Private video hosting vs free video hosting sites

“Is private video hosting better than using free video hosting sites?”
That is one of the most pressings questions for any marketer using video.

Private video hosting keeps you in full control, but requires more technical skills and eats bandwidth. Free video hosting sites are easier to use, but you can’t control them.

I’m not an expert in selecting the best video hosting. That’s where Andy Havard of Skeleton Productions comes in.
He’s the expert who has written today’s guest post.
Here goes.

Where Should I Host My Online Videos?
The Self-Hosting Vs Sharing Site Debate

The debate over where online videos should be hosted and marketed has gone on for some time now. Many online marketers favour hosting on their own websites through Brightcove and Bitsontherun others on the other hand champion free sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

So, where really is the best location for your online videos? The following article tackles this online debate once and for all.


Private video hosting on my own site (Positives):
The biggest positive about hosting a video yourself or embedding a hosted video to your own site is that it quite simply, is on your site.

Whether you use a blog or a website having your video content on your homepage or on appropriate landing pages will get seen by everyone who visits your site.

Now if your site frequently enjoys large amounts of traffic, then marketing your online video on your own site is the best place for it. Your clients and customers who visit your site throughout the week will undoubtedly check out the content on display and take in the message it is conveying.


Private video hosting on my own site (Negatives):
Strangely the biggest positive about hosting a video on your own site is also its biggest negative.

Firstly you have to make sure your video content has a Sitemap to ensure Google picks it up in its search results.

Secondly, if your website doesn’t enjoy much traffic then hosting your content on your poorly visited site isn’t going to do your video content justice.

Lastly, if you are hosting the video on your own site you’re limited in your ability to share it on social media sites, as only the landing page link will show in status bars. Alternatively, you could share the video link from its hosting location, but then you’d lose visits to your site by directing them to a hosting site rather than your own website or blog.


On free video hosting sites (Positives):
A video sharing site like YouTube allows your online video content to take the benefits of a sharing site and still be able to be embedded on your own site like a hosted video would, making it the best of both worlds.

Sharing sites allow your video content can be search engine optimized through titles, tags, closed captions, keywords etc and also be easily shareable across all social medias.

Another impressive benefit of sharing sites is that it means your video content will appear in both Google and YouTube results, which are the top two most popular search engines. A hosted video would have to rely on just Google alone to be found.


On free video hosting sites (Negatives):
There are some negatives to video sharing sites. The biggest negative is that your content ultimately isn’t in your full control. Your videos could get taken down or your account could get deleted, taking with it all of your hard work.

You also have to deal with Sitemapping if you want to embed a shared video on your site to make sure it benefits your site in search results. It is worth remembering that much like sending users to a hosted site to view your video link a YouTube or Vimeo user needs to get from your content to your site, which can be quite difficult to do.


Private video hosting vs free video hosting sites conclusion:
There you have it, your lowdown on the site hosting Vs sharing site video debate.

private video hosting vs free video hosting sites
Photo Credit: Peat Bakke

So, who wins?

Well as you might imagine both choices have their place when it comes to online video marketing.

If you are enjoying a lot of traffic to your site and don’t use social media for your marketing then hosting your video on your site is probably the right thing for you.

If you’re trying to boost your traffic and get users to your website then using a sharing site is perhaps the best choice for you.

A good marketer will never rule out any strategy, so it is always worth knowing the benefits of each choice and maybe even at some stage adapting both avenues in your marketing mix.
The choice ultimately, is yours.

Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based online video production company.

So, what’s your take on private video hosting vs free video hosting sites?
Post your comments below.

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