Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For… Facebook?

In the last year alone, Facebook had 1.4 billion monthly active users compared to YouTube’s 1.3 billion. Our last blog post discussed the video advertising arms race between YouTube and Facebook, but it seems the latter may be racking up those views in an unsavory way. Someone’s got some explaining to do.

Unlike sea pirates, Facebook freebooters don’t directly profit from their plundering. That’s because, unlike YouTube, Facebook doesn’t run commercials before its native videos—not yet, at least. That’s part of why they spread like wildfire. What the freebooter gains is attention, whether in the form of likes, shares, or new followers for its Facebook page.

Essentially, a Facebook freebooter downloads (or “rips”) a video from YouTube and then proceeds to post the video directly onto Facebook as a native video, with no credit given to the original creator. And without any links or tags, the creator has no idea his or her video is going viral – all on somebody else’s platform. Take for example the famed Tyrese Gibson, who regularly rips videos from YouTube. Yet one of his videos was the 5th most popular of 2014.

Ripping videos not only exaggerates the number of Facebook video views for the freebooter; it hurts the creators as well. Creators lose user engagement, but here’s the real problem: it costs them a great deal of time and money to get these videos removed from Facebook.

George Strompolos, the CEO of Fullscreen is “shocked that a rights holder with deep pockets has not sued yet.” He went on a Twitter rant a little over a month ago about the freebooter problem.

If Facebook wants to seriously compete with YouTube, it will have to fix the issue of videos being uploaded without the creator’s permission. All it takes is one “deep pocket” before the company gets itself into serious trouble.


The Time For Video is Now

Video isn’t the future of content marketing. It’s the present.

Marketing strategists like to claim that video is the future of content marketing, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, video is the future. Nearly 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by the year 2018. But if you haven’t incorporated video into your advertising campaign, you’re already late in the game. The time for video is now. After all, video ads grew 34% last year – the fastest in any online ad medium. It’s clear that video is essential to any content strategy. If you’re not using video, you better think twice… your competitors surely are.

“Far outpacing growth in spending on television and other digital formats, it’s not hard to understand what makes online video so compelling to business advertisers. Video ads obtain the highest level of engagement and provide a level of visual and narrative richness, while offering all the advantages of digital, including advanced targeting, tracking, and increasingly, automated buying of video ad units.”

Video drives growth and increases sales

A picture is worth a thousand words, but one minute of video is worth 1.8 million. Whether it’s a personal ad or a business commercial, video builds trust and credibility with an audience. In fact, studies show that more than 80% of people say they are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it, and Forrester predicts that more than 90% of the online population will watch online videos regularly by 2017.

Browse through your Facebook News Feed and you’ll see a GoPro video of your buddy’s recent vacation in Mexico. Scroll through Twitter and you might happen across a warm, heartfelt video of a lost puppy in a Budweiser commercial. It’s just that simple; video ads are everywhere. Posting a video increases the chances of a customer making a purchase by up to 35 percent. That’s right – online video ads generate 27 times more traffic than standard banner ads.

Amazon, Dell, and other online retailers have publicly shared statistics showing that a posted video can increase the odds of a customer purchasing an item by as much as 35 percent. Results from Online Publishers association’s research show that after watching video, 12% purchased the specific product in the ad and 26% looked for more information about the subject of the video.

Video Increases Social Media Engagement

A young boy retweets a Nike video of his favorite athlete and that video instantly reaches a new network of people. One of his followers retweets the same video and boom. You get the picture. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites have wonderful sharing opportunities for video. Where else can you reach millions of people in a matter of seconds?

People are most likely to engage with branded content on social media when companies share either picture or video. In fact, one in five Twitter users discover videos each day from tweeted links. If brands are smart, they will capitalize on video through apps like Instagram and Vine. Check out this brilliant move by Oreo:

Still not convinced? Consider this: more than 80% of shoppers say that their friends on social media platforms directly impact their purchasing decisions, and 4 in 10 social media users have purchased an item online or in-store after sharing or favoriting it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. And ever since Pinterest introduced the buy button, sales have skyrocketed. Social media and video go hand in hand – you can’t have one without the other.

Video Increases SEO and Improves Email Marketing

Nothing else boosts engagement like video. Did you know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine? Incorporating video on a web page makes it 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google. And hey, let’s face it – people are lazy. We prefer to watch videos rather than read. Especially with autoplay on Facebook and Twitter, users are more than willing to watch a 30-second video instead of clicking a link to a news article. Landing pages with video can increase conversions by 80%. When searching a topic on Google, over 60% of the results include video.

Yes, SEO matters. But did you know that marketers consistently rank email as having a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing strategy? Video increases email click-through rates by 200-300%, therefore almost tripling the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts. If your business doesn’t have video, you’re in the minority.

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The Video Advertising Arms Race: Facebook vs. YouTube

You’ve seen it all over the headlines: Facebook video views are catching up to YouTube. In the last year alone, Facebook had 1.4 billion monthly active users compared to YouTube’s 1.3 billion. Although the difference is minor, the recent growth rate for Facebook video has risen dramatically; the reach Facebook has seen in native video views within the year is astounding. Facebook’s video platform launched just over a year ago, whereas YouTube launched a decade ago. Ampere found that 15% of Internet users across North America and Western Europe had watched a video on Facebook in the last month, and a sixth of those people had not watched a video on YouTube in that same time span. It seems the king of online video has finally met its match. YouTube is no longer the only major video platform.

It’s predicted that by the end of 2015, Facebook will have 2 trillion video views. That’s two-thirds as many as YouTube. And what’s more, Ampere determined that Facebook is more profitable than YouTube. Marketing Land wrote the following:

“Facebook’s challenge to YouTube is showing strength. Based on similar totals of monthly active users on the two networks, Ampere found that advertisers value Facebook inventory at a higher rate, $0.73 per MAU for Facebook vs. $0.28 for YouTube. That’s despite the fact that Facebook charges advertisers for views as short as three seconds in its autoplay environment while YouTube only charges when people view a view for about 30 seconds.”

Why is Facebook the preferred video advertising method? Even though Facebook charges advertisers after such a short view time, Facebook is ideal for content marketers before the launch of a product for creating brand awareness. That’s because Facebook videos are getting more likes and shares on the social network site compared to YouTube videos. Nonetheless, YouTube is still more advertiser friendly since the ads can be shown anytime during a video view. YouTube also has the feature TrueView, which allows users to skip an ad after only five seconds. It’s shown to be extremely effective, as advertisers don’t pay for a video if it’s skipped.

Even though Facebook lacks in some areas of video advertising, the company is looking ahead to the next market trend: mobile advertising. The Cisco index predicated that nearly three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019. Mobile advertising is an enormous market that many advertisers have yet to tap in to. Facebook debuted its vision for mobile ads at Cannes Lions on Tuesday, June 23. It’s an intriguing idea and one that is a smart move for the company. Re/code wrote the following about Facebook’s mobile potential:

“Facebook’s future is mobile — it already has more than half a billion people whose only interaction with Facebook each month comes from a mobile device — and it’s giving marketers a hand in designing the very ad units the company will be selling them in a few months. Not a bad move… Of course, Facebook will also be tasked with walking the line between advertiser wants and user happiness. Users are rarely fond of advertising — although with Facebook the issue tends to be targeting more than anything — and it’ll be up to Facebook to ensure whatever ads they create strike the right balance.”

Despite Facebook’s video success, the company still has a long way to go when it comes to video advertising. Facebook does not offer pre-roll ads. Pre-roll ads are the commercials that appear prior to an online video.  If Facebook wants to remain competitive with YouTube the company will eventually have to incorporate these ads, which would allow for a more advertiser friendly format.

So just how fast has Facebook video grown within the past year? Business Insider UK compiled data about the state of social video from Socialbakers and found that brands have virtually stopped posting YouTube videos on Facebook. Beforehand Facebook native video launched just over a year ago, brands did publish their YouTube videos on Facebook. Last year, YouTube was the dominant video platform on Facebook. As you can see, that’s no longer the case.

While YouTube may not be the king it once was, it’s still the leading platform for online video. Although a Google exec said YouTube isn’t worried about Facebook’s native video expansion, the company must realize the threat Facebook poses. Still, YouTube is the second largest search engine thanks to Google, a feat not to be dismissed. But while YouTube is still in a strong position overall, Facebook and other video platforms are giving YouTube a run for its money. So what is the future of video advertising? Only time will tell.

Whether you choose to advertise on Facebook or YouTube, Viddyad is here to help. Create a video ad online in minutes. #EasyFastAffordable

Online Ad Skipping: The Surprising Benefits of TrueView

Google Analytics

How is it advertisers can profit without viewers watching the entirety of their ads? That’s the brilliance of TrueView advertising.

TrueView allows YouTube users the option of skipping the advertisement after a mere 5 seconds. Although it seems counterproductive, a recent STRATA consumer report shows that 75% of respondents need only 3 seconds to identify the brand or product of an online video ad, while the other 25% need only one to two seconds.

With that being said, the first five seconds are crucial. It’s important to get right to the point – don’t waste time showing your branding. Instead, experiment with what drives viewers’ curiosity to continue watching the ad.

Benefits of TrueView

Why pay for an ad if no one watches it? The STRATA report also found that 41% of viewers hit “skip this ad” before they recognize the brand or product being sold. With TrueView, advertisers do not pay for an ad unless the viewer watches it, so there’s no need to spend money on an audience that’s not interested.

Since the percentage of ad-recalls for online video ads is much higher than TV (about 34%), advertisers learn which strategies work and which do not. Using YouTube Analytics, advertisers gain insight and track user engagement in order to make the appropriate adjustments. And for those that did view the video, YouTube says that “You can easily build a cookie list of people who viewed your video and use remarketing to show ads to these customers, wherever they are on YouTube or the Google Display Network.”

Online video ads can build a following. This means that once a user watches the video, he or she may continue to view another ad, subscribe to the channel, or share the video with a friend. YouTube uses these Earned actions to provide data about the relationships between its viewers and the advertisers, allowing the latter to develop and expand their ad campaign.

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YouTube Make Video Autoplay Default

YouTube make autoplay default - Viddyad blog

As is often the case with a new feature being introduced, it is met with uncertainty. With YouTube’s default autoplay, however, users have come around to it and realized its benefits pretty quickly. The user has the option to disable the autoplay function simply by un-selecting the option from the sidebar, but when autoplay is embedded, one of the ‘suggested videos’ will play next.

There are definite upsides to the new feature. Google will save your viewing history and will provide your suggested videos accordingly. Before the autoplay feature automatically plays the next suggested video, there will be a 10 second countdown, in which you can pause the video if you wish to leave a comment or you can begin typing in the search bar which will cause the countdown to pause.

The feature will lead to users staying on the site for longer, with videos continuously playing that are tailored to your taste. This is a benefit to YouTube as well, and puts them back in the game with Facebook who already have default autoplay and Twitter who have begun testing it.

These efforts towards audience retention for videos and video ads is good news for marketers as now there is a growing number of channels that videos can be advertised on.