In 2020, no one should have to prove to you how impactful it can be to use video in your sales and marketing programs. Video provides you with an opportunity to engage your audience differently, and give them a break from dense blog posts, long e-books or whitepapers, and tired checklists or guides. It gives you a place to dynamically express your business’ personality and point of view in a way that impacts and prompts high degrees of engagement from your audience. It can even help you streamline your customer acquisition process and enable you to convert users more often and effectively. However, at this point, it’s too late to ask yourself “if” or “when” you should implement video. The question you need to be asking and answering is: “How?”
Now, you must be thinking: “Isn’t this a video platform review? It seems like nothing you’re saying has anything to do with the tech.”
Well, you’re right. That’s because before you think about what video platforms you should consider, you need to know the purpose video will serve for your business. You need to know how it fits into your business’ processes. You need to know how you plan to use your videos once you have them. Otherwise, you’ll end up sinking a ton of time, energy, and resources into finding a video platform that might not actually meet your needs.
If you’re just starting out with video, use YouTube or Vimeo to avoid wasting time and resources on a premium platform while you figure out your video process and video’s purpose with respect to your business. These products are free hosting platforms without features specifically geared towards optimizing video for business. You don’t get any of the bells and whistles from these options; they’re pretty much just a place to put your videos.
These are the platforms that have additional features that can create value for your business. They typically operate on freemium models and are more geared towards using video for business, but free plans don’t usually offer much more functionality than public hosting. In fact, they often have hosting and embed limits while the public options don’t. The more powerful or valuable features are hidden behind a subscription paywall or other type of financial commitment. You might want to wait until your video process and goals are hashed out before looking into these. With premium hosting, it’s more difficult for you to optimize the impact video can have on your business without ponying up some cash.
These platforms include (but aren’t limited to):
- 23 (or twentythree)
- Sprout video
Video Hosting Must-Haves
Since you’ve obviously, at this point, thought about video in the context of your business and since you’re now aware of the options, you should be aware of a few things any video hosting platform absolutely needs to have in order to actually be impactful:
- It can host all of your videos: Many platforms have limits on how much content they can hold.
- It integrates into your existing tech stack: Your CRM, CMS, MAP, etc. is a part of your process. No integration means no fit, or at least it probably isn’t worth making it fit.
- Its value extends beyond hosting: Video hosting itself isn’t that valuable and there are tons of places to do it. It isn’t worth conducting research and going through a decision-making process if you just want somewhere to put your videos. You need your platform to provide you with meaningful analytics on top of other features that allow you to easily optimize your videos and make the most out of your video efforts.
Our Choice: Vidyard
Look no further than Vidyard if you’re in the market for a video platform that easily integrates into your existing processes and tech stack while providing a suite of valuable features. Vidyard’s power features are so intuitive, you’ll be able to avoid much of the tech debt often incurred by adding technology to your stack. Setup is easy and navigating interfaces is very natural, allowing you to slot the platform into your processes with relative ease. Vidyard’s vast integration capabilities really round out how flexible the platform can be for your business. The Hubspot integration even allows you to create video players within your HubSpot portals, eliminating the need to even log in to Vidyard.
On top of being easy to work into your process, Vidyard’s features enable you to optimize and maximize the value you create from your video efforts.The platform provides insanely deep analytics that integrate into common CRMs like Hubspot and Salesforce. It logs video viewings directly into your CRM and will track and import the length of those viewings. You can further dig into data that Vidyard captures natively on their Dashboard and with their Performance Center, Contact Center, and other reports.
A valuable feature that really optimizes video for business is the ability for you to convert within a Vidyard video player. Video is a type of content that requires deeper engagement from your audience than others. If someone’s watching a video of yours, you’ve already piqued their interest and captured their attention. Now Vidyard gives you the ability to turn that interest and attention into a low-interruption conversion opportunity that they call an “Action.” And we all know how hard it can be to create those kinds of conversion opportunities. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the “Action” and video viewing experience being brand consistent, because Vidyard gives you the ability to customize the aesthetic of your video player and your action to match your branding.
Unfortunately, a lot of the features that really set Vidyard apart are hidden behind a subscription paywall. The most important quality for any potential tech stack addition is that it easily slots into your existing process and tech stack and integrations are another absolutely crucial feature that Vidyard hides behind their subscription paywall. Many of Vidyard’s competitors make it much more financially accessible to have multiple users on an account, while Vidyard requires a Team level subscription at $300 per month for the same capabilities. Even customizing the way your Vidyard instance is organized isn’t accessible without a paid subscription.
On the whole, Vidyard is the best video hosting platform that you absolutely have to shell out funds for. While you can get by on the free version, you might be better off going with public hosting due to Vidyard’s embed limit of 5 embeds at the free level. However, if you’re ready and willing to spend some money, you won’t find a premium hosting platform that offers more bang for your buck. It’s features are as extensive if not more so than its competitors, while offering an easy user experience (this honestly used to be a big negative for them before their recent interface update). If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably doing video already. If you aren’t, then you probably need to be. Once you have the purpose and process needed in place to do video right, Vidyard will only make it easier for you to get value from your video efforts. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to get value from any premium hosting platform, particularly Vidyard given its pricing.