YouTube Ads Vs Facebook Ads
If you have an Android phone or a PC even, there is almost zero chance that you do not know YouTube or Facebook. I bet if you are reading this then you would know that social media giant Facebook and video viewing giant YouTube run ads on videos to sustain their respective platforms.
They do earn revenue through other means but I do not wish to get into that in this post not do I wish to talk from an SEO point of view. The owner of the channel then earns a small portion of the ad revenue.
I am not sure how it works on Facebook. So, I may a bit biased towards YouTube since I have a channel. I also have more exposure to YouTube because I was watching way before creating my channel.
I do not watch too many videos on Facebook nor do I follow any channel in particular. Reason being, Facebook unlike YouTube does not suggest any additional channels that broadcast similar content. For example, If you watch recipe video on how to cook a roast chicken, YouTube will show similar ‘chicken’ content.
Facebook, on the other hand, struggles to even get the translation right! Yes, it is that bad! Perhaps, I haven’t spent too much time on Facebook. I don’t know.
Facebook videos have not become my staple, unlike YouTube. I turned to videos on that social media to pass some time during the coronavirus lockdown.
How do the ads typically work? Cookies! Not the ones that you can munch on but tracking cookies which check the websites you visit. For example, you visit an online pet store looking for cat food or dog food. The most obvious thing you will do is hit Google with the search term cat food or dog food or pet store or some innovative search terms.
The first 10 search results by far may be the best and closest. You click on one link and visit that site. You are bound to click on the many links in the search results for the best price and delivery options.
The tracking cookies some websites place on your computer or smartphone serves two purposes: track your online behaviour and help them analyse visitor behaviour. Some tracking cookies can be dangerous. I will not talk about it, your total protection software is the best to determine that.
Now Google and Facebook know that you are looking for pet food. You have entered the keywords in the search bar. It is a matter of time when Google ads and Google Adsense along with Facebook start shows ads relating to the pet store in your news feed ad spaces.
When it comes to Adsense, Google is fairly accurate. It is also quite accurate when shows ads on YouTube. However, Facebook is worst when it comes to ads-both in ad spaces and videos. They are also bad when it comes to suggesting related content be it written like pages, videos or even groups. Let me give you another example, I hate cricket, so when I notice cricket related content shared by my friends, I immediately block them as spam. A few days later I will see another cricket-related page! How ridiculous!
These ads that both of them show are paid. What complaints do I have about Facebook you ask? There are many.
Let me first talk about YouTube:
GamerPhoenyx isn’t monetised yet. YouTube (with what I understand) plays ads at the beginning of the video before it starts, middle and some of them pop up just above the seek bar. These ads have two versions: first is the skippable ads which can be avoided by clicking on “Skip” after a few seconds. Others keep playing for the complete 15 seconds or more. Longer ads i.e. the ones running more than 2 or 3 minutes always has an option to skip.
Previously, there were “dots” on the seek bar depicting the ads on that location. You “could” manage to skim through it, now however it is invisible. These dots now work as a timestamp for dividing the video into chapters. It comes in mighty handy for longer videos expecially explainer vidoes. YouTube gives you a subtle warning before the ad could start – which is kinda polite. Facebook does that too.
If you still could not understand what I am getting at then let me take you to the point: You cannot skip ads on Facebook. Period. Ads on Facebook, if not most of the time, are a huge turn off. It is not the same with YouTube even if they run the same ads. But that’s not the point.
During these 3 months that I have been under lockdown – the ads on Facebook is more of an irritant. I am not saying this just because Facebook is inaccurate when it comes to targeted ads. But because of: you cannot skip ads.
If I am not mistaken, then ads on Facebook are restricted to a run time of 15 seconds or less. This defeats the purpose of showing the ads in the first place. Not only that, but Facebook also tends to show those ads who’s actual run time is 30 seconds cutting them short to 15 seconds or less! This shows the ads are pre-fed into the system and are run automatically.
People may get the message with half the ad. But this does nothing to boost the recall value. This is critical for brands that focus only on branding. Do you remember the Hitachi ad that would run in the early 90s of satellite television? Or subtle ads that demonstrate their brand value – example include news channel focusing on building credibility. All channels do that. That is branding.
When Facebook gives a subtle warning at the bottom left corner of the screen with a countdown timer about impending ads, I am like “Oh no!” With that reaction, I do one of two things: if the video I am watching is worth my time, I wait patiently for the ads to run for returning to my video. If it is isn’t then I don’t care. The moment the warning highlights in the corner, I skip the entire video.
In other words, for a non-Facebook regular, I wish they did something practical about it. If you are reading this, are we sailing in the same boat? Let me know in the comments. 1 is a very lonely number!