Are you interested in creating video content but have been unsure about current best practices? Are you wondering how to incorporate video into your current business model and inbound marketing campaigns?
In this week's FAQ Friday, we answer your most commonly asked questions when choosing a video hosting platform.
What video hosting site or online video platform is best to work with? The best place to host your videos is determined by your organization’s needs. Best for hosting social video:
Best for hosting your portfolio:
Best online video platforms for placing videos directly on your website:
Best for live streaming video:
For more details about the differences between two of the top OVPs, check out our blog, Brightcove vs. Wistia.
What platform will help me reach my business goals?
First things first: What is your vision for implementing video in your inbound marketing strategy? To drive a successful implementation and select the right platform for your needs set your intentions purposefully. We have a recent blog post that helps you hammer out your vision.
Set specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable and timely goals to help you organize your intentions. Once these SMART goals are clearly defined, they will assist you in planning smart content. Having an idea of the content you want to produce will help you narrow down the platform best suited for you.
Smart content all begins with knowing your buyer personas. Who are you creating content for? What are their needs and how can you speak to those pain points? These are just some of the questions that can help you identify your buyer personas. If you need more help identifying your audience check out our blog, Buyer Personas Development, which contains a handy, dandy downloadable workbook.
Lastly, what are your goals for video hosting? Are you looking to share content with your personas socially? Are you looking to embed video content on your website or enhance your email marketing efforts? Knowing your goals will help you develop smart content that is optimized through your video platform and results in garnering new leads.
What features are important to you?
When selecting a video hosting service or online video platform, use our checklist to identify the features most important to your brand:
- Company Logo Integration
- Customizable Video Player
- Domain Restriction
- Email Marketing Integration
- Google Analytics Integration
- Lead Capture
- Lead Generation
- Live Streaming Options
- Password Protected Content
- Privacy / Private Video Sharing
- Responsive Player
- SEO Integration
- Social Media Sharing
- Storage Capacity/Limits
- Video Analytics
- Video SEO
Once your needs are identified, research the best online hosting platform that caters to your business needs at a price point that meets your service list.
Why not self-host?
Many of you are thinking why not self-host? Here are a few industry problems that prompt industry leaders away from self-hosting online video.
- Bandwidth Limits
- Buffering Content
- File Size Limits
- Slow Loading
- Storage Limits
Plainly, the key to an optimized user experience is consistency, value, interaction and engagement. You want to drive value and prompt prospects to interact and engage with your content. One way to deliver this is through brand consistency.
Having your basic ISP host your videos gives way to numerable variables that are inconsistent across platforms and vary among viewers. By hosting your online videos on a 3rd party site like YouTube or Vimeo or by presenting your videos on your own website with an online video platform like Vidyard or Wistia, you maximize consistency and user experience all in one. Your preferred 3rd party online video hosting site is equipped to display your video at the highest form of playback on any device at any time.
Are analytics important?
Yes, analytics are important. You want to track what content is reaching who and where. You want to understand how long prospects are engaging with your video content and where they are disengaged.
When selecting a video hosting platform, be sure to select a platform that either provides their own data for you (most ideal) or one that integrates other analytical data software into your profile.
Hosting sites like Wistia provide heatmaps that provide detailed information as to how prospects are engaging with your video and at what points they are most or least engaged.
Will an online video platform affect my user experience?
Yes, and for the better. As mentioned earlier self-hosting can prove to be inconsistent and for your personas aka potential leads this is a big risk factor that can negatively affect business. Working with an online video platform provides consistency and seamless playback no matter how you distribute your video (website, social media, or email).
Creating a professional and user-friendly video experience only enhances your inbound efforts and overall brand reliability. This affects the inbound methodology of customer delight, which is implemented in every stage of the inbound process.
What platform is perfect for my audience size?
Different platforms cater to various business needs. Even within a particular platform, like Wistia, there are several packages optimized for diverse corporate needs and sizes.
Knowing the size of your audience will help you select hosting that best service your viewing demand.
Need help driving traffic to your website and blog checkout our resources below:
Are you streaming internally or publicly?
Do you need hosting that provides privacy or password protected content? Are you creating tutorials for in-house marketing or external inbound efforts? Align your needs with a service that is complimentary.
Check out these other resources to direct your business in optimized video production:Best Practices for Producing Great Corporate Videos
Convergence in Interactive Design, Video Production and Marketing Strategy
Streamlined Process for Video Production to Video Distribution
What common areas are overlooked in researching a video hosting platform? Tech Support
Having access to tech support often is a blind-spot area for most start-ups and companies. You may not realize your package did not include tech support until you need help and cannot identify the correct channel.
Technological support is transparency and provides excellent customer service. Check with your researched platform and confirm you can get in touch with a live person via the phone or a live chat. Some popular sites like YouTube do not offer extensive customer or technological support. So if this is important to you be sure to select a service that meets all your needs.
Unwanted advertisements are a nuisance to most. Is your desired platform exempt from 3rd party advertisements? This is something you should really decide if you want to impact your user experience or not. Many online video hosting platforms have entry-level access to use their site. These entry-level packages are often free or purchased at a minimal cost. However, while everyone loves a free service, you want to verify if advertisements are used to compensate that “free” price tag.
Have you ever noticed the hosting company logo in the bottom right corner of your video? Or a logo bar within the video player where viewers select play, stop, fast-forward or rewind? Be sure to check your desired package and see if it includes any branded logo content of the hosting company.
There are actually many brands like Brightcove, Vidyard and Wistia that provide customizable player options where their logo is not included in your video screen playback. Depending on your business needs, you may find that a player which allows your company’s branding or no branding at all works best for your viewers and prospects.
If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below. You can also mention us @DirectImages on Twitter, or submit your questions HERE.
Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—just ASK.
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