If you find yourself taking your first steps into the crazy, wonderful world of video marketing, at some point you’re going to have to reckon with the question of video hosting. Most marketers assume they can put their video content on YouTube and let the views start rolling in.
But there are a couple of problems with this. First, YouTube is structured so that your video will drive traffic to YouTube – which means people are more likely to stay on YouTube, instead of clicking through to your site. Plus, YouTube serves up tons of ads, which means your video’s message gets diluted by other brands. Do you really want to go head-to-head with a Big Mac ad?
Luckily, for marketers and business owners – there’s good news. It’s called Wistia, and it’s a video hosting platform specifically designed for businesses.
Since discovering it in 2012, we’ve been proud Wistia customers and advocates, so we figured it’s about time to tell the world why we love Wistia so much – and how it can help your business in a million different ways. We’ll start with 10.
1. Prospective customers come to your site, not YouTube
If viewers share your video on YouTube rather than your home page or sales page, (somewhere you have the potential to convert them) you are seriously missing out on the equity that link provides. Instead, YouTube is getting all the traffic and revenue for themselves by serving up ads. That viewer will never see your site. You won’t get that sale or signup. It’s gone, forever.
2. Video analytics
Wistia analytics gives amazing insight about how your videos are doing. There’s an engagement graph that shows how engaged your viewers are at all times during the video as well as heatmaps to see individual viewer insights and even a summary of loads, visitors, play rate, plays, hours watched and average engagement percentage.
Through color coding you can see how much of your video has been watched, how many times it’s been played or replayed and even where it’s had a rewind or skip. Use this information to see what parts of your message resonates with your viewers and so much more.
Below: Heatmap showing great engagement % (right), and rewatches (yellow, orange, red). To see it in action, click the picture!
3. Call to action
What’s a “sales video” without a call to action? Wistia gives you the ability to include a clickable call to action at the end of your video. Use this feature to drive more traffic to your sales page or wherever else you’d like to take your viewer.
4. Capture email
Much like the “Call to action”, you can enable the video player to require someone to enter their email address before, in the middle or at the end of the video. They’ve even got it setup to integrate directly with your newsletter service providers (Mailchimp, AWeber, Constant Contact to name a few).
5. No ads
YouTube is notorious for advertisements. They make the majority of their money by viewers watching pre-roll and in-video ads. How professional is it to be talking about your business and an ad pop up on your prospective client? That’s just rude.
Related Post: How to Share Your Videos and Make a Bigger Impact
6. Video SEO
Wistia was (and continues to be) built with web marketing in mind. It has video SEO tools built-in, allowing you to easily (even if you’re not a techy nerd) add metadata like Title, Description, Tags, Etc. so that your video comes up first in Google search results. They even make it easy for you to update your webpage’s sitemap so Google’s spider can easily find your videos for indexing.
7. You control look, feel and function
With Wistia’s SuperEmbed Builder you have so much control over what your video player looks like. Change the size, color, add social sharing links (Facebook, Twitter, Email, Etc.), and more. This comes in really handy when you want a custom style to match a certain page or your brand.
Your video’s thumbnail is something you should pay very close attention to. An optimized thumbnail can dramatically increase your conversion rate, so choose wisely. Most video platforms automatically select 3 thumbnails and honestly, you usually don’t want what they pick. Wistia allows you to choose any frame of the video, or if you want to design something custom – you can do that too. Powerful!
Below: Custom player and thumbnail to match branding and site for EmergingIdeas.com.
8. Email marketing
Embed your video directly into your email. This is a pretty cool feature. Just copy the code from the email marketing page into your newsletter service provider HTML section and the video will be posted complete with a play button and the thumbnail you’ve already optimized. You can even change it so the reader can go directly to your website (or any other URL) to watch the video.
9. Flawless delivery on every device
It’s quite a headache when you can’t view a video on a mobile site because it’s not “optimized” for your particular device. Well, Wistia knows that which is why they’ve made their player 100% compatible with all devices. It doesn’t matter whether you have Flash or HTML5 compatible browsers – you’re getting that video!
10. Wistia support is off the hook
Wistia’s support is amazing. They’ve answered every email or tweet I’ve ever had within 1 day. Most of the time it’s within a few hours. They won’t stop until the problem is solved and what’s pretty amazing is nearly anyone on the team (not just support) can help solve the problem. Even if they have to go into the code and fix it. That’s pretty rare for a business.
Also, every feature is extremely well documented and there’s usually even a video with help on the page right when you need it. Nothing like that paperclip from Microsoft Office, though.
I can’t speak highly enough about their support.
Do your business a favor and give Wistia a shot. They know you’ll like it so much they’ll let you have 3 videos absolutely free. That’s how we got started and the rest is history.
See all the features here: http://wistia.com/product
FYI – There are no affiliate links here. We’re just proud customers.