Updated: Oct 1, 2020
When the Digital Event strategy began, we initially advised teams to limit their broadcast to just one platform - usually Youtube. Our reasoning for this seemed clear and solid. It's important to get as many viewers as you can. Broadcasting on just one platform ensures all of your numbers are together, plus it's just a lot simpler.
What we quickly learned, though, is that there are some very important benefits to broadcasting on one platform that's sole purpose is viewing videos (Youtube) and another that is optimized for social networking (Facebook). As we just alluded to, the main benefit is that each platform brings some things the other doesn't and reaches a new audience that the other can't reach. Let's examine each platform and why you should use it.
WHY YOU SHOULD BROADCAST ON YOUTUBE
Youtube is a site that is fully optimized for communities to come together and view video content. It's not the only site that that's true of, but it's by far the most widely used service in its category. Pretty much every person feels completely natural navigating to Youtube and finding a video to watch. In contrast, Facebook is not a place people go to watch videos. On top of that, many people you're inviting don't use Facebook. A 2018 study from Pew Research revealed that 25% of those surveyed had deleted their Facebook account. No platform that potentially 25% of your partners are incapable of accessing can be used exclusively.
Lastly, Youtube is a site where users are comfortable watching for a longer amount of time. Research shows that on Facebook the average time spent watching any given video is less than 25 seconds. Experts say that on Youtube you can expect your average watch time to be at least half of the video's duration. For a 30-minute video that means your average viewer would stay tuned in more than 30x as long on Youtube vs Facebook.
For a 30-minute video that means your average viewer would stay tuned in more than 30 times as long on Youtube vs Facebook.
For these reasons, we suggest that you use Youtube as the only platform you push partners to prior to the event. You can let them know that it will also be on Facebook, but the only link that is provided before the event goes live is to Youtube.
Audience: Past partners and potential future partners who you are purposefully inviting to view your program.
Purpose: Gather those who will view large portions of your program and consider giving as a result.
WHY YOU SHOULD BROADCAST ON FACEBOOK
Alright, so it's clear that Youtube is a great option, but that shouldn't be a surprise to many. What does Facebook bring to the table that Youtube can't provide. In a word: exposure. While Youtube is an optimized viewing experience, Facebook has built a fortune as an optimized sharing experience. Through the power of the social share, you can ensure that thousands of people will see your event on Facebook who never would have heard of it otherwise. It's true that the link to your Youtube video can also be shared, but only a Facebook video will autoplay as users scroll past, making it much harder to ignore.
Seeing that your video has been shared by many friends on Facebook will also lend your team immediate credibility and engender curiosity in that random person scrolling through their feed.
Lastly, it simply makes sense to use Facebook if you've utilized a Facebook event for registration. If some of your guests heard about the event on Facebook, RSVP'd on Facebook, and have gotten updates through Facebook, it is the natural place for them to actually tune into your event.
Audience: The random person scrolling through their feed who is intrigued by your video.
Purpose: Exposure - these views won't lead to much financial gain, but they represent thousands of people who will have a heightened recognition of your team.
Hopefully you can see that these two platforms work to reach two completely separate audiences and should be pursued for two different purposes. We recommend that Youtube is where you send your past partners and those who are planning to view ahead of time. On the day of the event, though Facebook is where your team and partners should share the broadcast to pick up last-minute viewers and build exposure for your team.