Many community colleges are blessed to have video broadcast production programs that produce premium content. They may even have their own public-access channels for reaching the general public. Community colleges that are not as fortunate, however, would love to have this type of content available to them for use on their websites.
Let me start by saying that hosting video content on your own web server is never a good idea. Multimedia files are huge and when you have lots of people viewing this content at once, it eats up your server's bandwidth and degrades the performance of your website. Finding a video hosting platform is certainly critical, but you need to choose the right one. Too many community colleges use a service called PEG Central™ and it is holding back the success of their marketing.
Unfortunately, community colleges that use PEG Central™ for their video hosting are getting zero SEO (search engine optimization) value out of their investment in video content. Let's analyze why.
Schools that use PEG Central™ will have a link to their video library on their website, but this content does not actually exist on their site. You will notice if you look at the address bar that the URL is something like http://tricsmarttv.pegcentral.com/index.php. That means if you have 500 videos added to your account, then you have grown PEG Central's site by 500 pages instead of your own.
You want your website to rank well in search engines. You also want to provide search engines with as many opportunities as possible to rank your website. That means the more pages your website has, the better. Your school made a huge investment in creating quality video content. Don't squander the opportunity to maximize SEO benefit from it.
When you share a YouTube video on Facebook, that video will play directly within the Facebook timeline. You do not have to ask your Facebook audience to leave Facebook just to watch a video. PEG Central does not allow you to do this.
We preach to our clients the importance of repurposing your content across multiple channels. Video content that you have created for other channels are low hanging fruit that you should take advantage of. It also doesn't hurt that video is perhaps the most engaging type of content that you can integrate in your social media campaigns.
SEO experts in general have accepted the fact that YouTube is indeed a search engine. It is not only the second largest search engine, but it is also the third most visited site on the web. It is also no secret that Google owns YouTube and that they integrate YouTube videos within its search engine results.
If you choose to host your school's videos with a hosting platform like PEG Central instead of YouTube, you are missing out on a significant amount of search engine traffic from Google video search results, as well as traffic directly from YouTube itself.
You should also consider that YouTube also has multiple distribution channels. Potential students can watch YouTube videos on their phone, computer and even on their TV through devices like the Wii, Roku, XBox, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and others.
The $3,000 you spend annually on PEG Central on-demand video hosting is a waste of valuable resources.You should use a more cost-effective and better solution (and I am not necessarily talking about the free video hosting service by YouTube). Any other savings you could put towards a YouTube or Facebook video ad campaign to promote and drive additional traffic to your videos.
There is merit to paying for a video hosting solution. While it is essential that your videos exist on YouTube, it does have its disadvantages. The biggest problem with YouTube is the way it functions when you embed videos on your site. When the video is done playing, it automatically recommends other videos that the user may be interested in. This could potentially drive traffic away from your website.
If you are going to pay for on-demand video hosting, our No. 1 service is Wistia. It's the most powerful video hosting solution out there right now.
What makes Wistia the ideal video hosting platform for community colleges?
Web-based video content is growing in importance every single day. Just think about what the web is going to look like 10 years from now and how video is going to be a part of future content trends. Do you have an online video content strategy? Start taking steps today. If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, we would love to hear from you in the comments below.