- Social Media

Streaming Showdown: YouTube vs. Facebook Livestream

The two big names to stream your content is now YouTube and Facebook. But why pick one over the other? We go head to head with YouTube and Facebook livestream.

Here’s a fact that will get you inspired to livestream right out of the gate:

People spend about three times longer watching a live video than they do watching other video forms.

Whether you’re a marketing expert yourself, or if you just trying to find out what you need to look for in the best digital marketing services, the results are in: you can no longer ignore the impact of live video.

While that’s clear, what’s still up for debate is the kind of livestream you should be using. Some people and brands swear by Facebook Livestream, while others can’t get enough of YouTube Live.

Both services offer great ways to connect with influencers and users alike. Here, we’ll outline the strengths and weaknesses of each option.


First Up: Why Livestreaming Matters

Before we get into the never-ending, head-to-head battle that is Facebook Livestream vs. YouTube Live, let’s talk more in detail about why live video matters.

Whether you’re streaming this video on your business’s Facebook account or uploading your stream to your YouTube Channel, there are a million reasons to embrace live video.

In fact, countless lists of the most popular marketing trends of 2017 place live video right at the top. And when it comes to millennial influencers live video is even more important.

Let’s take a look at a few of the main reasons why:

  • It Promotes Transparency: These days, 9 out of 10 customers say it’s not an added bonus, but rather a baseline expectation, that companies behave ethically. Livestreaming your office meetings, offering up videos that show off your latest product in “real time,” and even opening up boardroom chats to the world prove you have nothing to hide.
  • It Makes Current/Potential Customers Feel Like They Know You: It’s not rocket science. People want to do business with brands and individuals they like, feel a connection to, and who they feel like “get” them.
  • Livestreaming a “day in the life” video of your office, or even an interview with your employees can make viewers cheer for the people behind the company.
  • It Gets Questions Answered – Fast: Answering questions live on the air means that customers don’t have to wait for weeks for you to respond to a message or email. Plus, others watching likely have some of the same questions, meaning that once they’re answered, everyone will be more likely to buy. Plus, hosting
  • Q&As shows that you’re completely committed to customer service.
  • It’s Crazy Cost-Effective: Let’s get real: this is a huge reason why companies use services like Facebook Livestream: because it’s a cost-effective form of advertising! Since your business is likely to show up in the feeds of people who have already looked at your website, or that will enjoy your products, you’re not connected to a random market. You’re pitching, in real time, to people that already have an interest in what you’re selling. You’re not “cold calling” people that are maybe interested.
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Contender Number One: Facebook Livestream

First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way: Facebook is the most visited website on the Internet. So, if you just start with examining sheer numbers of potential visitors, obviously, Facebook Livestream is going to win out everything else.

But numbers aren’t everything. As we briefly mentioned above, Facebook will make your business’s page pop up in the feeds of people they feel will be directly interested in your products.

Maybe they put something from your e-store in their carts once upon a time, but never bought. Maybe they’ve been searching for stores that sell the same things/services you do on Facebook.

The reason doesn’t matter. What counts is the chance a Facebook Livestream gives you to connect with your target market, and the time it saves you in the process.

On top of that, Facebook Livestream is pretty intuitive to use. All you have to do is go to your Status Update bar and hit the “Live Video” icon. Then, you can describe what you’re about to broadcast to your followers.

After that, it’s time to hit the “Go Live” button and watch the views pour in.

That’s right: you can see how many people are watching your stream in real time. Even better? The comments are also streamed in real time, so you actually can host live Q&A sessions.

After you finish “shooting,” your video will automatically be saved to your Timeline. That way, those that couldn’t tune into your Facebook Livestream won’t miss the information you delivered.

You can watch a Facebook Livestream on both your desktop and mobile browsers, as well as broadcast from either device. That means that no matter where you are, you can connect with your market.

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So…What’s The Downside To Facebook Live?

We’ll be honest: there aren’t many. Unless, of course, you’re an Andriod User. While Facebook has promised they’re at work on releasing an option that’s available for users outside of it, right now, it can only work with an iOS system.

Plus, your location is going to depend on how much access you’ll have to the feature. Just because it’s available within the iOS system, doesn’t mean it’s available to all iOS users.

Also, as of this writing, your Facebook live context can’t be indexed by search engines. This is applicable to both your live videos, as well as the ones that you’ve archived.

Still, if you’ve already got a strong following, or if you’re just focusing your marketing efforts within Facebook, it’s a great option to reach a wide range and number of people.

Contender Number Two: YouTube Live

Come on. You didn’t really think that, after Facebook, other social media platforms would just let them corner the market on livestreaming, did you?

After several months of industry gossip and speculation, YouTube did indeed announce that they’d be implementing a Live feature. Suffice it to say, it’s definitely giving Facebook Livestream a run for its money.

The first people to be able to use the livestream feature were YouTubers with over 10,000 subscribers, and it’s also accessible from an app, your phone, or your tablet.

But live video options will also show up in the feeds and playlists of YouTube users that have liked or watched similar content to what you’re streaming. However, we like that the streamers on YouTube live can also make their videos available only to people with a link.

This means the streaming service isn’t just good for publicity and marketing, but also for office meetings and client conversations or pitches.

Another way that YouTube live is seriously upping its competition when compared to Facebook Live?

Instead of having the comments simply scroll across the bottom of a livestream feed, it’s also going to give users the opportunity to rank comments and get yours boosted to the top during live videos.

Of course, you’ll have to pay for this “Super Chat” feature if you want your comments and messages to go to the top.

Also, since YouTube is owned by Google, it’s got a serious leg up over Facebook Live when it comes to how it ranks in search engines. (Namely because, YouTube live videos actually show up in searches.)

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It’s also a bit easier to find these livestreams on YouTube than it is on Facebook, since the search engine (again, thanks Google) is just better.

Like Facebook Live, your videos on YouTube are also permanently available after your broadcast. However, since Facebook favors the “timeline” algorithm over anything else, older videos tend to get lost.

What’s The Catch With YouTube Live?

The reality is that neither of these streaming services are perfect – yet. When it comes to YouTube Live, many are taking issue with the fact that you very quickly lose access to all of your content.

Remember that anytime you do a live broadcast (or even upload a pre-shot video) to YouTube, the company has the right to use all of your uploaded material in their own advertising.

You’re also subject to their Terms of Service, which can be…um…flexible at times.

Finally, remember that even if YouTube is up and running in your home country, it might not be in many others. It’s a highly-blocked website. So, if you’re really wanting your live videos to connect with a more international market, this may not be the best option for you.

Feel Like You’re Ready To Make A Choice?

We’ve got good news: you don’t have to. As you can clearly see from this post, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to both platforms and streaming services.

We suggest working with a professional marketing team to come up with ideas, strategies, and options that will work on both Facebook Live and YouTube live.

Why not broaden your market, especially when both platforms are popular among different types of audiences?

If you need help in figuring out where to move next in your video marketing strategy, or if you’re just looking for someone to help you implement the awesome ideas you’ve already come up with, we’re here to help.

Our friends at Grin have a guide on how to get started on YouTube!

We suggest that you spend some time on our website, check out our blog, and get in touch with us when you’re ready to dominate any social media platform or livestreaming feed.

Streaming Showdown: YouTube vs. Facebook Livestream

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