Video marketing is set to transform the digital landscape and change the way people consume content. Given this, an online video platform (OVP) is becoming an increasingly effective tool for reaching new audiences.
If you consider employing such a platform to support your marketing efforts, you may have a dilemma: should you build an OVP from scratch or buy it ready-made?
Our two-part blog post will feature three key questions you should answer to make the right decision:
- What business goals are you pursuing with the help of video?
- What features the OVP needs to have to help you reach your goals?
- What tech support options will you have in each scenario?
Let’s get down to the first one.
What Are Your Business Goals and How Can Video Facilitate Them?
Whether your goal is to educate buyers about an innovative product, gather a consumer audience, or create new revenue streams, an online video platform can help you get there. Think of the business benefits you want to reap — both short- and long-term.
Boosting Brand Awareness
Video is uniquely effective at raising brand awareness: 90% of customers say product videos help them make purchasing decisions. But for many brands, the first big win they’ll get is an ‘about us’ video that tells the brand story.
Check out this example from Thai Life Insurance:
This video demonstrates brand values to the viewer instead of advertising a product. It’s effective at getting views and promoting a positive image of the company.
If your goal is brand awareness, you should consider branding in the videos you display. Most professional OVPs will white-label your videos or insert your own branding. It’s a cleaner, more professional look than videos that still say ‘YouTube’ in the corner. More importantly, it turns each video into free branded ads for you.
This should come with any OVP, even an off-the-shelf one. But measuring brand awareness might require more advanced analytics. Look a few years down the road and check how much work you’ll have to do under the hood to integrate a vendor’s OVP with the analytics stack you’re already using.
Video is an effective channel for educating viewers. Consumers and business decision-makers respond especially well to explainer and tutorial videos. Here’s one that Demo Duck made for the heatmap tool ‘Crazy Egg’.
This video helped Demo Duck boost Crazy Egg’s conversions by 64%, which is an impressive lift.
If you have a product or service and your customers don’t know they need it (that’s all of us, right?), then explainer and product videos can close that gap — better than other forms of content.
Moreover, hosting such videos on your own network and distributing them on consumer-grade platforms gives you an opportunity to build an owned asset that’s also socially shareable.
If this is your goal, should you build or buy?
That depends on your other goals. Educating users is relatively easy as long as there’s sufficient server space and bandwidth so that they never have to wait. If you’re trying to impart new information, you have to try twice as hard not to create unpleasant tension that might cause visitors to leave the site or funnel. And that means no waiting and no glitches.
To succeed in reducing latency, network congestion, content blockages, and other bottlenecks, choose a reliable OVP vendor that will offer you integration with a robust content delivery network (CDN). If you want your video content to be always available, fast, and safe on a global scale, think multi-CDN approach that leverages multiple providers and automatically picks the best one to optimize delivery.
Building an Extra Monetization Channel
One of video’s most important roles may be to improve your bottom line. There are three main ways to do this: advertising, pay-per-view, and subscription.
Advertising is a familiar way to monetize video — it’s the monetization model traditional broadcast television uses. But digital marketers have seen on-demand viewing figures challenge broadcast TV, and pre-video advertisements are a staple of the digital video world.
Here, spectators buy the right to view specific shows, videos, or events. It’s more difficult to implement — most corporate video channels will find that their viewers aren’t willing to pay to see the video. Only channels that produce high-value, non-repeatable premium content can usually leverage this monetization method, and the major business demand for very in-depth content still comes in the form of text rather than video.
Subscription monetization makes more sense for brands. If you have a large library of high-quality videos, it’s possible to make subscription work for you — but most brands will struggle to compete with what’s available for free.
Finally, direct selling of items in video or links to sales within video can generate revenue too. This works mainly for small-ticket items, such as information resources or low-cost tools.
The OVP system you opt for should at least support your chosen monetization model. But we’d also caution against thinking short term. Two years down the line, the market and your business may change. That’s why your OVP should be able to evolve allowing for multiple monetization models.
In the next post, we’ll discuss the remaining two questions you have to answer before making the right decision on your future OVP — what features you need most and what your platform’s support will look like. In the meanwhile, share your experience in using an OVP. Was it built from the ground up or bought ready-made from an OVP vendor? Tell us in the comments.