These stats for from our video of the new Botanical Glasshouse at the Botanic Gardens. All traffic is organic and this is the typical video performance we get on Facebook videos about new openings.
What is the average watch time of a Facebook video?
So you have on average, just 8 seconds to get your message across before it’s lost in the vast open network that is Facebook.
People go to Facebook for many reasons. To watch football videos. To get news. To hate-follow an ex. To watch someone auction a fish. (I still don’t understand this)
It is an open network. Meaning you don’t have to subscribe to a publisher to see its content. A friend could share/react to it or FB might decide to show you that, or similar content based on what you’ve engaged with. And this is also why FB remains the easiest network to go viral on. This is why we see so many viral posts originating on Facebook, as compared to other platforms.
What is a big mistake I see clients making?
Having a slow-paced video which takes a long time to get into, which they then try to brute-force-boost. This is insanely expensive and you’re fighting the very nature of the platform’s algorithm when you create unoptimised content like that. You have to instead created social-first optimised content.
What is the average view time of a YouTube video?
For us, the average view time in 2020 across all our videos on TSL was 6 mins and 35 seconds. Now let that sink in. That sort of retention is just insane and it has been getting higher every year. The audience on YouTube is massively loyal and engagement is through the roof.
Why? People go to YouTube just to watch videos. They’ve dedicated a set amount of time already to watching their favourite channels.
Unlike Facebook, YouTube is a closed network. You don’t ever see content unless you subscribe to it. And people already have a ton of subscriptions.
So what’s the take away? YouTube is great but it’s close to impossible to get a YouTube video going viral without an existing subscriber base.
That’s why you see all those videos on government YouTube channels that are heavily boosted with 100,000+ views, 20 likes and 10 dislikes.
Why are the engagements so terrible? What is the real quality of the views? Do you know how many parents use YouTube to baby sit their children?
I see a ton of such ads coming on while my kids are watching dinosaur cartoons. Toddles aren’t the target audience. In terms of paid amplification, YouTube isn’t the best.
The most effective way of video marketing on YouTube is through an existing channel with a huge follower base.
And we have helped brands get 100,000+ high-quality organic views on their videos, without spending a cent on boosting.
There is a gigantic difference in the quality of organic vs paid traffic.
Could it just be our content that gets these views?
We have the fortune of running 4 different brands on FB/YT – TSL, Eatbook, MS News and ZULA. These view times are not channel specific. They are platform-specific retention rates and they are similar across all our brands.
As a publisher, we also have the benefit of constantly creating content. So we are always analysing and calibrating, utilising a data-driven approach to recommend ideas to clients.
We produce over 10,000 articles/videos across our brands in a year, and every content idea is one that is recommended based on data. If we are discouraging an idea proposed by the client, it is for good reason. Our content strategists will work with your teams to tweak these ideas so they get the most visibility possible on social media.
So should I advertise on Facebook or YouTube?
Just because Facebook videos have low retention rates doesn’t mean that it is ineffective. It all depends on what your objective is.
- Have a complex message to share that requires more than 8 seconds to understand? Try YouTube.
- Want your video to go viral and the product / attraction is visually attractive + easy to understand? Try Facebook.
Demographics are important as well. And although FB view times suck, it’s by far the best platform for quickly distribute content.
Not sure which platform to use? Want to get the best results for your clients? Drop me an email and we’ll give you our best recommendations.