Modern Marketing

How Facebook Watch Will Change the Game for Marketers

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Facebook recently announced (Wednesday, August 9) that the company is expanding their already robust platform by adding an episodic streaming video platform—Facebook Watch. Unlike the company’s venture into related video content, which launched in 2015, Watch seems to initially compete directly with YouTube, with the potential to creep into Netflix’s original series market share.

This blog will explain the details of Facebook Watch and explore the potential impact it may have for marketers and advertisers.

The Facebook Watch Launch

In their press release, Facebook teased content categories and partnerships such as Major League Baseball, Nas Daily, Gabby Berstein, and Tastemade’s Kitchen Little. Watch is expected to release to the mass market on August 28 with roughly 40 shows in the first roll out. BuzzFeed, Condè Nast Entertainment, and ATTN are all expected to launch shows. Facebook will allegedly pay millions for exclusive rights to premium, longer content but the initial rollout will feature shorter shows more in the $5000-$20,000 range according to Business Insider.

Initially, content creation will only be available to select publishers and creators in the U.S. however, it is expected to eventually open to a wider audience. Currently, those interested in creating a Show Page are able to fill out an inquiry form on Facebook’s help platform.

Additionally, creators will be able to monetize their shows through Ad Breaks. TechCrunch reports that content partners will be able to keep 55% of the revenue from mid-roll video ads. This could potentially change the game for marketers in the same way that live video and instant articles have increased brands delivery of content to users.

What Facebook Watch Could Mean For Marketers

Facebook Watch & Social Media

Video is only getting bigger. While Facebook is not necessarily diving into the unknown, they are combining several facets of engagement through video that have previously been segmented. What will be interesting to see is how Facebook users will embrace video not only as bite-sized segments, but also as long form Livestreams and original content. Most Facebook users are there to gather news and connect with friends, whereas, YouTube has an audience looking for “how to” videos. This will provide an amazing opportunity for social media marketers to shift the content they’re producing within the platform to meet user expectations and define a new “normal” in engagement. You have to go where your users are to stay relevant, so if Watch is something that users flock to, marketers will need to as well.” Lisa Marcyes, Senior Social Media Marketing Manager

Facebook Watch & Content

Ellen Gomes, Senior Content Marketing Manager says, “With over a billion users, Facebook has continued to find engaging ways to keep users on their platform and Facebook Watch is no different. If, but let’s be honest, when Facebook opens Facebook Watch to brands, and influencers it will become yet another to deliver content to one of the largest captive audiences. As a content marketer, it will be interesting to see how the select pilot users create content and the user interaction with it and reaction to it. For example, do people bounce out, or consume episode after episode? Are users engaging with branded content? Does it need to be high-quality? Looking forward, like Live Video, it makes sense for brands to prepare to engage in this new way with this new capability.”

Facebook Watch & Advertising

“Facebook has the most mature advertising platform of any social network, which makes the addition of Watch very interesting. For B2B marketers, in particular, engaging a very specific audience is the essential to success on any channel. I will be watching audience targeting closely to learn more as I think it will be very valuable. At the end of the day, success for advertisers will be determined by the adoption of this new platform by both content creators and users.” Mike Tomita, Director of Online Marketing.

What future do you see for Facebook Watch? How will this impact your social media strategy if it becomes available for your brand? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.