Tuesday June 21st, 2016

Video Marketing: The Rise of Facebook

Video continues to play a crucial role in conveying even the most complicated and important marketing messaging. Because of its ability to layer additional context through visual and audio cues, video occupies a unique space for marketers. Of course, this is not lost on new media giants like Google and Facebook; in fact, they are locked in what appears to be a battle for video supremacy and marketers should take note.

What’s At Stake?
When we think of online videos, most of us think of YouTube, Google’s long-time video juggernaut. Incredibly, YouTube has more than one billion users (almost one-third of all people on the Internet) and reaches more 18-49-year olds than any cable network in the United States! Even more amazing is the fact that over 80% of YouTube’s video views come from outside the U.S. These kinds of statistics are the definition of market saturation and Google has enjoyed success with YouTube for quite some time, but Facebook has plans...big plans.

While not many people would classify Facebook as an underdog, that’s exactly what the almighty social network was with their own video content product. The vast majority of video views on Facebook were embedded YouTube videos that ultimately clicked out to the world of Google. Facebook was basically not even in the game at all. Of course, Facebook has its own insane statistics, including 1.09 billion daily active users, most of whom spend more than 50 minutes each day on average looking through their news feed. It’s this highly engaged user base that should scare YouTube, especially as Facebook continues to make huge inroads with their own embedded video.

Why Should Marketers Pay Attention?
We know YouTube and Facebook have huge user numbers to lean on for daily engagement and that’s really key when it comes to video. Think about your own habits on either website, especially Facebook. You likely click from post to video to link to photo to video, for hours each day (lets be honest, you aren’t average and you laugh at a mere 50 minutes on Facebook). This is all great, but YouTube had something very important long before Facebook even had video at all...monetized ads. We’re all familiar with ‘pre-roll’ ads that you see when navigating to a monetized video on YouTube, typically requiring you to wait 5 seconds before proceeding. Of course this is just one of many ad types available to marketers with YouTube. One of my favorites (and quirkiest) is the Squatty Potty, seen below. 

Long story short, Facebook had quite a bit of ‘catching up’ to do, so first it pushed the creation of video that was native to the Facebook platform. Slowly but surely, Facebook users started to see more and more video in their News Feed, accelerated by the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon in 2014. Additional functions and features were added as time went on, like the love it or hate it ‘auto-play’ that can sometimes bog down your News Feed. But while Facebook was growing its video engine faster than anyone thought possible, it was time to monetize, which is great news for anyone who has ever used Facebook’s advertising platform.

If you "like" basketball, the Cleveland Cavaliers or perhaps more specifically, LeBron James, you may have been served Nike’s #AlwaysBelieve ad shown below shortly after the Cavs won the NBA Championship. Pretty cool right? That is the power of Facebook’s ability to harvest usage information from its members’ profiles and behavior. But the best part of Facebook’s push into video advertising is the fact that advertising doesn’t work unless someone is paying attention and Facebook (up until now anyhow) seems to have the advantage when it comes to creating captive audiences amongst its users.

Still not convinced? Here are few more stats to chew on:

  • It would take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2020.
  • Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2020.
  • Globally, IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015.

Video has the ability to make us laugh, shed a tear, tell a friend and even make a purchase. As marketers, the benefits are exciting and clear, so it’ll be up to us to continue to find unique and compelling ways to leverage video. As always, Graphica would be thrilled to learn about your biggest marketing challenges and who knows, maybe we can craft the next video sensation together.


Ryan Pearson,

Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist 

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