Today, I want to talk about using Youtube and Facebook to promoting your art videos. By art videos, I'm taking about art tutorials, demonstrations, art supply reviews, speed paintings, artist interviews and basically anything that's related to art.
Youtube and Facebook are the two biggest sites today where millions of videos are watched. Facebook viewers now watch as much as 500 million videos per day. What does that mean to you as an art creator?
Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of posting on both platforms.
Pros and cons of posting video on Facebook
The advantage is you get views, Likes, comments, some followers.
If your video is popular enough, Facebook does promote it and give it better exposure and reach.
The disadvantage is once your content gets pushed down, it will be lost and there's no easy way to find it. You won't be able to search for it using the search box. And if it's too far in the past, people will get tired of scrolling down and give up. Unless your video has the viral factor, it's not going to be seen again after it's being pushed down.
When you're online, any content that you create should always serve to help you into the future and in this case, your Facebook content will only be useful for a few days. That's just not optimal for the effort you put into creating your video. It's like salaried job where once you stop working, you no longer get the pay cheque.
Think about how people are going to find your page. If they don't know your name or brand, there's no way they are going to do a search on Facebook to find you. If you want new followers, you have to link to your Facebook page from your website, or hope that your Facebook page gets shared by others.
Pros and cons of posting on Youtube
You will still get views, Likes, comments and some followers.
On Youtube, you have the added advantage that there's good search functionality and if your video has a good title and description, people can search for it using the search box. This means even strangers can look for content that you have posted months ago. Your content will still be useful to you and help/entertain your audience into the future. The more videos you have, the more people you can expect to be looking for them in the future.
It's easier for people to check out your other videos because you have your own channel page and playlists.
Youtube has better analytics for video. In addition to the basic demographic stats like the age group, sex, location, you also get useful information such as the watch time, like how long people are watching your video before they stop. You can use the analytics to understand what type of content is popular.
If your content is helpful and relevant to people, your video will be ranked higher and they will be showcased in the Suggested Videos sidebar where you can expect strangers to click on them. Youtube promotes other videos at the end. You have a better chance of getting a stranger finding your video, and discover that you exist.
Youtube is a better discovery platform in the sense that people can search for content they want, and not get irrelevant content pushed to them. Because of that, the type of audience you can expect on both platform are different. You won't see people who are looking for art tutorials search for them on Facebook.
Because Youtube actively promotes related video content to audience, your content if relevant, it will get promoted. That's going to earn you extra views and extra subscribers. 30% of my views are from the Suggested Videos sidebar and that's quite significant and helpful at getting new subscribers. You can build a community a subscriber base easier on Youtube than on Facebook. That's important because people who are subscribed to you won't subscribe again, whereas strangers who are on your video page may have a chance to subscribe.
Youtube is more of a balanced playing ground compared to Facebook. While I don't have any accurate statistics to back up what I say but from what I gather online from hearsay, videos uploaded on Facebook gets a preference over videos uploaded on Youtube and linked in Facebook. Youtube is Facebook's competition and it's not surprising that Facebook would limited Youtube video's exposure.
In the long run, you'll benefit from Youtube more than with Facebook because you'll have strangers discovering your content daily, unless you're really good at creating viral video content on Facebook.
Lastly, if you're in the Youtube Partner Program, you can earn money through the ads that are run above your videos. It's not going to be significant if your videos have low view counts, but in the long run it adds up.
Recently, there was a popular video called Upside Down & Inside Out by the band OK Go. They released it initially on Facebook and received 48,000,000 views and 600,000 shares. They released it one week later on Youtube and received 600,000 views and 6,000 shares (at the time of me writing this post). Ads online cost USD $1 per thousand views. So the band left $48,000 dollars on the table by uploading the video on Facebook. Of course you can argue that you may not get as much views on Youtube, but you don't know for sure if it can't get more either. Anyway, it's important not to neglect both platforms when uploading your video.
One interesting thing about OK Go's music video is, when they posted the trailer for the video on Youtube pointing to Facebook, they received avalanche of Youtube comments asking why the video is not on Youtube. That trailer has since been deleted.
As for me, I post mostly reviews and sketching tutorials so I won't be uploading my videos on Facebook because I know nobody would be searching for them there.
In the long run, you'll get a better pay-off from Youtube.