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Think “online video” and I’m willing to bet you also think “YouTube.” And I get it, there’s an array of dizzying statistics telling us that YouTube is the place to be…

  • 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute!

  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world!!

  • 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube!!!

It’s a no-brainer, right? You create a video for your business, upload it to YouTube, and BAM – you get a hundred million views overnight. Conversions soar and revenues skyrocket.

Wrong.

Average click through rates from YouTube are just 0.72% (Source). In other words, even videos that generate a lot of views on YouTube don’t drive much traffic back to your site.

The biggest mistake I see businesses making (in the context of video) is using YouTube as a content dump. All videos get uploaded there agnostic of their content and business goal.

It’s time for a perspective change.

YouTube is a social video platform

Think about the intent of someone visiting YouTube. They’ve either tuned in to laugh at some cute cats, in which case they’re really not in the buyer mindset looking to be sold to via a promotional video. Or, worse, they’ve typed a targeted search into Google only to be met with a YouTube video. Now, instead of landing on your site (where you can convert them), they’re back in the world of the dancing cats.

YouTube is a social network. And businesses should use it for raising brand awareness. Upload videos that are funny and show the human side of your brand. Don’t use it for the worker bee videos, the ones that need to make you some real, tangible dollars. Let’s take a look at some examples…

“I want to sell lecture videos to course subscribers”

If you’re selling video content to a crowd of knowledge-hungry subscribers there are a few areas in which a professional video business video hosting platform will really help you out.

1. Video Security

Those videos that you’re charging people to access… imagine if they suddenly turned up on YouTube. Instead of subscribing to your courses to digest your words of wisdom, all those potential customers are now just heading to YouTube for free. Not the best outcome.

Business video hosting platforms help you protect your rights. They provide security tools that just aren’t available with a free service like YouTube. A couple that we would always suggest:

  • RTMPe Streaming: breaks up and encrypts the video stream so the video is a heck of a lot harder to download

  • Domain Control: locks the video embed code down to your own domain. If somebody tries to embed it elsewhere, it just won’t play

2. Video Quality

Whenever you ask anyone to pay for a service, you must ensure you’re delivering a good experience. If not, you’ll find subscribers complaining and ultimately canceling. Business video hosting platforms are the antidote to this potential exodus.

And when I say “quality” I mean more than simply having an HD option. For many viewers HD quality video does not result in a great viewing experience. Internet connection speeds vary, and if the video file size is too large for a particular viewer’s connection she’ll wind up getting a lot of buffering.

At vzaar, for instance, we allow you to set different encoding profiles. For each video you can customize bitrate and screen size, to strike the right balance between quality and ease of delivery.

3. Video Experts

If video is the backbone of your business you need to be sure that you’ve got someone on hand to help if something unexpected happens. Or, perhaps you want to do something just a little different – something that’s not out-of-the-box functionality.

Free services just don’t offer the same level of support that a business video hosting platform provides. We understand how important your videos are — so we provide support via live chat, phone, and email.

“I want to convert video viewers into customers”

You may also be using marketing videos designed to grow your client base. YouTube is not designed for conversion. As soon as a viewer lands on YouTube you’ve pretty much lost her. There are just too many distractions (other videos, video ads…) to lead them away from you and your offering.

A business video hosting platform will give you complete control over the viewer’s path to conversion.

1. Video SEO

Imagine you’re selling a library of medical sciences videos. Whenever somebody types into a search engine “medical sciences video library” you need to make sure your website is appearing. Hosting on a secure platform and embedding the videos directly onto your own website is the only way to go.

A professional platform will help you to create and submit a video sitemap to Google. This basically tells Google what the video is about, and where it is embedded. So it knows to display your page for a given search term.

It’s critical here, that you don’t upload your videos to YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google which means its pretty likely it will return the YouTube video result. And your perfect customer winds up falling into a wormhole of those epic fail videos we talked about.

2. Video Player Customization

A customizable video player means that when you embed your video onto your site you’ll be able to add brand colors, text and logos to really make it your own.

It gives a much better impression than embedding the generic YouTube video. Plus, the YouTube player comes with a link back to YouTube. Your perfect customer could wind up giving it a click and heading away from you and your product – why take that chance?

3. Calls To Action

Want to take your viewer to a signup page? Or perhaps lead them to some related videos? A business video hosting platform solution will allow you to add calls to action and links to the relevant pages.

You could also add a mail capture form at the beginning, middle or end of your video. Once your viewer enters their email address this will sync automatically with your existing email list and hey presto! You can keep in touch with your engaged audience to nudge them along your funnel until they’re ready to subscribe or upgrade to additional services.

In Summary: It’s All About Control

The value of a business video hosting platform is that it gives control. Control over your content, control over your brand, and control over the viewer experience.

You wouldn’t give a surgeon a GP’s stethoscope and expect them to perform triple bypass heart surgery. So don’t upload your video to YouTube and expect it to make much of a difference to  your company’s bottom line. For that, you need a business video hosting platform. One that gives your videos the right tools, for the right job.