Marketing Departments- Say NO TO FLASH VIDEO, please
Seriously, the debate is the debate…Flash Video, HTML5, H264…I get it already. We still have not decided on a standard for web video. But seriously, Flash just is not working. I do not care if you think it is the best thing slice bread…instead, take that sliced bread and make a PB&J while reading this post.
So why is Flash not working, seriously? Because we are in the world of mobile users. Yeah, those smart phones that your audience is enjoying right now.
If you have a marketing department and spending tons of money on video hosting for your public marketing video…then you are getting freaking bad advice. Dump the video hosting for your marketing video and put everything on YouTube and Vimeo. Seriously…if the White House and every other major marketing group out there is doing it, then you should too!
Here is why:
1) YouTube and Vimeo are in the business of providing high quality video content to the masses…it is their business. So they are going to have the latest technology when it comes to players. Bottom-line, you will be able to watch the content on just about any device out there!
2) YouTube and Vimeo will have better SEO opportunities than any other private hosting option out there! Why, because most of the video content out there is on their servers and it is their business to optimize for searches. Oh yeah, last year…YouTube was the Number #2 search engine.
3) YouTube and Vimeo provide a multitude of options for embedding in web outlets and social sites. Every time you upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo, they provide an easy embed option into your website and blog. They provide easy click options from playing solely in HD, changing the size, etc. Also…the share link makes it so easy to populate into Facebook, allowing the user to watch the video inside Facebook without having to leave to go to another website.
4) YouTube and Vimeo have figured out this whole compression thing for you. You can practically upload just about any video file and it convert the file for you and give you thumbnail options, so you do not have to manually choose and upload some image as the pause screen.
5) YouTube and Vimeo display HD Video content and it looks ROCK SOLID! For a huge conference in Columbia, we uploaded a completely uncompressed HD video to YouTube, and played it for an auditorium for a dignitaries from YouTube. Why, because the computer in the conference room was having a hard time working with about every video file we put on the Windows 7 desktop. So, since it looked great in HD and it played nicely without pause via YouTube…it was displayed in 1080p over a 50 foot screen. The crowd cheered at the end!
6) YouTube and Vimeo offer private viewing of video content. So, if you want to restrict the audience and move away from totally public consumption, the option is there. Yes…you can even restrict to private links so that you have to have that specific link to watch the video content.
7) If you are a large organization, you can create categories to separate video messages according to topics, departments, etc. You can create your own video vault without the hefty price tag! Seriously…YouTube is FREE! Vimeo is also free but offers a premium package for $60/year! YES!!!! Between FREE AND $60/YEAR. Compare that to your monthly spending on your pretty server for marketing video.
Why did I write this…because I was irritated the other day when I tried to open a video message on my iPad and the video was Flash. The video link was from a Twitter and Facebook post of a major organization. I went to my desktop and the video message was intended for a mass audience. Now I realize that iPads and Apple devices are only a finite portion of the user audience. BUT…Apple users are a major audience in mobile video usage. WHY MARGINALIZE YOUR MESSAGE! Just put the dang thing up on YouTube/Vimeo and take advantage of the community.
So if you are spending tons of money to host video content for marketing purposes…RE-NEGOTIATE! If your marketing message needs to hit a broad audience, take advantage of the technology, SEO, and community of these outlets. BTW…YouTube is one the top search engines…NUFF SAID!
Done with my rant.
I agree whole heartedly Bobby. Have pity on the mobile users of the world! Just watching my own web logs indicates that almost 10% of my traffic comes from smartphones & iPad type devices, that number is up dramatically from just a year ago.
Flash is the easiest and most reliable way to get video out to the most devices. Sorry you invested in one which deliberately hobbled itself.
“So why is Flash not working, seriously? Because we are in the world of mobile users.”
This is actually an argument for “don’t use video at all”, which I think most people won’t buy.
John from Macromedia, thanks so much for stopping by. So I guess it is your opinion to not use it at all? It would be great if you could actually give me a reason why I should consider using it than providing no justification for your claim.
But here is my thought, if I show up to a friends house and the tv in the living room is not able to play the game we want to watch…what do I do…especially when kickoff is right then. Well, check the connection and if it does not show me what I want to watch, I go somewhere else where I can watch the content. So, when a mobile device does not allow me to watch the content, do I have the luxury to go somewhere else? No, because of some arduous plugin that does not install or the device that does not support it blocks access to the content. The content is blocked because of the technology is not flexible.
Marketing departments have to go where they can provide the best possible access to the content their audiences demand. If Flash is prohibiting that experience…then I guess we will not buy the Flash experience. Until Flash video can become more flexible in the ever changing mobile device environment, it will still continue to marginalize consumers of content.
John…if you would like to provide me some stats that support your claim…then I will be more than happy to consider changing my argument.
I totally agree! Now I understand that Flash and Adobe are butting heads over this issue…but Flash video is marginalizing great viewership and branding opportunities for marketing departments, especially in the Social Space. Now I see the value in using Flash video for private viewing opportunities when you know that the user base is accessing the content with devices that are Flash ready. Flash is also good with regards to protecting the video content from hijackers. But, when it comes to a marketing message…you have to go where the consumers are engaging with the message. ~BR
All I have to say is…Amen, brother. Nicely stated.
“John from Macromedia, thanks so much for stopping by. So I guess it is your opinion to not use it at all? It would be great if you could actually give me a reason why I should consider using it than providing no justification for your claim.”
Hey, you know Macromedia, cool…. 😉
You can use whatever you want. You can also say whatever you like about what other people “should” do. But sometimes it just takes a little more persuasion than “because I wouldn’t do it”, though.
John…I totally agree. So, how is Adobe and Flash going to handle the mobile market and compete with large viral outlets like YouTube and Vimeo? I still use flash for privately hosted projects. It works well for protecting content. But, from a marketing avenue…I think it has lots work. I would love to hear how you think it can still be a viable solution. ~BR