Media Hosting For Your Membership Site or Online Course
Let’s talk about the types of videos there are:
1. Sales page videos
2. Content Marketing videos
3. Native videos on Facebook & Twitter
4. Documentation & Tutorial videos
5. Members-only, private videos that are reserved just for members who have registered for free, or have paid for your online course
For Sales page videos, content-marketing videos & tutorial videos that you post on your own blog, or for posting on online forums, and any public-facing videos that you are ok with people sharing with one another, or you actually WANT people to share it, use YouTube for all of those videos. Many years ago, in the early years of Youtube, for a while, it wasn’t considered cool or professional to put a youtube video on your home page. And all that was before youtube became the 2nd largest search engine, after…. you guessed it, Google.com. Millions of people start their search on youtube, especially for do-it-yourself stuff, tutorials, product reviews. And for your video to rank high on youtube, say, when someone searches for “how to potty train a puppy”, and you have an online course about puppy potty training, then you want your videos to come up high in the search results. And one of the factors that can help your video rankings, is the number of video views, among many other things. And the fastest way to rack up video views for your main sales videos and other documentation and tutorial videos, is to upload them all to youtube, then take the embed code for those videos and put them on your web site on your home page, in your documentation section, when you do content marketing on your own blog, and so on. So for all public-facing videos that do not need to be protected, use youtube. That will help your videos rank better not only on youtube, but also on Google.com searches, when google will sometimes show videos from youtube among the search results. So it helps your overall SEO efforst, where SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Next, if you have private members-only videos, then do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT host them on Youtube.
Now there’s a common misconception that your videos are secure if you make them “Private” youtube – what that means is, there’s a setting in youtube that will allow you to make the video private. And private videos will not show up in searches, in side-bars or in recommended videos that show up right after a video has finished playing on youtube. So just because it doesn’t show up anywhere, doesn’t mean it is fully protected from prying eyes. If you make your youtube video private, and then embed that video in your member’s area, then once someone gets to that page, and sees that it’s a youtube video, they will be able to click on the Youtube logo, and get directly to that video on youtube.com.
And they can now share your quote unquote private video link with just about anyone on the web, or send the link by email, or post it on Facebook, and suddenly, your private members-only video is now public and out in the open.
Next you might think… what if I used a video plugin that will hide the youtube logo from the video? You could, I guess. But that would be a violation of youtube’s terms of service, and could get your account banned. So don’t do that.
So for private videos that you want to publish in the member’s area, and make it available to only your members, make sure they cannot pass around your link, you have 2 options:
Option #1: Amazon S3. S3 is fantastic for hosting private videos, and I have also developed a plugin called S3MediaVault.com, which will help you secure your S3 videos, and embed them in your member’s area in such a way that it is secure, and cannot be viewed or shared outside of your web site. You should check out my last episode – at SubscribeMe.fm/22/ , where I talk a lot about Amazon S3, which is a super-cheap and fast option for hosting your media files.
Option #2: Vimeo.com. Now, Vimeo is just like youtube in that, people can upload their videos, there’s a common directory to search for and watch videos, it’s social in nature, and so on. And vimeo also has a way to make your video private, which means your video will not show anywhere on vimeo.com or in recommended videos at the end of other people’s videos. However, the one big difference between vimeo and youtube’s private feature, is that vimeo has a setting where you can tell vimeo, allow this video to ONLY be embedded and played on www.mywebsite.com. It’s called “whitelisting” – so this is the same thing that my plugin S3MediaVault does for S3. It whitelists your domain, so that your video can only play from your web site. One drawback of Vimeo.com is that even if you store your private videos on Vimeo and embed the private video code securely on your site, there’s still the question of other file formats – like audio, PDF, zip, doc, images, etc, none of which vimeo supports. So even if you use Vimeo for videos, you still need a solution for the other file formats, and I recommend Amazon S3 + S3MediaVault.com for that.
Now, once you’ve ensured that your video can ONLY be played on your web site, then you now have to make sure that ONLY a certain group of people – like your registered free members, or your paid buyers, or your monthly subscribers – can even get to that page that has this private video. And that’s where you need a membership plugin, like DigitalAccessPass.com.
So 2 levels of protection:
1) Make sure your video only plays from www.yoursite.com, and
2) make sure only authorized members or buyers can get to that page.
If you use Vimeo for this, then you need to sign up for their “Pro” package, because that’s the one that has the whitelisting feature. And pro costs 199 dollars per year. So it’s not really cheap. But the advantage of Vimeo is that you can customize your player colors to match your web site look & feel, and you can get some video analytics. And you won’t pay more than 199 a year, whether you have 10 view or 1 million views on your videos.
So, to summarize: For public videos and videos that you would like to encourage sharing and liking and commenting, use Youtube videos. And for private members-only videos, you can use Amazon S3 and a plugin like S3MediaVault, or you can use Vimeo.com. And for protecting all NON-video files, you should absolutely use Amazon S3.
CoolCastPlayer Exclusive Offer for SubscribeMe.fm Listeners
Before you go… let me give you a REALLY sweet deal here, for my podcast player plugin, CoolCastPlayer.com. If you purchase a copy of CoolCastPlayer, then respond to the welcome email you get right after the purchase, and let me know that you are a listener of this show. And I’ll give you free unlimited-site license of the S3MediaVault.com plugin for free. That’s a 97 dollar value, and you can get it for free. S3MediaVault is a plugin that can protect your PDF, Audio, Video and other files stored in your Amazon S3 account. And S3MediaVault also comes with a built-in audio player and a video player, so you can embed secure audio and secure video on your web site, and make it available for members only or buyers only. So get a free copy of S3MediaVault with your purchase of CoolCastPlayer, but you must take action before Monday, March 14th. You can also contact me via this contact-us link.
So thank you for listening to my show. I know you have a lot of choices in podcasts these days, and I’m super thrilled and appreciative, that you chose to listen to my show. That means a lot to me.
Stay subscribed to this show, and I’ll do my darnedest best to bring you great content every week.
Cheers and talk to you soon.
All of that in today’s episode. Listen to the show via the player above.
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– Ravi Jayagopal
PS: Yeah, the player above, is powered by CoolCastPlayer 🙂
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