How effective is video as part of a marketing campaign? Well, a recent survey found that over half of all professional marketers say video marketing yields the highest return on investment (ROI) of all digital marketing tactics. When planning a video marketing strategy for your company, though, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to create native or embedded videos.
Also known as a self-hosted video, a native video is defined as any video that’s hosted on the same website on which it’s displayed.
So, creating a video and uploading the file to your company’s website is an example of a native video. Since the file is located on your website, the video will be hosted on your website. Each time a visitor clicks the “play” button, your website will serve the file.
An embedded video, on the other hand, is a video that’s hosted on one website but displayed on a different website. Just because a video is playable on a website doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s hosted on that website. It’s not uncommon for companies and webmasters to use a third-party hosting service for their videos, the most popular being YouTube.
With YouTube, you can upload a video to the popular Google-owned platform and then embed it into your website. After uploading the video, visit the YouTube page where it’s published and choose the “Share” button directly below the player. You should then see a box of code. Copying this code and pasting it into the HTML of your company’s website will result in an embedded video. The newly embedded video will still be hosted on YouTube, but visitors can watch it directly on your company’s website without.
For more information on how to embed YouTube videos into your company’s website, check out this help article by Google.
For videos published on your company’s website, you should consider using an embedded format. What’s wrong with using native videos exactly? For starters, video files are large and, therefore, consume a substantial amount of disk space. Depending on the type of web hosting your company’s website uses, it may lack the storage space needed for native videos. You might be able to host some native videos on your company’s website, but not all of them.
In addition to storage space, native videos consume bandwidth. If a video file is 1 GB, it will consume 1 GB of your website’s bandwidth each time it’s watched until completion. This isn’t an issue with embedded videos, however. The website or platform on which an embedded video is hosted will consume its bandwidth, meaning less strain on your server’s resources.
There’s also the potential for cross-compatibility issues when using native videos. Different web browsers support different formats for video. If you use a format that isn’t supported by a visitor’s web browser, he or she won’t be able to watch it.
For videos published on your company’s social media profiles and pages, you should consider using a native format. Most social media networks support both native and embedded videos. To publish an embedded video on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, you can typically share a link to a YouTube video in a post or tweet. Alternatively, you can publish a native video by uploading the video file directly to Facebook or Twitter.
On social media, native videos outperform their embedded counterparts. According to Social Bakers, native videos account for nearly one-third of all videos published and shared on Twitter, yet they are responsible for driving nearly two-thirds of all video engagement on the social media network.
Native videos are also recommended for Facebook. While Facebook supports embedded videos, they don’t reach as many users as native videos, nor do they trigger as many likes, shares and comments. A study conducted of over 6 million Facebook posts conducted by Quintly found that native videos generated nearly five times as many shares as embedded videos.
When you host a video on Facebook, it will play automatically in users’ News Feeds. Embedded videos lack this feature. Your company’s Facebook followers can still watch embedded videos, but they’ll have to click the “play” button.
To recap, videos are often classified as either native or embedded, depending on where they are hosted. Native videos are hosted on the same website on which they are published, whereas embedded videos are hosted on a different website. You can conduct your own experiments to see what works best, but embedded videos are typically recommended for your website, while native videos are recommended for your social media profiles and pages.