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The key advantage I see of embedding a YouTube video on a homepage is that you can increase the view count and improve social proof and distribution momentum within YouTube. There are several other advantages of using Wistia for a homepage explainer video. Which would you choose and why?

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 3 years ago #

    While we wait for other responses, Wistia addressed this head on a while back: https://growthhackers.com/articles/wistia-vs-youtube-what-s-the-difference

    tl;dr:
    Wistia is preferable if you're looking to drive traffic to your website, improve conversions, or increase engagement across the websites you control.
    YouTube is better if reach is more important to you than traffic acquisition.

  • PN

    Phil Nottingham

    over 3 years ago #

    Wistia is definitely the better option for a homepage video!

    Why? Well - it's mostly down to the analytics.

    Wistia has user-based tracking, so you can not only get aggregate playback data from your video, but actually see exactly who has watched the video, how far they got through, and if you tie this to your CRM or analytics platform - you can then see where this person went next and how they engaged on your site.

    You can't any of this with YouTube.

    There are also SEO benefits with Wistia, as the structured data is automatically injected into your page with JSON-LD, whereas with YouTube, the youtube.com page will usually rank in search results as well.

    Lastly, with Wistia you can easily customise the way the video looks and feels to match your brand, ensure that it's embedded responsively (for mobile) and adapt the player controls so you restrict what your audience can do with the video. You can't do any of that with YouTube without additional work using the API

    While it's true that embedding a YouTube video will increase the view-count on YouTube, this is essentially a vanity metric that doesn't genuinely help with distribution aside from social proof. If you just care about increasing YouTube view count - a better way to do that is to put a little bit of spend behind the video for TrueView ads.

    Moreover, however, if you're creating a video with the explicit purpose of having it live on your homepage - it's highly likely that it won't have much strategic value on YouTube anyway. People don't really search for product overview videos on YouTube, and very few people use YouTube as a way to find things to buy or sell (outside of consumer durables).

    YouTube is more a social network than a video hosting platform - it needs a smart strategy in order to work, not just to be treated as a repository for all video.

    Hope that's helpful!

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 3 years ago #

      Thanks! Probably good to disclose your relationship with Wistia here. Appreciate the feedback either way.

    • JC

      Jon Corwin

      over 3 years ago #

      Thanks for the thorough response, Phil! We've been a happy customer for the past year and decided to go the Wistia route for our homepage video.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    over 3 years ago #

    Found a good writeup on the advantages of YouTube & Wistia here: https://growthhackers.com/articles/youtube-vs-wistia-why-your-video-marketing-needs-both

    Overall what I gathered is that if the goal is to build brand and views and not necessarily collect leads, YouTube is likely your best bet since it has a built in audience.

    As Ryan states in the article "It’s public. It’s very searchable, very findable. Easy for people to share. You have this built in audience on YouTube and you can attract huge numbers of views, if your video is targeted to the right audience and done well. Your branding messaging videos, that’s where they go, YouTube."

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 3 years ago #

    One downside of YouTube that I thought about is that it includes a link off of the home page, creating a potential traffic leak.

    • JC

      Jon Corwin

      over 3 years ago #

      Great point! I think you can uncheck "Show video title and player actions" in the embed options to prevent the link back to YT from showing.

  • MM

    martín medina

    over 3 years ago #

    Honestly, both are very useful and there is no right one to use but each platform provides different benefits. YouTube provides you the benefit of increased exposure for your videos and your video content. If you're going to maintain an active presence on YouTube and use the platform for both traffic acquisition and as a place to release content this might be beneficial for you. Furthermore, YouTube allows for more discovery of your video which can lead them to your homepage. Even when you embed the video on your homepage the traffic leak your concerned account will flow in the following way: the people will land on the video watch page, they can click through it and can then see more of your video content on YouTube, for example watch a demo or other video content you may have.

    Wistia is different as it allows you many more options for embedding and calls to action on a video page. It can allow for more profound calls to action, email captures, and customization options on page for your explainer video. If you have something like a software product where you want somebody to schedule a demo or sign up for an email list I would suggest using the CTAs Wistia allows. Wisita allows you to consider your user flow from the explainer video and plan it out in advance while making video the focus of the product experience.

    TDLR: YouTube if you plan on establishing a video content strategy on the site and drive traffic from there through search. Wistia if you're interested in on page customization options for embedding, profound calls to action, and email capture of your customer. Ultimately, it depends on your goals for the content.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 3 years ago #

      Thanks Martin! Initially our focus is reach. We spent a lot on our explainer video and want it to be viewed by as many qualified people as possible. Starting tomorrow, we'll be running paid and free campaigns simultaneously to maximize viewership for the first couple of weeks with our primary CTAs being share or comment. After the initial two weeks we'll start focusing on conversion. Because of this, we've decided to go with YouTube. When we move to a conversion focus we may swap in a Wistia video.

      • MM

        martín medina

        over 3 years ago #

        Sean, sounds like an excellent strategy to me. Keep in mind the importance of keywords in YouTube search when planning for reach, if reach is also important I'd suggest sharing it as a native Facebook video as well. If the video will still be hosted on the same landing page when you swap to Wistia I'd suggest running some A/B tests on it to look at user behavior with a cohort analysis as you swap the video embed over.

      • SE

        Sean Ellis

        over 3 years ago #

        Hey Martin, that's all part of the plan. I'd love to walk you through it and get your advice. I'll drop you a note!

  • AC

    Allan Caeg

    over 3 years ago #

    People use Wistia/Vimeo Pro/etc when there's good reason for the content not to be viewed elsewhere.

    Either the video is confusing/out of context as standalone on YouTube or the content owner wants to serve the stuff exclusively on their website (it's paid, available only after email sign up, etc)

    For every other case, YouTube is the way to go. That's massive distribution that marketers should take advantage of

  • LR

    Lilith Rogova

    over 3 years ago #

    If you find yourself taking your first steps into the crazy, wonderful world of video marketing, at some point you’re going to have to reckon with the question of video hosting. Most marketers assume they can put their video content on YouTube and let the views start rolling in.

    But there are a couple of problems with this. First, YouTube is structured so that your video will drive traffic to YouTube – which means people are more likely to stay on YouTube, instead of clicking through to your site. Plus, YouTube serves up tons of ads, which means your video’s message gets diluted by other brands. Do you really want to go head-to-head with a Big Mac ad?

    Luckily, for marketers and business owners – there’s good news. It’s called Wistia, and it’s a video hosting platform specifically designed for businesses

  • SZ

    Simon Zeimet

    about 3 years ago #

    It's clearly important to get views on your videos, but with 72 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, your chances of striking internet gold are pretty tiny. In a study by Slate, 0.3% of videos uploaded will ever see over 10,000 views, 3% will pass 1,000 views and 65% fail to achieve a mere 50 views. You might have better luck playing the lottery than being the next YouTube star.

    To top it off, if viewers share your video on YouTube rather than your home page or sales page (somewhere you have the potential to convert them), you are seriously missing out on the equity that link provides. A YouTube video could be great, but it might make no sense outside of the page it was created for.

    If you're creating the next "Charlie bit my finger" with no business benefit in mind, then sure, get as many views as possible. But businesses don't necessarily benefit from that - so we won't be discussing "going viral."

  • AR

    alice rose

    about 3 years ago #

    I like using YouTube as it is very versatile - sharing, build my channel authority, connected to YT search and is easily embedded. Of course it's hard to pick one or the other as every video placement is circumstantial.

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