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Video Hosting: Where Vloggers Should Upload

Posted by on 21st Sep 2007 | 7 comments

A decision that all video bloggers need to wrestle with is how to host their videos. Conventional branding wisdom would dictate that you host them yourself. On the other hand, viral marketing doctrine suggests that you upload your content to as many channels as possible.

With about a dozen decent alternatives to YouTube, however, deciding how to host you video content can be tough. At the end of the day, video bloggers should strike a healthy balance between bandwidth, distribution/reach, branding, and community. They can do this by choosing to upload their content to YouTube, Blip.tv, and whatever social network that they’re most active on.

Hosting and Bandwidth Bandit Costs
Becoming a popular producer of online content can be expensive. Every visitor to your site is an added strain on your bandwidth, and anyone who has exceeded their monthly bandwidth will tell you that this is where hosting providers make their money. The thing about video files, moreover, is that they’re a lot larger than text. So if you’re hosting your own video content, success can be one of the worse things to happen to your pocket book.

Indeed, this is precisely whey there was such a demand for video hosting/sharing sites. The average Joe/Jane just can’t afford a large audience for their video content. By letting in a middle-man, then, you drastically reduce the costs of video blogging. In fact, you make it affordable.

YouGooTube: The Video Giant
When most users think online video, YouTube is the first name that comes to mind. It is not only the number one destination for online video sharing, but allows users to customize the color scheme and URL structure of their “channels.”

As a video hosting solution, however, YouTube isn’t without its drawbacks. First, the resolution on their video players leaves something to be desired — i.e. it’s terrible. Secondly, the massive user base makes it nearly impossible to attract enough attention to build up your own brand.

Mind you, that very immensity also makes YouTube a must in video hosting. For starters, because it is the largest video sharing site, you cannot afford to pass up on YouTube’s potential reach. Secondly, few vloggers will seem reputable without a presence on YouTube. Finally, because YouTube is owned by Google, content on the site is regulalry indexed by Google. If you want search engine visibility, then, it is imperative that you upload content to YouTube and make sure that each clip is tagged appropriately (see Step #3 of 4 SEO Tips for Universal Search).

Blip.tv: Video Hosting for Vloggers
As far as video hosting sites go, there’s a reason why TechCrunch called Blip.tva great platform for videobloggers to host their content.” For starters, Blip.tv offers users a branded channel and social funcionality, just like YouTube. However, some added functionality makes it even more appealing.

First, the player that you embed on your own site is not branded. That is, rather than featuring the logo or look of something that Blip.tv is producing, it looks exactly as though you are hosting the content yourself.

Secondly, if you want, Blip.tv will take care of submitting your content to iTunes for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about including video enclosures of an MP4 version (see 5 Vlogging Basics) in your posts and then submitting your blog’s feed to iTunes. When it comes to actually publishing a video to your blog, this eliminates the rather tedious step of converting the file into an MP4 format that iTunes can pick up.

Finally, Blip.tv features an optional affiliate program that will run ads in your video player. Consequently, you can actually monetize your content if you choose to do so. There are four ad formats, moreover, so that vloggers have a selection from which to choose. If you’re not that fussy, finally, there’s an option to let Blip.tv implement a blend of the four.

Be Social
Blogging and vlogging are just part of the larger phenomenon of user generated content (UGC). It just so happens, moreover, that UGC is just part of the larger phenomenon of Web 2.0. In a nutshell, Web 2.0 is about being social and sharing. It’s no surprise, then, that (1) social networking has also been a huge part of Web 2.0, and (2) the most successful video hosting sites also feature a social element and sharing functionality.

If you’re active on any social network, then, it follows that you should probably be uploading your content there as well (or at least some of it). If you want to be taken seriously as a video vlogger and not just hobbyist, I wouldn’t recommend relying any any give social network to distribute your content. However, uploading your content to any given network will extend your potential reach.

For starters, it will expose those you are already connected with to your work. More to the point, however, it will allow those that discover your content to connect with you. By being able to connect with you on a peer to peer level, you will be able to establish a trust economy with your audience. After all, the marketing potential of social networks lies in the trust-based relationship that they enable you to establish with your audience.


CT Moore (@gypsybandito) is the founder of Socialed, a Montreal-based consultancy that specialized in digital startegy, including SEO, content strategy, and inbound marketing. He also heads up Search and Social at Publikit, a boutiqe web dev agency. CT has worked with both start-ups and multinational brands in the tech, entertainment, ecommerce, and travel industries, including Microsoft Canada, WatchMojo, American Apparel and Luxury Retreats. His favorite feature of the Acquisio platform is the Facebook ad tracking module and you can ready his personal blog here.

7 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Kevin on 21st Sep 2007

    Blip.tv looks pretty good. There seems to be all original content there (ie. not like youtube where so much is just ripped off from the web).

    Have you started adding ads to your videos yet to see if you get any return? I was looking at Revver a month or so ago and they look pretty good. Doesn't seem to be as many trolls as youtube either (why does every other video on youtube have someone making a racist remark in the comments section!!)

    Great post :)

  • Posted by 45n5 on 21st Sep 2007

    I don't think blip.tv videos are as viral as youtube hosted videos. not because of the content, but because people aren't familiar with how to embed blip.tv videos. Just an opinion and maybe it will change.

    as for blip.tv picking up the bandwidth of hosting the mp4, do you find that hosting your own mp4 is a strain on your bandwidth? I have been thinking of doing the same with my videos (hosting the mp4 version also).

  • Posted by Monika on 21st Sep 2007

    Yes,

    I'm with blip.tv and they have a nice interface. but I think that Revver is the best quality of them all and they also pay through a referral program.

    Thanks for telling about the bandwidth, I never even thought that it could affect me that much.

    Monika :smile:

  • Posted by CT Moore on 21st Sep 2007

    Kevin,

    I haven't dabbled in the ad program because I currently maintain a no-advertising policy on my site. As for Revver, they rubbed my the wrong way when they rejected my first video because I didn't own the rights to the music playing in the background.

    45n5 (Mark?),

    You're right: Blip.tv isn't as viral as YouTube. And hopefully that will change. That is also why I recommended uploading to YouTube as well. However, your comment made me realize that there should be a way to let users know you're on YouTube. I used to provide a link to my YouTube channel, and I now have a button I've been meaning to put up. But I guess I should've reminded readers to =provide a link to either their YouTube channel or a YouTube version of the video.

    As for bandwidth, I have a lot of it, so it hasn't been a problem yet. However, I only provide video enclosures for iTunes, and I don't think that I get many viewers through iTunes.

    Monika,

    As I mentioned to Kevin, Revver is a bit too uptight for my taste. They do have a very nice player with high res, though, but I prefer an unbranded player.

  • Posted by 45n5 on 21st Sep 2007

    thanks ct, yep it's mark, I sign 45n5 instead of mark cuase there are 1000000 marks and it's gotten more than confusing in comment section or ten before with multiple marks commenting;-)

    that is why I'm going the mp4 route, to get into itunes. I wouldn't think there was much of an audience there but somebody wrote requesting it so i thought I would give it a whirl.

    "I only provide video enclosures for iTunes" I assume this means you offer a different feed just for itunes? interesting.

  • Posted by Bruce on 22nd Sep 2007

    I like blip.tv but haven't used revver as yet myself but can see the advantages that they have to offer.

    Great reading here, can't understand why I haven't found the blog before but it is bookmarked now.

  • Posted by CT Moore on 22nd Sep 2007

    Mark,

    What I'd suggest is hosting the video through Blip.tv (or the hosting service of you choice, and then provide a link to the mp4 below the video player. This way you'll get the best of both worlds. This is what I do at GypsyBandito.com

    Bruce,

    Glad you enjoyed the reading. If you really want to manage your favorite sites, you should try an RSS Reader like Google Reader, and subscribe to this blog's feed. You can get more info on how RSS works here: http://blog.searchanyway.com/technical.html