Dean Group Media: When to use, and not use, YouTube for your business

It’s a common phenomenon. A business owner- we’ll call him Bill – began using video to explain his business and showcase his products. He posted his videos on YouTube, then placed the YouTube embed code on his web page so that his video – on YouTube – would play on his website. Easy!

It wasn’t long before Bill discovered problems.

Whose ads are those?

Visitors to Bill’s website were seeing ads for other companies while they were watching his videos! Some of his sales prospects they couldn’t see Bill’s videos on his website. They were blocked! Then, the worst: embedded links drew visitors away from Bill’s website to YouTube, where they found his competitors’ videos! So much for learning about Bill’s business!

Here’s what Bill, and anyone else using video to market their business, needs to know about YouTube and other popular social networking sites.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. But it’s also a social media platform. So using it comes with advantages and disadvantages. Yes, you want your business to be found on YouTube. No, you don’t want the problems that plagued Bill. Our platinum rule for using YouTube: Access YouTube’s constituents, but host your videos elsewhere. How?

Build your own, branded YouTube page and pay a few dollars a month for a professional hosting service.

You can build a branded YouTube page yourself or have someone else construct it. It doesn’t take long. Once it’s ready, you can upload your videos to it and access YouTube’s ga-zillions of users and incredible search capabilities. But don’t link these videos to your website.

Use a pro

Instead, upload copies of the same videos to a professional video hosting service that is not a social media site. like . Social sites such as YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook frequently get blocked by corporate IT departments bent on keeping their employees from watching videos of accordion-playing cats. Facebook is the most-most blocked social site in the world. My Space is second. YouTube is third.

Just say no

Other reasons not to host your web videos on social media sites:

*Limited and difficult page customization
*No real thumbnail choice. You’re usually stuck with what the platform provides
*Inconsistent streaming (slow or stalled playback)
*No adaptive bit streaming (YouTube can’t detect user bandwidth and compensate)
*Unwanted competition in “related video,” promoted video ads, overlay ads and banner ads
*No links to your website from your YouTube videos that appear in Google searches (good for YouTube, bad for you)
*No or virtually non-existent customer service
*Account shutdown (YouTube can shut you down at any time for any reason)
*Limited video length (15 minutes)

Professional hosting sites don’t get blocked, so that’s where you want your videos. They cost just pennies a day, provide easy-to-use embed code, come without all the other problems of social sites, and often offer lots of extra bennies. Be sure to use a site that offers HTML 5 compatible video so your videos will plays on iPads, iPods, Androids and other smart phones and tablets that don’t support Flash.

Personally, we use iPlayer. It’s a superb site with great features and outstanding customer service. They’ll even talk to you on the phone! You can sign up here or, if you prefer not to dink around with any kind of technical stuff, call us and we’ll by happy to set up your account and upload your videos for you.

What are you waiting for?

Questions? Click or call 262-238-8740. We’re happy to share our knowledge and experience and more than happy to help.

Dennis Dean is Managing Partner with Dean Group Media, Chief Creative Officer and creator of Story Vision Video and a former Emmy-winning journalist. He may be reached at [email protected], at 262-238-8740 and sometimes by shouting loudly.