Why you shouldn’t host your videos on YouTube.

YouTube is the Walmart of online videos.

It’s a giant discount department store, stocked full of everything from “people falling down” to “funny babies” and even an old iPhone commercial featuring yours truly.

The problem with products in big department stores is that it’s very easy for the shopper to get distracted by the product sitting right next to yours on the shelf.  There are too many choices.  Good for the consumer.  Bad for the seller.

Videos are a way of capturing your potential consumer’s attention in the hopes of getting them to convert (buy tickets to your show, sign up for your mailing list, etc.)  You hope for a direct and linear path from that video (or print ad, or radio spot, etc.) to the next step (a visit to a website, calling for more info, etc.).  Any deviation off the path, and poof, your potential ticket buyer could go bye-bye . . . and worse, they could go buy-buy tickets to some other show.

So, what happens when you toss up a video on YouTube and then link to it, or feature it on your site?  If the viewer watches on YouTube, your video has to compete with the many other videos like it that YouTube serves up to keep the viewer in the world of YouTube.  And, if you’ve ever watched a YouTube video, you know it’s fairly easy to get sucked down a wormhole of videos, and quickly forget what you were searching for in the first place.

If videos are important to your marketing plan, find a way to include them in your site, either through your own video player, or by embedding the content into your own pages instead of linking externally to the YouTube department store.  Need an example?  Click that “Yours Truly” link in the second paragraph of this blog to see my iPhone commercial.  Notice, I didn’t link it to the YouTube page.  But rather, I created another page of this blog, and embedded it there.

I kept it out of the Department Store, and in my own boutique . . . which allows me to control the marketing that surrounds it.

YouTube knows what it is doing.  They know how to keep people roaming their aisles, instead of yours.  And you have to be there, just like all other products have to be in Walmart.  So use it as the video search engine that it is.

But don’t use it as a way to get someone further down your conversion path.  Because you may just be sending them down someone else’s.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.