You don’t have to look very hard to find an article arguing the case against using YouTube to host business videos. There are even a few that are in favour of YouTube being used for premium video content. But what about the middle ground?
Different platforms have different goals
We have come across many businesses (some are even customers) that opt to use both YouTube and an enterprise video platform in tandem together. Like all software platforms, different online video platforms are optimised for different goals, and are often best used in a complementary combination. These optimizations can be both technical and commercial. Technical optimization is achieved by differing development priorities, integrations and design trade-offs. Commercial optimization is usually a combination of pricing policy and how value is shared.
While users of video don’t always think about using multiple platforms, in fact more companies than you might think are doing exactly that. We have come across many businesses (some are even customers) that opt to use both YouTube and an enterprise video platform in tandem together. If you’re considering such a strategy then read on to find out how to make the two platforms work together successfully.
What’s wrong with just YouTube?
As you might imagine, one question we get asked a lot is: why shouldn’t I just use YouTube for everything? This is a good question because YouTube can be used for almost everything and, of course, it incurs no direct costs.. What’s there not to like? YouTube is the second highest trafficked site and the second largest search engine after Google so it is the perfect platform for getting public-facing videos in front of a big audience. Many of our clients do successfully use YouTube. It’s a powerful vehicle for getting leads into the top of the funnel whether through ‘taster’ lectures or demos, or free content you use to promote subscription services. The days of actually earning a living from advertising revenues on YouTube are well and truly over for all but a tiny fraction of the top content creators and Vlogger personalities.
However while YouTube’s power and reach are indeed impressive, it is far from ideal for hosting the vast majority of content most businesses are producing. Some significant downsides include:
- Content no longer your own. Once you publish your video content on YouTube, you no longer own it. Good content will get pirated.
- Ads, ads, ads. YouTube will quite legitimately wish to show ads you don’t really want shown on or around your content and will seek to draw your viewers, who are not really your viewers, but their viewers, away from your content and on to other stuff as soon as the ad has or hasn’t been viewed.
- Corporate policy. Another challenge with YouTube is that you are helpless when faced with changes to their corporate policy towards your content, or, indeed, with the policies of governments towards YouTube itself.
- No China Playback. For the foreseeable future YouTube is not a channel you can use to promote yourself in China.
- Limited branding and customization. YouTube provides very little room for manoeuvre when it comes to branding and customization video channels and players
- Lack of customer support. If you run into an issue with your videos on YouTube, don’t hold your breath for a response from anyone at YouTube. There is no access to an account manager and responsive phone or email support is non-existent.
The above is in conjunction with YouTube’s inability to handle audio feeds or secure download links, which results in YouTube, in many cases, being a poor fit as a enterprise video platform.
If you have valuable content that you want to protect and control, or that you hope to build a business on the back of, you are going to struggle to achieve either using YouTube alone. It’s just not built for non infotainment or businesses focused content. While YouTube can be really effective at building top of funnel pipeline, serious marketeers will probably want to use a professional platform optimised for content marketing.
Why go down the enterprise video platform route?
Many publishers and eLearning businesses want to attract viewers to their own sites to take advantage of superior margins from advertising or subscriptions. These businesses should opt for an enterprise online video platform, like vzaar, that is designed and optimised for this kind of use.
- More control and security. Vzaar offers an abundance of security options that YouTube lacks including encrypted streaming, domain control, and password protection to name a few.
- Intelligent video management. An enterprise video platform makes light work of managing libraries of hundreds or thousands of videos. Powerful management features including categorization, labels and playlists, allow you to organize your videos in a way that works for you.
- In China playback. For publishers and eLearning organisations that want to target Chinese audiences or students, vzaar is the only enterprise video platform that can deliver reliably smooth, high-quality playback in China.
- Customize to match your brand. Brand the video player so viewers know every video watched is yours. Add your logo, choose colours and branded text to create the look you want.
- Expert support. vzaar’s team of video experts are on hand 24/7 to provide support and guidance. Connect with real humans to get your issues resolved quickly.
It’s still not the norm, but it makes perfect sense for many organisations to use a combination of YouTube for prospecting, and an enterprise video platform like vzaar to manage their revenue-earning video library and onsite content. As the online video platform market matures, we will see more companies using multiple best-fit online video platforms to perform different jobs.