the question still remains – will YouTube survive?

YouTube’s strengths

Known as the largest online video platform, YouTube can deliver promising benefits to brands, as the platform has over one billion users and can help with favourable rankings and improving SEO. How often do videos from sources other than YouTube show up in your search results – not very often.

YouTube has also made it easy for brands to upload content, which may not be as simple and quick on other platforms. One advantage of using this platform for advertisers is the opportunity to aggregate the video on other sites, such as a blog, website and other social networking sites.

Facebook: the (relatively) new kid on the block

Back in 2015, Facebook began venturing into video marketing – and they’ve certainly gained traction. There are many benefits associated with Facebook; as a social network and personalised experience, users frequently check their newsfeed rather than seeking out specific content, highlighting the potential discoverability of content. In the last few years, Facebook has updated their video offering including the introduction of Autoplay and Live Videos. This has made the platform stand out and provided new opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences through videos.

Discovery or Search

While users primarily find video content on Facebook through their newsfeed, the user journey is very different for YouTube. So your content distribution strategy should reflect the differences in the platform. Videos that work well for search (How-to, instructional films, educational content, etc) will perform well on Youtube, while short evocative brand pieces will be better suited to grab a user’s attention as they scroll.

Video advertising

When it comes to creating video ads, Facebook is the preferable platform due to its powerful targeting options like custom and lookalike audiences. This allows brands to accurately define audiences and improve chances of engaging the right people. YouTube videos may be served to wider audience as people do not have to be logged in to view content, demonstrating the unknown parameter with targeting ads on this platform. Facebook furthermore allows advertisers to instantly utilise the data collected from ads, which can be used in sequential advertising and developing audiences from further engagement. In addition, the videos are less disruptive to the user experience. On YouTube, users may be forced to watch a full ad to get to the content they want to view, but on Facebook users are able to scroll past a video if it’s not what they want to see.

So who comes out on top?

Deciding on what social channels are right for your brand when distributing video content doesn’t have to be difficult. YouTube and Facebook both have benefits that advertisers should take advantage of. The key to successfully distributing video content is to implement a channel strategy that aligns with your brand objectives and to utilise each channel to their strengths. In our eyes, Facebook is the ideal channel for advertisers who want to leverage video ads in order to generate acquisition. Brands shouldn’t dismiss other channels in video distribution, but ensure native Facebook video is a key part of their video strategy. Even with the ever-increasing popularity of Facebook and its video offerings, YouTube is a household name that continues to drive large amounts of traffic – so consider YouTube in it for the long run.

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