Facebook Watch vs. YouTube: Which One is More Important for School Video Marketing?

Facebook Watch is available to everyone. Currently, users can watch videos like you can on YouTube.

Anyone can upload videos to Facebook, but not all videos will end up in Watch. If you want your videos to show up in Watch, you need to upload them to your Page, not your personal account.

If your video is approved, Facebook Watch is a great way to market your content. Like YouTube, Watch is monetized by advertising. The producing partners earn 55 percent of ad revenue, while Facebook retains 45 percent.

Since Facebook Watch is trying to compete with YouTube, Facebook had to find a way to make its streaming service stand out. There are two ways Watch is different from YouTube, both of which indicate a strong future for marketing.

Facebook has now created a Facebook Watch vs. YouTube dynamic and made it a little more difficult to determine which one to use for school video marketing.

  1. Original content

Most of the content shown on Watch is original and exclusive, meaning it can’t be viewed anywhere else. The only exception is live content such as live sporting events. Watch includes live streaming sports content from the MLB, WWE, PGA, college football and other sources.

  1. More personalization

Facebook Watch is personalized in a way no other streaming platform has ever been. This personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about Facebook. It’s personal and it’s social. People love getting “personalized” recommendations and they love to share what they’ve discovered with friends and family.

  • Facebook Watch offers personalized recommendations in Watch, accessible from the left column next to Messenger and Marketplace. Recommendations of what to watch are provided in categories like:
    • Editor’s picks

      Some of the most popular Facebook Watch videos are available via a large banner at the top of the main Watch site. Select the arrow on the right side of the banner to cycle through these options.

    • Top picks

      Facebook Watch as an algorithm that attempts to find videos users will be interested in based on their location, hobbies, interests and previous videos viewed.

    • Search

      Select the Search Video field and type the name of a show you’re looking for. For instance, typing in “Tips for Back to School” will bring up the Facebook Watch exclusive content related to this topic.

    • Watchlist

      If you select Follow on any video or show, it’s added to your watchlist. You can select Latest Videos or Saved Videos in the Watchlist section of Facebook Watch to access these shows whenever you want.

  • Subscribing to a show automatically connects users to other fans through show-linked Groups
  • During a show, Facebook Watch offers a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers in real-time. This is called a Watch Party. Watch parties are compatible will all types of Facebook Video, meaning users can watch full-length movies, comedies, dramas, and game shows.

All of these features offer a strong focus on social viewing. While social viewing is relatively new, we have seen it in other apps.

  • Tumblr offers a video chat service where users can watch their friend’s reactions in real-time as they all watch a video together.
  • Though not as robust as Facebook’s comment option, YouTube allows Android and iOS users to comment natively within YouTube. The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

Social viewing is a trend that is only going to get stronger, so how can school marketers take advantage of this new way of watching content?

  1. Facebook Watch advertising

Facebook Watch ads, called “ad break” ads because they “break” into the video, are a type of advertising school marketers may want to consider. Facebook Watch ads are great because the viewer can’t scroll down (they have to wait for the ad to conclude before they can finish watching the video).

In order to qualify for Facebook Watch ads, your Facebook Page needs to meet a number of metrics, including a minimum number of fans and minutes watched per video over a specific amount of time.

Longer videos will only increase the effectiveness of ad break ads. The combination of Facebook’s amazing targeting capabilities, coupled with original, exclusive content, mean ads will perform exceptionally well.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch will only accelerate the ongoing shift of ad budget from TV to digital and mobile. School marketers that want to jump into the video advertising game should consider Facebook Watch break ads.

YouTube advertising offers a pre-roll ad as well as ads that run during some of the longer videos. YouTube also has a minimum subscriber and watch minutes requirements.

  1. Facebook Watch is a powerful marketing channel

As promising as Facebook Watch ads are, content publishers can opt-out of them if they want. This means that content creators like budding videographers can be transparent by tagging their sponsor.

Facebook Watch relies less on the search algorithm than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see them appear in their News Feed along with other daily updates. This means you can view videos right within Facebook rather than having to go to YouTube. Click here for How to Optimize YouTube Videos for Search

  1. Facebook Live will become even more important in the future

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, continues to grow in popularity. Facebook Live allows schools to humanize themselves and connect with families and prospective families in real-time. Click here for 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Facebook Live for Your School Marketing

YouTube also offers a Live stream feature. You can Live stream from a webcam or mobile device. You can also set up a Live control room, by setting up an encoder and enabled your channel for Live streaming.

YouTube tends to attract younger viewers, especially those under age 18, while Facebook is the best way to reach Millennials and Gen Xers.

  1. Facebook Watch changes the game for content marketers

Facebook is heavily emphasizing the social viewing features of Watch. This makes sense. The community aspect of Facebook is what made it so popular in the first place. For this reason, Facebook Watch will continue to see higher rates of sharing and social engagement.

Facebook Watch and YouTube are both phenomenal opportunities for school marketers. You can no longer share YouTube videos on Facebook as the Facebook algorithm will not show any YouTube links you upload to Facebook. While your content can essentially be the same for both platforms, you should edit your videos with each platform – and target audience – in mind. And, while it may add some logistical complications and distribution hassles, it is totally worth it to publish video content to both YouTube and Facebook Watch.

Does your school create content for YouTube and/or Facebook Watch? How well are these channels working for your marketing department? Please share your experience with the rest of the school marketing community in the comments below…

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.

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