Looking for a suitable video hosting for your business may feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you consider what’s most important for your business needs.
What features are important to your business?
Here is a checklist you can use to identify the features most important to your business
- Email marketing integration
- Live streaming options
- Video analysis
- Lead generation and capture
- Google analytics integration
- Privacy and security
- Company logo integration
- Domain Restriction
- SEO integration
- Social media sharing
- Storage capacity
Once you have identified what’s truly most important to your business, you can go about finding a video streaming host that caters to these needs at a price you can afford. Here’s a deeper dive into some of these factors.
1. Platform cost and support
Free live streaming platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, offer the potential to reach a vast audience. However, they have some limitations. YouTube, for example, doesn’t offer tech support to users. It has a large support forum, but questions often go unanswered. Finding out about tech support is often a blind spot when choosing a video hosting platform and you may not realize you don’t have it until you desperately need it.
If you want to place videos directly on your website, you will need to choose a private hosting platform such as Cincopa, Wistia, Vidyard and more. The cost of private hosting varies considerably, dependent upon the features offered. Different platforms cater to different needs, and even within a platform, packages may be optimized for the needs and size of a business.
Many online video hosting platforms offer entry-level packages that may be free or can be purchased at a low cost. However, they do not offer the same kind of service and support that comes with a more expensive price tag.
One of your questions may be ‘Why shouldn’t I self-host?” The problems with self-hosting online video include bandwidth limitations, buffering of content, slow loading times, inconsistency, freezing and more. These problems seriously affect user experience. Private hosting provides the option of maximizing consistency and gives users the opportunity to view your video at the highest quality on any device at any time.
A video player is a little like your storefront, and when they click play, viewers walk inside. A clean, simple player design that seems easy to use is appealing to viewers. You can increase engagement if you can tailor a player to match your brand colors and select a compelling thumbnail.
If you’re using YouTube to host your videos, you cannot really customize your player controls, and so you get that standard YouTube look that may not fit well with your branding on your website. You should be able to add your logo and branding to content, change layouts, insert sharing widgets and much more.
The player should deliver the best video and audio quality. It should be adaptable so that viewers can choose how they want to watch. They should be able to change playback speed, jump to specific parts of the video and manage easily, even if they aren’t that tech savvy.
You want a player that offers a seamless experience to viewers, regardless of what device they are using or where they are watching. You also want to be able to integrate options such as a call-to-action easily.
3.Control over your content
If you’re going to have your videos on a video hosting site, you want to be able to have complete control over them. You don’t want to be subject to any third-party control, waiting times and pending requests. The interface should be easy to use.
On YouTube, monetization options are mostly limited to placing ads, and you don’t have control over the adverts. You may even find that the adverts you end up with promote competitors or contain content your viewers may find objectionable. All content also features the YouTube logo and together with the recommended videos sidebar, there’s plenty of distraction that takes away from your content. Other free live streaming platforms have the same limitations. They insert their own corporate branding and restrict your options.
You need to find out what customization options a video hosting platform offers. Does the service allow for different formats? Do you have the ability to edit content by adjusting the length, integrating background audio or adding pop-up features? Are you able to change details once a video is uploaded?
Your video content is valuable, and you want it to be secure. Both YouTube and Vimeo do have privacy settings, but for many businesses, these aren’t secure enough. When you put videos on YouTube, for instance, you relinquish some control over your content due to the user content license you have to agree to before you use the site.
You want your content to be seen by everyone. After all, the whole purpose is for people to watch it but you also want to protect it from unwanted downloads, unauthorized views, and embedding. A private video hosting service usually has strict rules in place that offer privacy and security. One of these is domain control which locks your video down to your specific domain. People are able to watch it, but if they try to embed it, it does not play. This makes sure your video works for you and only for you.
5.In-depth video analytics
You want your videos to please your customers, and so you need to know whether they are achieving their objective. You don’t just need to see the number of views and comments. More in-depth analytics can show you what content is reaching which viewers, how long they are watching and when they are disengaged.
For example, Cincopa provides heatmaps that give this kind of information. The better video analytics are, the more they can keep you informed about what is working and what isn’t so you can make changes to your marketing strategies.