Facebook has proven itself to be a powerful marketing tool over the years, with many people using Facebook—rather than Google or other search engines—to get search for things online and generally consume content. And, of course, with over 2.5 billion monthly users in 2020, the sheer number of eyeballs on the site makes it an invaluable resource for advertisers.
The more instances there are of your content online, the less value each individual instance has. However, when it comes to Facebook ads specifically, just make sure your video doesn’t violate Facebook’s policies regarding ads, make your ad engaging, and you should be fine.
Being a primarily YouTube-centric blog, we’re obviously going to be taking a YouTube angle on this, specifically whether or not you can use YouTube videos for your Facebook ads. On the face of it, this should seem like a no brainer, but, if you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that there are always little wrinkles to make matters more complicated.
Using YouTube Videos for Facebook Ads
Now, there are a few different ways in which using YouTube videos for Facebook ads can be taken, so let’s cover each separately to avoid any confusion.
Advertising a YouTube Video Link
It’s stretching the definition of “using” a YouTube video, granted, but advertising your YouTube content on Facebook is one way in which you are using YouTube videos for Facebook ads.
The answer to this one is short and sweet; yes you can.
As long as the content of the video does not violate any of Facebook’s advertising guidelines, you can pretty much advertise whatever you like, including YouTube videos. There are question marks over the effectiveness of this strategy, however, but we’ll talk about that in a little more detail below.
Using YouTube Videos In Facebook Ads
There is a bit of mystery surrounding this aspect of YouTube videos as Facebook ads. Technically speaking, using a YouTube video wholesale would count as duplicate content, which Facebook isn’t entirely keen on. Like most platforms, Facebook would rather have content that you can only access on Facebook because it gives users an added incentive to go there.
Now, advertisements would, you would think, be exempt from any kind of duplicate content policy on Facebook, but the truth is we simply don’t know. It could be that Facebook ads that are directly ripped from YouTube have poorer performance, or that they get taken down if they are found out.
In any case, it’s probably worth not putting a YouTube video in your Facebook ads without some kind of modifications to make it unique. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this. For example, many Facebook ads incorporate subtitles baked into the actual video. This allows people who are scrolling through their feed somewhere where it would be inappropriate to play sound to follow along with what is happening in the video.
Another trick you can use is to change the aspect ratio of the video. Most users viewing Facebook are doing so on their phones, and that typically means portrait mode. Cropping your video to suit portrait viewing (assuming it wasn’t already a portrait video) is another way to alter the content so that it is not just an identical copy of your original YouTube video.
Using Other People’s YouTube Content in Facebook Ads
From Facebook’s side of things, the case for using other people’s YouTube videos in your Facebook ads is pretty much the same as using your own. Facebook may look poorly on direct duplicate content, but there’s no explicit rule against it.
Where you might run into problems, however, is with the person whose content you have used without permission.
We’ve talked at length about what you can do with other people’s videos on this very blog, but as a general refresher, you should always assume you need permission from the creator unless they have explicitly said permission is not needed, or they have published their video under a public domain license.
Content creators whose content you use in your ads without their permission will be able to get your ad taken down via a copyright claim, and then your ad won’t be achieving anything! In reality, if you have a relatively small online presence, you probably won’t get noticed by any copyright holders, but the fact that you might not get caught is rarely a good reason to do something you’re not supposed to.
Are Facebook Ads a Good Way to Promote YouTube Videos
Things get a little messy when discussing this topic. Facebook is undoubtedly an excellent way to promote things, however, it has been shown that native Facebook video outperforms links to YouTube videos almost all of the time. Of course, if your ad is a native video of the content you want to promote, why would a viewer click through to YouTube? They can watch the content right there on Facebook.
One of the more effective ways to go about this is to use Facebook as a kind of showreel, much like you would with Instagram or TikTok. Select highlights from your content that are entertaining and stand well on their own and use those for your Facebook ads, with the aim being to drive the viewers to your channel for the “full fat” experience.
While this post has been specifically about using YouTube videos for Facebook ads, it is generally a good idea to avoid duplicate content regardless of the context. The more instances there are of your content online, the less value each individual instance has.
This does not mean never re-using content—the highlight reel method we mentioned above is a great way to find new viewers from other platforms—but taking a video you have uploaded to YouTube and putting it out unchanged in other places around the web will always have a diminishing effect on the original video, since viewers will have several places they can view it, reducing the incentive to head to your channel.
When it comes to Facebook ads specifically, just make sure your video doesn’t violate Facebook’s policies regarding ads, make your ad engaging, and you should be fine. If you can do that without using a YouTube video completely unchanged from its original state, all the better!
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.