When your company shares a promotional video online, the chances are high that you turn to YouTube, Vimeo, or even Wistia. Video is one of the key areas where Facebook has yet to dominate, but now the world’s most popular social media platform is looking to change that. Facebook has improved its video upload capabilities and has also added incentives for marketers that included the ability to tag people (in videos!) and include a call-to-action to like the page within the video, however the service still hasn’t quite taken off. Even though it’s long been suspected that Facebook gives preferential treatment to directly uploaded content (something this research seems to support), the threat of Google’s YouTube and a lack of decent analytics are huge stumbling blocks for brands looking for to post their video content on FB. A 2013 study by SocialBakers found that over the course of five days, brands shared 3,684 YouTube videos on Facebook, whilst directly uploading only 458.
The lack of in-depth analytics is certainly one of the key drawbacks when it comes to using Facebook as a video-hosting platform. If you shared a video on your page via direct upload, the only measurement you received prior to the recent update were the engagement stats for your post and a total view count. Compare this to YouTube’s analytics and it’s clear to see why Facebook uploads aren’t on many brand’s radars. However, Facebook announced the roll out of a new suite of video metrics with the aim of encouraging more brands to upload their videos direct to their site. These new stats are available to all pages, giving marketers access to an improved set of metrics including:
- Total views
- Unique views
- Average duration of video viewed
- Audience retention graphs Page administrators will also be able to filter by the length of time a video is viewed; this allows them to analyze how many people watched a certain percentage of a video. Meanwhile, the retention graphs aim to help brands understand when their videos peak interest, as well as points where interest wanes and the audience drops off. Advertisers are given an added bonus in this rollout, as those using video within Facebook advertising will also be given access to a ‘data breakdown’. This breakdown gives advertisers the ability to slice up the information by demographic, so if your campaign has been built to target women aged 16-24, you’ll be able to drill down to see exactly how many views you achieved in that segment, and assess whether your campaign hit the mark. These new metrics are a valuable addition to the insights platform, giving brands fantastic information that will help develop more effective video content and provide marketers with much needed information to calculate ROI. The only question is whether this new functionality is enough to convince the YouTube faithful to upload to one more system.