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The DIY white-label video hub

Viewing online video is so popular with consumers that it's time for marketers to take advantage of this trend by hosting a video hub on their site. Developing a video community can have far-reaching benefits for your company as well as your customers, stakeholders, and the entire industry.

By creating a video hub, your brand becomes the host for videos in your niche market, and the videos can be posted and viewed free of charge, resulting in a fast growing video community that draws traffic. The videos can be about your products, services, offices, trade shows, marketing and advertising tips, educational seminars, and more. Once you set up and promote this valuable video community, you can generate ad revenue, brand your own player, and develop your own channels. Your customers and users can promote your brand and learn from watching other videos. The frosting on the cake is that your videos and community hub have a good chance to get first-page rankings in the organic search engine results pages. It's a win-win for all.

Surge in popularity of video
Over two-thirds of adult internet users (69 percent) have watched or downloaded videos online. That represents over half (52 percent) of the U.S. adult population. The increasing popularity of online video presents a great marketing opportunity for companies with the ability to lead.

The surge in online video viewing was driven by increased broadband access, the proliferation and use of social networking sites, and the popularity of video sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr. Another event that will ramp up video popularity is the launch of video ad campaigns on Google TV Ads. In fact, Google is building up its video index to make it easier for optimized videos to be found.

Power of online video
The power of online video is that it's compelling and interactive. Research shows video gets 4 to 7 times the CTR of any other online advertising tool, and it excels at driving awareness, purchase intent and brand favorability. There are so many ways marketers can use video. It can be posted on websites, product pages, email messages, newsletters, blogs, and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. If you're lucky enough to create a catchy video that goes viral, it can even turn up on your evening television news show.

However, you can get the most juice from your videos by posting them on your own video hub where you've developed an enthusiastic community.

Building a video hub to boost traffic and rankings
As internet users become more engaged with all forms of video, marketers are creating more promotional videos. Currently, video content is not as plentiful as other web-based content; therefore, the competition for search rankings is not keen like it is for traditional web content.

Forrester Research found that videos were 53 times more likely to get a first-page ranking in SERPs than traditional web pages. For that reason, there is no time like the present to create a video community hub for your industry niche to boost your site traffic and improve your organic rankings.

Most of you know about traditional video hubs where you can post and view videos, the most popular of which is YouTube. So far, not many business verticals have built their own video hub, despite the fact that there are many companies offering video sharing services.

Here's what our B2B video hub for the wholesale industry looks like. Users can join the community and manage their account from the homepage. Besides posting business videos, users can search for videos by channels based on categories. In this example, the categories are topics of interest to wholesale buyers and suppliers -- the most likely visitors to the video hub.

Providing your own white-label video solution
New technology makes it easy and affordable to create high-quality videos. You can set up a professional web TV channel, become the host, and generate revenue. You can promote your brand with your own player and develop your own channels. Your videos will be found in Google Video Search, on video sharing sites, and in the blended search results of major search engines.

With a modest video budget, you can use white label video publishing and distribution services to propagate your videos beyond the capabilities of free video sharing sites. This gives you more control over your videos, as these services offer many benefits:

  • Create white-label videos

  • Personalize your video player

  • HD video quality and fast transcoding

  • Schedule VOD (video on demand) services and scheduled programming

  • CDN (content delivery network)-based distribution

  • Ad management and integration

Private-label video publishing services
If you want to set up your own web TV channel to sell advertising and sponsorships, you'll need a private-label video publishing and distribution service provider. When you move from amateur video sharing sites like YouTube to professional publishing and distribution, you get the following benefits:

  • Control ads displayed on your video clips

  • Set up a day-to-day video programming schedule

  • Monitor and analyze traffic, views, and click-throughs.

Most video publishing and distribution service providers have monthly or yearly fees, so you'll need a budget to support these costs. This is an investment with a return in visibility and revenue.

For more information, Robin Good has an excellent review of private-label video publishing platforms, which includes a comparison table with pricing and features for private-label video publishing and distribution service providers such as Brightcove (variable pricing), Livestream ($350/month), Watershed ($49/month), and Sorenson ($99/month), to name a few.

As internet users become more engaged with all forms of video, it's a great time to launch a community video hub where your customers and stakeholders can post and watch videos for free. Create your own white label videos, get a personalized video player, and promote your brand while generating revenue. You'll reap many benefits from building a video community, not the least of which are increased site traffic and revenue as well as improved organic rankings.

Jason Prescott is CEO of TopTenWholesale and Manufacturer.com.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Jason A. Prescott, CEO of TopTenWholesale and Manufacturer.com, directs a network of vertical search sites, advertising networks, and product sourcing directories customized for wholesalers, retailers, importers, discounters and auctioneers.

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