If you want to have the most control over the performance of your website and its video content, budgeting for a video player operated by a video hosting service is essential.
Because it gives you the valuable ability to answer this all-important question. How did the video affect your marketing program?
To answer that question and properly steer the course of your marketing campaigns, you need to go deeper than just rattling off video views as your answer.
How Failing to Do Accurate Video Measurement Can Hurt You
Video marketing is huge. Everyone loves it. Everyone’s doing it. However, according to a recent Forrester B2B Video Marketing Study, many marketers are falling flat on their face (or tripping a little over their feet, at least) when it comes to accurate video measurement. They know that video can influence conversion. But, they’re not sure how to assess the data and spit out the specific value of video in their conversions. This vagueness makes it hard for marketers to justify additional investment in creating more video content.
The bottom-line here: quite a few marketers claim that video is a critical part of their strategy. But, they are not increasing their budgets for video creation or video content. If you suspect video content is helping in big ways, but you’re unable to explain how and why with specific data, you won’t get the money you need to expand your video-centric campaigns and no way of optimizing your future videos. And if video is so critical for marketing success, this is a real problem.
How to Solve the Video Player Problem
If you need smart data to help justify an increased budget for video content, the solution is this: use a video player that not only has SEO capabilities, but also connects intelligently to all of your Big Data web analytics and your campaign tracking platform.
In other words, you need a video player that can plug itself into the brain of your marketing data, wherever that brain might be. This allows you to get specific with your video views. You can see essential metrics such as comparing the conversion rates of visitors who watch the videos versus visitors who do not click on your videos.
Using your own video player that’s plugged into the Big Data also gives you a clearer vision of the overall customer conversion funnel. According to Forrester, 60 to 90 percent of a customer’s decision to buy is made before they speak with you.
Video is crucial. It gives you the chance to share your story and make a personal connection early in the funnel. You can see exactly how each video is affecting your conversation rates and customer behaviors on the site. Not only will you be able to measure the value of your video, but you can see which videos are making the most valuable connections with customers.
Using a video hosting service to create and manage your own video player starts at about $300 a year. It is money well spent.
“But Wait, Shouldn’t I Just Use YouTube?”
Instead of having your own video player created and maintained by a third-party video hosting service, you might be wondering, “Why not YouTube? Why not upload my videos there?”
YouTube can’t be customized to fit with your data analytics the way a video player created for marketers can. The intent behind each option must be analyzed. YouTube was created for content networks and those looking to monetize video content.
It was not created to integrate seamlessly and comprehensively with your website’s analytics. YouTube wants visitors staying on YouTube clicking on their videos, not going to your website. Video hosting services are focused on very different goals. They want visitors going to your website. They also want to integrate your video player in powerful ways with your marketing and sales operations.
Nope. Not If You Want to Increase Webpage Rankings.
Of course, as we explain in our post, Why Your Website Needs a YouTube Alternative, if your company rolls out a massive amount of how-to videos, YouTube is fantastic for that kind of content. That’s what the core audience of YouTube uses the platform to do.
However, if what you really care about is ROI, lead generation, and better rankings for your website, budgeting for your own video player is a superior option to YouTube. Yes, YouTube has some analytics. But, third-party video hosting services have those analytics and far more.
For example, they can tell you the viewer drop off (times in which viewers stopped watching), the engagement rates, specific heat maps for each viewer’s session. They can also map out the connection to conversion points like lead captures. This allows you to effectively measure ROI of each video on your site. And when a Content Marketing Platform like HubSpot or Marketo is being used, you will not only see which videos a lead has watched, you will see how much of each video the lead has watched.
Another simple fact: allowing YouTube to host your content means you don’t get that traffic for your website.
Sure, you can annotate the video with links and drive a percentage of viewers to your site. But why not bypass YouTube altogether? Bring all traffic interested in your video content to your site. Instead of linking to a YouTube video on your next social media campaign, with your own video player you have the freedom to link to your website. Visitors will have to go exactly where you want them to go to see your video.
“Couldn’t I Host My Own Videos?” You Could, But You Will Have Serious Headaches.
There are a number of challenges that make self-hosting videos a massive headache. For one, videos take up large amounts of storage space and bandwidth. You will continually be hitting your head up against these limits and spending large amounts of time trying to solve problems that a hosting service has dedicated all of its time and resources to solve for you.
Self-hosting also puts the quality and streaming speed of your videos at the mercy of your company’s internet connection. You will also be spending inordinate amounts of time ensuring your videos are in all the formats. Converting videos constantly for the sake of visitors who want HD videos is a task. You will also run into the headaches of managing the complicated code on your website and protecting it from piracy and hackers.
It really is a massive headache. It makes $300 a year seem an even smaller price to pay for using the dedicated assistance of a third-party video hosting service.
Contact us to learn more useful tips about video marketing. Schedule a risk-free consultation with our video marketing experts. We will help you find a better way to measure the effectiveness of your video content.