Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by our friends at LemonLight. The post below walks through how to pick the perfect video host to achieve your business goals.
Choosing a video host is no small task. Whether you work at an enterprise company and are looking for a long-term video partner, or are an independent content creator looking for personalized care, finding the right solution is critical if you want your video to be successful.
With so many options out there, though, how do you know which one is right for you? There are a lot of things to consider, so we’re breaking it all down into seven easy-to-digest questions you can answer to help you figure it all out. Armed with these answers, you’ll learn which video hosts to consider and which to avoid altogether.
1. Who am I trying to reach?
Who is your target audience? Are they younger? Older? Which platforms do they hang out on and where do they interact the most? This is probably the most important question to answer before picking a video host since you’ll want to pick a host that works well on the platform you’ll primarily be using.
Social platforms tend to favor native posting, so think about that, as well. You’ll want a permanent home for your video, like your website or blog, and you’ll want to embed that video using a player that’s also got full sharing functionality across social networks. JW Player has a customizable sharing menu that allows you to easily share and embed your video on almost any social network.
But the big takeaway here it knowing who your audience is and how to reach them. Learn about your audience’s viewing habits so you can pick the player that best matches their digital behavior and online trends.
2. What are my video goals?
This is a question you should answer before creating your actual video. Do you want your video to increase brand awareness? Are you trying to increase revenue and sales? Whatever your goal is, you should choose a video player that will help you get there.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to use a video host that allows you to customize the player’s branding. You’ll want to build a visual interface that matches your brand’s colors and logos and create a seamless experience that shows new users how reliable you and your brand are.
If you want your video to help increase revenue and sales, you’ll want a player that can help you monetize your content and one that supports all major ad formats.
If your goal is to increase viewer engagement, you’ll want a video player with special features that help you do just that, like the ability to curate custom video playlists with real-time recommendations, and performance analytics that show you viewership data over time.
JW Player does that and more, helping businesses of all sizes accomplish their video marketing goals with no stress and no fuss.
3. Where will my video go?
Where will your video primarily live? Chances are, even if you need a video for your social media pages, that video content still needs a more permanent home. Whether it’s your homepage, your landing pages, or somewhere in between, the right video player will make it easy to publish your video everywhere and anywhere you want.
Again, if your target audience is active on social media, opt for a video host with easy social sharing features. You want a beautiful viewing experience when your video is seen on your site, across socials, in your email correspondence and more. Pick a reliable host, but one that specializes in optimization for your primary distribution method.
4. How will I measure the results?
Before picking a video player, know which metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your video campaign. List them all out and make sure the host you pick offers all that data and more.
JW Player, for instance, gives you real-time data around all the most crucial performance metrics, including video completion rates, unique viewers, time spent watching, and more, and can give you detailed information on viewer demographics and devices used. They also provide more detailed analytics that show you what domain your viewers are watching from and allow you to segment all your data by multiple dimensions and filters.
That kind of freedom when it comes to data manipulation will help you see trends you might not see otherwise. A robust analytics platform will set you up for success and give you the tools you need to improve your short-term and long-term content.
5. How often am I creating video content?
Are you creating tons of video content on a regular basis? If so, then you need a robust platform that can handle not only high-volume video uploads and views but one that’ll also give you customization tools and bulk edit features you need to be an effective marketer at scale.
If you’re creating a lot less video content, then you need a video host that will give you the personalized care and support you need. Arguably, with less video content, the performance of that content matters more, so you still want to make sure your videos are performing at their very best and that you have all the resources at your disposal to make sure they are.
Find a video host who can handle your specific needs, and one that’s able to grow and adapt with you should your needs change.
6. What experience do I want my viewers to have?
Do you want a seamless ad experience? Do you want your viewers to know they’re watching an ad, or do you want it to feel more natural and native? The experience you want your viewers to have should play a big role in which player you ultimately pick since the player can define how invasive, natural, or obvious a video advertisement is.
Check out examples of what video embeds look like on different players. You’ll want customizable logos, the option to auto-play related video playlists, adjustable and mobile responsive player size, and more. You’ll want options for description text, closed captioning, social sharing, and more.
7. What can I afford?
Of course, there are free video hosts that can provide the basic functionality you need from a video player. But, as they say, you get what you pay for! A free player might allow you to host your video but won’t give you the information and features you need to optimize for success.
Consider your needs, as well as your budget. Most video hosts have tiered membership rates with affordable starter plans that allow for more video versatility and data analytics. JW Player, for instance, starts as low as $5 per month for developers and content creators and offers all the essential core features that can help propel your video forward.
There you have it! Picking the right video host does require a certain level of strategy, but we hope this helped simplify the process so that you can get started fast. With the right video production company, you can create a beautiful video, and with the right video host, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your video distribution and analytics.
To learn more or schedule time to speak with a video expert.