Video is arguably the most effective means on the planet by which to market a brand. It has the ability to deliver your message to billions of humans simultaneously and convey the exact same, perfectly tailored, message to each pair of ears and eyes. However, if you’re not leveraging video content properly in your marketing plan, you are probably missing a vast amount of leads and conversions.

At Identity Visuals, we believe good video content, when leveraged correctly, produces noticeable ROI. Here are a few tips to consider to help you mine the most possible ROI from your video content.

1. Use A Video Hosting Provider Other Than YouTube

Examples: Wistia, Brightcove, Viddler

The biggest mistake I see most businesses make when they begin marketing online video content is their choice of a video hosting provider. The most prolific violator is YouTube followed closely by Vimeo (I’m not saying you shouldn’t upload your video to those sites, but I’ll get to that later). Neither YouTube or Vimeo have the features needed for effective video marketing.  Take a look at a hosting service like Wistia.  Wistia is a video hosting platform that’s built from the ground up for businesses. They provide tools like Turnstile, which is an e-mail collector that syncs with your e-mail marketing service provider. You can customize the look of your player to match your branding and seamlessly integrate your player with social media accounts. They also have a pretty spectacular learning center. I’ve only scratched the surface of Wistia’s capability, so check them out for yourself.

2. Rich-Content Social Media Posts

Examples: Moontoast, Promoboxx

Moontoast is an awesome startup that came to life in our hometown of Nashville. It allows you to create content-rich social media posts and provides the tools to track your ROI. Your posts can place your video content directly above purchasing options and wrap them up in a beautifully designed interface. Learn more on their website.

3. Google AdWords for Video

Google AdWords for Video is an invaluable tool for any business trying to expand their marketing efforts through video. It works very similarly to regular Google AdWords campaigns in that you videos show up based on user search queries. The service is surprisingly affordable and you only pay for an ad if a user watches the entire video. Read some of their success stories from companies like GoPro and ModCloth.

ALSO ►  The Future of Digital Video: Why Brands Need to Follow the Consumer

4. Use A Video E-Mail Marketing Platform

Examples: Emma, MailChimp, Constant Contact

Emma is the e-mail marketing platform we use at Identity Visuals, but works very similarly to MailChimp, Constant Contact, or a host of other providers. Using e-mail marketing for distribution of video will help your email marketing campaigns as much as it will increase exposure for videos. E-mail marketing efforts that include video have been proven to have 200% to 300% higher click-through rates (you have to pay for the full study) than videos with only text. Try including a video in your next e-mail campaign and see how it affects your results.

5. YouTube and Vimeo

As I mentioned before, YouTube and Vimeo are not where you should host your videos for the purpose of embedding on your website, emailing, or most other efforts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them on those sites. There are over 1 billion unique visitors to YouTube each month and having a well-curated YouTube channel can result in acquisition of that viewership. Additionally, Vimeo has a significantly more customizable player and a better reputation for providing quality video content. Both hosting services have tremendous SEO benefits and can drive noticeable traffic for your marketing campaigns.

As with any marketing tool, you need to test these services within your own marketing campaigns to see if they’re effective for your brand. We love making videos that tell stories, but we love even more when they’re effective in our clients’ marketing plans and we think these tools will help you leverage video to its fullest potential.

  • Mark Robertson

    Ben. Check out They have the only HTML5 video email service that I'm aware of that allows you to serve the video inline in certain clients.

  • Savina Velkova

    Hi Samuel,

    Thanks for the article. I was wondering if you're familiar with a platform called BrightTALK (full disclosure, I work for them). It connects video content with audience and analytics, including viewing information like frequency, length, and repeat viewings per user, and engagement metrics like questions asked, responses to audience votes and feedback/comments. Would love to get your opinion if you have a chance to check it out:


  • Cristina Sanchez

    You said
    As I mentioned before, YouTube and Vimeo are not where you should host your videos for the purpose of embedding on your website, emailing, or most other efforts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them on those sites.
    BUT Why not?
    Source: 5 Tools Online Video Marketers Can Use for Best ROI
    ©, All Rights Reserved
    Follow us: @ReelSEO on Twitter | ReelSEO on Facebook

    • Samuel Cowden

      Cristina, YouTube in particular has almost no (possibly none) customization available for their embedded player. You're essentially just using the same template that everybody uses and not branding it with your business' color, features, etc. It also doesn't have features like Turnstile or Heatmap which are found in Wistia's player.

      Vimeo is much more customizable that YouTube, but is still missing some of the better analytics features found with other services.

      Hope that answers your questions.

      • aknee

        Do you think that by using YouTube to host your videos you are at an advantage since the views of the video will be in one place rather than divided? The more views the better chance your video will appear higher in search results and be suggested?

  • Ben Jones

    What do you all think about Easy Video Suite? Custom player, Social buttons, pause video, timed content, redirect functions, fully customizable, Engagement dashboard with handy tips on viewer drop out times and completions. Even comes with income made from the video function. Would love to know if anyone else is using it

    • Samuel Cowden

      Hey Ben, I can't say I'm familiar with Easy Video Suite, but the features sound great. A lot of services provide similar features and if those features are what work best in your marketing plan, then use that service. No service is right for everybody, it's all about finding what's right for your brand and marketing efforts.

      • Ben Jones

        Im new to video marketing not new to film making. So I heard of EVS and purchased thinking it was the only one around. Would be good to get some testimonials on other products as like i said I thought they ere the only ones doing it. We are looking for something that aids in HTML5 - video emails. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

  • Phil Sylvester

    Hi Samuel, we too believe that YouTube only serves to grow YouTube and not our brand. We're considering a 3rd party player. But HOW would you run the two side by side? It was Jay Baer or Robert Rose (can't remember which) who said the place where your content is least likely to be viewed is on your own website - which is why YouTube is so important (i bilion views!). So what's the startegy for using the two platforms?

    • Katie Raebel

      Phil, I'm not sure if Samuel would agree but there are a couple of ways that you can run YouTube along side your website. One way is to put shortened versions of your full length video on YouTube and then redirect viewers to your website to watch the full length version. Be careful not to make the shortened YouTube version an "ad" though. You still want to give the audience enough reason to subscribe to your channel for more updates on relevant, timely content. Nurture them with this content and keep reminding them that there's more in depth video demos on your site. Include all the relevant information in the video description, which would be a link to the longer video, social links and ways to get a hold of the company. Hope that helps!

    • Samuel Cowden

      Hey Phil, as I said above, it's definitely important to optimize your YouTube channel in order to build an audience. I would simply argue that you shouldn't use the YouTube platform for marketing outside of YouTube. The tools mentioned above have incredible features, but they are only effective within a larger marketing plan. Before you can really take advantage of those features, you'll need to create a distribution pipeline within your own company. One way that we create that pipeline is though email marketing newsletters that are dedicated to spreading our video content. You'll never be able to compete with the viewership of YouTube, but using the services above will let you grow the audience that visits your website or blog, which is where people actually make purchases.

  • Josh Rimer

    When you suggest we include video through our e-mail marketing platform, do you mean even just having a text link that says "click here to see the video" or is it really important to have it be an image of the video or even an animated gif of the video? I assume each one that I just mentioned is even better than the previous, but I wonder what exactly is done for the 200% to 300% increase in click throughs. Also out of curiosity is there a reason you didn't mention Awebber since it seems to be one of the most popular emailing services?

    • Samuel Cowden

      Hey Josh, best practices generally include a thumbnail of the video that acts as a link to the actual video embedded on a webpage. I would talk more, but this post on Emma's blog sums up best practices really well.

      Also, this post from KISSmetrics is another great resource.

      • Josh Rimer

        Thanks a lot Samuel - I'll check those out!

  • Keith Yaskin

    Hi Samuel: When I read about tools supposedly measuring analytics, I often find myself disappointed. I frequently conclude, while sounding good on paper, the tools do not offer information that leads to concrete conclusions. I wonder if some organizations, realizing there's a thirst for such information, provide us with analytics that give information but not useful information. What do you believe are the most significant video measurement tools available to us at this time?

    • Samuel Cowden

      Hey Keith, I agree, "analytics" is a salesman buzzword right now, but sometimes they are actually useful. One of the most useful tools that Wistia gives their users is a "video heatmap." It allows you to view engagement with your videos by showing where people replay sections or completely skip sections. It allows you to determine what connected best with your audience and either retool your video, or use more of the engaging techniques in your next video.

      Likewise, Moontoast shows you interaction with your social media posts, which lets your measure the effectiveness of different posts. If you included video in one post and didn't in another, the data will show you which is more effective for creating engagement in your brand.

      Most of the services mentioned have analytics tracking and it's all useful in some way, the trick is just figuring out how to apply them to what you're specifically marketing.

      • Keith Yaskin

        Thank you Samuel. Each of the videos we produce is very different. We don't follow a template that might, for example, indicate a reoccuring technique might be working or not working. Do you believe knowing when someone skipped a section or replayed a section is still useful for such videos? If we did spot a trend, do you believe any conclusions we draw would necessarily translate to future videos?

        • Ileane

          Hi Keith,

          I agree with what you said about video analytics and I'm interested in something else you said too. You mentioned not following a "template" - is there a specific reason that the format of your videos varies so much or is it because you having a hard time finding the right "formula" for your audience?

          Developing a formula is something I'm working on and I'm hoping that Wistia's heat mapping will help.

        • Keith Yaskin

          Hi Ileane: We produce videos for clients. The videos often share stories of their customers and employees. Each of our clients takes a slightly different approach on how to tell their stories via video. What works in one custom video may not in another. I imagine if we were shooting videos, for example, that sold products such as appliances, we might over time develop a formula. Maybe we would start with someone introducing the product, followed by a demonstration, followed by a graphic with more information. The concept of "heat mapping" might indicate viewers typically pass up the introduction. But when our videos for clients take a somewhat different approach each time, I wonder if I would learn much from heat mapping.

        • Keith Yaskin

          That makes sense Samuel. YouTube analytics show the average duration and average percentage viewed of each video. I imagine sites such Wistia offer deeper insight. But do the advantages of hosting videos on Wistia outweigh the traffic benefits of hosting videos on YouTube? I believe you tried to answer that question by suggesting people post videos to both sites. But although companies understand the benefits of video, some of them, both big and small, are not sophisticated in understanding how to market them or analyze them. Uploading videos to even one location is a challenge. I'm afraid asking some of these businesses to upload their videos to various sites and then keep tabs on analytics for an on-going basis isn't always practical. And what will they learn from such analytics? If YouTube indicates viewers on average watch only the first 1:15 of a video, does that mean the video quickly sold viewers on a service or product? Or does that mean viewers got bored and said the heck with this? Ultimately, I would think the biggest goal is for video to drive more people to click through to a company's website whether someone watched 10% or 100% of a video. While I appreciate what I might learn from "heat mapping," I hesitate to read too much into its insights. But I will keep an open mind and I appreciate your thoughts on this.

        • Samuel Cowden

          Keith, as an actual production company you probably need to take a little different approach. We're also a production company and we generally suggest these tools to our clients as a way leveraging the video content we make. If they actually implement tools like Wistia's Heatmap, they can see which parts of their video are most engaging or which parts don't work, then we encourage them to retool their videos for increased effectiveness, which brings us more business and helps our clients reach their audience better.

          We also produce some of our own content for internal marketing efforts, in which case we implement these tools for our own marketing efforts.

          Hope that helps!

  • Ileane

    I do well on YouTube but I'm also using OneLoad to upload videos to Metacafe, Facebook, Flickr and DailyMotion. I upload to Vimeo separately but I can't seem to gain any traction over there. Most of my videos are tutorials but that doesn't seem to appeal to Vimeo users (at least I hope it's not just me). :)

    I just signed up for Wistia (literally like 5 hours ago) on their free plan but if it works out well, I'll upgrade. Thanks for the advice.

    • Samuel Cowden

      My pleasure! YouTube is definitely the #1 stop for tutorial searches. Wistia and services like it simply integrate with other forms of marketing in more effective ways. Hope you have a good experience with Wistia.

  • Joris Brabants

    What about platforms that can capture User Generated Video? At BuboBox we are doing some great stuff with Testimonials & Reviews. People can record & spread a review/testimonial/enter a contest/... and our Analytics suite can track the effect on your inbound traffic, conversions, ... You'll be able to track who are the best influencers, who spreads the word for you, ...

  • Jenn O’Meara

    Samuel - great points, especially in regards to hosting video and video email marketing tools. Flimp Media's ( Flimp Platform provides a cloud-based alternative to hosting video content. From a video email perspective, Flimp is integrated with over 35+ ESPs (including Constant Contact and Emma) and enables users to create video emails that are viewable on HTML5 mobile devices. Additionally, Flimp's analytics tools instantly track viewer engagement, response and sharing. It is important for web video marketers to consider how video is hosted, especially if the video is being used in a B2B marketing campaign.

    • Samuel Cowden

      Thanks for your comment Jenn. I'll have to become more familiar with Flimp.