Facebook remains something of an untapped resource for many when it comes to making money from your video content. YouTube is obviously the most well-known option for regular video content, Twitch might be your go-to if you’re a streamer, and there’s a myriad of other places to check out, like Vimeo, Instagram, and more. But Facebook has an understandable reputation as a platform for keeping in touch with your friends and family.
And Facebook is great for that. But there’s a lot more you can do with it.
Facebook has been making serious inroads into the video content space and a natural part of becoming a platform for releasing video content is giving content creators a reason to put content out on their platform. The main incentive, of course, is the ability to generate revenue from your content.
Can You Make Money on Facebook Videos? – Facebook has a monetization system that will run adverts on videos and offer branded content on pages. There are multiple levels and various requirements to qualify.
Let’s dive in.
Video Content on Facebook
There are a few ways to get video content on Facebook, and each one has very different use-cases. There is, of course, the standard method of posting a video to your wall or page. Facebook supports video files up to 10 GB in size with a maximum length of 240 minutes, so it should be sufficient for the vast majority of content creators. Video resolutions are limited to 1080p at the time of writing, however, so if you are looking to put 4K content out, you will need to look at other platforms. In most cases, however, even 4K content producers will be able to put a 1080p version of their videos on Facebook without it negatively affecting things.
Another way to get video content on Facebook is by using Facebook Live. This is Facebook’s live broadcasting solution and allows users to instantly start streaming to their followers (and other Facebook users) with hardly any setup needed. Facebook Live is heavily geared towards people switching on their phone camera and holding what could be termed as intimate live streams with their followers, but it is certainly suitable for more traditional live streams. Facebook is even taking steps to make this side of things more accessible for a wider range of live streamers, such as their Facebook Gaming push.
There are also Facebook Stories, which are Facebook’s answer to Snapchat—short videos that only exist for a brief period before disappearing off into the ether.
Monetising Video Content on Facebook
There are many ways to monetise your Facebook video content, and we’re going to start with Facebook’s own mechanisms. As with any platform, Facebook’s monetisation has certain criteria that you will need to meet, but don’t worry, we’ll give you all the information you need.
In-stream ads are probably the most recognisable way to monetise video content, so it makes sense that Facebook would offer this on their platform. These ads can show up in a number of ways, including before the video (pre-roll), and during the video (mid-roll).
For the most part, these ads will work exactly how you’d expect them to, though mid-roll ads work slightly differently for Facebook Live videos. As Facebook want to cause as little disruption to the live viewing experience as possible (but, obviously, still show the ads) these ads will take over the main video window, but the live stream will continue playing in a smaller floating window, so the viewers don’t miss any of the action.
As per Facebook, these types of ads are suitable for longer content and content that is “suitable for advertisers”, meaning you’ll probably miss out on that ad revenue if you are making content about controversial topics. Facebook will automatically look for natural breaks in the content to insert ads, and your pay is determined by things like how many views the video gets, and who is advertising on it.
If you are familiar with services like Patreon, or features like YouTube Membership, you will understand Facebook Fan Subscriptions. This feature allows Facebook users to support you by contributing recurring monthly payments. In exchange for these payments, as well as supporting content they like, these users will get a special badge, as well as other perks and discounts.
This option is not limited to video content, of course, as anyone on Facebook with a big enough following can enable fan subscriptions, but if you are producing video content on Facebook, this is certainly a way to monetise that content, as well as any other content you happen to produce.
Branded Content (Brand Deals)
Branded content is Facebook’s version of what you might call a brand deal in other places. Essentially, you, the content creator, strikes a deal with a brand where they will pay you to promote them. These are different from sponsored videos in that they will typically cover a period of time, or set a number of videos.
Facebook facilitates these deals for eligible channels, aiming to bring suitable brands and content creators together… and taking their cut of the deal, of course. That being said, there is nothing to stop you from striking up brand deals yourself. This can be a little trickier, as you will need to be able to market yourself to the brand, and any legalities will have to be taken care of, but for those that can do it, it will often mean more money than going through Facebook.
Subscription groups are essentially a group version of fan subscriptions, and allow fans to join smaller, more exclusive groups with the creators they want to support. Like fans subscriptions, subscriber group members will get special perks.
Moving away from Facebook specifically, there will always be ways to monetise your content if there is a big enough following, whether that content is on Facebook, YouTube, your personal website, or anywhere else. One such method is selling merchandise.
Granted, this doesn’t work for every type of content creator, as not every niche lends itself well to merchandise. If you are a content creator in a niche that does lend itself well to merchandising, however, you can certainly monetise your content this way.
Facebook may offer fan subscriptions, but you are in no way obligated to use them if you want to offer this kind of option to your viewers. Indeed, with Facebook’s eligibility criteria (more on that below), many content creators don’t even have the choice in the first place.
Services like Patreon do not have any eligibility criteria regarding the number of views you get, how much watch time you have over a given period, or how long you have been on the platform.
Now, we’re not saying that signing up for a Patreon account will automatically lead to the money rolling in. You still need to have a decent following to take advantage of this kind of service, and in most cases, people who don’t meet Facebook’s eligibility criteria probably aren’t missing out on much in the way of revenue. But there are always exceptions, and if you are such an exception, don’t feel like Facebook’s monetisation solutions are your only options.
Promoting a Product or Service
In this day and age, many content creators have other things on the go. This might be the aforementioned merchandise line, some kind of product or endorsement, an online course, or even public appearances, such as professional speaking, stand up comedy, or music gigs.
If this applies to you, try not to see your video content as a single entity that has to be worth your time in its own right. Consider how many of your viewers might become customers or fans of your other ventures as a result of your videos, and don’t discount that value.
Of course, you will need to take steps to make sure your viewers know about your other ventures.
Eligibility for the various Facebook monetisation options we have mentioned varies a little depending on the specific type of monetisation you are going for, but, for the most part, you should expect to have to meet the following criteria if you want to take advantage of Facebook’s native monetisation;
- Adhere to Facebook rules, standards, and guidelines
- Have at least 600,000 watch-minutes over the previous 60 days
- Have at least five active videos
- Have at least 10,000 page followers
- Reside in an eligible country
Other criteria include at least 60,000 of the 600,000 watch minutes being live video minutes if you want to monetise live videos.
Facebook seems committed to making it as easy as possible for content creators to monetise their video content on the platform. And it makes sense—the more money you make, the more they make. That being said, you should never feel as though Facebook’s monetisation solutions are your only option. As long as you have an engaged following for your videos, there will always be ways of monetising that content.