Nov 14, 2017

B2B Video Marketing: Self-Host vs Service Debate

If you’re like most B2B marketers getting started in video content marketing, chances are you’ve spent significant time on the strategy, message and production value of your video, but little effort on marketing your video.

It’s common to see an 80:20 resource split today, but beware – you’re about to make a potentially huge mistake if you aim to show a return on your marketing investmentVideo marketing

Think of it this way – if it’s worth creating, it had better be worth marketing. So deciding where to post or host your video should be a key element in your tactical project plan for video marketing.

Many people don’t begin to consider distribution of posting video content, instead relying on videographers, agencies or a design team. And they’re not alone.

Take time now to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both video hosting and posting options to help ensure you build an optimized platform for your next video.

Video Posting

The most common video posting platforms for B2B include YouTube and Vimeo.

Posting your video offers several advantages including:
  • Awareness: Marketing to an existing audience of viewers is valuable – and easier than building a hosted audience for many.  Hosting your video can significantly broaden the reach of your video and possibly enable the video to ‘go viral.’ Every marketer hates that description, but you do have to concede that posting on the 2nd largest search engine helps enable exponential reach.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If your goal is to boost brand visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – irrespective of domain – posting your videos is a phenomenal tactic. Google SERPs algorithmically feature more video rich snippets that earn higher click-through rates. That’s a win-win, especially for competitive keywords and phrases. Video Content
  • Technical: Simplicity, flexibility. Video platforms accept most file formats without your having to reformat files. And they’ve solved cross-platform rendering, even on mobile.
  • Cost: Both Vimeo and YouTube have free video platforms with no bandwidth charges to you the video owner.

So if you’ve decided to post, a common next question is YouTube or Vimeo? And with current algorithms not penalizing you for ‘carpet-bombing,’ the answer for your video campaign may be to post your video on multiple platforms.

Video Hosting

While some are emphatic about never hosting your own video, there are certain circumstances where it makes sense.

Some key reasons to host your own video include:
  • Video MarketingUser Experience: When design and conversion are critical to your business objective behind the video, self-hosting your video wins. With posting you have control over the context surrounding your video, player customization for display control plus guarantying no (competitor) ads compete for viewer attention.
  • Monetization: If your site operates as an advertising platform, hosting your videos means more money in your pocket. No debate.
  • SEO: If your search engine optimization objective is to earn rich snippet SERPs for your own domain, hosting may be right for you. It’s the same if you’re using videos to create quality backlinks from embeds.
  • Richer Analytics: If you need to know the who’s – not just the how’s  – of your views, hosting can deliver better analytics for you.

If you are considering hosting, do your research and compare paid hosting service providers to align their features with your marketing objectives. Self-hosting has its advantages but it doesn’t come without some significant cons.

A significant operational constraint can be the technical issues of self-hosting. Technical challenges such as back-end server bandwidth, file, and storage size limitations coupled with front-end slow load times may limit your video views and the overall messages effectiveness.

And the most concerning technical challenge of hosting is the lack of browser standardization for video format. The MP4 file format plays on IE, Safari and Chrome but not Firefox. This forces you to convert and host multiple formats if do choose to self-host. Not every B2B marketer has the technical support to overcome these challenges.

Combination of Post & Host 

After reviewing the options, you may conclude that you’re best suited to do both – video post and video host. Based on your audience insights and campaign goals for example, you may host a video on your site and later post it for broader exposure. And frequently the best choice is a posted video displayed on your pages.

When asking if you should post vs. host your video, the answer is that it depends. Make an informed decision and align your selection with your business and marketing objectives to get the biggest ROMI. And – no matter where you land – optimize.

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