Is your B2B business creating online videos to use for marketing purposes? That’s smart; 95 percent of B2B marketers in a recent survey by Demand Metric say online video is becoming somewhat or much more important to their sales and marketing efforts.
However, if you’re only posting your company’s videos on YouTube, you’re selling yourself short, and you’re probably not getting the ROI you could be from your online videos.
Sure, video sites such as Vimeo and YouTube have made it super-easy to post and share online videos—so easy that more than 40 percent of companies in the survey admit they only post their videos on third-party sites. Just 11 percent of companies put their videos only on their own websites.
But the best results, apparently, come from a combination of the two approaches. Forty-six percent of marketers surveyed post their online videos on their company website as well as on third-party websites—and those companies saw the best ROI from their online videos.
Whatever you do, don’t put your videos only on an external website without putting them on your own site. It may be a bit more complex to post videos on your site than on YouTube, the results make it worthwhile. Some 60 percent of survey respondents say it’s important for a business to have its own branded location for hosting online videos that it controls.
Why does this matter? Well, what if you invest a lot of money in online video, then YouTube changes its terms of service or starts charging for previously free services? What if YouTube becomes the next “MySpace” in a few years?
If you’ve only got your videos on an external site, you’re at their mercy as to what happens to them. In contrast, when videos are hosted on your site, you control them. Just as important, you can learn from what video viewers do. Marketers in the study said having access to analytics and other information about video viewers was the biggest payoff of hosting videos on their own websites. To make the most of this data, integrate it into your CRM system so you can fully use the information.
Keep in mind, videos are still somewhat of a novelty as a marketing tool, but as they become more “old hat” in the coming years, maximizing results from them will take more time, effort and thoughtfulness.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.