Facebook is giving YouTube a run for its money. Literally. The biggest social network has been making a lot of changes with videos in the last few months. It seems like a good time to do an update on what’s happened, what might happen, and how to make it all work for you.
Four significant things have happened recently:
1) There are more videos directly uploaded to Facebook than to YouTube. This chart from Social Bakers shows the shift happening in late October of 2014:
2) You can upload a video straight to Facebook, skipping YouTube entirely.
3) Natively uploaded Facebook videos get more views than YouTube videos. Like 52 times more views.
4) YouTube clips are not doing nearly as well as they used to. Are you surprised?
Less importantly, but still worth noting:
- You can add calls to action to the end of your videos
- You can pin your videos to be first in the queue of your Facebook posts
- You can add tags to your videos on Facebook
There’s some major stuff going on here, so let’s deal with each item one by one.
Facebook now gets more video uploads than YouTube
This is extraordinary. If Facebook can position itself as the primary video platform, they may start making Google sweat. Here’s why: Video is the future. Consider this chart from Statista:
I’ll let Statista explain more about what you’re looking at in the chart above:
According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, consumer Internet traffic will grow by 260% until 2018 to an estimated total of 83,298 petabytes or 83 million terabytes per month. The growth in IP traffic will mainly be driven by an increase in online video consumption, which is expected to account for 76% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 60% in 2013.
So online video is growing by leaps and bounds. It is also extremely mobile friendly. Mobile, as I’m sure you know, is the other major force shaping the Internet right now. Just last year, traffic from mobile devices actually beat out traffic from desktop devices. That’s why we urge you to make your emails mobile friendly.
What’s even more interesting is how complimentary mobile and video are. According to Adobe’s U.S. Digital Video Benchmark for Q3 2014, “Mobile has one-third share of online video— As of Q3 2014, mobile devices account for 29% of all online video starts.” YouTube itself says mobile makes up almost 40% of it’s own global watch time.
Even that is not the end of the power of video. According to Invodo, a visual content service, 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. Video is also a conversion powerhouse. According to Marketing Profs, 70% of marketing professionals say video converts better than any other medium. You can see why Facebook is so interested in the medium. And that’s without even mentioning the lucrative opportunities for video ads.
So far, Facebook’s investment is working. Three billion videos are viewed on Facebook every day. That’s according to Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s most recent earnings call last month. Interestingly enough, the same day Facebook announced it’s three billion views per day, YouTube changed the settings on its videos to auto-play. Before the change, videos would only play automatically if they were in a playlist.
Facebook’s auto-play feature may have boosted video views (and made Facebook look good on Wall Street), but it hasn’t been everyone’s favorite feature. If you’d like to turn auto-play off, here’s how:
- from your Facebook homepage, go to settings:
- Click Videos in the list
- Change auto-play to off
Uploading videos directly to Facebook
Let’s shift a little to the change that’s driving so much of Facebook’s video growth: the ability to upload videos directly to Facebook. These “native” videos crush video share counts from YouTube.
Here’s my first example of this. Meg Fitzpatrick (co-author of the new book with Guy Guy Kawasaki, The Art of Social Media) got the following results when she created a post from a YouTube video, and then also uploaded that exact same video directly on Facebook:
- YouTube video got 111 views and 3 thumbs up
- The natively uploaded Facebook video got 100 likes, 3 shares and 5,841 views — yes, the exact same video!
The Facebook video got 52 times more views than the YouTube video. That’s not a percentage – that’s 52x more views.
The benefits to uploading video directly to Facebook get bigger. Much bigger. Like SuperBowl big. Unruly, a video ad-tech company, did a Facebook vs YouTube analysis for SuperBowl ads and discovered some remarkable stuff:
YouTube videos delivered more views for SuperBowl ads than Facebook. The YouTube player generated a total of 125.65 million views, nearly twice as much as the 60.74 million from Facebook. But Facebook videos got more shares, and by a lot: 70.3 percent of all SuperBowl ads shared online were from the Facebook player. Facebook generated twice as many shares (3,913,218) as the YouTube viewer (1,654,985). That gives Facebook SuperBowl videos an average share rate of 6.1 percent. Compared that to YouTube’s rather weak 1.3 percent.
The key takeaway here? It’s time to change. No more using YouTube videos on Facebook. Take the extra time and upload those videos directly to Facebook. This is super easy. Just create a post like you usually would, except click Photo/Video to upload:
This is what your video will look like after its finished uploading:
Take a step further by uploading to the Videos “tab” or “page“ of your Facebook account. Also add a featured video, and even create a few playlists of videos if you can.
Here’s an example of a Featured Video:
You can add calls to action to your videos
This is big, guys. While it is good to actually be social on social media, the real reason we’re doing all this is to build our businesses. That means conversions, sign-ups – palpable results. Facebook’s new call-to-action buttons can deliver that. There are seven different calls-to-action you can now add to videos, images, and posts:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
Here’s how to add a call to action to a video:
- Go to the top of your page’s timeline, just like you were creating any new post:
- Click on Photo/Video. You’ll see this:
- Click on “Upload Photos/Video”.
- You’ll be asked to find the video file you want to upload. Find that file, then click upload. You’ll see this next:
- When you click the “Add a Call to Action” link, you’ll see something like this:
In the “Call to Action” pull-down menu (it shows “Learn More” in the screenshot above), choose anything but “No Button”. After several tries of trying to get the “No Button” option to work, I wasn’t seeing any calls to action at the end of my videos. But when I switched tactics, and included one of the buttons – boom – they worked.
After adding a URL, plus a headline and a description, click the “post” button. Once your video has uploaded and been processed, you’ll see something like this at the very end of it:
When someone clicks the “Learn More” headline or the URL below it, they’ll be brought to the URL you entered when you created the post and the call to action. And that’s it. But please keep in mind that Facebook changes rapidly. If you’re reading this in a month or two it may look and behave a bit different. This is a great new way to send traffic to your website or to a landing page of your choice. Use it.
Tag people in your videos
You can also tag other people in your videos. You could do this is you referenced someone’s work, or maybe even just to try to get someone’s attention (don’t abuse this, guys, or it’s spam).
Tagging could be a great way to get the attention of influencers (people with large social media audiences). If you mention their work, or talk about it extensively, tagging them in a video opens up the possibility that they’ll notice your video, then maybe share it with their audience.
You can take this a few steps further with “a roundup” video where you either ask a question or just include a short summary of different blog posts on a given topic. Then tag every person whose post you mentioned, and voila – you might just get your video exposed to a new audience. Of course, you don’t just have to reference blog posts in your roundup. You could mention ebooks, courses, videos, SlideShares, Twitter accounts or anything else.
So that’s what going on with Facebook’s videos, at least up to this little snapshot in time. It’s sure to change. If you’ve got any tips about how to use videos on Facebook, please tell us about them in the comments.