facebook-vs-youtube

Facebook’s video platform is quickly rising as one of the most popular online video services available due to statistics showing marvelously high video view counts, but experts argue Facebook’s numbers may be misleading. While Facebook claims massive view counts, it is entirely possible YouTube may have a larger lead than it appears at first glance.

What even is a video view?

A video view is the count of how many people watch a video. It can’t be all that complicated, right? Wrong. Online, there is a surprising amount of contention over what exactly constitutes a video view.

For Facebook, a video view is counted every time any video plays for only 3 seconds. On the other hand, YouTube does not consider a video to be “viewed” until it has played for at least 30 seconds.

These contrasting metrics raise numerous questions about the accuracy of view statistics and the efficiency of online videos. Making issues more complicated is autoplay. On YouTube, you have to at least click one video before you are shown an endless feed of autoplaying videos, but you can view a video on Facebook by simply not paying attention when you are scrolling.

View statistics have long been an important metric for display ads, but these factors suggest the advertising industry may need to agree upon a set viewing metric, or turn to other types of data entirely, to accurately gauge the impact of video ads.

Are a few seconds enough?

Think about the last commercial you saw. How long did it take before you knew what the commercial was for? One of the biggest benefits of video advertising is the ability to tell a story with your ad, but this also means it is often not immediately clear what the product being advertised is.

Problematically, both The Media Rating Council and IAB side closer with Facebook’s metric. These organizations define a video ad as viewable “when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.”

Now consider the average length of the Top 10 Best Video Ads of 2014 compiled by AdWeek is 2 minutes and 17 seconds.

It’s time for a new video view standard that reflects the actual impact videos are having. Facebook’s numbers sound amazing on paper, especially in light of how new this incarnation of the video platform is. But, they are less impressive when you consider many of those “views” can occur just because you got distracted with Facebook open.

Videos can be an immensely powerful online advertising tool, but don’t be fooled by misleading numbers. Use analytics to make sure views are turning into clicks and conversions, or consider using a video platform with slightly more strict view counts.

Here’s a rundown of how the biggest video services count views, compiled by Marketing Land:

  • YouTube: The Google-owned video network counts a view after a user has watched a video for “around” 30 seconds.
  • Facebook: Facebook videos automatically play without audio on users’ News Feeds. Views, which are displayed publicly, are triggered when someone watches for at least 3 seconds.
  • Instagram: Facebook’s photo and video sharing network doesn’t display video view counts publicly, but the company uses the same 3-second standard to count them. Instagram video also loops automatically while a video post remains on users’ screens, so instead of total video views, the stat Instagram sends to advertisers is views by “unique users.”
  • Twitter: Unlike Facebook and YouTube, Twitter doesn’t currently serve autoplay video (although it is testing the feature for some iOS users), so a view is counted when a user clicks on a video within a tweet. Video view counts are not publicly displayed. Advertisers can view stats within the Twitter ad platform, or for organic tweets from within the analytics dashboard.
  • Vine: The Twitter-owned video network autoplays looping video with a maximum length of 6 seconds. Views on the Vine network are called loops, which are publicly displayed and triggered after a user watches the entire video. Vine doesn’t sell ads.

FBVidVsYouTube

Facebook has made a big deal of highlighting the strengths of the Facebook Video platform, but a new study from Visible Measures shows there is no clear-cut winner between YouTube and Facebook. The data collected by the company adds context to earlier numbers and demonstrates how both platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Facebook isn’t being dishonest when they highlight their statistics for views, but Facebook’s video platform has a difficult time maintaining momentum with popular videos. The platform excels at launching videos and gathering early velocity, but YouTube still has the clear lead when it comes to long-term value.

To come to these conclusions, Visible Measures studied 82 randomly chosen video campaigns launched by brands within the month of March and found that YouTube generated more views (65%-35%). While Facebook trails behind YouTube, the younger platform has made incredible strides in the span of a single year. Facebook only had a single digit share of brand video in last year’s study.

Only 53 of the campaigns included in the study posted natively to Facebook, perhaps contributing to YouTube’s lead in total views in 66% of campaigns.

The most striking difference between the platforms is the contrasting trajectories of videos on each platform. Facebook videos tended to accelerate quickly before peaking and gradually fading away. In fact, Facebook videos typically reached 85 percent of their total views in only the first week after launch. To contrast, YouTube only received 63% of its total viewership within the first seven days after launch.

These results were backed up by longer-term comparisons. Visible Measures points to findings that Facebook had 25% of total viewership of Super Bowl ad campaigns, but that number had dropped to 18.5% just two months later.

Visible Measure’s founder and CEO Brian Shin says these stats reflect the different natures of the platforms and noted that finding older videos on Facebook is specifically very difficult.

“If something is hot and of the moment, such as a newly released campaign, the Super Bowl, or even a cultural phenomenon like Fifty Shades of Grey, Facebook and similar social media sites are incredibly effective for driving the spread of timely content due to the trending nature of the News Feed,” Shin said in a release. “But the strength of Facebook to promote trending content also highlights how powerful YouTube remains as a platform for continued viewership.”

YouTube has long been the number one platform for video advertisers despite some recent challenges from Facebook. The top YouTube ads for last month give a good indication why so many advertisers trust the platform to help them build their brands.

The top 10 YouTube ads in March generated more than 102 million views, led by the Ad Council’s anti-discrimination spot “Love Has No Labels.” The ad shot to the top of YouTube’s most popular ads after being posted on March 3. Since then, it has garnered over 50 million views on its own.

While it can be difficult to climb to the top of YouTube’s ad charts, anyone can see a surprising amount of success by sharing their content on the platform. Let these top ads from March 2015 inspire you, and maybe you’ll be at the top of the list in the not too distant future.

Top Ten YouTube Video Ads for March 2015

1. Ad Council: Love Has No Labels

2. Durex: #Connect

3. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Official Introduction

https://youtu.be/CnYtWWDor2s

4. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Design Story

https://youtu.be/raAoYFrIm0I

5. YouTube: Music Awards 2015

6. GEICO: Family – Unskippable

https://youtu.be/pvcj9xptNOQ

7. YouTube Spotlight: #DearMe – What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

8. GoPro: Didga the Skateboarding Cat

 9. Valspar Paint: Color for the Colorblind

 10. Clean & Clear: See the Real Me

https://youtu.be/vyNZXQ136oI

FBVidVsYouTube

YouTube has been the prime place to be for video advertising for years, but Facebook is making a strong effort to take the throne. It also seems to be working. A new survey from video advertising company Mixpo suggests Facebook video may overtake YouTube as the number one video advertising platform as early as this year.

Facebook Video vs YouTube

The survey polled 125 agencies, brands and publishers on their plans for video advertising this year. According to their results, 87 percent said they plan to run video ad campaigns on Facebook, compared to 81.5 percent on YouTube.

Facebook video’s rise has been incredibly quick, following a revamp of the service early last year. Since then, the platform has claimed incredible viewing and sharing stats for videos which are attracting many advertisers.

The findings of the survey also show more businesses and advertisers are seeing the value in video advertising, as more marketers report planning video advertising campaigns across all platforms in 2015. Similarly, the number of advertisers without plans for video advertising this year has fallen to nearly non-existent.

YouTubesYou might assume that the largest social media platform would have the most effective paid advertising platform, but Facebook’s platform doesn’t hold the title according to a report from VentureBeat.

According to the report based on a study by AoL Platforms, YouTube is actually the champion of paid social media advertising platforms in more than a few key areas, including introducing new products to customers, and helping consumers make purchasing decisions.

The report examined data found within 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions during the first quarter of 2014, using Convertro’s attribution technology to track social purchase interactions. This data was then used to determined which platforms had affected online sales and at what point in the purchasing decision they had influence on the consumer.

Jeff Zwelling, CEO and co-founder at Convertro told VentureBeat:

We believe that YouTube does well in both of these important purchase funnel areas for a number of reasons. YouTube’s own search volume and preferential positioning on Google’s results help drive large amounts of traffic, of course. But when you get to YouTube, the content is rich, descriptive, and usually helpful.

I’ve done this myself. I recently bought a coffee machine. I had the decision down to three alternatives and couldn’t decide which one was best for me. In the end, I watched videos on YouTube of people using all three machines and chose the one that matched my idea of a good coffee maker.

YouTube is the best platform for both introducing new products and helping to close sales, while Facebook comes in second in both of those areas. Google+ consistently came in third.
You can get more information from the full report available here.

With the constant stream of news coming out of the online marketing industry, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest updates without missing some important information. That’s why we compile all the news you may have missed this week all in one convenient place every Friday. Let’s get started:

Google Updates Guidelines Regarding Redirects

Google has had a policy against redirects intended to deceive or manipulate search engines or users, but this week they updated their Webmaster Guidelines to explicitly include mobile-specific redirects. They also include an example of a deceptive mobile redirect with a scenario where “desktop users might receive a normal page, while hackers might redirect all mobile users to a completely different spam domain.” Google details the revisions in an announcement on their Webmaster Central Blog.

Google Wants To Help You Remember Where You Parked

parking-location

According to Android Authority, Google’s latest update to the Android version of the Google Search App includes a new feature which can help users remember where they parked their car and even give directions on how to get back to that spot. For users parking at large venues, malls, or in heavily-populated areas, this could potentially be a lifesaver. The parking reminder works by asking if you want to save a location as a Google Now card. Then when you are ready to get back to your car, you just tap on the card in the app and directions will appear.

Search Ads Get More Revenue per Conversion When Integrated With Social

marin-impact-search-and-social-ads

Online marketing is quickly reaching the point where you can’t approach it in a vacuum and hope for success. The days of keeping SEO, PPC, and social media marketing apart are fading fast, if they aren’t completely gone already. A new study from Marin Software confirms this y showing that advertising performs vastly better when integrated with a social advertising strategy. Jessica Lee breaks down the details of the study at Search Engine Watch, but you can also get the full white paper here.

YouTube Now Lets Channel Owners Attach Short Intros To Their Videos

This week, YouTube announced that channel owners can now add a three-second intro to their videos, allowing them to build a stronger and more cohesive brand presence across the video platform. Channel owners must upload the intro as an unlisted video, then click “Add a channel branding intro” on the InVideo Programming page. At that point, channel owners can select which videos should include the intro. However, YouTube has said intros can not be used as ads, sponsorship, or product placements, and should not be used by channels whose videos act as advertisements.

Twitter Earns 14 Million Monthly Active Users in Q1 of 2014

Twitter’s earnings report for the first quarter of 2014 shows they continue to grow in just about every area, even outperforming Wall Street estimates in all but one area. The area in which they have continued to struggle is gaining monthly active users, but even there Twitter is showing very positive signs. While not beating Wall Street estimates, Twitter monthly users did grow by 14 million since Q4 2013, culminating in 255 million total users. This is substantially more growth than shown n Q4 2013.

Vine is Coming To Desktop With New Features

Vine

Up until now, Vine has been confined to smartphones, but this week the social video platform has made the leap to desktop with a well laid-out website and some new features. The new features include top navigation in the left which includes the home feed and popular now feed, and all feeds can now be linked together in TV mode. The biggest addition however is the new search bar that lets users search by tag, person, or location for the first time. You can get more details in the announcement on Vine’s blog, or you can see the new site for yourself here.

Online video has reached a new level of importance in our lives over the past few years. YouTube is still the dominant service for free online video hosting and sharing, but several other platforms have taken YouTube’s lead and expanded on it in numerous ways.

Instagram and Vine have imposed limits on their video lengths to make them as sharable as possible, while Vimeo has focused its efforts on hosting primarily high-quality and visually stunning videos instead of the shaky cell-phone footage so prevalent on YouTube.

The question remains, which services do you invest your energy and resources into? If you are hoping to use the social video site to increase your brand’s visibility, you want to tailor the content you are creating to the platform most suited to your demographic.
You can get a complete breakdown of all of the major services in the infographic below.

The graphic was created by Russel Cooke, and explains what makes each service unique, as well as how each could benefit a business. If you know your market, you should be able to identify which service is most likely to connect you with your audience. From there, it’s just a matter of making content that will excite them.

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Looking for your favorite music video? Since MTV hasn’t shown music videos for the past 20 years, you will probably turn to Google. Now, Google is making it easier to find the videos your searching for by giving more prominence to the top playable music video result. So, if you’re searching for “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, it will be hard to miss the official version of the video at the top of the page.

Daft Punk Get Lucky Google Search

The thumbnail images for the videos look like they would be playable on the page, but in actuality they link back to the page for the video. It’s possible they play icon on the image might hint towards future usability for YouTube videos, or it might just be a little misleading.

Of course, the tool isn’t perfect, and you shouldn’t expect to get the “official” video or a video from the artist’s official account every time. For example, Search Engine Watch highlights a case where searching for “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre doesn’t pull up a video from the DrDreVEVO account, because that video hasn’t been uploaded to the official account.

Similarly, searching for “I Need a Doctor” by Dr. Dre doesn’t trigger the new large YouTube thumbnails, even though there is an official video uploaded to the account.

dr-dre-i-need-a-doctor-google-search

“This was already available in September 2013 when you searched for an artist and then clicked on a song – you’d see a preview of the music video if it was available to display,” said a Google spokesperson. “Yesterday we made it easier to get to – you can now just search for a song directly and see the video screenshot right away.”

It is notable that the huge thumbnail appears to be exclusive to YouTube. When Google pulls from other sources like Dailymotion, it shows the smaller thumbnail and link layout. For example, the video for “Simply Beautiful” by Queen Latifah looks like this:

simply-beautiful-queen-latifah-google-search

YouTube Graphic

With the popularity and direct user engagement of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, many online marketers forget the potential for YouTube to improve your brand reputation and enforce your SEO efforts in a single move.

YouTube has a surprising amount of opportunity for optimization, especially for efforts focusing on local search. There is a relative lack of videos from small or local businesses aimed at informing the public and promoting themselves, leaving a wonderful widow for many local businesses to make an impact on their audience.

Of course, before you can optimize, you need to make sure you have a quality video that offers something of value to viewers beyond simply promoting yourself. Chris Silver Smith recently wrote about how local businesses can go about creating videos that will be worth their viewers time and make your audience interested in what you do.

There are plenty of options, but chances are you don’t want to just make an ad and throw it up online. A better approach would be a series of short videos exploring your industry, your brand, and what you offer to consumers. How-to videos can reinforce your reputation in regards to your skill, while explanations of your products and services can help viewers understand exactly what sets you apart from your competitors.

Smith also explored the ways you can optimize your videos to make sure they get seen, while also helping your local SEO efforts.

  1. Link to Your Business – At the beginning of your description, always make sure to include a link to your business website. These links are automatically “nofollowed”, so don’t expect it to help your link portfolio, but there is a chance local citation value is being conveyed to Google.
  2. Name, Address, Phone Number – Every video should include thorough contact information in multiple easy-to-find locations. Start by making it visible within the first few frames of your video. Google is able to interpret and “read” text within videos, so not only will your viewers be able to easily find you, Google will retain data contained within the video. Similarly, you may want to actually state your information out loud in the video, as spoken statements are converted into subtitle transcripts by Google’s systems.
  3. Take Advantage of the Descriptions – YouTube has one of the most generous description fields out there. While the initial paragraph users see should clearly state what the video is about, you can also include a statement about your company or a biography so that interested viewers can find it with a simple click.
  4. Tag Your Video – Along with including your business category name and your location names to the tags on videos, you should also include a handful of relevant tags for each video. Tags have a heavy impact on YouTube, so you’ll want to always make sure you include them, or your video will likely disappear into the ether.
  5. Associate the Video with Google Place Listings – Business listing in Google Places allow you to associate videos easily by putting in URLs. Make sure to use the full page URL.
  6. Associate the Video with Google+ Local Page – Adding the video to your local page allows you and any other employees to easily share the video on personal Google+ streams. The number of shares is considered indicative of popularity, so this is a good opportunity to boost your shares.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Penguin 2.0 only affected 2.3% of search queries, but you would think it did much more from the response online. Ignoring all of the worrying before the release, there have been tons of comments about the first-hand effects it seems many are dealing with in the post-Penguin 2.0 web. Those spurned by the new Penguin algorithm have even accused Google of only releasing the update to increase their profitability.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, used his recent Webmaster Chat video to attack that idea head on. The main question he was asked is what aspect of Google updates Cutts thinks the SEO industry doesn’t understand. While Matt expresses concern about the amount of people who don’t get the difference between algorithm updates and data refreshes, Cutts’ main focus is the concept that Google is hurting web owners to improve their profits.

Most notably, the algorithm updates simply aren’t profitable. Google experienced decreases in their revenue from almost all their recent updates, but Cutts says that money isn’t the focus. Google is aiming at improving the quality of the internet experience, especially search. While site owners using questionable methods are upset, most searchers will hopefully feel that the updates have improved their experience, which will keep them coming back and using Google.

As far as the misunderstandings between algorithm updates and data refreshes, Cutts has expanded on the problem more elsewhere. The biggest difference is that the algorithm update changes how the system is working while data refreshes do not and only change the information the system is using or seeing.

Cutts was also asked which aspect of SEO that we are spending too much time on, which leads Cutts to one of the main practices that Penguin focuses on: link building. Too many SEOs are still putting too much faith in that single practice though it is being destabilized by other areas that more directly affect the quality of users’ experiences such as creating compelling content. Instead, Matt urges SEOs to pay more attention to design and speed, emphasizing the need to create the best web experience possible.

Cutts’ video is below, but the message is that Google is going to keep growing and evolving, whether you like it or not. If you listen to what they say and tell you about handling your SEO, you may have to give up some of your old habits but you’ll spend much less time worrying about the next algorithm update.