Geez’um. Isn’t YouTube enough?
YouTube. Sometimes it seems like that’s all I talk about anymore. And while YouTube is super-important to the success of your videos, there’s something you need to keep in the back of your mind about this site.
It doesn’t actually make you any income.
Until the day you can take credit cards right from your YouTube channel (are you listening, Google?) it’s gonna to be necessary to bring people back to your website to continue the conversation.
I know. This is not news to you. But we confuse the issue even more when we tell you to embed that YouTube video on your website. And oh, there are so many good reasons to do this. You don’t have to pay for hosting, it increases your view count and it increases the authority of your YouTube channel.
The BIG Caveat
So what if I were to tell you that sometimes having a YouTube video on your website is the last thing you want? It might sound crazy but it’s true.
It has to do with selling your stuff. You’re just not going to do it with a YouTube video. There are lots of reasons why.
What would you do if you had something all ready to sell, you’ve got your sales page ready, you’ve got your marketing in place and YouTube decides at the last minute, to pull the plug on your sales video? YouTube says they don’t like you to put up commercial content, and I’ve never seen anyone respect that rule, but they do pull channels for less than that.
What would you do?
The Branding Issue
Let’s say you have a great page designed to sell something to the public or even to corporate executives. The page has its colors and designs and, well, you think, it would be nice to have some control over how the video looks, and maybe how it plays, and maybe it would be nice to know how many people watched it vs. how many people responded to it. You can’t do that with YouTube. You get their player, you get their branding. It’s very nice branding. It’s not obnoxious. But it’s not yours. It doesn’t represent you and your company. Do you just live with it? What do you do?
Here’s one more question
What if you’d like that video to take your viewer right to another page? Or what if you want that video to trigger a certain event to happen at x minutes in? Or what if you’d like to create some mystery around your video? For example, a video that plays for x number of minutes, then stops and asks you to fill in a form to watch the rest of the video? Or what if you’d like your video to present your viewer with a gift they can download at the end? Would that be cool or what?
Be an owner, not a renter
For all these reasons, it’s important to have a player of your own. And it all comes down to this: you need to be the one in control of your own videos.
There are several ways to play this. There are subscription services like EZS3, EZWebPlayer or EZWebVideo. Each allow you to do a number of the items I listed above. They cost anywhere from $15 – $20 per month.
There are also standalone players. The most popular is Easy Video Player. It’s about $95, and you install it on your server. You pay for it once and you’re done.
There are other players, not so well-known. There’s Kaltura which is free, but you have to be an expert coder to make it work. There’s also Flowplayer, which has a free version, but when it comes to branding, it’s crippled unless you go for the pro version, which runs from $100 for one site, to 300 for 100 domains.
But when it comes right down to it, what you really need is the ability to control the viewer experience and brand your videos. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg to do it.
Why pay for it at all?
The members of the Video Brain Trust, our exclusive video marketing forum, are in the process of installing their very own custom video player, a benefit they get when they sign up for a year of daily coaching (currently $210). There are a ton of other benefits, and you can see them here:
but I just wanted you to understand why owning a video player is so critical to the success of your video marketing strategy.
You can join the Video Brain Trust today. Right now we’re in open enrollment, until July 31.
Why don’t you come check us out?