When should businesses upgrade their video marketing beyond free platforms? This two part series explains the seven signs that it’s time for a more sophisticated approach.
If YouTube helped jumpstart your organization’s use of online video, then you are not alone. The free streaming video service revolutionized online video, making it easy for anyone and everyone to share video online and through social networks.
As a first-to-market free video hosting solution, YouTube was designed as an entry point for video creators. In the early days of online video, YouTube was often used by marketers looking for a simple way to include video in their digital strategies. Fast forward to today, and online video has become a content centerpiece for brands. The growing importance of video in marketing outcomes, asks that marketers demand more from their video library and hosting platform. YouTube’s limitations have caused many businesses to add a more professionally-focused online video platform (OVP) to their marketing stack.
At Brightcove, we recommend a blended distribution strategy between YouTube and your own online video platform. We will delve into best practices of this blended approach in later blog posts. For now, it’s important to understand when you’ve hit the tipping point for maturing your YouTube strategy into a full-fledged video marketing strategy.
Here are the first of 7 common signs you need to move your video marketing beyond YouTube:
1. You have so many videos uploaded to your YouTube account, and so many people with access to that repository, that you have a disorganized mess.
You’ve produced an extensive library of video content that you are using in various campaigns and across departments within your organization. All this content is hosted on your YouTube channel, but you can never seem to keep things organized.
- You go into the channel, look through your channel and find yourself digging into a pile of videos. You don’t know how to group and find associated videos, or organize your videos so you can easily unearth content.
- A myriad of people from your company (your team and others) have been given the ability to sign in as administrators. YouTube grants every administrator full access to the channel, and you have people uploading and tagging without central oversight. Worse yet, some titles are disappearing, and you don’t know what happened to them.
How an OVP can fix this situation:
- Offers organizational options that make it easy to save, sort, and search your entire library no matter what size. You can take advantage of: folders, meta tagging, playlists (both smart playlists and drag-and-drop), etc.
- Allows you to create accounts for different groups and business units in your organization. Those accounts allow you to keep all your company’s video assets on one platform, but allow each group using video to administer their own content.
- Individual administration rights allows you to assign specific access and limitations to each person touching video. You can create workflows based on your team’s needs. For example, a producer can upload a video and fill in the metadata. Then, the person in charge of hosting can push the video live, and/or EOL videos with old information.
2. The video user experience on your website is monotonous: it’s a single video player, and that player says “YouTube” on it.
You want to build a customized branded viewer experience that enhances the content you’re creating. What you have is the LCD (lowest common denominator) single video in a player, bearing the YouTube watermark. Competitor ads pop up in the player, helpfully sending prospects to competitor content. And moreover, when viewers finish watching the video, the “recommended videos” send them off your site and back to YouTube to watch cat videos.
How an OVP can help:
- Offers you a variety of video players and customization options for each use case. Choices include player skin (the look and feel of the player), a single player, a single player with a related playlist, or a single player with multiple playlists.
- One of Brightcove’s customers - a travel company - creates a video-centric landing page featuring a beautiful video of the destination, plus an accompanying playlist that includes a trip overview, introductions to the trip guides, and other important trip details.
- Adds optional social sharing buttons to increase top of the funnel results.
- Allows easy creation of an end screen to show content-related videos (your content, not your competitors’!) that keep the viewer on your site, engaging in logically associated content.
3. Your ongoing requests for content gating, in-video lead forms, microsites, and dare we say it...live streaming, have caused IT and web development teams to avoid you in the halls.
Your CMO is asking you to uplevel your video marketing results. Reading marketing thought leader blogs, you’re seeing that you should be using video in your demand gen practices, in engaging immersive ways on your website, and interactively. You have the ability to play videos, but need to involve your web dev and IT teams to create marketing-specific functionality to drive high ROI numbers.
What an OVP provides:
- Lead generation options like email gates, custom data collection forms, and calls-to-action.
- Video portals with multiple template options to create a video-centric viewing experience optimized for SEO, without needing web dev or IT.
- Interactive opportunities to create a two-way conversation with customers and prospects.
- Some OVPs offer easy live streaming. As no one else offers this experience, we will product name it. We also offer templated pre-event, during event, and post-event video experience sites that you can quickly build via Gallery Live.
If you are looking to create an effective video marketing strategy, you will likely find that your marketing has moved past just putting your videos on YouTube. It’s time to take a look at a solution that will maximize your investment in video and provide opportunities to shorten sales cycles through more meaningful personalized journeys. It’s time to graduate to an online video platform.
Read part 2 of the series