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A Look At Facebook's Difficult Relationship with Video Advertising

Gone are the days when advertising could be determined by a number of buys from a newspaper, magazine or even TV set.

Now in the 21st century, advertising has become that much more difficult to measure.

Add in modern technologies (for video in film and television), and you’re left with a cluster of extra, uncurated data and an immeasurable amount of potential eyes viewing your ad.

For social media (Facebook in particular), this poses a specific problem – especially when it comes to video ads.

Advertising: A Look At Facebook's Difficult Relationship with Video Advertising
Photo credit: clasesdeperiodismo via / CC BY-SA

With such a wide scale, narrowing down who is watching what and for how long can be extremely difficult when it comes to Facebook video advertisements. What constitutes an actual view on Facebook is difficult to determine. Facebook admitted that it miscalculated average video viewing times (by inflating performance numbers) when it failed to factor in those who watch videos for less than 3 seconds. Mashable pointed out that “an average that doesn’t account for the total number of viewers, whether they’re engaged or not, is probably not much of an average” and that Facebook had set 3 seconds or less as the benchmark for audience engagement.

Clearly, this wasn’t the case.

With the rise of social media, engagement is equated with success. Often pitted against each other are YouTube and Facebook, which, when you really break it down, have entirely different ways of measuring audience engagement. For example, YouTube is able to know when a video plays, how long it plays for, and whether or not it is stopped. Though it doesn’t know (and probably never will) whether or not you are physically tuned in behind your screen, it is able to offer some helpful metrics to better determine viewership and engagement.

Another thing worth noting is that YouTube opens up a separate page for videos, whereas Facebook’s videos are embedded on the main page. This makes it difficult to really determine who is watching what and why. It’s especially difficult considering Facebook’s recent video feature that rolls viewer onto other related videos without their consent. Autoplay then becomes a weak indicator of actual audience engagement, further affecting tangible Facebook video ad results.

As a corporate company struggling to find a home for your video, it might be best to consider what sort of impact you want to have on your viewers.  Are you in it for the tangible, easier-to-understand results YouTube brings? Or do you want your video(s) to autoplay onto your viewers’ feeds? Do you care about your content being grouped with a potential competitor?

If the latter, consider the ways in which Facebook can better improve its video advertising strategy. For more information on how Facebook can improve, visit here.

Here at Key West Video, we strive to create the best in corporate video production. For more information on the services we provide, visit our website today!

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