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Where to Place Your Videos: Optimizing On-Site vs. Off-Site Strategies

Where to Place Your Videos: Optimizing On-Site vs. Off-Site Strategies

Videos are the undisputed king of the modern marketing landscape.

Why? Because they're more engaging than static content, easy to share, and can convey your brand message in a compact format.

The best part? With the rising popularity of online trends and memes, it’s become even easier to create relatable clips and boost your online reach.

That said, you can't publish your footage on just about any channel. Instead, you must consider which videos work best on your site and which ones would fare better off-site.

In this guide, we'll cover the benefits of off-site and on-site video content. We'll also present case studies and examples to help you understand the context of both.

Finally, we'll dive into the key elements to factor in while creating your placement strategy.

Let’s break it down.

What are on-site and off-site videos?

An on-site video refers to visual media that is directly embedded in your digital property (website/app/blog). It includes content such as shoppable videos on your product pages, testimonials, and how-to guides.

Take a quick peek at the image below to understand this better. It’s a snapshot of a carousel section from Dr. Squatch's official website. The clips are a blend of user-generated reels, reviews, and product announcements.

A carousel section of on-site videos on Dr. Squatch’s website


An off-site video is the direct opposite. It's essentially branded visual content that's available on 3rd-party channels like social media sites or video-hosting platforms. A few examples here are limited edition promos, campaign teasers, and collaboration announcements.

Let's stick with Dr. Squatch to explain this. Below, you'll find a clipped image of the brand's YouTube page. It features promotional material for exclusive product lines, an announcement for a collaborative marketing campaign, and a product video packaged as DIY content.

Videos hosted on Dr. Squatch’s YouTube page-1


Now, on-site and off-site video placement come with their own set of pros and cons.

For example, on-site material offers greater control over your site content. It'll also help you customize each element of the user experience you want to deliver. That said,  since the videos are exclusively available on your website, they have limited online reach.

Off-site videos, however, can help you leverage platform-specific algorithms to expand your potential audience. Still, there’s no definitive way to measure the traffic they bring. This can make it challenging to track conversions and overall product growth from such channels.

Why should you consider on-site video content?

On-site videos help marketers deliver an enhanced user experience, exercise better control over product presentation, and more.

Below, we've elaborated on three specific advantages of leveraging such content. You'll also find a case study highlighting the benefits of embedding videos on your pages.

1. Greater control over product presentation and site content

It can sometimes be difficult for the average user to comprehend product information through text blocks. On-site videos can help you condense this data into easily understandable segments.

Take landing pages as an example. Instead of presenting product features through massive text walls, you can embed three videos that run for 1-2 minutes.

The first clip can explain who your product caters to and its advantages. The second video can cover use cases and unique features. Finally, the last bit of footage can include testimonials from your existing clients.

Research suggests that 88% of marketers believe videos have helped improve user understanding of their products and services. So, if you do this right, you can position your embedded content to directly influence purchasing decisions.

Percentage of marketers who believe videos help improve user comprehension


2. Improve website SEO and drive desirable user actions

Roughly 91% of marketers claim that on-site video content boosts page traffic. And the reasoning behind this is simple. When you embed optimized visual media on your website, you allow search engines to index your pages better.

For example, including popular keywords in your video’s description, tags, and transcripts can boost its search engine crawlability. That results in higher SERP rankings, which, in turn, leads to more clicks.

Once site visitors land on a page and interact with the embedded content, you can guide them toward a desirable action.

So, say a user watches a product highlight video from your ‘Solutions’ tab. You can include an annotation link, an email capture form, or a simple CTA in the content to direct them further down the funnel. 

3. Enhance the user experience and boost dwell time

In the current marketing landscape, it’s critical to deliver a seamless digital experience to your visitors. And that’s precisely what an on-site video can help you with. For instance, you can host a shoppable product video on one of your pages.

That way, viewers can purchase the product directly from the player if they find the clip compelling. This streamlines the shopping process and eliminates unnecessary steps, such as filtering through multiple categories or searching for the relevant item.

In other words, you retain more site visitors and build better engagement when you embed videos on your website. That’s more time spent learning about your products, browsing your offerings, and, possibly, making purchases.

Case study: Tushbaby’s on-site shoppable video content

Tushbaby is an eCommerce brand specializing in baby carriers, strap-on packs, and other accessories. Its website perfectly demonstrates how on-site videos can help push product information, ease the online shopping experience, and present social proof.

For instance, Tushbaby incorporated shoppable videos on its product pages. The clips are a mix of how-to guides and direct promotional material for other related items.

Embedded clips on Tushbaby’s product pages

Image source

The website also hosts shoppable testimonials. The footage features real-life experiences from happy customers to build trust and credibility for the brand’s products. Each reel also has an ‘add to cart’ prompt to refine the user’s buying experience.

Shoppable testimonials on Tushbaby’s website

Image source

Finally, Tushbaby has an entire section dedicated to instructional content to educate potential customers. These clips also present an excellent opportunity for the brand to highlight the unique features of its products and differentiate itself from its competitors.

Instructional videos on Tushbaby’s website

Image source

What are the advantages of off-site video placement?

Off-site videos can help you expand your online reach and leverage social sharing to access a broader audience. Similar to the previous section, we’ve elaborated on how these benefits play out with an example to help you reference it better.

1. Access to a larger, diverse audience

When you host or upload videos on 3rd-party channels, you position your content in front of a larger audience.

Take YouTube as an example. As of April 2024, the video-sharing platform has roughly 2.5 billion monthly active users. Instagram also hit the 2 billion mark, while TikTok sat at just over 1.5 billion.

Popular social media sites, ranked by number of monthly active usersSource

So, what does all of this mean? It’s simple: Off-site videos can potentially give you access to a wider audience pool.

The key word here, though, is 'potentially'. In short, you can't definitively track the value they bring to your pages. Sure, you can look at the overall view count for a rough estimate. However, that still won't tell you the exact conversion rate from video-engaged users or the ROI from specific clips.

That said, off-site video content is still one of the most effective ways to grow your audience base and raise product awareness across diverse market groups.

2. Integrated platform-specific tools to boost online visibility

Most 3rd-party sites have internal algorithms to suggest your content to users.

For example, YouTube makes distinct recommendations based on the viewer's watch history and interests. Meanwhile, TikTok analyzes user signals such as comments, likes, and time spent on clips to determine the reels it places on the 'For You' page.

Simply put, off-site videos can help boost your online visibility without much effort.

However, this doesn't mean any footage you publish will automatically generate increased online interest. You must still optimize your content with the relevant hashtags, descriptions, and titles.

The only difference is that you won’t actively have to pursue user engagement. The platform-specific algorithms will do it for you.

3. Enhanced social sharing and viral potential

Reports indicate that 92% of people who watch videos on mobile devices send the clips to others. This is partly due to how 3rd-party sites, like Instagram and TikTok, facilitate social sharing and push related content to specific users.

Now, think about this in the context of an off-site video.

So, say you created a video around a particular online trend or meme. The site will automatically recommend that reel to viewers who have previously expressed an interest in that trend or meme. And if the footage is relatable enough, users will share it with their network.

The same goes for influencer collaborations. So, even if the influencer’s core audience doesn’t fit your target demographic, they’ll still watch and share your content based solely on the fact that they follow the creator.

Informative and entertaining videos have the highest potential for user engagement and social sharing

Image source

Case study: Drools and its strategic regional approach

Drools is a pet food brand based out of India. While it's one of the leading exporters of pet food in the country, it still has a modest Instagram following (65.8K).

To counter this, Drools created an off-site marketing strategy that relies on using well-known regional figures to build audience awareness.

Take a look at their partnership with Larissa Bonessi, an actress with 620K followers. The collaboration leverages Bonessi's social media popularity to boost the brand's online visibility. The post below generated over 800K likes, which is a bit over 13x of Drools' followers.

A similar post featuring Bonessi did just as well, collecting over 400K likes. However, this one follows a different format and is presented as BTS-style footage.

Put simply, Drools built its off-site video strategy on the back of influencer/celebrity collaborations. More importantly, it strategically picked partners with a sizable online audience to help it penetrate the market.

How to choose the right platform for your videos

There are three primary factors to consider when conceptualizing your off-site and on-site video placement strategy. They are as follows:

  • Target audience: Demographics play a critical role in determining video placement. So, if you primarily cater to a younger customer base, 3rd-party platforms will be the ideal channel to share your clips. However, if you’re targeting B2B executives or corporations, it’d be best to prioritize on-site media content.

  • Marketing goals: Are you promoting your product to customers who are already partial to your brand? If so, embedding clips on your pages will work just fine. However, if you want to access a new market group, leveraging social media and video-sharing platforms will be your best bet.

  • Content type: The kind of videos you create will determine their placement. For instance, you want to upload a product announcement clip on a 3rd-party site to ensure maximum engagement. A product highlight video, though, would be better off on your product pages since they are typically designed as MoFU content.

Beyond that, you also have to factor in platform specifics. For example, YouTube would be the ideal channel for a 5-7 minute-long explainer video since it favors long-form content.

Meanwhile, TikTok and Instagram would be better suited for 30-second reels. This can include product teasers, campaign promos, or contest announcements.

You can also partner with a dedicated eCommerce visual platform, like Videowise, to leverage both formats effectively. That would allow you to convert a product promo into shoppable video content.

The result? Now, you aren’t just marketing your offering. You’re also facilitating a seamless shopping experience with the same clip. Your on-site would benefit too—embed user-generated content to build social proof, create shoppable clips for better upselling/cross-selling opportunities, and more.

Build an optimized on-site and off-site video placement strategy

From benefits and placement to specific case studies, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about off-site and on-site video content.

However, the best way to go about this would be to accommodate both in your overall marketing strategy. That would enable you to compensate for the shortcomings of one format with the advantages of the other.

Above all, don’t be afraid to experiment. Prioritize off-site videos for a week and compare the engagement with your on-site media. You can even leverage social media clips to build your on-site catalog. Mix and match till you get consistent results.

Still, if you need more ideas here, dive into the success stories of leading eCommerce brands who did the same.