To host or post…
Once we’ve produced your web video you have a key decision to make: to host or post?
In other words, should you host video on your own site using a video platform and absorb the expense that incurs or post the content to video sharing sites like YouTube?
The trade off is essentially one of views v traffic – YouTube is the most popular website after Google – it actually gets more searches than Yahoo – but the viewer isn’t on your site, with your shopping basket. They’re on a sharing site that wants to keep them there and will be showing them videos of related products – presumably those of your competitors. But can you take as simple an outlook as viewing a visit to your site as more valuable than a view of your video elsewhere? A better understanding of how we can leverage the massive reach of video sharing sites is essential to making a decision that’s right for your business. As well as the obvious advantages we need to weigh the benefits and limitations of both solutions with regards to cost, effectiveness, availability and ultimately what will deliver for you.
Online video advertising is about promoting your brands, products or services with video.
Unlike traditional broadcasting online videos are not simply thrown in between the content people actually wanted to see – the TV advert or top and tail either side of the football – people will actually come looking for your video.
Therefore online video marketing is about creating content that will be found, watched and shared by an audience that wants to see it. Your content should be compelling and be informed by this raison d’etre.
In addition to getting your message across and determining the best way to do that, we also need to consider its availability and its cost. It has to pay for itself and more and it needs to be available to all users, across all platforms all the time. No one is doubting the reach of YouTube et al but over the next few posts we’ll be looking at the pros and cons, what’s possible and finally even making some suggestions for how you might want to proceed.
Online video costs tend to increase as you get more views. If you use a video platform cost can be an issue. This is not the case on video sharing sites, other than the cost it takes to create and manage the content. Most video sharing sites are free although some impose limitations and charge for extra features. Whether this will continue to be the case remains to be seen.
On YouTube, user channels are free. Originally, the terms of service stipulated that you could not use the platform for commercial purposes. These rules were never strictly adhered to.
For now, there is no limit to how many videos you can post to YouTube though the current time limit per video for the vast majority of users is 15 minutes. On your own platform, the limits are determined by the license terms of your video platform though usually the duration of a single file is not limited.
The overall storage allocation you are given may vary (from the downright stingy to unlimited) but can always be increased.
Next post, more on this as we look at the commercial context and the sharing sites’ advertising policies around your video and even consider the possibility of becoming a YouTube Partner Channel…