If you’re just getting started with video, how and where you host it is very important. There are three main ways you can do this:
- Upload the video to your website's content management system (CMS)
- Upload the video to YouTube
- Upload the video to a video management platform, such as Wistia or Vimeo
There’s no right or wrong answer. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so I’m afraid the answer to "where should I host my video?" is: "it depends".
In this blog we’ll highlight the things that you should consider…
Are you using video to engage visitors to your website?
If so, the best approach would be to host your video natively using your CMS. Why? Well, if you embed a video from YouTube on your website, for example, YouTube will try to get people to click through to YouTube at the end of the video and away from your website – which you don't want!
By hosting video natively on your CMS, you have more control over the user journey and more chance of keeping visitors on your website. Also, when you embed videos from platforms other than your CMS, they will include the splash logo of that platform and viewers can click on it to be redirected, again, moving them away from your website.
With videos hosted natively on your CMS, there’s no need to worry about visitors clicking elsewhere or having to dive in and out of other platforms to understand video performance.
However, the problem with this approach is that if you want to post that same video on say LinkedIn or YouTube, you’ll end up with two different performance reports. This makes it difficult to get a clear view of video performance for your entire business.
Are you using video to build brand awareness and authority outside of your main website?
If you are looking to promote video outside of your website, we suggest using YouTube. It’s easily the best platform for long-term exposure given the SEO play involved. Rather than posting a video on say Twitter or LinkedIn – and it being lost amongst hundreds of thousands of other posts – YouTube will ensure it can be found by the right people if you optimise it properly.
YouTube is the second most viewed website in the world, and it lets you tag your videos, include descriptions (in which we would suggest you include your target keyword, i.e. what terms you want the video to be found for) and a compelling title.
YouTube is more about long-term video strategy and if done correctly, people will continue to find your video for years to come via organic search.
Are you using video to provide value on social platforms?
If you aren’t using video to engage people on your website or to build brand awareness and authority via YouTube, then use the least resource-intensive option: upload your videos directly to the social media platform in question.
It’s the easiest way to get quick wins. You can either upload the video directly to the social media platform in question (though you may have to trim it) or include a link to the video.
The disadvantage of this approach is that once again the analytics will be skewed. You’ll have videos in different places with different statistics. Also, any videos posted this way will quickly be lost amongst everything else on the social media platform.
However, some social media channels do prioritise posts where the videos are uploaded directly onto the platform, rather than a link - which can be really beneficial for the success of your posts.
So, what’s important to you?
As I said previously, where you host your video depends on what you are trying to achieve and what’s important to you.
- If you want one set of metrics to accurately track video performance, just host your video in one place and share/embed the video in each place you want to promote it.
- If the user experience is important to you and you want to engage with people on your website or on one particular channel, host your videos on that channel only, but accept that your reporting will be split across different platforms.
- If you want to build brand awareness and authority, use YouTube. YouTube has an SEO play similar to Google - your videos will continue to be found by people for years if you optimise your videos for long-tail keyword terms. It’ll just take some time to build a following.
- If you want to get quick wins and not invest too much time in your wider video marketing, host your videos on platforms like Wistia and Vimeo and/or upload them directly to the social media platform.
Make sure you take the time to think about what your overall video marketing goals are. Then and only then, will you be able to make an informed decision about the best way to host and post your video.
Hope this helps.
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Just check out our video services page for more information - or get in touch using the