YouTube is awesome. From Squatty Potty ads to “What did the Fox Say” YouTube is a never ending rabbit hole of entertainment and information. But, when it comes to your business and your website it’s often not the best channel to promote the video you’ve made for your business. I recommend that all of my clients ditch YouTube in favor of a suitable alternative on-site host. More on that later.
Here are some reasons why YouTube hurts your marketing efforts:
YouTube’s end game: the YouTube rabbit hole
Embedding a YouTube video on your site is easy and free. But, sites like YouTube make money based on the time people spend on their site. Naturally, they want people to spend time on YouTube, not your site. This is precisely why YouTube autoplays related and suggested videos immediately after you finish one! If you use YouTube there is a good chance you will loose your viewer to the latest viral hit or cute puppy riding a vacuum.
While we may not mind occasionally going down the rabbit hole it’s best practice to keep people on your site and to minimize the friction they experience when learning about your product, service or company. Keep the viewers on your site and minimize distractions—take control of what you want them to do next.
If you use YouTube to embed your video on your site YouTube can serve ads against your content. This could be through pre-roll advertising or post-roll “watch next” video suggestions. You have very little control over this and the last thing you want associated with your brand on your website is questionable video content or ads for a competitor.
Missed opportunities & SEO
Having video on your website is great for boosting your search rankings. Using YouTube will still give you some good results. But there is one big difference: YouTube ranks your video and points people to YouTube.com instead of your website. Notice the search results below. The video featuring Emily Rose Mowrey is the only video result on this page that directs people to her website. All of the other videos go to YouTube.com. Her video is hosted with an on-site video host called Wistia.com.
Lack of Customization
YouTube looks pretty much the same everywhere. You can’t customize the player much. No changing the color or the feel. Platforms like Wistia.com, however, give you control over your content. Customize the color and look of your player. Ad a clickable call to action, or customize your thumbnail images. It gives your videos a clean look that can be customized to fit your brand’s need. It also has a bunch of features for improving SEO, sales, and learning more about your viewers.
YouTube offers users some data on who is watching your videos but it doesn’t go very deep. Other platforms offer a lot data that you can leverage to better understand how people are engaging with your content and brand.
When to use YouTube.com
YouTube is great for maximizing reach on social media. If you’re able to invest in developing YouTube as another social media channel with consistent content YouTube can work great. But, if you’re looking at using video on your website there are much better options out there.
How to get started with on-site video hosting
I recommend Wistia.com to all of my clients. They have a free account that lets you host 5 videos and gives you access to all of their great features. They’ve also got killer support and a fantastic online learning center where you can learn more about making and marketing your videos.
Here’s a video they made that further breaks down the benefits of using Wistia:
What challenges do you have when it comes to showing off your videos? What video host do you use for your videos?