Congratulations! You’ve just wrapped on post-production for your B2B video content. Nothing left to do but pour yourself a stiff drink, kick off your shoes, and mentally play out a fantasy of transcendent success.
Did you lay down a solid foundation of strategy to determine the best ways in which video can help you meet your company’s goals? Oh yeah.
Did you spend the pre-production phase planning and hiring to maximize the efficiency of the production? They might as well call you the geometry king because you sure as hell got that squared away.
Was the final cut of your video so groundbreakingly creative that you suddenly find yourself Googling the contact information for Academy Award-winner Gary Oldman as you wonder aloud whether he’ll be available for your next shoot? Not only is the answer “Yes, of course,” but you’re also well on your way to crossing off bucket list item #14: meeting every actor to portray Detective Jim Gordon.
Back in the real world, you leap off your couch as you realize there’s still work to be done: you still need to distribute your video content so that your intended audience can actually see it.
What is Video Distribution?
When you look at the 7 phases of practicing video, you’ll see that finalizing the post-production work isn’t the end of the video creation line. After all, your goal isn’t to create a video; It’s to have an audience watch it and, ideally, take action.
Now, for those reading ahead, you’ll see that video promotion is the step after video distribution and if you place those words side by side you may have an issue listing their differences. However, those differences can be parsed.
Distribution is putting your video content in a space where it can be found and viewed. Promotion, on the other hand, is targeting your video to specific customer cohorts.
So, if you put your video on YouTube or upload it to a video hosting firm’s platform, you’re engaged in distribution. If you pay a service like Adwords or Instagram Ads to play your video for certain demographics while they’re searching or scrolling, then you’ve jumped into promotion.
Where Do You Distribute Video Content?
If distributing your video content is merely the act of making it available for others to view, then it’s important to put your video where people are likely to go to search for your services. That can include a variety of platforms and channels:
- Your company’s website
- Your company’s blog
- Your company’s social media channels
- A video hosting platform
- In-person, such as at storefronts or booths at trade shows
These are the places where your audience can discover your video content organically. You’re not pushing the content to them; you’re letting them come and find it.
What are Video Hosting Platforms?
Even if you put your video on your website, you’re likely not using an in-house server to store the 1s and 0s that make up that digital content. You’ll likely use a cloud server or, preferably, a video hosting platform.
There is a bevy of platforms available that all offer their own advantages, disadvantages, and price ranges:
- 23: This video marketing platform offers only paid tiers, but it specializes in webinar videos making it an essential tool for some.
- Vimeo: Vimeo’s video quality is superior to YouTube, and its brand is connected with prestige content. Additionally, it offers both free and paid tiers that allow you to customize your features.
- YouTube: If Vimeo favors quality over quantity, YouTube doubles down on quantity time after time. Its analytics offerings, though, aren’t great, and the UI is designed to keep users hooked on the algorithmically enticing videos the platform spoon feeds you.
- Wistia: A video hosting platform that offers in-depth analytics in their free tier. However, to upload more than three videos or remove the Wistia branding from the video player, you will need to upgrade to a paid tier.
- Vidyard: Another video hosting platform that offers both free and paid tiers, Vidyard has built out an impressive list of features that can help you in both the distribution and promotion phases.
While there are social network aspects to both YouTube and Vimeo, they deserve mention as video hosting platforms just for the sheer size of their offered content. Even if you use a different platform to host the videos, you can still use YouTube or Vimeo strategically to increase accessibility to your content.
However, if you’re looking to dive deeper into analytics and gain more control over your content, then you should look at the other options. Wistia’s free tier, for example, includes A/B testing. This tool will serve up one of two videos at random to users to reach an even split of views per video. You can then compare the user behavior data (like play rate or engagement) to determine which video better accomplishes your goals. You can even test customizations like thumbnails to see if one tends to edge users closer to clicking “Play.”
Tools like that make video hosting firms an essential component of the distribution phase. Additionally, that data you can glean from conducting tests and tracking user behavior will help you as you continue through and repeat the video practicing cycle.
Are Social Media Channels Also Video Content Distribution Networks?
While you should utilize video hosting platforms to store, secure, and analyze your content, social media channels are their own form of distribution network. Of course, there is a fine line between video distribution and promotion on social media. If you’re paying to put your video in ad space on a social network, you’re now promoting instead of distributing. To distribute, all you have to do is make a typical, non-ad post on a popular social network:
The trick here is to upload your video content to these platforms natively, which is to say, don’t simply publish a link to the video on YouTube; rather, upload the video file directly to the platform. The four major social media platforms listed above all give algorithmic preference to videos uploaded natively, which means your content is more likely to appear on more feeds.
Where Can You Find More Information on Distributing Video Content?
It’s not enough to produce video content. You also have to make it accessible for people to search for and find. Throughout the seven phases of practicing video, you should be aware of where, how, and why you’ll distribute your content so that people actually see it.
To take a deeper look into the many ins and outs of video content distribution, make sure to listen to The Video Reformation Podcast, Ep. 12, The Distribution Phase.