Where Should You Host Them
So you want to jump on the video bandwagon. Great. Videos should be a part of any attorney internet marketing plan. They are a great way not only to communicate with potential clients, but also to attract them. Why? Because search engines love videos. Did you know that YouTube gets more traffic each day than even Google does? And with dozens of video sharing sites, a good law firm video can get a lot of attention online.
Attorney Videos: Where You Host Matters
So you’ve either taken your Flip video camera and made your own video or you’ve hired someone to make one for you. Now the question is: where do you host it? This may sound trivial but it isn’t. There are several choices out there, and depending on what you want the video to do, it can make a great difference in achieving your goal. So let’s go over the main choices and show the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Host Locally: This is what many people choose by default simply because they do not know of any alternatives. And it can be a decent choice if the size of the video is small and you don’t want it to be shared on other sites. Examples of this is an introduction video, like, “Hi, I’m the managing partner here, and I want to welcome you to our website.” Hosting locally is fine for that sort of thing. The problem with hosting locally comes when the video is large or you would like people to find it independently of your site. Say you had someone video tape a seminar you did on immigration and it runs 45 minutes. You definitely wouldn’t want to host that locally. Why? Because most people use shared hosting plans, which share bandwidth amongst many sites. Depending on the traffic your hosting company is getting, your video might play nice and smooth… or maybe not at all. A good choice for something like that would be to upload the video to an Amazon S3 account and link it to your website. The performance of the video will be far greater, and you won’t be using valuable bandwidth on your site.
YouTube: YouTube is the most popular video sharing site mainly because everyone knows it and it’s easy to use. That makes it a good choice for videos which you want people to find outside your website. Your web site itself might not rank for foreclosure, but your video seminar posted to YouTube can rank for foreclosure seminar easily enough. People can see it there, then come back to your site for more information, and hopefully a phone call. Videos are easily uploaded and then linked into your site. So what’s the downside? Three things: one, there’s a limit on size. YouTube will only show videos of around 15 minutes. Any longer and you have to break them up in two. Second, bandwidth can be and issue and your videos can sputter. Third, if someone clicks the video on your site, they are taken to YouTube’s site, where they can see other videos on the same subject… which are made up largely of your competitors.
Amazon S3: Amazon has a storage division called S3, which you can use to host videos for very low prices. They have state of the art servers so the performance is good. And with videos hosted on Amazon, viewers are never taken off your website. This is best for longer videos that you don’t want people to find off your site.
There you have it, three hosting choices for sharing videos on your web site. I highly suggest you take the plunge and make your first video. You may find it fun and it will definitely help your marketing plan.