The Pros and Cons of YouTube Videos vs Self Hosted Videos

YouTube videos vs Self Hosted Videos Pros

What are the advantages and disadvantages of YouTube vs Self Hosted Videos?

Why pay to host your own videos when it costs nothing to host them on YouTube?

How can you utilize self-hosted videos?

There’s no doubt you should be utilizing YouTube to generate traffic and leads because it receives over 800 million views each day however what if YouTube suddenly closed your account or changed their business model? You would lose all the videos you created and all the traffic generated by them.

This is similar to what happened with websites ranked in Google. For years online business owners generated profits from their websites by attaining top rankings in the search engines until the Penguin and Panda updates occurred. Their rankings completely tanked and so did their sales. The same could happen with your business if it totally relies on YouTube for traffic.

Pros & Cons of YouTube Videos vs Self Hosted Videos

Pros of YouTube Videos

1. Capitalize on YouTube’s traffic

To get traffic to your website you need to get in front of it and what better way to siphon some of YouTube’s traffic to your own site by creating and uploading videos to it. By creating simple little videos based on the keywords associated with your niche and uploading them to YouTube you can receive a constant stream of traffic.

2. No hosting fees

It costs nothing to upload as many videos as you like because you’re using the free bandwidth and space YouTube provides. Hosting them on your own server incurs ongoing fees.

3. Speedy delivery

YouTube utilizes the best servers and infrastructure because it offers a service the public has come to rely upon. Videos can be uploaded from anywhere at anytime from your computer, cell phone or tablet. You can even create videos with YouTube’s built in editor or use it to add annotations to your uploaded videos.

4. Fast search engine rankings

YouTube videos rank 53 times faster than textual content. It can take weeks or months to get your article to rank on the first page of Google, however a YouTube video may only take a few minutes to attain top rankings depending on how competitive the keyword phrase is.

5. Access to a large online community

It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in to find similar videos. You’ll immediately be able to connect with others in your niche who have uploaded related videos by subscribing to their channels, commenting and liking their videos. Within a short amount of time you’ll have built up a like-minded community.

Cons of YouTube Videos

1. Lack of control

Your YouTube channel can be terminated without warning. I’ve had friends who without realizing they violated YouTube’s terms of service got their channel banned resulting in the sudden loss of all the videos they had uploaded over several years. What if YouTube’s servers got hacked or were shut down? You’d lose all the videos you created and uploaded to YouTube.

2. Lose sales by displaying ads

If you’ve enabled the monetization feature of your YouTube channel at least one of your videos must display ads before it starts playing. Forcing visitors to first watch an ad before viewing your video will cause them to lose patience and leave.

Related videos are always shown when a video ends. Instead of redirecting visitors to your website or product offer they’ll wander off to an unrelated video resulting in lost sales.

3. Limited design options

When you embed a YouTube video on your web page you are limited to the design it provides unless you use an alternative player to create a more attractive design ie JW Player

Self Hosted Videos

These are videos hosted on your own server or a server that rents the space and bandwidth to you ie AmazonS3. They are primarily used for sales pages, demonstrating products or offering online tutorials inside the dedicated membership area of a website (where only paid members get access).

Pros of Self Hosted Videos

1. Total control

Self-hosted videos are not subject to the whims of YouTube. They can be hosted on your own website so you control what player and design you want to use. For instance some players include features such as allowing a custom image to appear before your video starts playing, display an opt-in form that can be shown while the video is playing, redirect visitors to a product page, etc. Also no one can ban or delete self-hosted videos.

2. Monitor performance

Using tracking software you can monitor user actions on your videos. For instance you could track how many people actually click on your videos, how long they watched them and what keywords they used to get to your video page.

3. No advertising

Because you’re paying to host your own videos no ads get displayed while they are being played. This means your viewers won’t get distracted and only focus on the product or service you’re offering.

4. Attractive design

There are a multitude of video players which enable you to integrate the design with that of your website plus you have the flexibility to add links, subtitles, text and images to your video to captivate your audience.

5. No traffic leakage

A self-hosted video won’t show related videos at the end because you control where visitors will go after watching it.

Cons of Self Hosted Videos

1. Limited traffic

Self-hosted videos added to your site don’t have the advantage of receiving some of the millions of views YouTube gets every day. This means you’ll have to generate your own traffic to the page where your video is hosted ie through social media marketing, search engine optimization or content marketing.

2. Hosting fees

If you can’t afford to pay the cost of hosting your own videos, stick with YouTube because the more videos you host yourself the more it’s going to cost.

3. Coding knowledge

Hosting your own videos requires knowledge on how to set-up an Amazon S3 account or how to add the embed code to your website. There is a greater learning curve involved for self-hosted videos compared to just uploading your videos on YouTube.

4. Slow video playback

If one million people suddenly wanted to watch your video at the same time it would probably crash your server (because you’d run out of space and bandwidth) or the playback time would be drastically reduced causing your viewers to become frustrated and leave.

My recommendation

If your main goal is to generate traffic and leads go with YouTube so you can capture some of the millions of views it receives every day. If you’re using video to sell your products and/or services go with self-hosted videos.

Ideally you’ll do some of both…capture the traffic and leads generated from YouTube then sell them your products and/or services.

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