Why We Abandoned Facebook Video

Earlier this week, we made the decision to stop publishing three weekly shows on Facebook. I’d like to share some important marketing lessons we discovered and a resource I think you’ll enjoy.

Here’s the video I released on Facebook, announcing the move:

Here’s why we killed two shows and moved a third one over to YouTube.

All of our analysis showed that people are NOT watching video on Facebook. Especially if it’s longer than about a minute or two.

Why? Facebook is a highway and no one stops to watch video (at least for us.) Instead, they scroll.

However, YouTube is where people prefer to watch videos that are longer than a few minutes.

Here’s what a typical video’s retention looks like for us on Facebook:

Here’s the exact same video on YouTube:

And we saw this pattern, over and over.

The challenge for us is our YouTube audience is small—21,000 vs 533,000 on Facebook.

The hardest decision was moving our 7-minute weekly docuseries (The Journey) exclusively to YouTube.

It’s a “behind the scenes” reality show that reveals how we do our marketing. Last week’s show was about our launch strategy for our conference. Below are instructions on where to find that show.

Prior to this week, our thinking was all about distributing the show as far and as wide as possible. My mindset was “go where our tribe is.” So we published it natively on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

At first glance it looked like we were getting 10X the views on Facebook. But the retention graphs told a different story.

When I actually looked at the data, it was VERY clear that YouTube is the channel where people are actually watching our videos.

Publishing Facebook content that people don’t watch or engage with is bad for our page. It sends the wrong signals to the algorithm. It’s not a smart strategy.

So despite a small group of people on Facebook saying they absolutely loved our show, not many more were watching.

Also, here is a more detailed explanation of my reasoning:

Is Facebook Long-Form Video Dead?

Is long form Facebook video dead? What do I need to know about the new Facebook ad changes? Join as we discuss our reasons for pulling three shows from Facebook with Michael Stelzner. Amanda Bond brings us the latest ads news. You won’t want to miss this episode.

Posted by Social Media Examiner on Friday, October 19, 2018

So, that’s my why.

If you want to discover a lot more about how I think and how we do our marketing, this is exactly what we cover each week on The Journey.

Here are some important links:

How to subscribe to The Journey: There are two important steps. First click on this link and hit subscribe. The important second step is to hit the bell.

That will ensure you get notifications when we release a new episode, even if you don’t hang out on YouTube a lot.

Two of our recent shows worth watching:

Leaning Into Launch Day: Me and my team conclude testing and begin a multi-channel product launch. Will our hard work pay off? Watch and see.

Analyzing for Improved Results: Watch as we analyze what worked during launch week and begin exploring new ideas. We also prepare for a big launch of “The Journey.”

I want to thank you for being a loyal subscriber. It’s my hope that you follow along with what we’re doing on YouTube. I’m confident you’ll discover new marketing ideas and get to know us better.

What do you think? Did we make the right decision? Where do you watch longer video content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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