YouTube: TheIns and TheOuts

Allen Clements

Allen Clements

July 8, 2016

When we think of YouTube, our minds are instantly filled with the idea of open-source broadcasting. It’s a world where distributing your media, your thoughts, or ideas is completely democratized.  We see babies and cats, and tween virtuosos.  We think of hours of time wasted on “remixed” videos and webcam confessions.

The way we stereotype YouTube is only part of the picture and though there IS a lot of noise out there, YouTube remains a fantastic place to host your video content.  I’d like to provide you with some of the benefits of using YouTube over other video hosting options and share some insights around video hosting and SEO.

Google

In 2006, Google wrote out a fat check for 1.6 BILLION dollars to purchase YouTube. At the time, Google had it’s own media site, Google Video which needed some love.  Rather than fix their unappealing product, they bought one that had massive potential and had proven superior.  In the end, YouTube became more robust and innovated with HD video and now even 360 video content.  Since they are part of the google family, videos get the benefit of being under the roof of the search engine powerhouse taking advantage of it’s crawling, analytics and massive network.  Oh, and good show Google.  It’s now valued at between 30 and 40 billion.  So if Google owns YouTube, It’s got to be good, right?

Deconstructing YouTube

In our point of view, YouTube is a free, relevant, high-quality, trackable storage and broadcast option for your media.

  • Free: It costs nothing to upload a video to YouTube. Verified users can upload videos longer than 15 minutes and up to 128GB in size.
  • Relevant: YouTube is hardwired into Google’s search guts. If you pay basic mind to the title, description, and keywords, your video should be easily found both in YouTube and Google’s searches.
  • High-Quality: Users can easily upload 1080p videos for crisp and beautiful streaming playback.
  • Bandwidth and Resolution Responsive: YouTube automatically adapts quality and size on just about any computer, mobile device or web appliance.
  • Trackable: The free service provides you with data about your views and users both geographic and frequency-wise.
  • Everything (especially mobile) Friendly: Not only can you view videos on YouTube’s site and easily on a Smart Phone or portable device, You can also embed them into your own site or watch them on Television, XBOX or other “apps.”

The DownSide

About two years ago, YouTube upped their tracking of copyrighted content and strengthened their partnerships with media companies. It was a really smart move.  If you use copyrighted content, your video is flagged with overlays and advertising benefitting the copyright holder.  The automation and detection of these works is phenomenal.  Of course, there is the occasion where an organization demands an ad free channel which is available as long as your content is truly yours or properly licensed.

About a year ago, the company I was working for had a frustrating problem of removing ads and flags from an ad-free channel for a major CPG firm. YouTube had properly detected our licensed music and we had to provide proof that we purchased the license.  It slowed the video’s release down and was completely unexpected.  This is a strong call for uploading your videos early and allowing YouTube to run it’s algorithms so you can know early on if there will be an issue to be resolved.

YouTube is smart… maybe too smart.  At least this means content producers are getting paid!

How our clients should use YouTube

Even a few years ago, I would have recommended YouTube as the primary, if not EXCLUSIVE destination for all of our client’s video content. This is because maximum hits mean maximum visibility on the site and on search engines.  We wouldn’t want to spread that too thin among multiple YouTube videos or even worse, among multiple hosting sites.

Times have changed a bit.  Facebook is now a major player in video hosting and favors content hosted on Facebook over YouTube links. A cut-throat strategy perhaps, but a good one nonetheless.  So consider your target. If the goal is facebook users or generating interest in your facebook page or group, go facebook native or do both. All of these options are free!

The YouTube embed options make for a streamlined, aesthetic interface that tends to blend into your current blog or website.  It intergrates beautifully into wordpress and custom developed sites.

VS other options

Vimeo

Vimeo is great. It’s pretty, but it simply doesn’t have the Google power behind it. We use Vimeo primarly to host our work because it’s built in audience happens to be fellow filmmakers and creatives.  If your work is aesthetically focused and centered around creative, Vimeo has a certain perception amongst like-minded computer users. Consider Vimeo as an option. For paid hosting plans, there are lots of customizable options available. 

Self Hosted

YouTube and Vimeo are bandwidth-responsive in that they feeds the best possible resolution for the user’s internet speed.  This is DIFFICULT to do when self-hosting video. You might have to provide multiple resolutions.  That is time-consuming and fills your precious server space.  On the upside Self Hosted video does require the user to land on your page 100% of the time.  This can help in conversions as long as you have a team dedicated to SEO on your site.

YouTube targeted content

If you are going to use a platform to host your media, why not take advantage of their built-in audience. YouTube is a great place for serial content.  You don’t have to have a fancy media company produce your content but it really helps.  This series of thought leadership videos by Lancaster business Akita pest control is a step in the right direction!

Or, create a product with placement like we did with our series “Meeting & Eating” With the right strategy and creative, this can be FAR more effective than in your face advertising. We’ll be talking a LOT more about content marketing in the near future.



Let’s Do It

MAKE Films is well-versed on the best way to get the best quality HD video into your target’s eyeballs by way of YouTube’s video crunching machine.  Once uploaded and configured, it will be ready to be viewed on YouTube, by embedding it into your webpage, or by sharing the link via email marketing and social media channels.

Give us a call or email me to ask us how we can help YouTube work with your content distribution strategy!

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