How do you know if you’re really getting your moneys’ worth from your online videos? It seems like it should be a simple equation: make a cool video, get people to watch it, and watch the traffic and sales flood in from all the shares and likes.

In reality, you have to be using every single trick in your arsenal to succeed with online video, and that starts from the very beginning: with your online video hosting provider, and the tools they provide to help along the way. Here’s how to ensure you’re getting the most out of your business’ video hosting account

Upload Ultra-HD Video

Make a great first impression by giving your viewers the option to watch your videos in crystal clear HD. SproutVideo now supports video playback in HD formats, all the way from 720p and 1080p to 4K and 8K. Within the player, viewers can choose whichever resolution they prefer, or allow the player to automatically adjust playback according to their internet connection speed.

By giving viewers more options, you’re providing a more accommodating viewing experience, while ensuring your content looks amazing.

Use Different Types of Embed Codes Creatively

If you’re just copying the basic embed code in your account, you might want to explore alternatives depending on where you are publishing your videos.

Don’t get me wrong, the basic embed code is perfectly fine, but you might want to jazz it up a little with custom colors, or by making it responsive, or setting it to autoplay or loop, especially if it’s in a prominent position on your homepage.

Note that you can now set the volume for a video by using a custom embed code parameter, which is especially handy for autoplaying video because it helps ensure site visitors won’t be put off by loud audio upon loading your site.

If you’re planning to email a link to your video to your subscribers, don’t just use boring plain text. Grab the email embed code we offer to place an image with a play button on it in your campaign, that will not only link to the landing page of your choice, but will also automatically pass the viewers’ email address to our platform, so you’ll know exactly who watched your video in your engagement metrics. Did we mention video in email campaigns has been shown to increase click-through-rates dramatically?

In another scenario, you might only have room for a relatively small video player on your website. Rather than make viewers squint, or go full screen just to get the details, why not use a lightbox embed code instead?

A lightbox embed code places an image with a play button on your website, that when clicked, launches a popup overlay containing your video. The image and the embed code are both responsive, and the video will autoplay so your viewer doesn’t have to click twice. This is yet another viewer-friendly way to present your video that can enhance the functionality of your site.

Perfect Your Video Website or Landing Pages

What if you’re not remotely techie, or don’t have a website yet? Never fear, you can take advantage of the highly customizable video landing pages and websites we offer to share your videos with your viewers. They really couldn’t be easier to create – you can be up and running with a customized video website in a matter of minutes.

Video websites and landing pages are dynamically generated with your video content according to your video privacy settings, and any customizations you made to the theme you selected. The major advantage here is that you don’t need to be an expert designer or coder to make a beautiful, unique website.

In general, we recommend changing the default colors, adding a logo and a favicon, and potentially taking advantage of the two custom pages at your disposal. By default, they are “About” and “Contact,” but you can use them however you’d like.

Another great tip is to integrate Google Analytics with your video website so you can track your traffic and watch it grow. This has the added benefit of informing your video marketing strategy, and letting you see in real-time how your website visitors are navigating and using your video website.

Customizing the pages containing your videos will help you stand out, and also consistently reinforces your branding, both of which are very important for a stellar web presence.

Generate Leads With Your Videos

That’s all well and good for feature recommendations and getting your videos to look fantastic on the page, but what about the bottom line?

For making that almighty dollar, you’ll want to leverage your video content for lead generation. We’ve covered different ways of doing that pretty extensively in the past, but the main ways you can leverage the SproutVideo hosting platform for lead generation is to require an email address to view a video, or to setup a custom post play screen. These options work whether you are embedding your videos or using the landing pages or video websites we provide.

If you’re requiring an email address to view, you can link your SproutVideo account with one of our supported marketing platform integrations, and send leads directly to the platform of your choice. You can then setup automated campaigns (depending on the platform you’re using) or regular email campaigns with special offers to help nurture the lead.

If a post play screen seems like the way to go instead, check out these four ideas for using post play screens to your advantage.

Leverage Data to See What’s Working

Within your SproutVideo account, you have access to powerful reporting about the performance of your videos. You can use this data to understand which of your videos are the most popular, where in the world your viewers are located, how many people are viewing your videos, and the webpages where your videos are located when they’re being watched.

You can use this information to determine what languages you might want to add for subtitles, the timing of your customer support hours, or to identify which videos might need improving, or which can be archived.

To go even further, you can use your video engagement metrics to see not only who exactly is watching your videos, but also their device, IP address, and precisely how much of your video they watched, rewatched or skipped. For tips on maximizing your video engagement data, read this recent blog post about how you can use these metrics to optimize your videos for viewer engagement.

Refer Friends to Earn Account Credit

If lead generation isn’t possible based on the type of video you are working with, you can still help your balance sheet, and your friends, by referring them to SproutVideo. Each successful referral earns you $25 in account credit, while your friend will also get a tidy $25 off their first month of video hosting services. Pretty sweet deal, right?

Do you have any questions about optimizing your SproutVideo account? Or maybe tips for any newbies? Please share in the comments below!