You obviously already know about YouTube and maybe even Vimeo for video hosting, but have you heard of Wistia? They’ve been rocking the conversion rate optimization community for quite some time by providing a fresh approach to video hosting for businesses.
In fact, there are several specific ways in which Wistia can help you increase your on-site video views and conversions above and beyond those other hosting platforms.
Let’s dig into the details, shall we?
Wistia is a company that provides professional hosting, analytics, and lead generation tools for video. Their tagline is “the video marketing platform for business,” and they certainly do live up to that claim.
What makes them unique is that they focus on helping companies add videos to their own landing pages and get the most from them. For example, with Wistia you can easily add an explainer video to any page on your site, and include a specific call-to-action right at the end. But that’s just one of the many benefits of using Wistia.
Benefits of Wistia
By using Wistia, you get to take advantage of many unique features that will help you get more people hitting that play button and ultimately converting on your site.
Here are a few important things to know about the platform:
Complete ownership. First and foremost, you get complete control and ownership over your video content. What does that mean? It means that you are embedding the video on your own site and can ensure you gain the SEO benefits of it. You can place restrictions on where and how your video is shared, and there will be no ads or suggestions on your video which are out of your control.
Appearance. Next, there are options to customize the appearance of your video. You can change the color of the player to match your brand, add/remove player controls, and choose a custom thumbnail which you would like to appear for your video.
Lead generation. Wistia also offers timeline actions for video marketers to help you generate leads. You can choose how you want to start and end your video, for example by displaying a thumbnail. Furthermore, you can also add annotation links, call to actions, and turnstiles throughout the video to invite your viewer to take a specific action.
The turnstiles are messages that pop up and invite users to submit their email address for further communication. You can also sync up your email marketing service–such as MailChimp–to automatically input your new subscribers. Easy as pie!
User friendly. The Wistia platform is very user-friendly. Once you sign in, there is a step-by-step guide you take to upload your video, customize the appearance, add in timeline actions, and embed on your site. Very little technical knowledge needed. If you can copy and paste, you’re good to go.
Analytics. Wistia’s video analytics are also far more detailed than those available on YouTube, in that they tell you about the specific viewers. You can view audience engagement, results for your timeline actions, and viewer specific heat maps. Viewers who have submitted their email address will also be identifiable. Also, you can compare the performance of any video to your previous videos.
Wistia compared to YouTube
Where YouTube thrives in reach and improving awareness, Wistia thrives in site-specific optimization, usability, and conversions. The reason for this is a result of how each platform operates.
YouTube is a social media platform which seeks to ultimately promote itself and grow. It does this through the content posted and shared through it.
When you upload your video to YouTube, it is possible to reach a wide audience who has never heard of you and has never been to your website. Your video may bring a viewer from another video, may get shared on other sites, and may come up in search engine results.
This sounds great and can be beneficial for growing your subscriber base on YouTube and increasing brand awareness, however, when you embed a YouTube video on your site, it can be less than stellar for improving conversion rates.
This is because all clicks are directed back to YouTube. The player itself is designed in a way that entices people to click-through to YouTube and therefore navigate away from your page.
Furthermore, by default, you don’t have much control in regards to how your video appears when it is hosted through YouTube. Ads may appear which promote clicking away to other third parties and the ending recommendations could even be promoting a competitor’s video.
When looking at the opportunity Wistia provides to control what actions are suggested to your viewers, it is easy to see the potential impact on conversions.
For an even more specific breakdown of the differences between YouTube and Wistia, check out this article and watch the two short videos Wistia put together.
Choose your video host wisely
As you can see, each platform has its pros and cons. YouTube can be better for reaching a wider audience to gain brand awareness, but when it comes to gaining video views from the people already on your site and increasing conversions, Wistia is a solid option.
And with a free plan and a paid plan starting at just $10 per month, they can fit any marketing budget.
So, what video host are you using? Are you finding success with Wistia? Are you still trying to decide on the best platform for your needs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter!