Harris Kalinka

Imagery + Animation Golf + Architecture

Wednesday 7th September 2016

Where to host your golf course animation

If you are planning to show your animation on the internet you will need to consider how to go about doing this. If you have a crack technical team you can host the animation yourself. However it usually makes more sense to avoid self-hosting (especially if you only have one animation) and use one of the many sites (like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia) that provide you with everything you need.

The big question is what you want to achieve. If you want people to land on your own site then YouTube might not be your best option because after clicking the link from Google and watching your animation on YouTube a user is more likely to be tempted to click on another video (by someone else) instead of going to your website or contacting you.

The great thing about using a site like YouTube is you can then simply embed the animation on your own website. The added bonus of putting the animation on your website is that Google and other search engines love video, so it will benefit your entire website.

YouTube vs Wistia

After much testing, we opted to host our animations on Wistia, because at the time of writing this it is one of the few that isn’t blocked in China (a big market for our golf work).

Unlike YouTube, Wistia is not a site users can browse, so when the animation shows up in Google, it links to the page on our website where it is embedded. To us, having a client on our website where we can immediately give them more information is more important than the number of total views a video gets. Some hosts (like YouTube) also put ads over the top of the videos, which will distract from your own content and brand. So consider this when choosing where you host.

You don’t really want to host your animation on every video site because they will start competing against each other and your rankings in search engine results pages will suffer, so it is better to be selective. If you are using a site like YouTube your video will automatically be indexed, but if you’re hosting your video on a site like Wistia then you need to take a few simple steps so Google can find your video and it appears in the listings.

If you’ve paid a lot of money for an animation you’ll want to know how it’s performed, and most video hosts will let you see just this. You can use the integrated analytics to see how many people watched the animation, and details like where in the world it was most popular. You can also go into more detail. For example, we use Wistia analytics to understand what parts of the animation people watched most, and where they stopped watching. This helps us decide on changes we can make to the animation, or learn from it and do it differently the next time. If you notice a significant drop off of viewers at a certain point then you can consider changing the animation to stop this from happening.

Wistia analytics for our latest showreel of golf course animations

The analytics from our latest showreel of golf course animations.

Some hosts will also offer the ability to capture email to grow your databse with quality leads, or issue a call to action to prompt the user what to do next. With the rise of mobile devices it is important your animation plays correctly on all devices. Most sites like YouTube and Wistia have this covered, but if you are self hosting then it is worth checking. Also make sure your animations load really fast, so people don’t have to wait and it doesn’t buffer half way through the video. If a viewer has to wait they will stop watching.

Capture emails at the end of your animation.

Capture emails at the end of your animation.

Finally, consider what the video player looks like. Unless you’re going to host the animation yourself this’ll depend on the video hosting site. Some hosts let you change the colour, the controls and the social media buttons for sharing. This is a great way for the animation to fit in with your branding.

Brand the player and controls in your own colours.

Brand the player and controls in your own colours.

In our next post we will tell you some quick fire tips for presenting your animation on your website.