Video Ads- Facebook or Youtube?

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Reports published have claimed that popular social media platform Facebook is quickly catching up to Youtube in terms of video advertising products on the internet. In fact, it is mentioned to display the fastest amount of growth when it comes to internet marketing.

Both platforms hold a sizable amount of 1.3 – 1.4 billion active users so awareness/reach will not be the deciding factor on which is more advantageous. The deciding factor then, falls on user experience. Both will have to compete with one another in terms of improving beyond what they are already offering so that their improved marketing strategy can help gain more engagement with viewers. Therefore, it’s likely that users will have to tolerate more ads coming their way, perhaps in better quality in terms of content and play format.

It’s true that close to 15% Western Europe and USA internet users have been watching videos on Facebook since it introduced video ads in auto-play formats and made such content more commonly available. In fact, a percentage of people have watched videos on Facebook first even before they visited videos in Youtube.

However, in terms of return per view, Youtube is still currently leading. It’s not impossible for Facebook to catch up in this area as well though- that is, if they are willing to consider making use of the personal data on facebook, which is more detailed and specific compared to Youtube, to serve videos to users who are logged in. This way, they can serve ads that are more relevant to the user’s interests.

One factor that might be detrimental to development would be that compared to Youtube, who provides a wider range of ad formats  (it lets you choose to run your Ads before your video, during or after your video) and a considerably more flexible platform for marketing, Facebook is still using post-roll videos which limits and restricts content. So if it intends to match up to Youtube, it should revise it’s own social media marketing strategy again.

Another noted advantage Youtube has is that the online platform only charges you when your advertisement is viewed, which means it keeps count of who watches your ads daily and calculates it with an estimated average cost for each video. You can also decide maximum cost per complete view.  Facebook, however, charges you once the video ad passes three seconds in a user’s newfeed, regardless of whether it has been clicked on and sound enabled.

This makes Youtube more advertiser-friendly. Hence, advertisers are more willing to use the services of Youtube since there is greater assurance that the targeted audience they have are actually viewing the ads and ease up planning along the way. It’s possible for Facebook to catch up but it must deliver comparable returns if it’s aim is to convince business owners that it’s another alternative to advertise online next to Youtube.

Since the two platforms are both innovative and hold great potential for customer engagement, there won’t be a clear winner in such a short time. Nevertheless, the increase in video ad content is a guarantee for users on both platforms. One can only sit back and wait to see what other creative measures the platforms can offer us in the near future. Either way, it’s bound to be quite the interesting ride.

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