YouTube is the second most-visited website in the world, and has a search engine which is significant in its own right. It’s also easy to use, and free. So no wonder it’s the first place most businesses post their promotional videos.
However, YouTube’s job is to get people onto its site and to keep them there, so that it can show them adverts. While we’ll probably want to use the significant platform that YouTube offers us, it may not be the best place to host videos for other purposes, including embedding them on our own websites. When visitors to our websites see our videos, do we really want these to come with adverts, or lists of other videos to watch next? No we don’t, and that’s ignoring the awful possibility that the adverts or suggested follow-up videos could be from competitors.
For that reason we should be considering a paid-for video platform to host our videos, while taking advantage of YouTube separately for its marketing potential. We’ve traditionally used Vimeo, which only costs a few pounds a month. This has no ads, customizable video embedding, video downloads and the ability to replace videos. Alternatives include Wistia, vooPlayer, Brightcove and SproutVideo. WordPress users can install the Jetpack plugin to get video hosting at a reasonable cost.
It’s worth all of us investigating these – and others – if we want the most professional presentation of videos on our own websites.