Facebook vs YouTube Ads: Best Bang for Your Buck?

Facebook vs YouTube Ads: Best Bang for Your Buck?

Yael Klass
By Yael Klass
July 2, 2019 · 6 min read

In our hyper-connected world, a modest advertising budget can go a long way with the ever-important goal of turning pennies into paying customers. It can be tricky picking the perfect platform for you and that’s why we’re here –  to lay it all on the table- the good, the bad and the ugly of our two favorite platforms. Will Facebook and YouTube ads live in harmony or will one of them be crowned the master of marketing?

As a business owner, you’re creating beautiful video ads to promote your product or service. You may not have a huge budget for advertising so you want to make it count. The question is: where do you focus your efforts?

Let’s start by diving head first into the numbers. YouTube has a bit of a leg up on Facebook in the video marketing department. Why? Well, YouTube is a video platform. In fact, YouTube is the most widely adopted video marketing channel used by marketing professionals today. Coming in second? Facebook.

Let’s break it down.

Facebook Video Marketing

Pros of Advertising on Facebook

Facebook has a lot to offer businesses looking to make use of their video ads format. A few pros to consider:

  • Cost: Facebook video ads are relatively inexpensive. You are able to set the budget you want and go from there. Your mileage will vary based on the size of your budget.
  • Reach: Regardless of your budget size, you can expect to reach at least several hundred local viewers or several thousand in a larger area.
  • Organic reach: Video ads are often shared on Facebook which increases their organic reach i.e. someone sees a fun video ad and shares it with their friends. And just like a good box of cookies, before you know it everyone has had a little bite!
  • Targeting: Facebook’s targeting feature is powerfully precise. If your ideal customer is a 35-year-old man living in Michigan who enjoys eating cheese and an occasional coffee: Facebook has got you covered.

Cons of Advertising on Facebook

Of course, nothing is perfect. Not even Facebook.

  • Time and place: While Facebook is a highly populated, well-trafficked site, the truth is that most people aren’t going there to watch videos. Having success with Facebook video ads is absolutely within reach, but your mileage may vary.
  • Gated audience: Facebook is a big place, but not every grandma and her cat are on there. In order to view your ads, the audience has to be logged in to their Facebook account and actively scrolling through their newsfeed.
  • Low ClickThrough Rates: The average clickthrough rate will vary based on industry. However, in general, it hovers around 1%. On top of that, they say you have on average 2 seconds to catch the attention of a 21st-century human stuck in endless browsing mode. To make the most of your 2 seconds of fame and amp up those click-through rates, it is important to prepare captivating and professional quality video ads.

YouTube Marketing

  • YouTube is THE place for videos. It’s one of the most highly trafficked sites on the entire internet with over 1 billion active users watching over 1 billion hours of video every single day.
  • Its the new cable- looking at mobile usage alone, more 18-49 years olds are reached by YouTube than any television network.

Pros of Advertising on YouTube

YouTube is the place for video. As such, there’s a lot to like about devoting your video marketing energy towards the channel.

As the place for video, here are a few things YouTube has to offer:

  • Video ads for video watchers: People who are browsing YouTube (all one billion of them) are looking to watch videos. There’s literally nothing else to do on YouTube but watch content. Because of this, they’re more primed to be marketed to in this way.
  • The power of Google:  YouTube is owned by Google which means you have the full power of Google Adwords at your fingertips. This can have a positive impact on your SEO as well.
  • Guaranteed exposure: With YouTube marketing, your ad is guaranteed to be shown to viewers. In some cases, they won’t be able to skip it either! Unlike Facebook, you don’t need a YouTube account to view YouTube videos. This means you don’t need an account to be shown ads either!

Cons of Advertising on YouTube

YouTube is a great channel for video marketing. However, only 9% of all US Small businesses use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy.  Why is this?

  • Lack of control: YouTube and Google were hit with a nasty shock in March last year when a number of big companies suspended advertising after their ads ran next to extremist content. As of this time, YouTube decides which videos are appropriate for advertisers and which aren’t.
  • Skipped videos: In some cases, your videos may be skipped over after 5 seconds. That’s enough to make an impact, but you’d still rather have your entire video be seen by the audience.
  • Conversion options: You’re limited to sending viewers who click on your ad to either your website or your YouTube channel. There are no other options to choose from so it’s really about converting views into sales and not about building a following or generating brand awareness.

The Verdict

Here’s the truth: It depends on who you are. Both channels have a lot to offer businesses like yours. Your marketing strategy is a bit like a cocktail, you have to get the balance just right.  In doing so you can create something that’s much more than the sum of its parts.

For example, if you’re an SMB, we recommend that you start with 2 parts Facebook and 1 part YouTube.  As a small local business, you’re looking to maximize engagement with your local community and Facebook is just the place to stir up a good conversation. Complement this by expanding your reach with a little splash of YouTube.

At the end of the day, the choice between Facebook and YouTube is one of quality vs engagement. YouTube boasts higher completion rates which translate into ‘quality views’ but Facebook offers greater reach and opportunities to engage with your customer base.

Most importantly repurpose your videos to capture both audiences, who knows-  with your beautiful high-quality video ads– just think you could be the next ‘Dollar Shave Club’.

Made up your mind? Then visit our guides on Facebook Advertising and YouTube Advertising and create your next ad today!

About the author

Yael Klass

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Your video marketing education
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