May 24, 2021 Hanna Selman

Where Video Lives: Hosting Video on Your Own Website vs. Elsewhere

With the meteoric rise of platforms like TikTok and the continued popularity of platforms like YouTube, it’s no secret that video is king in the digital world. Beyond the videos that pop up on our social networks manifests the concept that video has to exist somewhere in order for it to be sharable. Essentially, this is where video “lives”. So, are there advantages to hosting video on your own website vs. another platform, like YouTube? Let’s break it down.

The benefits of hosting video on YouTube

YouTube already has the reach. Hosting your video via a branded YouTube channel benefits from the platform’s massive number of daily users and its own algorithm (hopefully) driving leads to your content in search. It’s also got a range of built-in features that are beneficial for keeping users engaged—especially for those users who already subscribe to your brand’s channel.

To sum it up, unlike your own website, (which more than likely does not compare to YouTube in terms of traffic, reach and engagement opportunity), YouTube lets you piggyback off its already-established role in the video hosting community.

The benefits of hosting video on your own website

Hosting video on your own website, on the other hand, allows you more customization in how you direct your audience to various video content. It also allows you more customization in the way that your videos appear, are played, and so on.

Another big one that puts points in the column for hosting on your own website—no ads! On YouTube, video watchers are subject to ads left and right, which may be a major drawback for some brands when considering where to send their followers to watch their videos.

Finally, we can’t mention the benefits of hosting video on your own website without talking about traffic. When videos are hosted on your site, and you share links to those videos outside of it, you are driving traffic to the site (rather than to YouTube). If driving website traffic is a goal for you, then it makes this a more appealing option.

So, what do you guys do?

At McNutt & Partners, we are team—wait for it—”hosting on your own website!”

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we should mention: we do use a paid service to host the videos that appear on ours and our clients’ websites. Links to videos still drive traffic to their websites, but behind the scenes, they are being hosted by a platform called Vimeo. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo is for hosting rather than direct on-platform engagement.

We like Vimeo because it offers high-quality, fairly fine-grained privacy and embedding controls and other customization features that make it work for many different purposes. Vimeo is also free of the ads and other extras that YouTube serves up to its audiences.

Summary

Finding a home for your videos ultimately comes down to your own goals and objectives. If you want to drive traffic to your website and have ample customization on how your videos appear, then opt to place them there. If you’ve already established a decent YouTube following and you are less concerned about website traffic, YouTube might be more your style.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

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