Top 5 Reasons Facebook Native Video is Better than Shared Link Videos
“Do what I say, not what I do”.... I find myself saying this to my clients on a regular basis. I do not (regularly) practice what I preach… mainly because I’m so busy doing for others (businesses) that I don’t have time to do for myself. Which is the biggest reason this is my first ever blog post. The second being that I know there are marketing and social media experts out there that know a ton more than I do… so what do I have to add to the conversation? But I do acknowledge (if not embrace) that my clients don’t have the time necessarily to go seek out this information like I do… so it’s important for me to feed it to you all, even if I’m just regurgitating what other people have said! (Regurgitating is a horrible word… and now I’ve said it twice!!) Plus… you get a side of my wit to go along with it… so there’s that.
So to start, I’d like to thank my client, Aaron Jannetti with Endeavor Defense and Fitness, for not only inspiring this blog post, but also putting the fire under my butt to actually write it! Here goes my first blog post… Top 5 reasons why native video (video that you post directly into Facebook) is better than YouTube link (a shared link) in Facebook.
The faster people can get to your content the better. One extra click doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is for the common Facebook user. Putting the video directly into Facebook reduces the number of clicks needed for your audience to consume your content. In the famous words of Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins - ain’t nobody got time for that.
Facebook likes video, and it likes users to stay on its platform… so it gives preference to native video. Which means it’s likelier to show up in your followers’ newsfeeds.
Even if the stats for your link post show high reach and engagement for your video shared link, if you look at the engagement rate or the click-through rate, you’ll get a better idea of how many people actually watched your video.** Be sure to look at your link click engagement… your total engagement number will reflect people who like or share, whether or not they watched the video. Native video post statistics actually show the number of people who watched, including broken down by unique views, and show specific video stats - e.g. number of seconds watched, watched to completion, etc. When you drive people to your website or YouTube to watch the video, you will not get these same stats. While similar data is available through YouTube and other analytics, unless you are an advanced user, you probably are not digging that deep. Plus it’s all right there for you in Facebook. It’s really the best way to gauge the success of your specific video post.
One word - Autoplay. It gets your attention… you are scrolling through your news feed and the movement catches your eye. Shared video links do not autoplay.
Lastly, did you know that you can create custom audiences based on people who watch your videos? You can’t do that with shared video links. Think of the benefits of that! You share a video about your business/services, 2,000 people watch it. You now can have a targeted audience based on those specific people who watched your video. You don’t get a much warmer target audience than that. Now you can run an ad to an audience you know for sure has engaged with your content. It’s kind of brilliant.
** For example, one of my clients had recently shared a video directly to Facebook as a post and another video as a shared link from YouTube.
The shared link reached 1,373 people organically and had 50 engagements (likes, comments, reactions). It had 98 post clicks, of which only 50 were link clicks. So at max 98 video views (assuming they watched the video once they got to YouTube)
The shared video “only” reached 896 people (keep in mind reach only means it appeared in someone’s newsfeed… doesn’t mean that they noticed it and didn’t just keep scrolling by). It had 215 confirmed video views, 195 were unique. ***
***Now keep in mind… this isn’t a scientific study, because there weren’t any controlled variables… the shared text, topic and video content were all different…. That’s an experiment for another day.. But there were double the video views of the native video either way, and I think that’s significant.
One final note. Don’t take this to mean that YouTube videos have no value. They certainly do. Just not in relation to Facebook. Be sure to post your videos separately to YouTube as well!