YouTube Live VS Facebook Live Video
Which Is Best For Your Business?
The Internet is now more than ever a very firm part of our world experience and a proven way for businesses to both connect with existing customers and to find new ones. Video and mobile devices have been rapidly taking over as the way to access and interact with content on the web. More recently live video on both YouTube and Facebook have been seeing a lot of usage from people in all age groups and for a variety of purposes.
I believe that face to face interaction is the best way to sell a product or service and video offers the next best thing to real world face to face interaction and, used properly, it can really benefit your local business. Of the two main video streaming services for the masses (YouTube and Facebook) which is the best for your business?
The answer to that question lies first in your customers. How active have you been on Facebook as a business? Do you have a substantial, engaged audience on the social network? If so then Facebook may be the best choice for you as videos streamed live to Facebook are not able to be seen or discovered outside of Facebook without some conscious effort being put into it. I mention that because I am going to embed a video from Facebook later in this story.
For some reason (which I have not figured out yet) people who are nervous about being on video or using video in their business seem to adapt to live streaming from their mobile devices very easily.I have seen people I never expected to make videos doing Facebook live streams like a veteran geek. If we assume then that everyone can create live video to some extent then the next question is how and why to do it.
The why is easy, to connect with customers on the web or on Facebook. This is the first consideration. YouTube live streams save to YouTube and can be watched later. They are searchable in YouTube and on the web so they can, like other content, appear in search results for various keyword searches. If your customer base is on the web then YouTube is probably your best choice.
Facebook live video is limited to the audience within Facebook. If you have a good follower base there then that may be your best bet. The technology required for both is very similar but not quite identical.
What You Need To Do Live Video On Site
I like the idea of doing video streams on the fly or from remote locations. Radio stations have made such on site broadcasts a staple of their marketing tools for years. Now, YouTube and Facebook bring live, on site video to the party.
Since many businesses would also probably like to be able to do a live video stream of an event at their business I thought I would do one myself on both platforms and use the results to illustrate this story. The possibilities are endless, you can live stream specific events for example or even integrate live video into other parts of your business like sales and live product “window shopping”.
You can stream live video with Facebook either from your desktop browser and a webcam of from the Facebook mobile app on your Android or ios powered mobile device. Youtube though is a bit more tricky, especially on ios based devices. To use YouTube live video streaming you have to have both YouTube and an encoder installed on the device.
Performance wise I do not see a lot of difference in the live video streams produced by Facebook Live or YouTube Live. Much of what determines the quality is the device hardware itself and the strength of the connection you have to the Internet. The better the connection the better the resulting image quality. Regular cell service is the worst then comes WiFi and finally a hard wired connection (mostly limited to desktop computers).
Below are the two videos I produced last Friday night at our local high school football game. The YouTube video was of the first half and the Facebook Video of part of the second half. It was a decent game and just the sort of conditions that I wanted to have to try out live video streaming of an event.
YouTube Live Video
Facebook Live Video
I think that the video from the football game turned out great and it was streamed using the available cellular service as I couldn’t get access to the stadium WiFi on short notice. Additionally, I did not have any outlet available to keep my phone charged which is why I cut the broadcast a bit short in the second half. Our local team did end up with a 40 – 14 victory though.
There are two more things I did not include in the list. WiFi or the best Internet connection possible and an extension cord to reach available electric power on site. I do think the broadcast went off very well. The video quality was decent on both YouTube Live Video Streaming and Facebook Live video.
I used the photography stick because it took up less room and we were sitting about half way up the bleachers so it was not exactly wide open. A tripod on the other hand lets you start the stream and then walk away and do other things. Hand held phone video is not that great outdoors, especially over any kind of extended time period as people tend to move and fidget without even realizing it and the video shakes and shimmies as a result.
I think that live video streaming can and will be a great tool for businesses and community organizations to bring their events to a wider audience. With a little bit of equipment and prep time you can deliver really professional looking results. As always I will be happy to help you with tips and advice either in the comments below or the companion video on YouTube or on the Google Small Business Forum.