After hours of filming, editing and rendering you have finally created the perfect video. It’s all polished and ready to go, but what platform should you put it on?
You know you want it on your website, but you aren’t sure whether or not you should be uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo (and then embedding it into your site), hosting it yourself, or using a third-party hosting platform.
We are going to look at the different video hosting options to help you decide where to put your video, so that you can present your video in the best light possible.
Start by Defining the Objective…
Do you want to convert viewers? Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you want your video to appear in search? Does the platform you are using align with the companies branding?
These are the sorts of questions that will help you decide which platform you should be using. If you are wanting to raise brand awareness, then YouTube may be the best platform for you, whilst if you want to convert viewers into potential leads or sales you might want to use a platform with less advertising distractions such as Vimeo.
The Negatives of YouTube and Vimeo…
- Your video isn’t being watched on your website and you don’t receive any benefit when people share or embed your video (unless they are sharing the page that your video is embedded on within your website)
- ‘Suggested videos’ that appear next to your video are distracting to those that are viewing your video (also a competitor’s video could appear alongside yours!)
- Ads often appear next to and during your video which is distracting to the viewer (whilst Vimeo doesn’t play disruptive adverts at the beginning of your video, it does display adverts on the website. Even if you pay for an account this only stops you seeing the advert, not a viewer that may have a free account).
So What About Self-Hosting a Video?
Self-hosting your videos is the best way to:
1. Generate ‘rich snippets’ for your own domain so that the video for your website appears in the search engine results. For example, instead of your video appearing on YouTube in the search results, your website will appear in the search results (this will send traffic directly to your website instead of YouTube!)
2. Build back links to your domain when other websites embed your video on their website 3. Have total control over the appearance of your video player and the content surrounding it Tips for Self-Hosting a Video:
- When you post a video on your website, make sure you only have one video on a page and that you surround it with relevant and targeted content. Always include a script as this will help the page get ranked by a search engine and offers the user an alternative way to view the information.
- Setup your own video sitemap so that Google and other search engines can easily find it.
- Can’t host the video yourself? Check out third-party services such as Vzaar, Brightcove, or Vimeo Pro.
The Combined Approach – The Best of Both Worlds…
If you want to have a presence on YouTube, as well as host a video on your own website then try to upload a unique video to each rather than the same one twice.
You could create a shorter, punchier edit for the likes of YouTube, and add the original edit to your own website. The benefit of this is that by adding your video to YouTube and optimising it you can get your video ranking in the search results (‘rich snippets’ for high-ranking sites like YouTube will almost always outrank a ‘rich snippet’ for a video on your website).
Additionally, by also hosting a separate video directly on your website you will reap the benefits that come with hosting a video on your website. Since your videos are different, they should have unique titles, descriptions and keywords associated with them – so you shouldn’t find them competing in the search results!
Once you have carefully considered why you are creating the video, and weighed up the pros and cons of each platform, this will help you decide what approach is the right one for your company and the best way to represent the video.