So, using our helpful recording tips, you’ve created what you think is a great video highlighting how great your restaurant is. But now the question becomes not “How do I make a video?” but “What do I do with my video?”
What is Video Hosting?
The first big question, of course, is where to put the video you just shot (and maybe edited) so that people can actually watch it. “Hosting” a video means you’ll directly upload your file to a video platform and then can put the link — or the video itself — on a page of your site. Publishing that link is also called “embedding.”
Some people think, “Well, I’ll just host my video myself on my own website and cut out the middle man!” That way you get all the benefits without having to deal with any social media platform or website you don’t own. Sounds like a great idea, right?
Well, that certainly is an option, but might not be an advisable one. Directly hosting a video takes up a lot of your website’s bandwidth (making it go very slowly), fills up your storage space (which you are likely paying for), and can involve complicated coding and video conversion. There are a few benefits to self-hosting — in particular, videos you host yourself could help boost your search rankings a little bit — but if you’re new to video or website development, it could get tricky. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, hosting your restaurant’s promotional video somewhere else is probably the better option.
Video Hosting Platforms
The good news is that there are several free hosting platforms for video creators. The trick is knowing which one to choose for your restaurant’s video.
For instance, Vimeo is more of a niche hosting site for users whose main product is videos. It caters primarily to those who create video for entertainment value and require higher resolution output. It’s a good platform for short films and comedy sketches, but not necessarily for restaurant commercials.
Facebook now has video hosting options and their videos can be easily embedded onto other sites. However, it’s still probably only a beneficial choice if your restaurant already has a strong following on Facebook that will want to engage with the video on that site. These videos do auto-play if loaded directly (or through Instagram), but not if linked through YouTube.
In fact, Facebook dings users that choose YouTube links over directly loaded video by making the image a thumbnail with the title and video description next to it, rather than the image as the full width of the post and the video title/description below. Either way, your hard work developing video content is now surrounded by thousands of other posts and visual content that can easily take your viewer off-task.
Instagram also has video options, and in fact, Facebook has teamed up with them to include Instagram videos in Facebook business ads. They’ve only just recently extended their videos to 60 seconds maximum. It’s always great to keep your promotional material succinct, but depending on what kind of video you want to make for your restaurant, it might not work for that platform. Instagram videos also don’t autoplay sound, so you need to be aware of that extra step a viewer needs to take before getting the full experience.
It’s all about YouTube.
When it comes to restaurant marketing, YouTube is probably going to be your best option. It’s one of the biggest video sites on the Internet, they are integrated fully into Google search, they have a fairly simple uploading process, and the videos are very easy to embed onto other sites. It’s a great option for small businesses in niche groups who aren’t as concerned about high view counts and more concerned about having a secure place to host their videos. Embedded YouTube videos also don’t autoplay, meaning that if someone opens your site they won’t be spooked by audio playing out of nowhere (a major turn-off for many people).
A few more things to keep in mind after you’ve uploaded the video to YouTube:
Embed it on your website. As mentioned above, you can fairly easily display your video on your website without actually hosting it yourself. In fact, YouTube makes it super easy for anyone to embed any video by using the shortcode (click “Share,” then “Embed”) located right underneath the playing video. Just make sure whichever page you put it on makes sense. If it’s a video about your restaurant’s origin, put it on the About Us page. If it’s focused on the food, put it on a Menu page. If it’s a general commercial for the restaurant, it could go your home page.
Include a YouTube description. YouTube allows you to include some information in a description right below your video. It’s very important that you include your restaurant’s name, address, website address, and any other key information about your business. You want people who find your video through Google or YouTube’s inner search engine to be encouraged to take a next step, whether that’s calling for a reservation or visiting your website. The only trick is that you’ll need to make the links in your description clickable. Don’t rely on viewers to copy and paste addresses into their browser!
Also, using keywords like your restaurant’s name and type of cuisine in this description will help the video’s SEO — or search engine optimization (a factor in how Google ranks links on their search engine). Viewers in your target area and demographic will then more easily find your video — and you — when using a search engine like Google.
Don’t forget to promote!
Make sure to tweet a link to your video, post about it on Facebook, and mention it on any other social media platform you use. And don’t be afraid to post it more than once. Not everyone sees every post you make. And if you’ve already embedded it onto your website, you can promote your webpage link with the embedded video so that your followers will go directly to your website. You’ll then be getting both the SEO advantage YouTube brings and direct traffic to your own spot on the Internet.
Want some great tips on Google Analytics and SEO for your restaurant website?