We all know that YouTube’s the most well-known site for mainstream video hosting. But when you focus on the features that specifically benefit business, YouTube tends to come up a bit short. And when it comes time to choose a video hosting provider, it may be tempting to go with a big, well-known name like YouTube – but don’t give in just yet.
What some people fail to realize is that YouTube and other free video hosting providers are prone to search indexing woes, account closures and pesky little features that actually drive viewers away from your content.
So let’s take a look at some business video hosting features that’ll compliment your video hosting initiatives:
1. Customer Support
With free hosting platforms, you don’t have to pay. Which is great, right? But you’re also on your own if you experience any issues or technical problems. This will effectively take you away from other areas of your business that require attention. In other words, you get what you pay for. Instead, business video hosting typically includes prompt support should any trouble arise.
When visitors watch your video, the last thing you want them to see is that annoying little buffering icon. And trust me, they don’t like it either. Most business video hosting services offer HTML5 and Flash delivery, which means that videos will be optimized and delivered more efficiently every time they’re pinged by a viewer. This advanced delivery method also enables your videos to be compatable with most smartphones and tablets as well, so there’s no worrying about who might be missing your content or falling victim to incompatibility headaches.
YouTube has a huge variety of content…some of which just isn’t appropriate for the work environment. So if you’re thinking of sending out a promotional video that happens to be hosted with YouTube, it has a good chance of getting blocked by protective company firewalls on the recipient’s end. What’s the point of sinking time and energy into a video if it never reaches your target? By using a business video hosting provider, this will now be a non-issue.
4. Player Customizations
With customizable settings, you’ll be able to change the look and feel of the media player. You can incorporate your business colors or play around with a theme that works best with your website or social media property. Most times, you’ll be able to disable the branding as well – which allows your business to look more professional. And by disabling the branding, you’re no longer at risk of losing a visitor’s click to a third-party site – a feature that YouTube and other free hosting platforms won’t offer.
5. End of Video Options
Have you ever thought of what happens after your video is done streaming? With YouTube, your viewers might see suggestions based on tags – so you could instantly lose their attention. Look for options like “show beginning of video” or better yet, include a call-to-action telling your visitors what you’d like them to do next. New features from Wistia, for example, allow you to collect email addresses. And these email addresses can be automatically integrated with your email newsletter software or CRM, streamlining the process even further.
6. Social Sharing
Look for players that allow you to share your video with others via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to increase additional views and exposure. We all know that sharing video content across social media works wonders for your business – so be sure to use it to your advantage as this makes for a great intercept marketing opportunity.
Most video hosting platforms offer basic analytics, so you can measure the impact of your videos from a high level. With business video hosting, you’ll be able to see who’s watching, how long they’ve watched, and even where they were the most engaged. The level of detail is quite impressive, and with this information you can tailor your content to your specific audience profiles, guaranteeing a much greater impact.
Search engine optimization is critical for video. Be sure that the video hosting platform you’re using allows you to customize the title of the video, create a sitemap for the content, and attach tags. This will increase your video’s chances of getting found in search engines for specific keywords. This will also give your video an opportunity to appear after someone else’s video is done playing. By simply attaching accurate tags to your videos, it provides you with another intercept marketing opportunity.
9. Custom Cover Images
Ever notice how the randomly generated cover images at the beginning of the video is a bit awkward? It’s like the computer tries to catch the subject in the middle of a sentence or make it look like they’re about to sneeze. It’s not good. Be sure the platform you’re using allows you to choose the cover image – either by uploading your own or choosing a specific frame from within the video. By customizing the cover, your video will look enticing to the visitor and will give them more incentive to click that play button.
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Plus, I wanted to round this article out to an even 10 features. In all seriousness, your videos are meant to serve a purpose. Stick to it. Be sure your videos aren’t plagued with ads. There’s nothing more distracting, unnecessary and unprofessional.
YouTube and other free video hosting sites are great, but most of them lack the features you really need for your business. It’s fine for surfing through videos of cute kittens and honeybadgers, but it’s not meant to give you what you’re looking for professionally.
Investing in a business video hosting provider is money well-spent. And remember: when it comes to video hosting, you really do get what you pay for.
Looking for Video Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Video Management software solutions.