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A website that uses professional video hosting for their web video as opposed to linking it to an external streaming site – such as YouTube or Vimeo – can boast a number of advantages over their competitors.

Some of these advantages are obvious:

> Unique design and look of player

It’s a question of identity – do you really want to use YouTube’s identity?

Make the player suit you.

> Individually managed video playback

There is no need to make your playback subject to the workings of an external site.

It’s your video – why let others call the shots?

> No limitations

The web video can be as long and look as good as you want it to be.

The benefits and limitations that you get from a site like YouTube

Using a universal video hosting site isn’t entirely a bad idea.

A site like YouTube can help you reach a wider audience – but bear in mind that your web video will also be part of a wider selection of similar web videos.

So you will have to face increased competition.

And then there’s Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO.

Because YouTube is owned by Google – using YouTube will boost your optimisation for a Google search.

So, by all means, put your video onto YouTube – and put a link from YouTube to your site.

Just don’t stream the web video onto your site from YouTube.

And why not?

As explained earlier, one of the benefits of using professional business video hosting is that you can give a unique design and look to your media player.

If you stream from YouTube then your web video is promoting the YouTube brand.

The video may be yours – you may well have paid a lot of money for it – but your ability to distribute the video is subject to the will of an external company.

And YouTube want your viewer to know this.

So they will dictate the visual style of your player.

It’s colour, shape, size and even playback quality – for both sound and vision – is now out of your control.

And just hope the viewer doesn’t click on the video unintentionally.

If they do, then they will leave your page and go straight to YouTube – where YouTube will kindly suggest other web video’s that they might want to watch.

These are the web video’s of your competitors.

So what about other video hosting sites, like Vimeo?

Again, Vimeo will insist that you use it’s own player.

And you will be subject to its loading times.

Let’s not forget that Vimeo is mainly used by professional film makers who are more than happy to accept large bandwidth usage as long as it plays their feature length film.

Put simply – web video sites like Vimeo are not designed for professional video hosting for businesses.

So what’s the answer?

The answer is take advantage of both options.

Use sites like YouTube as a marketing tool – make sure you provide a link to your site on the web video.

But don’t use their player on your site.

Your site deserves better.

To summarise:

> For your video and site to have their own identity

> For the vision and sound of the video to be exactly how you want it to be

> And to ensure that the only video – and website – the viewer looks at is yours

Then the use of a professional business video hosting service is the only way to go.

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