YouTube vs. Facebook – A CPG Comparison ICase Study - Audit

In a unique audit opportunity, a potential client was interested in understanding the difference between YouTube and Facebook on video for a new product launch that would include multiple creative

Variable Media jumped at the opportunity having experience with similar analysis from previous audits, we not only can provide the necessary analysis to the client but also draw critical comparisons to other campaigns that have similar marketing attributes.


There were a few layered data pieces which created investigation hurdles, specifically multi-platform Facebook and YouTube data aggregation and comparison. However, we were able to garner fascinating results and present the client key findings which helped shift the marketing strategy in both media environments.

Platforms -In an effort to compare both platforms on a somewhat even playing field we had to tweak our data aggregation and reporting to ensure both were analyzing cost per view spending at the thirty-second mark.

Metrics Evaluated – Due to many differences between the platform our metric comparison also needs tweaking to ensure the data analysis was accurate. No conversion data makes it difficult for any agency or media buyer to really get to the core converting audience. In this campaign, we focused on CTR which is widely considered a vanity metric providing directional learning but rarely concrete enough to make major shifts in marketing behavior.



Performance against both platforms in terms of cost per view (CPV) look similar but when we move each to a CPV at the thirty-second mark we start to see a clear difference in view performance.


  • YouTube

    Positioned as the video marketing brand leader. The TrueView format allows advertisers to pay for 30 seconds of a user viewing an ad or engaging with a click opportunity prior

  • Facebook

    The native advertising giant also provides a cost per view solution however at the 3-second mark.

Metrics Evaluated

  • CPV (Cost Per View)

    This cost metric helps us understand the value driven for a user watching at least 30 seconds of an ad

  • VR (View Rate)

    Users that cross the thirty-second threshold vs. those that move away from the ad prior would be considered a view vs. an impression. Analyzing this data provides a clear understanding of the video’s impact on the target audience and keeping them engaged.

  • CTR (Click Through Rate) Engagement

    While mostly considered a vanity metric, this primary KPI (key performance indicator) will help us optimize to increase performance

Cost Per View Comparison (CPV)
  • Facebook (3 Seconds)
  • YouTube TrueView


Both platforms held an even amount of spend combined generating over 7M impressions and just under 1M views. Findings proved a clear difference in performance by platform and while rarely compared these user experiences can yield improved results if optimized efficiently from a creative and target audience perspective.

Key Findings below uncovered:

  • Youtube produced a CPV (thirty seconds) 4x better than Facebook
  • Facebook served 77% more impressions at a 42% lower CPM
  • View Rate (Views to 30-seconds or past) was 7x higher on YouTube than Facebook primarily due to the TrueView model
  • CTR on YouTube was double that of Facebook
  • VCTR was over 3x higher on Facebook
Thirty-Second Cost Per View Comparison (CPV-30)
  • Facebook (30 Seconds)
  • YouTube TrueView

Client Recommendation Snippet
– Based on our data analysis we feel to maximize branding exposure to drive users to the store we would suggest shifting the bulk of the budget to YouTube to maximize the brand story and increase an understanding of the new product. Also, move Facebook to a manual bid to test the competitive market.

Looking for a First-Class Business Plan Consultant?