Where your mes­sage lives is just as impor­tant as the actu­al mes­sage itself.

4 min read

Opin­ions expressed by Entre­pre­neur con­trib­u­tors are their own.

A cre­ative, high-qual­i­ty video post­ed on Face­book or YouTube that plays to the view­er’s wants, moti­va­tions and needs can go far to bridge the gap between you and your tar­get cus­tomers. No mat­ter what your video’s pur­pose — to explain a com­plex prod­uct or ser­vice in sim­ple terms, to make com­pa­ny-wide announce­ments or to help dri­ve traf­fic to an ecom­merce site — place­ment is key. In oth­er words, where your mes­sage lives is just as impor­tant as the actu­al mes­sage itself.

Relat­ed: You Don’t Need to Be on YouTube to Make Mon­ey With Video Con­tent

Over­look­ing where the fin­ished video will even­tu­al­ly be post­ed can be a big bar­ri­er to suc­cess and under­mine all the hard work you’ve put into mak­ing it. Before you choose Face­book or YouTube, spend some time to under­stand the dif­fer­ences between two dom­i­nant social media out­lets, and approach your video’s pro­duc­tion with its home in mind. Decid­ing ear­ly will also help you bet­ter pre­pare your Face­book or YouTube ad strat­e­gy and ad buy, since the ad char­ac­ter­is­tics that will suc­cess­ful­ly dri­ve view­ers to your video are just as dif­fer­ent as the two social media sites.

How audiences view Facebook and YouTube


When peo­ple vis­it YouTube, they are going on the web­site with the spe­cif­ic intent to watch videos (well duh, right?). What this real­ly means is that your view­ers are already primed for a video watch­ing expe­ri­ence. They like­ly already have time to sit and watch. They are also prob­a­bly look­ing at the prop­er screen for qual­i­ty video view­ing, and have access to decent audio via speak­ers or head­phones.


When peo­ple vis­it Face­book, they tend to be on the go, using their phone in line at Star­bucks or hur­ry­ing between meet­ings, and typ­i­cal­ly are jump­ing around a lot on the site. If your view­er is on a com­put­er, he or she is prob­a­bly at work, in class or some­where where they don’t have the lux­u­ry of time. All of these sce­nar­ios are not ide­al for watch­ing videos with undi­vid­ed atten­tion. Small screens and audio lim­i­ta­tions mean your Face­book audi­ence prob­a­bly will not enjoy the full effect you intend­ed them to get from your video mar­ket­ing.

Relat­ed: Why Short-Form Video Needs to Be Part of Your Con­tent Strat­e­gy

How to adapt

When cre­at­ing videos for your Face­book page and the sup­port­ing Face­book video ads, you can help the dis­tract­ed view­er out by mak­ing sure the videos can be com­plete­ly under­stood with visu­als only.

Try this:

  • Use large bold text and graph­ics.
  • Make sure the visu­als explain them­selves (think “Tasty” recipe videos).
  • Add sub­ti­tles where need­ed.
  • Work in ani­ma­tions to engage an audi­ence with­out audio.

Anoth­er thing to take into con­sid­er­a­tion is that when peo­ple watch YouTube videos or ads, they are forced to watch them in order to view the con­tent they are look­ing for, where­as with Face­book, users just scroll right on by if they are not inter­est­ed. Make sure that your con­tent is engag­ing and draws the view­er in dur­ing the first three sec­onds, oth­er­wise you will like­ly lose them.

Relat­ed: 5 Tips for Cre­at­ing Qual­i­ty Video Con­tent Even If You’re Clue­less How to Begin

Here are a few more tips for mak­ing a suc­cess­ful Face­book video ad:

Keep it short: The cur­rent for­mat is 60 sec­onds, but for most peo­ple that’s too long. It’s typ­i­cal for view­ers to spend just sec­onds on a video, and they might not engage at all if it appears long.

Engage them: Make sure the entire video is pur­pose­ful and inter­est­ing. Don’t waste your view­ers’ time. If they choose to spend it on your video, you’ve got to use every sec­ond and give them a rea­son to be there,

Add a bonus: Make a com­pelling offer or deal that will dri­ve the view­er to vis­it your site, pur­chase your prod­uct or take anoth­er action.

Name it: A catchy title can com­pel a poten­tial view­er to pause and enjoy your full video.

Relat­ed Video: 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Videos and Attract More Clients

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