If you publish videos, create podcasts, or both, you'll want to pay close attention…
Over the past 3 days I conducted 2 very interesting experiments involving my podcast, YouTube and Facebook. The results of this experiment has directly influenced how I will be using each platform from this point forward.
Here's how it all went down…
On Friday, I published a brand new podcast episode, Session #133 with Gary Vaynerchuk, who joined me for his second guest appearance on the show. When I recorded this with Gary, however, I also recorded the split-screen video interview too.
I've seen audio podcasts published on YouTube before—this is nothing new. Typically, I've noticed full-length podcast episodes with either two talking heads, or a single slide image the entire duration of the episode.
Although there is some value in providing a full-length, primarily audio podcast on YouTube, I wanted to experiment to see if a preview or teaser video to promote the full-length podcast episode would work.
I decided to create a short 3-minute video teaser of the episode. It includes a couple of highlights from the interview with Gary, while also providing value to those who watch. My goal was to tease the episode enough to drive people through a link shown in the video to listen to the full episode here on my blog.
Experiment #2: YouTube vs. Facebook
Here are my subscriber/fan numbers as of Friday, October 31, 2014:
Note that on Facebook, I have an average reach per post of about 13-20% my total fan base, which is actually quite high for a Facebook Page. This means that only 11,000 to 17,000 people, on average, see my posts in their news feed.
In the past, I would simply upload a video directly to YouTube, grab the link, and then paste it across all of my social media platforms. Similar to what I did here on Facebook two weeks ago:
14,864 people reached. That's right within my average, but how many people actually watched the video from Facebook?
When you link directly to YouTube, Facebook doesn't tell you directly on your page. Let's head on over to YouTube's analytics:
As you can see from the chart above, over the course of nearly a month, 89% of views on this video came directly from subscribers on YouTube (the watch page), while 11% viewed the video from an embedded player. Within those views in an embedded player, 189 of them came from Facebook.
To put this in perspective, that's 189 views with 14,864 people reached (0.12%) with over 80,000 Facebook fans.
Instead of publishing on YouTube and pasting the URL onto my Facebook Page, what should I have done instead?
After getting some great advice in one of my mastermind groups, the answer became very clear:
Upload the video directly to Facebook.
The theory is that when you upload a video directly to Facebook, the video will be shown to a higher percentage of fans, while also resulting in more shares, likes, engagement, and of course, views. The reason for this is because FFF:
Facebook Favors Facebook.
Actually, this isn't really a theory at all. A recent study by SocialBakers.com shows that after analyzing over 180,000 Facebook Video Posts and over 20,000 Facebook Pages, the trends are definitely in Facebook's favor for video.
Mari Smith on Social Media Examiner recently explained:
Video views on Facebook have gone up exponentially in the last 6 to 12 months. Preferential exposure is being given to videos that are directly uploaded into Facebook, as opposed to being linked in from YouTube or Vimeo. These videos must be opened in a separate YouTube or Vimeo app, rather than just being viewed directly within the news feed.
Okay, enough talk—let's put this to the test.
On Friday morning, I published the complete podcast (audio) interview with Gary. Time to upload the teaser video.
I uploaded the the 3-minute teaser to YouTube, and immediately after uploaded it again directly to my Facebook Page. You can watch it here as well.
And here's what happened over time:
It's easy to see that Facebook, by far, crushed YouTube in terms of views and engagement. In a perfect world, I'd be able to A/B test directly on Facebook with a YouTube link versus a direct upload—but even without that it's easy to see (especially when compared to the engagement and views on my previous video from 2 weeks ago), that we should all be posting videos directly to Facebook to reach the most people possible.
But, does that mean we should absolutely forget about YouTube?
Indeed, my viewcount was extremely disappointing on YouTube, especially considering a subscriber-base of over 35,000, however there are a lot of reasons this could be the case. Here are some of them:
- YouTube subscribers will see the thumbnail and the title of the video on their YouTube Watch Page. Depend on each person's YouTube preferences, setup and activity, a video you upload isn't always going to be front and center.
- YouTube subscribers also have the ability to modify their notification settings. Some will get an email digest of videos that have been published from channels they are subscribed to, some will not.
- YouTube doesn't necessarily show the view count in real-time, even in the backend analytics.
- I don't have an extremely engaged set of YouTube subscribers who are used to getting new content from me. Note that I did not publish a YouTube video for over a year at one point.
Even though Facebook trumps YouTube for immediate views and engagement, YouTube, remember, is a search engine. Over time, my view count on YouTube will go up as I get found in the search engines or new people subscribe to my channel. Additionally, if I were to embed the YouTube video on my site, the view count would go up and it would help for SEO purposes as well.
After a certain period of time videos uploaded on Facebook get flushed out by newly updated content, and virtually disappear.
So, to conclude based on Experiment #2, you should be uploading your videos both on YouTube as well as directly onto Facebook. It doesn't take that much extra effort if you already have the video files on your computer.
But…what about Experiment #1?How did the video do in terms of driving traffic back to the site to listen to the rest of the episode with Gary Vaynerchuk?
The Results From the Teaser
First, let's look at what people said about the teaser on both YouTube and Facebook:
It's right here…
At the end of each respective video, I included a slightly different call to action so that I could track how many people came from Facebook, and how many people came from YouTube. I did this simply by creating a different Pretty Link and sharing it at the end of each video, and in the description on each platform:
Without getting into the ratios and differences between Facebook and YouTube here, in plain terms, the teaser does help promote the episode. People are clicking through and taking action on both platforms.
As I mentioned before, this is not the perfect experiment. I would love to know how many people would have missed or avoided the podcast episode entirely if it weren't for the teaser video. Comments like: “I wouldn't have listened to this episode before, but now that I saw the preview I'm totally going to listen” just don't exist. It's more of a subconscious thing, like when we see a movie trailer. We don't think about the trailer itself and how it's making us take action (or not), but rather it creates awareness and could influence us to take action or talk about it.
Further Notes about the Podcast Teaser Trailer
Merging audio and video in this way is attractive to me. I can't imagine myself (or someone else) sitting and watching a video of two talking heads, or just a “video of audio” for more than 3 or 4 minutes during a full-length episode, but to use the video medium to create awareness and build buzz for a podcast episode is intriguing, and even more so now that I've conducted these experiments.
Should I record video during each interview now so I can create teasers just like this one in the future? Should I record video with someone I just interviewed after the interview is over to talk about and tease what people are going to hear on the show?
Also, does it have to be video of two talking heads? No, it doesn't have to be. Perhaps it's taking some of the best parts of your podcast or interview, and putting that audio on top of a slide, or moving images or text, or a combination of all of the above.
There's still a lot to explore in the realm of video podcast teasers, and I look forward to seeing what else others in the community do. If you happen to put something like this together, please feel free to post a video within the comment section of this post. Perhaps we can eventually find something that seems to work best between all of us.
Cheers, and I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know, and please share if you'd like!
(Editor's note: As of 2021, we’ve chosen to move our student course communities off of Facebook. As we strengthen our commitment to fostering strong community for the SPI audience, we believe that Circle is a better community platform for us. We launched our private membership, SPI Pro, on Circle in July 2020. We’ve had such a great experience that we decided to use Circle to host SPI Academy, a shared space for all of our course communities.)