So you’ve got a story to tell, a product to sell, or you just want to get the word out about your business? It?s no secret that videos can do just that, but Facebook’s newest native video features will have you reaching more users and getting more views faster than you can say “WHY DIDN’T YOU GIVE THE BALL TO LYNCH?”

If you haven’t noticed, videos posted as links in Facebook posts (like YouTube) are simply not gaining any traction. So, what’s a marketer to do? Enter Facebook videos, complete with some pretty awesome new features. (Not to mention, favorable algorithm placement.)

Why the Shift to Video?

Over the last year, Facebook has seen a large increase in people watching videos in the Newsfeed. In fact, it reported that the number of video posts per person increased by 75% globally and 94% in the US. Since June of last year, Facebook has averaged more than ONE BILLION video views per day. (Hint: This is HUGE for marketers-but we will get there later.) So, Facebook, being Facebook, saw a huge opportunity and decided to make changes-yet again.

The first major change that Facebook made to videos was the autoplay feature, making the videos basically leap off your device and grab your attention, rather than waiting for YOU to click to see more. (Instant views = yes please!) The catch? Auto play only happens when you upload your videos directly through Facebook. SO, if you upload them from YouTube, or even your own website, it will just show as a static clip in your friends? Newsfeeds, making them less relevant. (Not to mention, they will be out-performed based on Facebook’s ever-changing Newsfeed algorithm.)

Proof is in the Pudding

We wanted to see just how much Facebook is limiting the content distribution of linked videos vs. direct videos, so we decided to do a little testing ourselves.

One of our clients, Excel Brewery, wanted to promote one of its seasonal beers using creative video production and Facebook advertising. Here is the video we promoted. (Sidenote, if you fancy yourself a craft beer connoisseur, you’ll enjoy this even more.)

We targeted the video as a Facebook video post and as a YouTube link. We spent about the same amount on each campaign (Facebook didn’t even spend the full budget for the YouTube video) and targeted the same audiences. The results were? well, you’ll see.

YouTube Video Ad

Here is what the ad looked like in the Newsfeed. Keep in mind, you had to actually click to get it to play, but the ad did stay within the Newsfeed.


Overall, we reached about 4,200 individual people and received 24 website clicks, (24 people clicked on the link from Facebook) which led to 49 views. This breaks down to $1.18/ video view. It is also important to note that within Facebook’s advertising platform, we cannot optimize for “video views,” since we are not directly uploading a video.


Facebook Video Ad

The ad showed up in the Newsfeed larger and of course, automatically started playing.


The ad reached almost 5,200 unique people and received an astounding 2,285 views, which lead to a cost per view of .02.

So, it is safe to say that native Facebook videos perform better, but what else can they do?

New Features

Not only do videos uploaded directly to Facebook include auto play and gain favorable algorithm traction, they come with some pretty cool features that videos uploaded through other sites don’t have.

Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons-Do you want your potential customers to do something AFTER they view your video? Facebook makes it easy with CTA buttons and allow you to drive traffic to anywhere you want!


Featured Videos-You can also get more out of your video by “pinning” it as a “Featured Video” on your page. When fans click the “video” tab on your page, it will appear first in an extra-large format, and feature a live comment feed. Branded Pages will also have the option to include YouTube-like playlists that feature more of their videos.

Tag Others in your Video-It also allows you the ability to tag others in your video, letting these users to show the video on their page as well.

Useful Analytics-Facebook Ads-If you correctly promote your ad using Facebook’s robust advertising platform, you can also gain some valuable insight about your video and how users viewed it, giving real-life data for future video campaigns. For instance, you can see how many times your video was viewed to 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100%, as well as the average duration of your video that was viewed.


So, what does this mean for marketers?


Seeing the shift to visual content, Facebook saw the opportunity to make a better user experience for its users, and an opportunity for advertisers. Facebook accounts for 60% of global video shares and now that the natively uploaded videos are taking over shared videos on YouTube for the first time, marketers should really take note of the power of Facebook video.

As mentioned, Facebook is literally seeing an average of one billion views a day. Literally”ONE BILLION. Marketers”take note. Your content strategy should shift as the social and digital landscape shifts,and that means video!