Where to Host Your Online Business Videos
Your success with online videos depends largely on where you host and display them.
If you’re not sure where the best place to host your videos would be, it can be very confusing. There are lots of options out there, but weighing up the benefits and costs of each service is no easy task:
And that’s a very short list, there are many more out there!
We find this task becomes much easier when you break them down into 2 categories: free video hosting, and paid video hosting. The question then becomes much simpler. Instead of dozens of options, you now have the choice, do you want to use the best free video hosting, or the best paid video hosting?
The best free video hosting platform
This one won’t come as a surprise.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (second only to Google).
YouTube has more than 1 billion users, and over 4 billion views per day.
6 billion hours of video are watched every month – that’s 6 hours per user per month.
300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute – that’s over 400,000 hours uploaded every day.
YouTube is undoubtedly the most popular place to host videos for free, but remember YouTube isn’t a charitable service, they don’t give you free video hosting just because they’re so generous, they’re getting something out of it too.
Their objective is to sell advertising space on YouTube.com, and you’re helping them do that by giving them control of your video content. So you have to weigh up the benefits here. Bear in mind, when someone watches your video on YouTube, even when they’re viewing it from your YouTube channel or playlist, they are still within YouTube’s territory, and getting them to come over to your website isn’t easy.
You’ll probably find less than 1% will become your website visitors. So however many views you have on your YouTube video, divide that by 100 and that’s a generous estimate of how many people come to you via YouTube. Think your video with 1000 views is doing alright so far? Even if it has only brought you 10 website visitors or less?
With this in mind, it makes sense that your goal when choosing free video hosting shouldn’t be to get people to come to your website. It shouldn’t be a video for people who need to know about you already, or people who are ready to buy something from you.
Your YouTube videos should instead be aimed at viewers who have not yet discovered you. The videos should stick in their mind, or make them want to share them, or draw them in to watch more videos. Educate and entertain them, that’s your best strategy.
The best paid video hosting platform
This might be a matter of opinion, but we definitely side with Wistia for being the best paid video hosting service. We’re not alone on this, our opinion is shared by internet marketing giants Distilled, Hubspot, Unbounce, Mailchimp, Optimizely, Moz and many more.
People can watch videos directly within your Wistia account if you want them to, but normally your Wistia videos will be viewed on your website, or through social media. Wistia don’t make their money by selling adverts, so your videos aren’t competing with competitor videos and other distractions like they would on YouTube. Wistia’s priority is you, and making your videos as successful as they can be.
We recommend that any video of your own that you want to embed on your website is hosted through a service like Wistia. Yes, we know you can embed YouTube videos on your website too, obviously, but there are a list of reasons why that might not be a great idea. The top of that list is the potential for driving traffic away to YouTube.com and not getting them back.
Your website is your territory. When visitors come to your website, they are in the process of getting to know you. Unlike YouTube where they are in discovery mode, on your website they’re in relationship-building mode. The videos on your website should be tools to help your visitors get it know and understand you. Live videos work well for helping them get to know you, and animated explainer videos help them to understand concepts that are more in depth.
Videos are essentially part of the conversion process. Each one helps your potential customer along the journey to doing business with you.
So how do you choose which hosting to go for?
Ultimately it depends on your video’s purpose.
Is it to raise awareness to people who don’t know you yet, to educate and entertain them? If so, go with YouTube.
Is it to help website visitors along the conversion path and ultimately to buy from you? Go with Wistia.
Not sure what your video’s purpose is? That’s a tough one, but this post might help you think about it in more detail.