Video is a powerful means of communication. 85% of businesses leverage videos for training, education, outreach, community building, sales, and marketing. If your business is ready to start utilizing video, you will need to consider which corporate video hosting service you’ll partner with.
Most people who get started with video hosting begin with a free, consumer-grade platform like YouTube Live. The major draw, of course, is that such services are free and open to anyone. Anyone can create an account and start streaming live video on a website in a matter of minutes.
But, it’s important to note that YouTube is the platform that millennials utilize. People who are interested in creating videos for the fun of it, uploading them on YouTube to then share them on Facebook with their friends. While YouTube has become a popular career choice, the platform itself remains a hobby platform.
When you consider video hosting for your business, YouTube should not be on the table. You need a safe and secure video hosting website for your content.
The 411 on business video hosting
In this article, we cover the what and why of video hosting for business. Specifically, we’ll be breaking down and explaining the following topics:
Table of Contents
- What is video hosting for business – Free vs paid platform comparison.
- Where you should host your videos – What to look for in a hosting company.
- The different server considerations – Hosting video on your WordPress server.
- What types of content you should produce – Discussion around content goals and ROI.
- Live vs on-demand video hosting – Live vs VOD content comparison.
- Integrating video content to company websites – Quality video embedding with paid platforms.
- Finishing thoughts – Your next steps on hosting video for business.
Video hosting for business
Let’s start with a closer look at the advantages to a professional video hosting for business as a professional alternative to free video hosts.
Professional video hosting provides an alternative to free services. Businesses, like the one you run, can pay for professional video hosting and receive a range of benefits. These are centered around hosting and delivering videos to your viewers. Payments are often billed month, with cheaper rates available when billed annually.
The dedicated online video streaming service you choose will provide a network of computer servers that will store your video on their disks. It also provides a robust network connection so that your viewers can access the videos quickly and easily without any network lag.
Doing it yourself is an option. But before you consider this, think about the amount of time, money and commitment it will take to host videos online. If you know you have bigger business problems to solve, dedicated video hosting platforms will be your answer. They provide speed, consistency, and security for every video uploaded to the platform.
What makes a great video hosting website?
A great video hosting website will provide its users with features they couldn’t live without. These features allow users to easily create content that will be seen across the world. Here are some benefits you should look for when using a dedicated video hosting for business platform:
The use of “content delivery networks” (live streaming CDNs) ensures rapid global access.
Many hosts provide encoding/transcoding services that utilize powerful servers for fast processing.
Purchasing from a dedicated provider allows for economies of scale. This is a much more cost-effective solution.
Professionals in the world of online video work diligently with video hosts to implement and improve security procedures.
A video host can provide a wide range of features, such as:
- Video portals
- Monetization via pay-per-view streaming or subscriptions
- Live streaming video
- Fine-grained access control and DRM (Digital Rights Management)
- Customized branding
- Integration with existing web, desktop, and mobile apps as well as servers
- Technical Features
When deciding on a video hosting platform, consider the technical features of their backend server.
- Is it fast?
- How easy is it to use?
- What formats are supported?
- What are their support services like?
- Is there storage or bandwidth limitations?
Can’t I just upload videos on my WordPress site?
When we talk about what makes for a great video hosting website, you may be questioning why you can’t just upload your content through your website’s backend? The simple answer is that yes, you can do that, but it won’t help your viewers.
If you were to choose to self-host, that means that you’d be uploading video files to the same web server as your website. Since video files can be quite large, your web hosting provider allocates certain amounts of bandwidth for each server on their network. If you’re uploading a video and so are 10 other people using the shared hosting server, it will break the server’s ability. Your video will sit there processing forever.
It’s also important to note that if you’re using the media library on WordPress, you will be limited to uploaded files of under 50 MB. If you’re planning to upload large video files to your server frequently, you may exceed your limit. Meaning no more videos can be uploaded.
Instead, if you’re using a video hosting website for business, you can upload infinite videos. They won’t get stuck processing because the package you pick is based on the frequency of videos you’ll be uploading.
If you’re worried about the simplicity of uploading a video on the same server as your website, there’s a solution for you. While uploading the content may sound easier on the same server, it actually causes you and your viewers more pain.
When you partner with a corporate video hosting company, you can upload your content to their server. Then, all you have to do is embed your video using an embed code to your website.
Your video won’t be paused processing and it won’t buffer when viewers are trying to watch it. It’s never a good idea to host your videos on the same server as your website.
Assessing your business needs and goals
So now that you know why you need a professional video hosting service, it’s time to choose the right online video platform for video hosting for your business. The first step we recommend is to conduct an assessment of your goals and needs.
The first step in figuring out which video hosting platform is right for you is to conduct a brainstorm. Consider your goals when it comes to video. Get any and all ideas down on paper. Don’t censor yourself or throw out bad ideas. It’s important to write everything down in this stage.
Some goals we’ve seen businesses have are:
- Generating revenue
- Educating clients or community
- Spreading knowledge
- Leveraging technology for a modern appeal
- Reaching as big an audience as possible
- Reaching a new audience
- Simplifying distribution
- Building excitement and online conversation
- Driving website traffic
- Communicating your brand voice
- Giving your community a “behind-the-scenes” look
- Reducing the need for physical travel
This is just a simple brainstorm. Use this list to help spark your imagination, and get creative. Write down all the possible benefits and goals a streaming solution for video hosting would give you.
Simplify and Narrow Down Goals
Next, it’s time to simplify your list. First, we recommend ranking items into two general categories: high priority and low priority. Cull any items that seem unimportant, and then move onto the main event.
You want to identify between one and four main goals for your video content. These goals will help you determine your specific needs. Ultimately, this more focused list should guide you throughout the whole process of choosing and implementing a video streaming platform.
Assess Requirements to Meet These Goals
Now that you have identified your specific video hosting goals, it should be relatively simple to assess your needs.
For example, what if you intend to generate as much income as possible? In this case, you need a video hosting platform that allows for multiple monetization options like pay-per-view and subscriptions.
What if you’re going to be communicating about sensitive matters with partners and co-workers? In this case, you need a platform with extensive security and access control options.
What if reaching as large an audience as possible is your main goal? You may wish to look for a service with a Tier 1 CDN such as Akamai. This will provide the fastest global speeds to diverse viewers around the world.
What kind of video content will your business produce?
Another question to ask yourself at this point is: “What kind of video content will my business produce?”
Are you filming training, product demonstrations, sports, conferences, meetings, advertisements or something else entirely? Your specific content will ultimately influence your choice of video host.
Music producers may desire to use a video player that echoes the feeling of their sound. The player itself can be cutting edge, retro, or grunge. Corporate clients, on the other hand, may prefer something unobtrusive and slick. Alternatively, sports videos may want prominent controls for pause, rewind and slow-motion.
Live vs. on-demand video hosting for business
Another aspect to consider at this stage is whether you plan to produce a live video or on-demand video (VOD) content.
Live Video Hosting
A live video is a powerful tool that has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent years. Facebook Live, to name one example, has made this technology mainstream. Unlike those free consumer-grade platforms, however, professional hosting platforms can offer complete live streaming solutions suitable for professional use. These video hosting for business services include the ability to:
- Stream from multiple cameras
- Stream in HD resolutions
- Embed live streams on your website or social media platforms
- Charge for access
Businesses have the ability to choose to integrate live online streaming into existing broadcast video systems.
Users that are organizing events may find these services to be highly useful. Nearly all types of video content can be tweaked to be appropriate for live streaming. This delivery method tends to reach a large audience and maximize excitement.
On-demand video hosting has fewer technical requirements and complexity than live streaming. Just look at Netflix and Youtube. These platforms were built for viewers to watch what they want when they want. The on-demand model fits situations like this perfectly.
Another main advantage is that mistakes aren’t permanent. Since you’re not broadcasting live, any issues that come up can be fixed before anyone sees the recording.
On-demand also has the advantage of usually delivering higher video quality. Since the on-demand video doesn’t have to be instant, viewers can load content at their leisure. Then, they can watch once the video has buffered. Servers don’t have to work as hard to encode content in real-time, which reduces latency and makes everything feel faster to the viewer.
The bottom line is that whether you choose to use live video or on-demand (or both), the video hosting options available to you are much the same.
Starting your own on-demand TV channel
Video hosting for business via an enterprise video platform gives you the power and bandwidth to reach a large audience with high-quality content. Internet videos give anyone the power to become a broadcaster. One way to capitalize on this is by starting your own on-demand TV channel.
Networks like HBO are developing platforms called “OTT,” or Over-The-Top streaming content. This refers to an online video hub for distributing on-demand video content. These hubs are built on top of existing distribution models like subscription cable. Today, they’re becoming increasingly popular as more and more people cut the cord on cable.
You don’t need to be HBO to join the on-demand online TV trend. In fact, anyone can create a library of content by using a video host to store and deliver media to users. Advanced video hosts like Dacast also make it easy to organize content using playlists, packages and other methods. These methods make it easy for users to navigate serial shows and related videos.
Businesses can achieve most of this integration using built-in tools that any business video hosting platform will provide. However, some users may have more demanding needs. In that case, they may want to build a branded platform of their own.
The importance of video APIs
For those specialized users, we recommend choosing a corporate video hosting service with a video API. An Application Programming Interface (API) allows you to take the content from your video host and build your own system around it. You could code a mobile app, a web application for your site, or even an app for a smart TV. The magic is in the power to build a platform that’s why just for you. You can learn more about API integration in our earlier blog post.
Another option is to integrate your video content with digital TV streaming services like Roku and Apple TV. The advantage here is that viewers can watch the video in its ideal format: on a big screen. You can check out our guide to connecting your video host account to Roku to learn more.
Let’s turn now to some real-world use cases of video hosting for business.
Business video hosting case studies.
It’s true that nearly every major business uses video. As with any technology, some do this better than others. Here at Dacast, we maintain a library of case studies. These examine companies and organizations using on-demand and live streaming video for business, education, entertainment, faith, government, and sports.
- In 2015, TV Worldwide partnered with video host Dacast to stream a World War II memorial flyover event to more than 117,000 viewers. The event stream was smooth as butter thanks to a Tier 1 CDN (Akamai).
- Pittsfield Community Television tested a variety of free live streaming platforms. Eventually, they settled on a business video host. They value the ability to monetize content via pay-per-view and the reliability of a professional service.
- WPH is a handball sports league that uses a video host to reach a global audience. They needed a cost-effective platform for both live and on-demand video content. They also wanted a platform that supports monetization. A professional video host met all of their needs.
- Dear Lina is an independent film directed by Hollywood professional Finn E. Bugge. Bugge chose to distribute his film online via pay-per-view. With the help of a professional-grade video host, Bugge could deliver the film in full HD quality. All of this came at an affordable rental price, directly on the film’s website.
Integrating videos on your own website
One final benefit of professional video hosting for business purposes is the ability to integrate videos with your website.
While the most basic version of this integration is possible with free services like YouTube, your business won’t get the same quality experience. These websites allow you to use an embed code to place video content on your own web pages. However, there are some major disadvantages to this limited approach:
Missed conversion opportunities
When users view your content on the YouTube website, you benefit less. Instead of accessing your website, viewers are generating revenue and value for YouTube. This is a missed opportunity for you, the broadcaster. A view on YouTube is better than no view at all, of course. However, a hit to your own site is much more valuable in terms of generating conversions, sales, and so on.
No calls to action
Embedding a video from a host on your website allows for much tighter integration. You can streamline your sales process or other goals. For example, in your video, you could call for viewers to scroll down for more content. On YouTube, all you can add is a paltry video description and a sidebar full of related content. These videos could even come from competitors!
When a user clicks on an embedded YouTube video, it links back to the YouTube site. In other words, even when you do get viewers to redirect to your website, YouTube automatically funnels them back to its domain. It’s a recipe that generates maximum revenue for YouTube while undercutting your business goals. In addition, you have to contend with 3rd-party ads that do not promote your content, brand, business, etc.
Avoid drawbacks with dedicated video hosting for business
With a dedicated video host, you can avoid these drawbacks, if not eliminate them outright. Instead of diluting your views, it’s possible to make video content available only on one site that belongs to you. If users want to see what you’ve produced, they’ve got to come to you.
Since you control the entire platform, you have many options. Integrate email signup forms to capture viewer information. Build an entire sales funnel around a series of videos on the same page. Optimize branding, web design, text, images, and other content toward a single goal.
Overall, concentrating your power by integrating your OTT video content onto your own site is a great way to make the most out of your investment in video hosting for business.
Getting Started With Video Hosting for Business
Dedicated, safe and secure video hosting for business is the way forward. Partnering with a video hosting platform will allow you to continue running your business without worrying about your video uploads.
After reading this article, it’s now time to choose which video streaming solution is right for your business. In order to begin with online video content, you will have to pick a platform and create an account. It’s important to do further research to figure out which platform is right for you along with what tier of service. If Dacast is the right video hosting website, reach out to us to discuss our service tiers. Dacast offers 24/7 support for customers, so you’ll never feel like you’re in this alone.
Once you are set up with an account, begin testing the waters of video content. If you’re completely new to streaming, follow these instructions to do a secure video upload of your content and conduct a live stream. After every video goes live, you’ll get more comfortable with the process.
Don’t forget the why behind video content that you found earlier. Be sure that every piece of content that you upload goes back to your goals. If it doesn’t align with your video content goals, don’t upload it to the video hosting service platform.
Your next steps
We hope this article has helped you to better understand the benefits of professional video hosting for business purposes. Any questions or comments? Let us know what you think! We love to hear from our readers. For regular tips and exclusive offers, you can also join our LinkedIn group.
After reading this article, are you interested to learn more about our own professional streaming platform? If so, you can take advantage of our 30-day free trial (no credit card required) to test out the Dacast features for yourself. From enterprise video hosting for businesses to affordable plans for individual broadcasters, we’ve got you covered. Just click the button below to sign up and start streaming today!
Thanks for reading and, as always, good luck with your live broadcasts.