Should you use YouTube and other free video sharing sites to host videos for your business?
Headline: Online Video Officially Goes Mainstream as YouTube.com Breaks Into the comScore Media Metrix Top 50
Well, it's official, the web video craze has taken over the world. OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. Slight.
But according to this press release from ComScore Media Metrix, web video is now considered "mainstream." Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore says, "Consumers clearly view video as one of the most accessible, interesting and entertaining sources of content on the Web."
But just because web video is all the rage, and video sharing (VS) sites such as YouTube are now household names, does it mean you should be relying upon their services for your business?
"Yes," and "no." Here's what I mean...
Yes, you should consider uploading videos to these sites. The traffic is phenomenal, and you stand to gain tremendous exposure by making your videos available on these VS sites.
Another reason you should take advantage of these video sharing sites is because of the ease of which your videos can be shared and displayed elsewhere.
One of the great features many VS sites offer is the ability to upload your video and allow anyone to display it on any web site simply by adding a small piece of embed code to the page (the VS site provides you with the necessary code).
Unfortunately, what many business owners are doing is uploading their videos to these sites, adding the embed code to their web sites, and then relying upon the free VS site to host and serve the video.
That's a big mistake, and here are five reasons why...
1. Web Video Advertising
Sooner or later, video sharing sites will need to make money to stay in business (except Google, thanks to its near limitless supply of cash). The most likely way they're going to do this is by placing advertisements in, after and/or next to your videos.
Maybe they will share some of the revenue with you. But then again, maybe they won't. Either way, do you really want ads, possibly from your competitors, assocatied with your videos promoting your business and web site? Probably not.
Unless you're counting on these ads as a source of revenue, they're just going to distract your viewers, likely leading them to visit some other web site.
2. Poor Video Quality
When you upload your videos to video sharing sites such as Google or YouTube, they convert your video to another format (e.g., FLV), compressing it in the process.
While compression in itself isn't a problem, the problem is these video sharing web sites are not overly concerned about the playback quality of your video. In order to keep bandwidth costs to a minimum, they must shrink your video file to the lowest possible size, usually to the detriment of your presentation.
3. Free Advertising (for them!)
Embedding a video hosted by a VS site into your web pages is the equivalent of free advertising for them. Sure, they'll host and play your videos in exchange. But is it worth it? Not if you're serious about your business it isn't.
Even worse, click on an embedded YouTube player on your site and it automatically takes you to their site. You work too hard to bring quality traffic to your site to just give it all away.
4. Downloading / Display Problems
When millions of people visit a new, growing web site every month, expect problems.
As these VS sites struggle to keep up with the heavy loads placed upon their servers and resources, it is not uncommon to experience choppy, slow-loading or even non-loading videos.
In addition, the customer service staffs at these video sharing sites will be undermanned and completely overwhelmed. Customer service, if it exists, will be hit-or-miss, at best.
5. Limited Control and Features
Most VS sites don't let you choose what displays in the video player before it starts playing. Usually, it's just a random frame taken from your video. If you want to entice people to watch your video, you need to be able to pique their curiosity.
VS sites also fail to offer any options for adding interactivity to your video players, as well as the ability for you to customize the player itself.
The goal is to get people to watch your video - and then take action. That's why the WVZ Player has so many built-in options for attracting viewers and getting them to act. For example, the WVZ Player allows you to specify:
Using Free Video Sharing Sites for Business - Summary
The VS sites are exciting, revolutionary, and offer a wonderful opportunity for helping you gain exposure for your businss while helping you find untapped markets.
However, when it comes to hosting your videos for placement on your own site, look elsewhere. It's not difficult or expensive to do it yourself. As a WVZ member, all you have to do is...
And that's it!
Video sharing sites have no interest in helping your business to grow and prosper by hosting your videos. Do it yourself - it's a much smarter and more profitable option.
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