There are few trends that have gone mainstream as fast as video marketing. The reason for its popularity is simple: it works. According to eyeviewdigital.com, including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. And Animoto found that six in ten millennials prefer to watch a company video over reading a company newsletter. The advantages for using video in marketing seem endless as this Hubspot infographic shows.
Most marketing professionals have learned to produce great videos, the ‘eye candy’ that draws people in. However, the real concern is a lot less sexy but nevertheless critical: the behind-the-scenes tech that powers video delivery. Why? Because just as you can’t build a house without a foundation, you need to have the infrastructure in place to ensure website visitors can enjoy your videos. After all, if you’ve gone to the trouble of producing engaging, possibly entertaining, conversion-oriented video content, you don’t want to your visitor to leave in frustration after waiting ages for it to load.
Why is content delivery key?
To provide fast and robust delivery of video and other digital content you need to make sure you have the right content delivery platform in place. Traditionally, these were leased through commercial content delivery network (CDN) systems, which often came with added security. In recent years, some large internet companies such as Netflix, Comcast and Facebook have started to build their own private CDNs.
The main disadvantage of using an external CDN is cost. Commercial CDN providers will charge you for bandwidth, while your revenue is related to how many leads you can generate from your video, not how large it is. Using third-party CDNs also means that you surrender control over your content and your performance considerations to them. Let me paint the picture for you. When running a marketing campaign you want to ensure that your audience can enjoy the same quality user experience regardless of their geography. With a third-party CDN you will have no control over this. The user experience will be determined by where your CDN provider has placed their servers. Another problem is that no commercial CDN covers all regions and geographies, which means that you may struggle to provide a consistent user experience in regions strategically important for your business. One way to get around this is to build your own private CDN, but this is more suitable for companies like Netflix and Facebook, who have armies of engineers and developers in-house working on building and maintaining their own private CDNs.
The foundation you need is now available
Fortunately the market for content delivery solutions is evolving fast and there are now more alternatives available. One of these is to use a set of pre-built components and services that provides organisations with a starting point for easily and cost effectively assembling their own private content delivery infrastructure to meet their specific needs. This new technology will help prevent slow loading times or website interruptions by copying the content on various distributed servers. That way, if a user wants to watch a video on your site, the closest and fastest server delivers the video, ensuring optimal speed for video loads. Which highly increases the likelihood of your content having the planned effect of converting your visitor to a lead.
This means that companies seeking content delivery solutions to create solid foundations for video marketing on par with Netflix, can now do so. Without having an in-house army of engineers and developers.
By Hildur Smaradottir, vice president of global marketing at Varnish Software
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