Sooner or later you’re going to ask this question, “Where should I host my videos?” This is the $64k question. Fortunately, there are more options than ever before but how do you decide which one to use?
1. To Pay or Not to pay, that is the first question.
We are all concerned about the bottom line and free can be very appealing. We’ve all used YouTube and it is the juggernaut of internet video. The only search engine bigger is Google, so you’ve got that going for you. But your video is mixed in with cat videos, Miley Cyrus twerking and even your competitor’s videos. I am not anti-YouTube, I love a good cat video and I think that there are times when it is the right choice for your organization.
Investing in hosting, though, opens opportunities that a free hosting service doesn’t.
2. Advantages of Investing in a hosting service
There are a ton of hosting services available for your organization, Vimeo, Brightcove, Wistia, Vzaar are just a couple that spring to mind. (I won’t take the time to offer thoughts on each one individually in this article). Here are things that I look for to evaluate a hosting service.
– Branding & Customization – Can the player be customized with brand identifiers, like a logo and colors? When a video is embedded in your website, you want it to look like it belongs there.
– Analytics – This is a biggie, you want to know how people are interacting with your videos. How of the video are they watching?
– Email Integration – If you send emails out or want to, some hosting services offer embedding integration with services such as Mailchimp. If emailing your videos is a part of your strategy, you definitely want to look into this component. There are even some video services that cater specifically and only to email like Bomb-Bomb.
– Playback – For me a critical component that a hosting service needs to provide is fast and smooth playback. Anytime that I have to wait on a video to load or it pauses to buffer, I’m more than likely done watching that video, I bet you do it too. When the play button is hit, the video needs to play and play smoothly all the way through.
3. Not all hosting services are created equal
Yep, it’s true, there are benefits and drawbacks to hosting service you find. I don’t know that there is the one perfect video hosting service out there, but there are some great ones. Take some time and make a list of the important things to your video strategy and let them help you pick the service that is right for you.