Watch Out YouTube
Facebook has been making a play to challenge YouTube for video supremacy for quite some time and they have just come one step closer to achieving this feat. According to recent data from SocialBakers, Facebook page owners now rely more on Facebook’s native video player than sharing video content from YouTube. Facebook’s progress has been swift – before 2014 the social platform was not seen as an authority of video content. However, they have strategically released initiatives and product updates over the course of 2014, such as autoplay ads, that have made the network more attractive to brands looking to expand their video presences. In addition to more visibility within Facebook’s expansive community of global users, the autoplay nature of Facebook’s video format is also luring brands in droves. With autoplay, users automatically see the video content as they scroll through their News Feeds, which spells good news for branded impressions.
Videos native to Facebook’s platform also offers additional incentives to brands in terms of tracking. The native player allows Facebook to track video watch time as an engagement metric for determining News Feed visibility – a metric that cannot be tracked for YouTube. Facebook has even updated their platform to now show ‘video views’ for shared video content – video views prove to Facebook users a perceived value of the content based on this performance metric. To drive this initiative even more, we’re finding that that Facebook is also displaying proprietary videos over YouTube content –indicating that they have made some changes to their algorithm to give their own native video content greater visibility.
Here are a few examples of brands leveraging Facebook’s video capabilities to drive views and engagement:
ABC World News now has a daily ‘Facecast’ (short video of news highlights), created specifically for Facebook’s vast audience. ABC World News’ specific Facebook updates facilitate Zuckerberg and co.’s broader vision of Facebook becoming a bonafide news source.
BuzzFeed has demonstrated the art of social entertainment by creating content with social distribution/promotion in mind. Their latest strategy of uploading video directly to Facebook’s native player makes complete sense given Facebook’s natural News Feed visibility precedence to video assets that live within the network.
Native Facebook video content is an example of how TV networks can further leverage social for increased TV viewing – especially knowing that viewership overall is down due to digital streaming. There may even be a day in the future, particularly for younger audiences, when viewing completely takes place in a social environment.
Deploying a Facebook tutorial is definitely smart marketing. YouTube has garnered so much of its traffic based on online searches for ‘How-To’ content, indicating that there is a vast and highly engaged audience for tutorial content consumption. Now with Facebook’s new search initiative allowing users to easily find specific posts, brands will be more likely to create content, like tutorials, with long shelf lives.
Bass Pro Shops may not have loaded this video directly to Facebook (a missed opportunity for greater visibility), but they are onto something by leveraging a known musician as well as the trending status of music parodies, for the sake of entertaining their audience and staying top of mind.
Facebook is inherently becoming the place to go to discover video content – a one stop destination for content consumption. BuzzFeed is one content provider that has been vocal about the fact that today they rely on social channels, such as Facebook, to be their primary vehicle for content delivery more so than even search and discovery features on the BuzzFeed site. Today’s consumer wants to be entertained and they want to consume content in the digital channels in which they live. Video is likely not a fleeting trend and Facebook’s dominance in this arena should grow over the course of 2015. Your move YouTube…