Compare online video platforms: 7 tips to help you choose

Does your organization work more and more with video? Is online video part of your communication strategy and are you looking for opportunities to better manage videos and let them perform? In addition to good video production, a good online video platform is essential to be able to use video successfully.

What is an online video platform?

An online video platform (also called ‘OVP’ or video management system) is a solution which offers all the tools to professionally manage, publish, commercialize and analyze videos online. Most systems go further than the free solutions such as Youtube or Vimeo.

You can use your own video platform with all employees of one organization within the media library. You can publish videos both open and protected with comprehensive security options. You also have several options to monetize your videos. For example, you can place ads, but also offer content paid. You also have extensive statistics to gain insight into the performance of your video campaigns. This is essential information you need to improve the quality of your video productions and ultimately to be found higher in Google with your video content.

Some systems also offer the possibility to add interactivity to your video, so this goes a step further than offering videos for a subscription or making money with advertisements. With interactive video, the viewer is, as it were, put behind the wheel, you hold the attention longer and motivate your viewers to purchase products via the video player.

It goes without saying that with a professional online video platform you can also add your own branding, because white-label solutions are fine, but if your own platform can not be made visible anywhere, that is a missed opportunity. Good content is worth money and a good video on demand platform is then essential. Therefore create video players that are fully furnished in terms of design and functionality to the requirements and objectives of your organization.

1. A good online video platform grows with you as an organization

A system must be low threshold enough to start with a few videos but be powerful and flexible enough to facilitate the hosting and delivery of thousands of videos. For example, the system must have a video embedding capability via a simple iFrame embed code, but it is all the more necessary that the system has an extensive video API so that you can set up an automatic workflow as soon as you manage more than a hundred videos. Then you obviously do not want to have to embed every video manually, but that this process is automatic by categorizing the videos on smart metadata.

A good online video platform therefore also offers the possibility to save customized metadata to the video that fits your concept. For example, you want users to be able to search for a concert by looking at the conductor, while looking at online yoga, for example, is the teacher. The online video platform must make all this extra metadata available when embedding your video on your own website or app, so that this information is also searchable by Google and ultimately your site or app is higher in the search results of Google.

2. Where are the videos hosted? Keep in mind the new GDPR legislation.

Many organizations start with Youtube or Vimeo as a video platform because they are automatically the most obvious, and that is of course great for short promotional videos. What many organizations do not know is that they also issue a non-exclusive license for Vimeo / Youtube but also the affiliate network of these platforms to copy and distribute your video content. In addition, these platforms may also create derivative works of your content. That is fine of course if your videos have a promotional purpose, but you certainly do not want this with videos that are meant to transfer knowledge.

In addition, your videos on Youtube are mainly hosted on servers in the United States, which in practice may mean that you have to deal with US regulations and case law during conflict and / or privacy-sensitive situations. It can therefore be important to also take into account the country where you want to deliver the videos with the choice of your video platform. Have you properly taken into account the protection of personal data from GDPR when you put videos with employees or other people on someone else’s servers? Have you signed a processor agreement with the online video platform? All things to consider before you put videos on general platforms.

3. Work with all employees from a central media library, but do not give everyone the same rights.

As a professional organization you want to be able to manage your video content in a safe way, because you should not think that your valuable content is wrong moment, in the wrong way or by the wrong person is brought out.

Precisely if your content does not only stay within your own system but must necessarily also end up on other open platforms, it becomes all the more important to ensure that the process is clear and well-defined. Not everyone in the organization needs the same rights, but it must be possible to work together within a single media library. Allow employees to manage specific aspects of the media library, such as editing metadata, adding subtitles or creating video playlists. An online video platform must therefore be able to create different roles and rights for managing, organizing and publishing your video content.

4. For internal videos, use advanced security and Single Sign-On (Oauth)

With internal videos such as e-learning or internal communication video, they must be well shielded. You can do that on a domain or IP basis, so that videos can only be viewed on the case or at least the network of the case. Even if you make videos for customers you can solve that, but it is not very elegant. Then a Single Sign-On (Oauth) solution is better. The authentication of users is delegated to an existing website or app, so that if they are logged in there, you also have the permission to view the videos on your platform. That combines safety and user-friendliness.

5. Share external videos on social media for extra coverage

With external videos it is a different story. These videos do not have to be protected, but there are other important things to take into account. Where are videos all shared? On which social platforms? Which videos will be shown after playing your video? These are simple examples, but there are many things to take into account, because you depend on the vagaries of the social platforms where the videos are placed.

You also want your viewers to end up on your own site or app and vice versa. Good video SEO contributes to that, so make sure you choose a platform where that is possible.

Should you still use YouTube and Facebook? Yes, that is still a good idea because of the range of these platforms. Youtube is still the second largest search engine worldwide. So place here for example short teasers of your videos, where you link in the description to your own platform where people can watch the complete videos. This way Facebook and Google can also contribute to increasing the reach on your platform.

Some video platforms offer the ability to distribute videos directly and automatically via a click to Facebook, Google and Youtube. This is extra useful because you only have to manage the video content in one place and save extra time.

6. Make smart use of interactive video for achieving your goals

Video is a sign for your service or product, your own video platform also offers the tools to convert interested viewers directly to potential customers. Interactive video is very useful here, and we are not talking about the standard sharing possibilities.

Ideally your system has a call-to-action capability built in and you can generate leads because viewers can fill in a form, click on something to be contacted and so on.

Nowadays, all online video platforms also support interactivity on mobile, including the iPhone. As a result, interactive video has also become extremely suitable for customer service videos, or explanation videos. By linking various explanatory videos to each other, viewers can choose what they find interesting, click on different layers and decide on which topics they want to see more. The videos remain fascinating and relevant, with the result that they are viewed longer and better.

7. Measure events (video player events) in Google Analytics to gain insight into the customer journey on the website

With a good and measurable system you can also see exactly which calls to action work and which do not, so that you can send the message can adjust. If the video platform offers a Google Analytics integration for extensive event tracking, you will even get full insight into the customer journey on the website and the importance of video in achieving your goals. So you see exactly what people look at content, where they click via the video, what the further journey is through the website or app and what goals or purchases are made.