What Is a Video Platform and Why Does Your Business Need One?
Some businesses post dozens of videos on their website every week. Others just have an explainer video embedded on their landing page.
But even if you just have a few videos on your website or blog, you still might want to keep a few things in mind, especially if you are going to track your videos’ performance. In particular, what video platform should you choose?
What is a video marketing platform?
A video platform is a solution designed to act as something of a “one-stop shop” for all of your content creation, publication, and tracking efforts.
It’s important to understand that this is different from a standard hosting platform, which at the end of the day can really be something as simple as YouTube. A video host is exactly that – a site or service that lets you upload videos to the Internet that you can then share, either directly with your users by way of your website or on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
A video platform, on the other hand, is something much more powerful. If you had to sum up the major benefit that using a video platform brings to the table, you would be undoubtedly talking about one word: visibility.
Robust video analytics
Most commercially available video marketing platforms have extensive business analytics built right in. This allows you to track and collect data about how your videos are performing in real-time to make your efforts even stronger and more accurate in the future.
When you just upload a video to a site like YouTube, for example, you’re fairly limited in the information that you can glean from it regarding performance. You can see how many people are viewing it, liking it or disliking it. But it doesn’t go much deeper than that.
The right video platform significantly expands the limits of what you can learn about your viewers’ watching habits. You can see who is watching a particular piece of content and what type of device they’re watching it on.
You can see exactly how they found your video and how long they watched. Oftentimes you can even figure out why they didn’t watch the completed video in the first place – all of which provides actionable insight that you’re not going to find anywhere else.
If you can instantly see which locations are the most popular for your videos, you know to double down your efforts on those channels. If you can see why people stop watching your videos, you can identify trends and patterns in user behavior. This can help you tweak your content to better meet your customers’ needs.
If you know why and where people stop watching your video, you can adjust your content accordingly.
These are all measurable metrics that show you how you are doing. If you can track your success (or lack thereof, for that matter), you can adjust your video marketing strategy.
Another benefit of using a robust video platform is that some of them even allow tracking the video performance on social media. For instance, when you host your video with Wistia and share the link on social media channels (like Twitter or Facebook), the video platform will show the likes, shares, and comments.
You can track the video performance on social media with Wistia
Easy integration with the tools that you are already using
There are other benefits that video platforms bring with them. Many platforms natively integrate with the sales and marketing solutions that you’re already using. With the help of such integrations, you can get even more helpful insights into your entire marketing campaign.
Some video platforms also allow you to insert lead capture forms directly into the video. If your video marketing platform is integrated with CRM, you can automatically pass and store all the information about leads back to the CRM.
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Videos that are published via a marketing platform are also easy to embed on a website or blog. You don’t need comprehensive developer skills in order to broadcast your message far and wide.
Normally, in order to embed a video, you will just need to copy the embed code and paste it on your blog or website. This is what an embed code might look like:
Example of an embed code from Wave.video hosting
Most powerful video platforms also often allow for easy customization. In most of them, you can easily change the player color or define how exactly the video plays. This can help you to make sure the videos are consistent with your overall branding.
Player customization options in Wave.video
When choosing a video marketing platform for your business, the most important thing that you need to understand is this: no two video platforms are created equally. There is no “one size fits all” approach to choosing the right solution. There is only the “one right choice” for your business needs alone.
In this regard, understanding what you want to achieve with the videos will certainly guide you in the right direction. Do you want to track how many people viewed your videos? Do you want to be able to change the player color? How thorough do you want to be with your video analytics?
Video platforms in action
When it comes to picking out the right video marketing platform to meet your needs, you certainly aren’t without your options. Some of the most popular video hosting sites of the modern era include Wistia, Vidyard, Brightcove – all of which have their own unique advantages and disadvantages over the rest. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
Choosing a video platform: Wistia
Wistia provides comprehensive video analytics and guarantees exceptionally smooth playback on ANY device that your audience happens to be using. Not only do you get fully responsive, fast adaptive streaming, but Wistia also offers support for 4K resolution, 360 video, and other emerging trends.
As the guys at Wistia state themselves, Wistia is much more than just a video hosting platform. It enables you to power your product, control your content, and boost your video marketing. They also have a fantastic support team. I even received a personalized “Welcome” video after I signed up!
Perhaps the only real downside of Wistia has to do with the limitations of its “Free” tier. Yes, you’ll pay $0 per month – but you’ll have to contend with Wistia branding on all content and a three video per month limit.
If you need more videos than that (and you probably will), the price shoots up to at least $99 per month. This may be the type of cost that small businesses, in particular, can’t afford to deal with, particularly if it takes a while for their video marketing efforts to really show the results that they’re after.
Analyze videos better with Vidyard
Another popular video platform is Vidyard. Vidyard offers a range of video marketing solutions for businesses. In addition to native integration with marketing automation platforms and CRM systems, you can also create personalized videos. This feature comes in especially handy for sales and customer support teams. Just imagine: you can send a personalized special offer video to all of your customers!
Vidyard also offers advanced features like A/B split testing, video SEO, and lead capture.
One of the most unique features this solution provides comes by way of Vidyard Live. Vidyard Live gives you the ability to live stream ANYWHERE – including to your website or your social channels – with just a few quick clicks of your button. Even though you might not be using live video today, you still want to leave the option available should you choose to do so in the future (spoiler alert: you absolutely will).
The only real downside of this platform is that it may be a little too “advanced” for novice users. Small business users may initially be a bit overwhelmed by the sheer breath of what they can do with Vidyard. Once you get over the learning curve it will be smooth sailing, but you still may run into issues that you wouldn’t with other less sophisticated platforms. This may sound like something of a backhanded compliment – and it is – but depending on where your video marketing efforts currently are this is still something that you need to think about very carefully.
Finally, there is Brightcove – the platform that promises that you can become a master video marketer with no technical expertise required. Brightcove also offers the powerful analytics you need to track performance and make smarter video marketing decisions, along with support for all of your existing marketing software and CRM solutions.
Brightcove certainly lives up to its name as a “simple” and “straightforward” video marketing platform, which may actually be to its detriment depending on your perspective. It lacks some of the more advanced features that its competitors offer, which may make it difficult for you to take full advantage of emerging trends. Still, it’s a great way for beginners, in particular, to take their video marketing efforts to the next level in the easiest way possible.
Is there a perfect video marketing platform?
It is important that you try as many video marketing platforms as you can until you find the one that works best for you and NOT for anybody else. Some organizations may be at the stage where Vidyard is perfect, where others may feel like this is way overdoing it compared to what their actual goals are. Only by considering this important choice within the context of your own long-term goals will you be able to make the choice that is best for you.