Video is booming. From 2022 on, more than 82 percent of all online traffic will be video. No wonder organisations are looking for ways to integrate video into their content and marketing strategy. Nowadays, marketing needs to work with video. However, what platform are you going to use for your video content?
When talking about video platforms, three of them are often compared: YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. All three should be part of your social media strategy, as they can increase your brand awareness. However, because of the large quantity of videos, your video tends to get lost. Also, viewers get easily distracted by other videos and ads from your competition.
At a certain point, your video inventory starts growing and you might want to do more than simply engage viewers. Other objectives for video could be conversion or customer service. However, you need a different online video platform to meet these objectives. That is why, next to social media, you need to invest in an Online Video Platform.
What is an Online Video Platform?
An Online Video Platform (also known as an OVP) offers a complete system where you can manage, publish and analyse your videos. An Online Video Platform provides both a video content management system to upload videos and the video player technology.
Most video platforms appeared around 2006, when video was still up and coming. Traditional media got on the video wagon much sooner, but since there were no online video platforms, they had to create their own by connecting multiple systems to each other. These included systems to manage and encode videos, to generate traffic and to manage video ads.
What should you look for in a video platform?
What you should look for when choosing a platform depends on your video objectives, but there are five points that help you on your way to the right choice.
It might not be the most “sexy” subject, but it is one of the most important ones. Most online video platforms offer their own analytics module. For example, Google Analytics shows the video completion rate, but it doesn't show you where viewers drop off.
The drop-off percentage is an interesting statistic. For example, 10% of your viewers watch the video to the very end, but you notice most viewers drop off at 20 seconds. This can be a sign that you need to change the video introduction. These kinds of metrics allow you to keep optimising, so you can reach higher conversion rates.
Integrate platform with Comscore or Google Analytics
Some video platforms have the option to integrate with other analytics systems. Of course, you can export numbers from your own OVP, but it works better to also get these numbers from authorities on analytics, such as Comscore and Google Analytics. Some marketers get an even bigger advantage: the systems you were already using for analytics, can easily be paired with the new tools.
Next to the standard options, some platforms allow you to export custom reports. This way, you can get data that is relevant to you and is compatible with your own CRM system.
Interactive video increases viewer engagement and the conversion rate. There are multiple video platforms to choose from, but the level of interactivity they offer differs per platform. Some offer the basic option of adding a link to a video, while others allow you to create entire branched videos.
Interactivity on all devices
Before considering interactive video, you need to take into account whether people will watch it on mobile devices. Not all platforms offer interactivity suitable for mobile devices, which can cause problems.
If you use interactive video to answer frequently asked questions, you want people to be able to watch it anywhere and anytime. So, mobile functionality for all devices is desirable, even iPhone. Some platforms don't support interactivity for iOS. Consider what the objective for your video is and where you want to reach your viewers. Now and in the future.
3. Customisable player
A customisable player allows you to decide what happens once the video ends. For example, what related items are shown in the endscreen. This way, you guide the viewer through the customer video journey. Grab the attention, guide it in the right direction and increase the conversion rate.
Customising your video player also allows you to create a video player that completely fits your corporate identity. You can add your own logo and specific colors to create the look and feel you want. Not all video platforms offer this as a standard feature. So, put it on your list of pros and cons when deciding on an online video platform.
4. User friendly dashboard
The dashboard is an interface in which you manage your videos. In the dashboard you set your video distribution strategy and it gives you insight with extensive analytics. Each video platform has a dashboard, but they all differ in terms of functionality and user-friendliness. Take into account whether you find the dashboard easy to work with. It's also important to check if there is a support team and how accessible this support system is.
Tip: it pays to choose an online video platform that automatically uploads and encodes your videos. This will save you loads of time in the long run.
The dashboard is the place where you will be adding metadata to your videos. First of all, this is very important for your video SEO. By adding the right title, meta description and tags, you can increase your chances of becoming number one in the Google ranking. Second of all, metadata will help you keep your content structured. Metadata will make it easier to navigate in the platform, which helps multiple users who work together in the same publication.
Pick an OVP that has a user friendly dashboard that fits your needs.
5. Video storage and distribution
Last, but not least: the storage and distribution of your video content. This is something you want to be the least of your worries.
Video hosting and Content Delivery Network
Most platforms include the hosting of video content. Hosting means your video is locally stored and will be available across multiple servers and directories, also known as the Content Delivery Network (CDN). Thanks to the CDN you don't have to worry about your videos going offline or taking up too much storage space.
A CDN is even more important once you want to go international with your video content. Especially a CDN that offers worldwide coverage, as it'll make sure people from all across the world will have the same excellent video experience. However, even locally targeted audiences deserve the best user experience.
Which video platform should you choose?
"So, which video platform should I choose?" That's not an easy question to answer, because it entirely depends on your budget and what your video objectives are. If you're looking for more advice on choosing the right online video platform that fits your needs, you can always reach out to us. We're more than happy to help you with your objective and getting the most out of your video content.
If you want to learn more about the difference between a free video hosting service and a professional video platform, make sure to download our free guide.