YouTube vs Facebook – Where Marketers Should Upload Their Video

Every few years (or months) a new marketing “trend” takes the marketing community by storm, go through the Kübler-Ross model, towards acceptance and full implementation. Then another “trend” and goes through the same steps. By now most marketers are starting to accept that visual content has to be a part of their content and inbound marketing. They also know the importance and potential of video marketing. More marketers than ever are reporting that they are budgeting more money on video than ever before. As our CEO David Lee wrote on, it’s not a question if you can afford to do video. The rhetorical question today is if you can afford not to do video.

When a new marketing trend is established in the industry, the discussion change from if it is valuable and measurable, to be more about where and how the new trend should be executed. That marketing platforms evolve and adapt constantly during this time make sure that the discussion is ever changing and new best practices are established. The biggest marketing showdown in the video marketing sphere is by far the video ad war between YouTube and Facebook, a war that many believed was already won by YouTube before it even started. But as we’ve said earlier on the Shakr blog, Facebook has exploded onto the scene, catching YouTube by surprise and are quickly becoming the heir apparent of online video ads. But as Vidyard so eloquently wrote on their blog, your video marketing strategy still needs YouTube. In the rest of this post, you will learn the strong points and weaknesses of YouTube vs Facebook and how posting on them will affect your business.

Pros and cons of advertising on facebook


The new heavy player in the video ad market boasts an impressive range of tools for brands that use video as a marketing tool. Want as many people to watch your ad as possible? Facebook auto play solves that problem, automatically playing in your target audience’s news feed. Want to retarget your website visitors with video? Facebook pixels on your site will give you the ability to create custom audiences who you can push a video retargeting campaign to. If you don’t use Facebook video ads you risk missing out on one of the most effective ad formats of this decade. Here are some pros and cons of buying video ad spots on Facebook



The biggest upside of using video ads on Facebook is by far the surgical targeting you can do. You can effect target exactly your optimal user, whether they are newlyweds, about to get married, a New York Yankee fan in his 50s who are a marketing executive, or any other mix of traits, likes, or demographics. Facebook has a wealth of data on its users that it wants you to use and it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

Tip: There is no limit to how powerful this can be for you, so experiment to find what kind of users that convert for you.


Facebook users are inherently social, and are now routinely beating YouTube users in terms of engagement and social shares. Proof of this was exemplified by the John Lewis Christmas ad, which during the first 24 hours got 77% of their shares on Facebook, comfortably beating YouTube. 5.66% of the people who watched the video on Facebook went on to share it on social media, compared with a meagre 1.14% of YouTube viewers, something that is making marketers hungry for engagement look at Facebook with beady eyes.

Tip: Create your video ads in Power Editor to split your video ad campaign to A/B test your headlines and accompanying text. Let the campaigns roll for a while whilst you evaluate the result. Turn off the campaigns that aren’t working and add the rest of the budget to the video ad copy which is working best.


Of course you want as many of your prospects as possible to watch your video ad, and Facebook’s autoplay is Facebooks way of helping you accomplish that. When someone in your target audience is scrolling through their newsfeed your video ad will automatically start playing as they scroll past it.

Tip: Remember that the standard for Facebook auto-playing video ads are that they are muted (we all know how annoying loud auto-playing media on websites are) so make your video ad stand out visually to catch the attention of your audience.



When was the last time you saw a Facebook video come up when you perform a Google search? Can’t remember? That’s what I thought… Google clearly favors videos uploaded to YouTube in the search results. In fact, although videos turn up in 52% of Google keyword searches, 82% of them are hosted on YouTube. That is a considerable increase since 2013 when YouTube videos stood for only 54% of the videos shown in Google keyword searches. Google no longer supports video snippets from self-hosted videos using professional video platforms like Wistia. This leaves only an 18% share for all other video platforms to compete for, and videos on Facebook won’t even be amongst those as they won’t get crawled by Googlebot.

Autoplay (views)

Yes, I’m listing autoplay as a negative part of video ads on Facebook, even though I already listed it in the pros column. Why? Well, because the way Facebook counts a full view are a bit misleading. If a user watches 3 seconds of your ad, that will be counted as a full view and you will be charged for it.

Pros & Cons of Posting Your Video On YouTube


So, over to old trusty YouTube, the old king of video ads. You might have heard about YouTube being the second biggest search engine in the world, and that’s where YouTube excels and really give you an advantage. The simple fact is that if you aren’t taking advantage of what YouTube can do for your marketing strategy, you’re going to miss out. Here are some of the pros and cons of uploading videos on YouTube.



By far the most important feature and benefit of posting videos are the long term search traffic that you can amass. As I wrote earlier in this piece, videos turn up in 52% of Google keyword searches, and 82% of those videos are hosted on YouTube. Often it can even be easier to rank a video on Google than it would be to rank a blog post. But SEO on YouTube isn’t as easy as putting your video up and hoping for the best. In the same way that you have to create good content on your blog or website that is optimized for search, you have to optimize your video content for search. As smart as Googlebot is, it still can’t figure out what a good or bad video is so you have to help it decide if the video is worth ranking or not. Write detailed meta descriptions, and make everything you can to get people to engage with your video. Backlinko has an excellent YouTube SEO guide that is worth checking out!

Tip: If your video has a voice-over, consider transcribing the video to text and add it in the description to juicy crawlable content that can help your video rank high.

User intent

The whole point of going to YouTube is to watch videos, it’s what the platform is explicitly made for. So visitors may be more open to watching an ad, as well as listen to it. Also, in comparison with Facebook, a user watching a YouTube video is more likely to be consuming content with sound, whereas the autoplay feature of Facebook automatically mutes the sound of your video until a person clicks it.


You know that skip button on YouTube? Are you worried that people will click it and skip your video? Well, don’t fret, if a user clicks the skip button, you won’t get charged for that view. This is Google TrueView and it is a stark contrast to Facebook which counts 3 seconds as a view. This is your opportunity to use the short-form content you’ve created that jumps immediately into your message. Don’t start a video ad slow and gentle, instead explode onto the scene with a bang a grab the attention of the viewers directly. You have to entice viewers to keep watching right from the first second.

Tip: Make the best out of these 3 seconds to grab the attention of your audience to get them to continue watching.



Social shares is an area where Google is falling short of the mark compared to Facebook, especially in the short term. Lets take a quick example, the viral video of Obama’s angry translator.

Have you met Luther, President Obama’s anger translator? #WHCD #KeyAndPeele

Posted by The White House on Saturday, 25 April 2015

It currently has over 35 million views on Facebook, compared to YouTube’s 5 million. The video was posted around 25 of April 2015 and quickly went viral. So clearly the number of views is in favor of Facebook, but YouTube will keep that number ticking up in the future as the video isn’t appearing in people’s news feed anymore. Right now, for social shares, YouTube doesn’t have much on Facebook.

Pros & Cons of Posting Your Video On (3)

Most of the times, putting your videos on both YouTube and Facebook is a good bet. Facebook will give you initial traction and shares (as long as your content is worthy of it). And YouTube will give you the long term search traffic (as long as your video is optimized for it).

But what about video ads? Of course, you want as many people to watch your video ads as possible. But at the same time you only want to pay for the people who actually watch your videos. How do you solve that question? Which platform should you choose when posting videos ads? Well, the answer is like most times, it depends. Facebook’s autoplay video ads cover the problem of getting the video in front of as many people as possible. YouTube’s TrueView fixes the latter problem. How should an advertiser choose? Firstly you have to look at all the factors. Depending on what your objectives you are looking at. Are you trying to raise awareness or drive clicks and conversions to your website? Autoplay vs. skippable is just one thing. Does your video have viral potential? Is it a time limited offer? You have to look at targeting, cost and, most importantly, how your audiences are engaging with your content. The price of video ads on Facebook and YouTube doesn’t differ that much (it all depends on what your targeting is) and that’s why it is so important to track the ROI of your videos. If you are after clicks and conversions, use tracking codes and monitor your Google Analytics page, if it is awareness you’re after, observe how much of the video your audience is watching. Experiment to see what suits your brand and objectives and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Ready to create your first Facebook or YouTube video ad? Create a high-quality video ad in under 15 minutes with Shakr, go to and create your first video ad now!

Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Shakr

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