You and a friend agree to go fishing. You have the boat. He brings lunch. Fair deal—until you reach the middle of the lake. Sitting with hook in the water, you’re startled by a sawing sound. Turning, you find your pal, saw in hand, cutting a hole in the boat. As water rushes in, he says, “yeah, I know this looks bad. But, I brought lunch!”
That’s the deal made with YouTube every time you upload a video. The boat is your video. Lunch is free streaming. YouTube’s ad content is the saw. The water rushing in? Competitors getting access to the eyeballs your video attracted. There’s good news: you have a choice.
YouTube proves nothing is free
No free lunch is especially true of so-called “free” web apps. You get functionality in exchange for sacrificing something. The bell cow of that herd is YouTube.
YouTube asks so little…. Just control of screen space, control of your video, its associative links and, for good measure, SEO value; search links lead to YouTube—not your site. That’s the rub: You’re not using YouTube to get visitors, YouTube is using you to get theirs.
The money and heart invested in creating a video is sadly diluted as competitors surround it, or even appear within it, via YouTube ad space keyed to your content. In addition to ads running before and after your video, YouTube injects pop-ups that obscure screen space during the video. That’s to say nothing of viewer annotations. All these distractions dilute your video’s hook.
Come sail away
Recently we went shopping for a Quadcopter to use for aerial video. I searched Google for a specific model: the DJI Phantom2. What happened next was a classic YouTube hole-in-the-boat moment for DJI.
Despite clicking on “Tested: DJI Phantom2,” I was instead served a 3-minute ad for The Turbo Ace Matrix Quad, a competing chopper. I could have skipped their video. But, since we were early in the shopping cycle—like many of your customers—we took a look. Even though DJI attracted us, YouTube helped the competitor shanghai us. Better believe this could just as easily happen to you.
Hear that sawing sound yet?
Search is better when it leads to you. Engagement is better without distraction. Video is better uninterrupted. That’s why we insist on paying for video streaming: it’s our boat, our rules.
While there are countless video services out there, the one we use and recommend is Wistia. From upload and player options to search optimization and wicked-good analytics, they’ve engineered a user-friendly business video platform. Best of all, when our Wistia-hosted videos shows up in search, as they often do, the link leads not to YouTube’s leaky boat, but to our client’s website—free of distraction.
We’re in the same boat
Put as much thought into your video’s delivery as you do its development. You don’t have to share your boat to get search results and video delivery. When you tally the trade-offs, YouTube’s free streaming just isn’t worth the mess it makes.
One more thing
We got that DJI Phantom 2. I can’t wait to share footage with you soon.