5 Things a Branded Video Player Can Do That YouTube Can't

March 22, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


YouTube has over 2 billion worldwide users — equal to nearly one-third of the entire Internet. It’s the most popular video-sharing platform in the world. So, naturally, it would make sense for marketers to host all their brand videos there, right?

Well, not necessarily.

As a video player for the masses, YouTube is a surface-level solution that simply can’t hang with other custom video players on the market. With advanced analytics capabilities and customization tools, custom video players are a much better option for marketers looking to drive business.

This post will break down several essential features to look for in a video player for your business and highlight a few key areas where YouTube falls short.

Custom branding

When you think of a company like Apple, what immediately comes to mind? Computers, tablets, and smartphones with sleek minimalist design and an intangible cool factor?

Apple’s iconic brand is something the company has earned over years of proven success as a tech leader. This level of branding requires a deliberate approach. Businesses have to carefully determine how their brand should look and feel to consumers, including everything from colors and logos to the product experience itself.

A video player is one of these key brand assets. Any video on your website should represent your brand and your brand alone.

One of the primary issues with using YouTube for video marketing is that there are no custom branding options. All of your brand videos end up looking like billboards for YouTube with their logo and colors. You’re essentially promoting their brand. And this is intentional. After all, YouTube was built to keep folks engaged with their content. This directly conflicts with many business and brand goals.

“YouTube was built to keep folks engaged with their content. This directly conflicts with many business and brand goals.”

Avoid this inadvertent YouTube promotion and boost your own brand with a custom video player. With Wistia, you can customize your video player with your company’s colors, so users recognize your brand. It also helps your video player seamlessly blend into your website.

Wistia also lets you further customize your videos with your brand’s logo. That means no more glaring YouTube signage in your video players. We let you brand your video player with your logo, so your brand is front and center, not ours.

An ad-free experience

Gen Z probably won’t believe this, but there was once a time when YouTube was completely ad-free. It didn’t last long once the platform saw the potential money they could bring in with advertisers — but it did happen!

Fast forward to today, and video ads are the norm on YouTube. You might be watching an insightful video about how to use Google Analytics, and then bam — there’s an ad about how to make millions off cryptocurrency that seemingly comes out of nowhere.

65% of people immediately hit the skip button when met with a video ad, according to a report from IPG Mediabrands’ Media Lab. This high number speaks to the fact that viewers don’t want to see ads when they’re watching a video.

“65% of people immediately hit the skip button when met with a video ad.”

After all, ads disrupt the flow of content. Imagine going to see a new movie and, just as a massive plot twist is about to be revealed, a commercial for car insurance runs. You’d return to the action feeling a little deflated.

Keeping your video narrative flowing is especially critical for B2B businesses. Viewers in this segment generally run on tight schedules and want to get to the main point of a video quickly. YouTube slows down the viewing experience with ads, so it takes longer for your brand to get its message across.

You also have no control over what ads YouTube decides to place in your videos. Video ads from direct competitors to your business can pop up and make viewers think twice about using your product. Equally bad for business is the fact that viewers may see ads that don’t align with your brand values at all.

Businesses need a custom video player that bypasses ad clutter. Wistia offers an ad-free viewing experience that lets your content stand alone. The ability to watch videos without ads helps users stay engaged. They can simply focus on a video from your brand all the way through without any roadblocks to turn them off.

Built-in video SEO capabilities

SEO doesn’t just apply to written content. If you want people to find your videos across Google and other search engines, they need to be properly optimized for search.

YouTube offers basic SEO tools to help your videos catch Google’s attention, but there’s one big problem: YouTube is designed to drive traffic to their website, not yours.

Sure, you’re still getting your brand name out there with YouTube videos. But unfortunately, all of the SEO benefit your video is receiving is tied to a site you can’t make a sale on or capture leads through.

If you’re a marketer that wants SEO benefits for your business and its site, using a custom video player is an absolute must. Instead of driving video traffic to another site, Wistia’s built-in video SEO capabilities can help your business rank on Google and drive traffic to your site.

You can even use the Wistia Channels feature so viewers can easily find your videos in one place on your site. Once they’re on a channel you’ve created, they can jump from video to video with no distractions like YouTube has.

Looking to level up your digital marketing chops? Nerd out over our favorite video SEO tips to improve your video performance!

In-depth video analytics

Measuring the success of video marketing efforts can be challenging even for the most experienced marketers. It becomes even more challenging if you’re using a platform that doesn’t give you the necessary data to track performance.

YouTube offers decent table stakes analytics, but it’s really designed for creators, not businesses. The platform provides insight into basic engagement metrics — such as likes and views — but it doesn’t help marketers uncover deeper trends behind brand videos.

Simply put, YouTube is not designed with a marketer’s analytic needs in mind. Opt for a custom video player with a more comprehensive analytics offering that’s specifically tailored to marketers.

“Simply put, YouTube is not designed with a marketer’s analytic needs in mind.”

Wistia, on the other hand, fits the bill. Our platform is designed to help marketers quickly and easily pull business insights from their videos.

If you want to go beyond pulling basic engagement metrics such as likes, views, and comments, we’ve also got you covered. Our platform can track viewer engagement through heat maps and engagement graphs to give marketers a granular understanding of when and where videos are most successful. Pinpoint specific moments of engagement and disengagement to uncover underlying brand video trends.

Another enticing data-driven feature is A/B testing, which gives businesses a side-by-side view of how two different videos perform. It works with two similar videos or two entirely different videos. This feature can help marketers get a better idea of what videos are successful for the business so they can focus on the why behind that success.

Subscriber and lead generation tools

Businesses that invest in video marketing want to see a clear connection between viewers and customers. As a marketer, it’s your job to find that connection and prove your videos’ ROI.

With a custom video player like Wistia that’s designed for marketers, those connections have never been easier to uncover. With just a few clicks, you can find detailed information about subscribers and their customer potential to turn into leads.

Wistia Channel subscription information makes it easy for your business to notify subscribers when you have new video content to share (something you can’t do with YouTube subscribers). You have instant access to individual subscriber data like names and emails to help get your message out right away.

Wistia even gives you the ability to sync subscriber data with your preferred marketing automation platform or CRM. This integration makes it easier to create and score leads based on video data. No more guessing necessary — you control your data, so you can measure your video ROI.

Stumped by subscribers? Say no more! Learn more about the difference between Wistia Channel Subscribers and YouTube Subscribers.

The custom video player that can do it all

There’s nothing wrong with logging onto YouTube to watch some fun videos and share them with friends. But if you’re a marketer trying to create more business for your company, you need a custom video player that supports your brand with ease.

March 22, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


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