OVPs vs YouTube
From "Using Video Marketing to Build Your Brand "
An Online Video Platform (OVP) allows you to host your video “in the cloud.” Then you can use embed code to post the video on your website or blog, or distribute your video to YouTube and other video sharing sites. The OVP transcodes your video into different versions that will run optimally for each viewer depending on their device, browser, and bandwidth.
The OVP you are probably most familiar with is YouTube. You can upload your video there, for free, and then drive people to YouTube to see your video, or use YouTube’s embed code to post your video to other pages.
However, we advise that you do not upload your video directly to YouTube (or to Vimeo, or any other free OVP that is also a video sharing site) and then embed the YouTube link on your website/blog/Facebook page, etc.
Instead, you should pay a little out of pocket and use a 3rd party OVP. Some popular 3rd party OVPs are BrightCove, BitsOnTheRun, and Vimeo Pro, etc. They typically charge you a small monthly fee, and typically there is some ceiling placed on number of videos, total file size of the videos uploaded, and/or number of streams. Screentime Communications offers their own OVP to clients, it is priced aggressively starting at $39 per month, with the first 90 days free (if you exceed 5000 streams per month then the pricing goes up a little bit).
Host your video(s) on the 3rd party OVP and then use it as a platform to post and embed your video to YouTube, Facebook, your website, etc. Here’s why:
1. YouTube monetizes the videos hosted there in a number of ways — many of which can be in direct conflict with *your* marketing priorities:
Distracting/competitive advertising — Other companies can pay to run pre-roll video advertising (“your video will appear in 15 seconds…”), ticker ads that appear as overlays while your video is playing, and text ads associated with your video. So at best this is simply a distraction you hope your viewers will ignore, and at worst it is your competitors trying to steal away their eyeballs or hijack your message.
Post-roll playlists — YouTube uses an algorithm to offer to viewers a playlist of related videos once your video finishes playing. Do you really want to leave it up to YouTube to figure out what your customers and prospects should view next?
2. Create your own custom branded viewer experience. That little YouTube logo at the bottom of the player? It's pretty innocuous, but wouldn’t you rather replace it with your own logo? Here are some cool things you can control about the viewer experience when you use your own OVP:
-Branding: add your own logo to the player controls, or as a watermark on the video itself. The logo can be click-able and direct traffic to any web page you want.
-Viewing defaults: select autoplay, set the optimal screen dimensions, etc.
-Sharing controls: add controls that let viewers embed the video or share it with popular social media sites
-Playlist: select a specific collection of videos to be offered to viewers at the conclusion of your video
3. Track all your results. Perhaps the greatest benefit of using an OVP for a marketing professional is that the OVP can provide rolled-up reporting for all the different places you embed your video. The alternative is to go on a scavenger hunt to all the places where you have embedded your video and then manually consolidate the different reports.
You can also view engagement data to see where people are dropping off or abandoning the video stream. This can be very valuable in determining where elements in your video might be turning off viewers. Edit the video, eliminate the elements that are causing abandonment, or move important information so it is featured before the major drop-off points… the OVP can be a valuable tool in iterating and fine-tuning your marketing.