On Facebook, YouTube videos are greatly muted in terms of the real estate each post has in the News Feed compared to a natively posted video. See below to compare:
Natively Uploaded Facebook Video:
Note – these videos autoplay in the feed, and that square and vertical formats have a huge amount of News Feed real estate.
YouTube Video Posted to Facebook:
Note – YouTube links do not show a video player in-line until it’s clicked, and Facebook crops that thumbnail you worked so hard on into an awkward square format.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have both the added audience reach of a Facebook video and the monetization of a YouTube video at the same time? It can be done – you just need to use both!
A natively-posted Facebook Video preview can get a huge reach on Facebook, and these can effectively move audiences to your monetized content on YouTube if you structure it the right way. Here are the steps to do it:
#1 – Post native preview video on Facebook
Importantly, the native preview video should be short (10-15 seconds max)
Also, ensure to use a square or vertical video format to take advantage of extra News Feed real estate.
Creators will occasionally burn some kind of attention-grabbing messaging above and below a video in widescreen format, keeping the full frame in view while taking advantage of the extra space in the feed. See an example below:
#2 – Provide a reason to click through to YouTube
The content of the preview video should be the setup of a suspenseful moment (if applicable to your video) or at least a strong tease. If the user needs to click off to your full video on YouTube to see the resolution, it can be a powerful audience movement incentive.
Examples of this would be a stunt or prank set-up, an imminent fail, a cliffhanger etc.
Take care, though, not to do this in such a way that the viewer feels robbed once they see the destination content. It must be clear to the viewer that they haven’t already seen the majority of the content, and that they are being rewarded for their click with a satisfying amount of great content.
Also be sure that expectations meet reality. If the destination content is not what the viewer is expecting after clicking, they will probably abandon the YouTube video, which is a negative signal for YouTube’s own discovery algorithms.
Make sure there is a clear call-to-action (CTA) for the user to click the link to the YouTube video to see the remainder. Graphic elements in the frame, an audio CTA, and messaging in the post itself are all helpful.
Audiences will do what you ask them to, but you have to ask.
#3 – Optimize the Facebook Preview
Here are 4 ways you can optimize your Facebook Post to ensure the best possible conversion to YouTube view:
1) Include a link to your monetized YouTube video in the post description (duh). You can use a link tracking service such as bit.ly or goo.gl if you want to get some extra data on how many clicks you attracted.
However, it is worth noting for mobile users that a shortened YouTube link will start playing in their mobile browser, and not in the YouTube App. It is better if they end up in the YouTube app because then they do not have to log in on the page to leave a comment or add to a playlist.
2) Craft a solid title. The same rules for YouTube apply to Facebook. Check out the FAQ Tube titles guide to learn how to craft the perfect one for your video.
3) Create an optimized thumbnail. Again, the same rules as YouTube apply here. Even though it?s Facebook, not everyone has autoplay turned on, and there are many places that still show a thumbnail (such as a Page’s Videos section).
Theoretically, you can use Facebook video previews to move your audience anywhere. YouTube is one great application, but you can also move audiences to buy merchandise at a store, follow you on another platform, or even to other monetized video platforms like Go90.
Facebook are becoming more aware of the techniques people are using to get people from their platform to another, especially YouTube. Even if you don’t embed directly, Facebook can de-prioritize any post that contains a link to YouTube.
One way to work around this (for now at least) is to include the link in the first comment on the post. Make sure to signpost this in the video though or it may get overlooked.