Online Video Distribution 101: Why It Matters and How to Do It Right

Meisha Bochicchio


Once you’ve put in the hard work to create a stellar video, how do you know where to place it to best drive business for your company?

The answer is nuanced. How you distribute your video depends on a number of things — namely, your goals for it. Your video can live on any number of distribution channels, each with its own different strengths. Perhaps you want more qualified leads, or maybe you’d like people to recognize your brand on a larger scale. Your online distribution strategy will be specific to your goals and help you reach them.

The right online video distribution strategy prioritizes getting your video content in front of the right audience who might be interested in buying your product. When executed correctly, it can be one of the most effective ways to drive leads and boost overall brand awareness within your industry and beyond.

Types of online video distribution: Website, direct marketing, and social media

When we use the term “online video distribution,” we’re referring to the way in which video content is hosted on specific channels. Making calculated decisions about which channels to use will help your business align the right type of videos with appropriate target audiences.

“When we use the term ‘online video distribution,’ we’re referring to the way in which video content is hosted on specific channels.”

Generally speaking, online video distribution efforts can be divided into three overarching types: Website, direct marketing, and social media.

Website video distribution

Best B2B distribution channels: Homepage, blog, help center

Your website is where your business digitally lives and breathes; as such, it should be the top priority when it comes to online video distribution. Your homepage, blog, and help center are where people generally go to see what your brand and product are all about. Videos on your website in these spots should help potential customers get all they need to understand how you can help them and, ultimately, persuade them to make a purchase.

This example from automated spreadsheet software company Clay highlights how a homepage can be the perfect spot to embed a product explainer video.

Image courtesy of Clay.

Here, the video serves as the centerpiece of the homepage, with a clear play button alongside minimal text. This immediately grabs the reader’s attention. The video is short and succinct, running just over three minutes with a clear rundown of what Clay’s product does.

Direct marketing video distribution

Best B2B distribution channels: Email, chatbots

Direct marketing hinges on a prospect making the first move to engage with your company. Whether they sign up to an email subscriber list or start a chatbot interaction, these are people who initiate contact and want something from your business. To put it plainly: This is an ideal situation for you.

Use that to your advantage. Instead of getting someone to simply watch a video in an email, get them to instead click on an enticing thumbnail that leads to your website. Then, once they’re on your page, you can nurture that lead further. Wistia can even help your business A/B test thumbnails (and other parts of your video) to determine which iteration produces better results.

Social media video distribution

Best B2B distribution channels: LinkedIn, YouTube

We all know how critical social media is when it comes to exposing your brand to the biggest possible viewership. If you want to boost your brand awareness and reach, your business should be regularly posting videos on social media platforms.

Workflow organization software company Trello posted this product overview video on its official YouTube channel. The video takes advantage of YouTube’s huge reach and functions as a jump-off point for viewers whose interests may be piqued by what Trello is offering.

Video courtesy of Trello.

If you’re going to post videos on any third-party social media channel such as YouTube, be sure to include a clear Call to Action (CTA) in the video or in the accompanying video description. You want the next step people should take to be obvious and drive them back to your site.

How can your B2B brand make the most of YouTube? Try asking these five questions to start defining your strategy.

Why does online video distribution matter for businesses?

The bottom line is that distribution can make or break how well your video marketing efforts go. There’s no point in investing the time, money, and resources into great video production if no one actually watches them. Businesses would be smart to recognize distribution as the essential conversion and engagement tool it is.

Website video distribution helps guide prospects through the sales funnel

Unlike a third-party social media channel like YouTube, hosting videos on your website allows you to optimize videos and bring in traffic directly to your site. Prospects typing in a keyword such as “workflow automation software” on Google might stumble upon one of your videos through a search engine results page (SERP) that leads directly to your site. This is a great reminder to not underestimate the power of video SEO.

As long as your video is search optimized, people can find it by Googling relevant keywords. When they click on a link of interest, they’re brought to your website, meaning their next click could be to another one of your pages. Once there, viewers can watch a video on your site and be effectively guided through the sales funnel with additional content resources until the process concludes in a sale.

Direct marketing video distribution drives conversions

From a business perspective, you can leverage direct marketing distribution channels, like your email marketing list, to boost conversions and click-through rates (CTRs). Since this demographic is comprised of people engaging with your business on their own terms, focus your efforts on getting them to click on a video email that leads to your site.

The intended conversion can be whatever you want it to be. Maybe your business is offering a free trial it wants people to sign up for on a landing page. Perhaps there’s an educational webinar you want prospects to attend. It could even be an educational resource such as a new report or eBook you want more people to see. No matter the goal of your marketing strategy, you can use video to entice this audience to follow through.

Wondering what types of video conversion events drive the most engagement? Find out in our free State of Video Report!

Social media video distribution reaches new audiences.

If your business is looking to boost its overall brand footprint online, social media video distribution channels really shine.

Social media exposure translates into more eyes on your brand and more potential to uncover new customers. Social media is the largest net you can cast as a distribution tool, and it can help people recognize your brand and product before they ever even arrive at your website to learn more.

3 steps to build an effective online video distribution strategy

Before you post your finished video, identify your primary goals and target audience. If you have generic goals and audiences, your high-quality videos may be spread too thin across different channels, and your content will suffer as a result.

Here are several important considerations when building out your online video distribution strategy.

1. Determine the primary goal of your videos

Remember that while videos can be a whole lot of fun to make — trust us, we get it! — your videos always need to serve a specific function for them to help your business. Starting out with the desired outcome in mind is the best first step you can take.

This understanding will also help you narrow your strategy down to which distribution channels will help achieve that primary goal. If it’s brand awareness, for example, social media channels should be a top priority. The clearer your primary goal is, the better you’ll understand exactly what channels to choose.

2. Balance video distribution efforts

It’s good to have a primary goal in mind and a focus on one distribution channel, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

To create a well-rounded online video distribution strategy, select five to six different distribution channels to host your videos. This will give you a chance to accomplish your primary goal, plus hit additional goals that can help fuel your overall strategy on a long-term basis.

If you notice that you’re not gaining traction on a particular channel, consider adjusting your strategy and removing that channel from this, or future, distribution efforts. If you need more performance insights, Wistia gives you all the tools you need to get detailed information about your audience across brand-owned channels.

3. Cross-populate channels with repackaged video content

Repurposing videos is one of the best ways to get more out of them with a relatively low lift on your end. In some cases, your best videos can be broken down into multiple shorter videos or clips that can enjoy a second life on additional channels.

For example, if you have a webinar, you can host it in full on your blog and also create short teaser clips for social media channels to drive interest and build hype. The same goes for live streaming a big event — you can take your recording and repurpose it for folks who missed it to watch on demand. This is ideal for longer pieces of video content that cover a number of different topics that can potentially capture a viewer’s attention.

Online video distribution takes time to perfect

At the end of the day, online video distribution is a marathon, not a sprint. When it comes to using video for most things, it’s all about continuous testing and monitoring to hone in on your target audience, see how they respond, and continue to share video content that helps convert folks.

Don’t get discouraged if one channel isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for right off the bat. Take time to regularly review your strategy and troubleshoot problems as they arise, and you’ll eventually unearth the best distribution mix for your business.

Meisha Bochicchio


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