Just like everywhere else on the web, it seems videos have become a fixture on HR microsites. As we’ve written before, they’re an effective way to communicate vital benefits information, training material, and company culture. However, unlike everywhere else on the interwebs, HR has to contend with corporate firewalls blocking popular video hosting services like YouTube or Vimeo. So it’s tempting to want to host HR videos on company servers to retain control and ensure they get seen by all employees. But self-hosting videos come with downsides, and a dedicated video hosting service is still a better option for four main reasons.
1) Dedicated Bandwidth
Video files tend to be large, measuring in the tens of megabytes. If the video is self-hosted, it has to be downloaded onto the employee’s machine each time it’s viewed. As WP101 puts it, “Too many requests for a single large file will quickly exceed the limits of the web server on which your site is hosted, and bring your site—along with any other sites that are also hosted on the same server—to its knees.” Video hosting platforms take care of all of that, freeing up those resources for the more important documents employees might need to download. Plus video hosting platforms adjust the size of the video and its streaming rate for mobile viewers ensuring that everyone has a seamless viewing experience.
2) No Storage limits
Most web hosting providers have limits on the size of the files you can upload, along with a storage limit for the entire microsite. A limit that a single 3-minute video could easily exceed. Hubspot’s Jamie Juviler writes,“Since all servers are limited in how much data they can store … storing even a single video on your web server can cause poor site performance, poor streaming quality and playback, and exceeded storage limits that might get you booted from your hosting plan.”
3) Viewer analytics
All the hard work of creating an HR video would be wasted if you couldn’t tell how employees are using it. That’s why most video hosting platforms offer video analytics. These metrics provide valuable insights like how long employees are willing to watch a benefits explainer, when and where they’re most likely to watch training videos, or even where on the screen they’re more likely to look. These are insights you’d be missing out on if you self-hosted those HR videos.
4) Added interactivity
In addition to storage, bandwidth, and analytics, most video platforms now offer special interactivity features that can greatly improve the effectiveness of HR videos. Depending on the platform you could add:
- calls to action to lead viewers to the next step in a process,
- password protection so proprietary information isn’t public viewable
- Quizzes to help with retention and engagement, and
- multiple chapters to break up longer videos into manageable chunks.
There are video hosting alternatives to YouTube and Vimeo that allow you to enjoy the benefits of a video platform without the hassle of having videos blocked by a corporate firewall. Services like Wistia, Dacast & Panopto offer similar features like dedicated hosting, managed bandwidth, plus interactive elements. These usually come at a cost, but as long as video continues to grow in popularity within HR communications, we think they’re worth the investment. Just make sure whichever platform you choose is whitelisted by your company’s IT department first.