It’s simple: video works. Whether you’re plugging a business opportunity, advertising a new product or recruiting for high-level executives, having a video on your website can add a professional feel to your project and brand.
However, more and more brands seem to be delivering their often expensive and high-quality videos poorly to viewers. Long buffering times and dodgy mobile optimisation are the leading causes of frustrating experiences, often driving people away as quickly as your carefully crafted PPC campaign brought them in. This begs the question: “Do I host the video on my own site, or embed it from somewhere else?”
What are the advantages of hosting your video on your own site?
Primarily, the main advantage is control. The video is in your domain and can be taken down or replaced at a moment’s notice. In addition, linking to the video on a page from social media channels drives traffic towards your site itself, whereas embedding the video in another player (for example on Twitter or Facebook) allows viewers to remain wherever they are; watch some or all of the video, and take no further action. If they’re on your site already, they may be more inclined to have a look around.
However, this can be costly, as video would use up a large amount of your storage allocation (a large concern for small businesses who need to keep control of these costs) on your server (depending on your website setup), and people may be less inclined to view the video if they must be fully redirected away from what they’re doing.
What about uploading and then embedding a YouTube video?
As the mother of all video platforms, YouTube has several experiences that would improve the UX. For example, downscaling the video on slow connections, large and intuitive analytics platforms for seeing how your video performs, and the ease of having inbuilt players on many social platforms.
In short, if your video is the “gateway” to your brand, you want to make sure as many people see it as possible. Therefore, embedding a YouTube video may be what you’re after. But, if you want to encourage viewers directly to your site, and believe you have the marketing prowess to do this, then hosting the video yourself may be the best option.