The great battle for video influence

Adding video to your marketing can help build influence.

The great battle for video influence

Last year on Facebook alone the number of video posts per person increased 75% globally and a staggering 94% in the U.S. The appetite for video by consumers is undeniable, making it a highly valuable resource for businesses wanting to engage and connect with customers.

Although YouTube is still the king of digital video content, clever technology implementations and content prioritization appear to have social media giant Facebook clipping at YouTube’s heels.

A study by Socialbakers late last year discovered brands are increasingly bypassing YouTube, uploading videos direct to Facebook instead. Other research shows video is in fact bigger on Facebook than on YouTube, with brands posting 20,000 more videos direct to Facebook than to YouTube in December 2014*.

Facebook’s new digital video offering is causing quite a stir. Marketers are thinking twice about where they post video content. Heads are also turning in the advertising world in search of greater exposure, campaign engagement and revenue sharing.

What do these trends mean for the future of YouTube and Facebook? More importantly, how can brands looking to distribute video content and advertise online use this growing competition to their advantage?

Let’s start with why YouTube is losing market share

As a platform built on the principles of engagement, it’s really no surprise Facebook users interact well with video.

In January 2014, Facebook was getting just over half of all video interactions; by December this figure had climbed to 80%. It’s this very engagement that will likely lure advertisers away from YouTube, seeking maximum exposure and interaction with their brands.

And Facebook isn’t the only one vying for a slice of the pie, with the likes of Snapchat and Vessel also grappling for YouTube’s once relatively unchallenged market share. Yahoo-owned Tumblr has now launched autoplay video ads; Instagram (owned by Facebook) also introduced video; and rumors suggest Twitter will soon ramp up its video offering with autoplay video, too. Change is decidedly brewing in the digital video industry – savvy dealerships should closely watch this space.

Is Facebook video really a game-changer?

According to Facebook, more than 50% of daily users watch at least one video each day – but this hasn’t happened overnight. Long before most of us grasped just how powerful online video marketing would become, Facebook (and Google and other industry leaders) were already prioritizing this type of content.

In 2014 Facebook launched its innovative autoplay feature, allowing native video content (videos uploaded directly to Facebook) to play automatically in users’ newsfeeds. In the first three months following the launch of video outside of the U.S. (May to July 2014) Facebook experienced a 50% increase in brand video uploads. Few argue that autoplay video has not been a significant industry development, providing considerably more brand exposure – even in the few short seconds it takes viewers to scroll past.

Another way Facebook is challenging YouTube is by using clever algorithms to control how much airtime videos get, prioritizing native video over content redirected to YouTube and other external sites. To match demand, video content, regardless of where it is posted, is also broadly prioritized on Facebook to make up 30% of newsfeeds – before sharing even occurs.

And the great battle for video influence doesn’t stop there. Facebook is reported to be undercutting YouTube by as much as 10%, promising far more lucrative deals to advertisers than its rival. Other competitors are following suit with equally generous revenue-sharing deals. Seemingly unruffled, YouTube sits firm and shows no outward signs of being intimidated by Facebook’s entry to the video market.

So what does this mean for business?

While the growing popularity of video on Facebook and other social media platforms presents a challenge for YouTube, it’s entirely good news for businesses.

Tire dealerships must continue to utilize the most relevant channels to connect with their customers. For businesses looking to harness the power and influence of video, each new platform enabling and prioritizing video content provides new opportunities to connect with customers. Given tire buyers are conducting more online product research than ever before, you’re missing the boat if you’re not already engaging customers in this way.

If you advertise on social media, growing competition presents even further appeal, with mounting pressure to offer more rewarding and compelling opportunities to businesses and advertising agencies when choosing which digital platforms to use.

The big question: how to make video that will get watched

Given the speed at which some Facebook users scroll down their newsfeed, you’ll really want to focus on making a big impression inside those first few seconds. And as videos initially play silently, marketers can’t rely on sound for getting people’s attention. Apparently even the day of the week now matters, with nearly a quarter of all Facebook video plays happening on a Friday.

There are so many things to consider when making successful branded video content. Most channels, including Facebook, offer advice to marketers on creating video consumers want to watch – and more importantly, will want to share. Perhaps that’s our topic for next time.

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