Self-Hosted Videos vs. YouTube

Retro MoviesVideo content is tremendously powerful. Billions of hours of video is watched each day, and studies show that watching video makes consumers more confident in a product, service, or business. Yet, despite that, only 25 percent of national brands use video as a marketing tool – and this presents are huge opportunity for those who do to establish themselves as authorities and as on-trend. Producing a high-quality video is crucial, but deciding where to host video content can be just as important.

“YouTube” seems the obvious answer, and it can be a good one. This is where you have a shot at reaching a multimillion member, worldwide audience. But therein also lies the difficulty: it is hard to target your audience. Your video is 5 minutes among billions of hours of content. How is the right audience going to find its way to you? And if they do, what are the next steps are they going to take? Are they going to click through to your website and investigate you further – or are they going to stay on YouTube and continue to browse?

Another issue with YouTube is that you have less control of your content. You may not, for instance, choose the ads that appear next to or preceding your video. In some cases, those ads are delivered from your competition! You end up being your own competition as well: YouTube results will rank higher than results from your own website.

YouTube does have a number of benefits: it is owned by Google, it is easy to use, it’s free, and you can create your own channel and optimise your video content to start to target your audience. Self-hosting may be a better option for many site owners, though. You can implement rich snippets that will improve visibility and click-through rates to your site. Video on your homepage engages viewers and may help keep your bounce rate down. Another benefit is that you’re promoting your website, not your YouTube channel. If, for instance, your video is passed and shared, it creates backlinks to your site. This is a huge difference.

To make sure that self-hosting provides the benefits you need:

  • Mark it up with rich snippets.
  • Create and submit a video sitemap.

A good compromise is to use a hybrid approach. You can both post to Google and self-host. If you do this, make sure you do not post the same video content on both. You might, for instance, post enticing teasers on YouTube and full-length videos on your site. If you do this, make sure you have a robust solution in place to handle the demands of a longer video.





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