Video can be a big component of your marketing efforts. It will give potential residents a view into your senior living community, and let them get to know your team before they show up. But video can have downsides for your web experience if you’re not thoughtful about where you host it.
As a digital marketing agency specializing in website design and development, Markentum is sharing various video hosting options and what their advantages or disadvantages are.
You Shouldn’t Host Videos on Your Server
Before we get into video services, we should address why you should not be hosting your videos on your own web server. Did you know that 47% of users expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds? Did you know that a one-second delay in page response time can result in a 7% drop in conversions? Here’s one that really made me stop and think, 80% of customers would rather have your site temporarily down instead of dealing with a slow site.
Video files can be huge and can increase your page load times as users try to download large files. A fairly short 720p video file can easily approach 100MB and will look blurry on anything larger than a phone. Site visitors will be less likely to watch this low-quality video and 100MB is 20,000% larger than Google’s 500kb page size recommendation so you’ll be hurting your site speed for no return. If you want to deliver HD video or 4K video, you’re uploading even larger files that will impact your site speed and drop your visitor numbers.
An additional concern is with your hosting provider. Most web hosts limit your bandwidth in some fashion. With merely 10 viewers of your 720p video, you’ll use 1GB of your bandwidth and likely go over the bandwidth limit on your site for the month. You’ll be left paying for extra bandwidth to keep your site running.
Since we don’t want to host our own videos, let’s look at some of the options for hosting your video files that won’t weigh down your site and eat all your bandwidth.
YouTube is by far the biggest video platform available. It’s the place people go to when they’re searching for video entertainment or instructions on how to accomplish a task. I recently used YouTube to learn how to fix my squeaky garage door. This cost me 10 minutes to watch the video, $8 to purchase the right grease, and another 15 minutes to spray it in the proper spots.
You can take advantage of the built-in audience that YouTube provides by hosting your videos with them. If you put some work into YouTube video SEO your videos can be a strong lead magnet for your business as you access all the viewers that YouTube can bring with their algorithm. YouTube provides some fairly advanced analytics to track which audience you’re reaching with your videos so you can see what interests your target groups.
YouTube imposes no limits on the bandwidth your videos use or the total storage you use. They do have a single video file size limit of 128GB, but that is more than enough for all but a feature-length film at 4k.
For all this benefit YouTube charges you nothing, though they may put ads on your videos. You can turn the ads off, but you have to go into each video and do it. I also wouldn’t be surprised if YouTube takes the ad removal option away at some point.
Another detriment to YouTube is that the video embed on your site carries YouTube branding. They haven’t kept up with some of their competitors in the look of the player which can leave it feeling old and tired in some circumstances.
YouTube is best if you want to look at video marketing and bring an audience to your content. You can leverage YouTube to build an audience and bring in new customers if done right.
For senior living sites, YouTube can be a great option to host interviews with your residents and team members or to host informative videos about senior living in your area. All of these types of videos can be used to bring in leads from users looking into senior living in your target market.
The next option we’ll look at is Vimeo. Vimeo doesn’t have the audience that YouTube has but it also doesn’t have ad disruptions at any point on your videos. There are also no forced recommendations that may take viewers away from your content to a competitor.
From an embeddable video standpoint, Vimeo is highly customizable and brandable to suit your needs. You can easily remove the Vimeo branding and have an elegant video on your site, while also restricting the embedding of videos to only your domains.
The biggest drawback to Vimeo is that it only allows 500MB video uploads unless you pay for a Pro plan. Pro plans aren’t expensive at $7 USD/month but it’s still some expense if you want to upload videos over their 500MB limit. Your Pro plan also only allows you to upload 5GB of video a week. If you’re just starting out and need to upload all your videos, you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you don’t exceed that 5GB total in the week.
The other big drawback to Vimeo over YouTube is that the audience is very narrow. Vimeo mostly caters to video creatives and those that are specifically looking to hire someone to create videos for them. If you’re hoping to bring in leads via your video work, Vimeo is not the community you’re going to want to look at in the senior living space.
If you want to feature a video that is front and center on your site that auto-plays, Vimeo is a great option because it doesn’t have to include branding and won’t ever include ads. For a relatively low cost, it provides an excellent video hosting solution that won’t get in your way.
3. WordPress Video Hosting via Jetpack
At Markentum, we build our partner sites on WordPress because of its flexibility and excellent track record for staying up to date and secure. That means another solid option for our partners is WordPress Video Hosting via the Jetpack plugin.
Jetpack integrates seamlessly into your WordPress site and allows you to upload video files up to 2GB. If your video is longer than two hours or larger than 1GB, they won’t encode your video for HD viewing and will only display the video at standard resolution. That means if you’re looking at longer videos in high-quality formats, this solution will let you down.
There is a 2TB soft limit on total storage, but if you’re not a dedicated video professional, you’re unlikely to hit that storage limit. If you do really need to go over that 2TB limit, this is possible by reaching out to support.
The JetPack video player is unbranded and has no ads or recommendations to take your users to possible competitors. Viewers of your site simply get a clean video player to watch your material in.
Just like Vimeo, videos hosted via Jetpack aren’t going to find an audience outside of what you bring to the table. There is no other way for viewers to see your videos outside of finding them on your site.
The analytics are also much less powerful than what YouTube or Vimeo provides. The cost is also higher than Vimeo at $16.50 USD/month for their cheapest plan if you pay for a year upfront. Paying monthly will double the cost to $33 USD/month.
If you’re very familiar with WordPress and are focused on ease of use, hosting your video via Jetpack is a solid option because of how seamless the integration is with your WordPress site.
4. Spotlightr (formerly vooPlayer)
Spotlightr is a totally different type of option than the ones we’ve already discussed. It focuses its efforts on helping you get advanced insights into your videos and collect leads from your videos. It’s billed as an all-in-one solution for those looking at doing advanced video marketing.
Compared to other video marketing platforms, Spotlightr is much more affordable at $24 USD/month and has a free plan that’s limited to five videos. It allows a fully customizable player and advanced analytics and even heatmaps to see where your viewers are most interested in your videos. Spotlightr will also let you organize contests through your videos or get paid per view if you want to charge for your videos.
The biggest con to Spotlightr is its complexity. It sits on the other end of the spectrum from the video hosting inside JetPack. Once you’ve figured out its myriad of options, Spotlightr is a very capable video tool, but it’s going to take a bit of work to get there.
Spotlightr is a great option if you want to work with video for lead capture and dig deep into the analytics of how your video marketing strategy is performing.
The next step for larger Enterprise clients who want to have a video marketing plan is Brightcove. Brightcove has in-depth video analytics tools and can even allow you to dynamically insert sellable ads into video resources - just like YouTube sells and inserts ads into the videos people upload to its platform.
Brightcove integrates with many different marketing services and CMS platforms. You could use the Brightcove HubSpot integration to track video engagement for your leads and use that data along with other lead data in HubSpot to build marketing profiles that match your leads.
This power comes at a decent cost with solutions coming in the $199 USD/month range to get started. Just like most of the other options we’ve talked about, Brightcove is not going to bring you an audience. It’s up to your marketing team to bring viewers to your videos.
Brightcove is best for those businesses that know they need to market heavily with video and can justify the upfront and ongoing costs. If you want deep integrations with your CRM, Brightcove may be the option you’re looking for.
Let’s Grow Together 🌱
While we’ve talked about a myriad of options, Markentum has two main recommendations for senior living communities. First, put interviews with your team and informational videos on YouTube. These can be used to bring some extra leads into your pipeline if done well.
The second recommendation we’d make is Vimeo. For a relatively low cost, you get a professional video hosting platform that can be used to show videos on your site. No, Vimeo won’t be bringing you an audience of senior living customers, but it will help the video efforts on your site look professional.
Markentum is a digital marketing agency specializing in senior living marketing. Discover how we can help you find the right video hosting solution for your website and marketing goals by reaching out to our team today!