Pausing for a moment from our Online Business Revival series to talk about video. Video is key to many online marketing ventures. While video sharing sites like YouTube can be a great traffic asset, and rank booster for your SEO, there are cases where you need more control, and it makes more sense to host videos yourself. This is where Easy Video Player comes in. In this post I’ll share an overview of the features as well as features from the latest update, what I like about it and a “heads up” if you are thinking of purchasing the software.
Hosting your own videos gives you control of the user experience, and gives you as a marketers more information as to the success of a particular video. After looking at several possibilities over a year ago, I finally decide on Easy Video Player. While no software is perfect, Josh Bartlett and his team have done a great job with this software.
Overview of Easy Video Player Features
The product offers a lot more than I expected for a video player. I won’t break them down in detail, just give you a few bullets (complete details here):
- Removes the tech challenges of hosting video with Amazon S3.
- Support for HTML5 for play on iPads, iPhones, and other HTML 5 viewers.
- Place a “Buy Now” button right on a video.
- Add opt in forms as an overlay to a video.
- Clickable overlay buttons on a video.
- Timed content display, buttons, text, etc., right below a video.
- Split test videos to determine which video is most responded to by visitors.
- Ability to create a whole webpage for a video, not just an embed code.
- Auto-redirect to webpage (shopping cart) after video finishes playing.
- Self host video file, or integrate with Amazon S3 or Cloudfront
- Reporting dashboard on video plays and sales performance
- Password protect videos
- WordPress plugin for easy video publishing on WordPress blogs
Latest Enhancements to Easy Video Player
Josh and the folks at Easy Video Creator published a free update (2.1) for customers with 4 primary enhancements.
1- Import Videos
You can now import videos found on other websites, or direct links to video files. I did this with a YouTube video, and found it uses the video from YouTube, so there are no additional hosting costs involved.
By bringing it into Easy Video Player, users can then customize the video with an overlay, buy button, opt in form, etc. as well as the social sharing features.
This could be great for affiliate marketers who want to host a product video, etc.
Of course, this is something you should do with caution as you need to get the publishers permission to use the video. Learn about purchase options here.
2 – Improved Social Sharing
Facebook sharing on rollover. When enabled there is a “share this Video” icon in the top left. Click it, and a Facebook share popup appears for visitors to login and share on Facebook. Here’s a screenshot:
3 – Password protection of videos
If you have members only content, you can flag a video with “Exclusivity”, and password protect a video. Beyond that you can set a timescale. Timescale allows you to specify the period of time for the protection. If you are going to give a prelaunch video to your subscribers only, they get the password, and everyone else does not. it also has a cookie feature, allowing you to determine if they are prompted for password on refresh.
Password protection also let’s users configure background and font colors.
Learn more about Easy Video Player here.
4 – User Management
Create accounts for admins, virtual assistant, and outsource staff.
- Administrators can access any part of EasyVideoPlayer 2, including settings and user management.
- Managers can access everything except for settings and user management.
- Clients can upload, delete and view the statistics of any video in their assigned folders. Split tests aren’t available to clients.
- Simple clients can only view the statistics for the videos in their assigned folders. Split tests aren’t available to clients.
What I Like About Easy Video Player
True to it’s name. I find it easy to use. Instructions on both the install and upgrade are straightforward, if you are familiar with FTP.
Flexible. I enjoy all the features, and the recent enhancements gives users more control, with familiar sharing options for viewers.
Split-Testing. This has to be my favorite feature overall. The ability to configure multiple videos for testing, and tracking call to actions is huge. Combine this with the overlays like buy now, and opt in forms, and you have a powerful combination. See if it’s for you…
Conversion Tracking. Slightly different, you can specify whether you’d like to track sales on a video, so if they take the call to action, and purchase, what % of those who watched, purchased. This, of course, can be combined with the split-testing for a 1-2 punch.
Quick “Heads Up” On Easy Video Player
Two items here.
File Hosting: While it does interface with the most popular file sharing/hosting service, Amazon S3, it does not tie in with the Rackspace Cloudfiles service. When asked about it a while back, they indicated that it was on the list, but wasn’t a high priority for customers.
I like Cloudfiles service because I found them outperforming Amazon S3, and they were slightly less expensive (although either service is very affordable for most).
You also have the option to host them on your own hosting account.
Reporting Dashboard: While I like the dashboard, it gives useful information, however none of the measurements, or counts are clickable. I wanted to know the videos that are being embedded per the dashboard, and where, but with none of it clickable, I wasn’t able to find that out. Here is a dashboard from another site I manage.
Small point, but worth mentioning. If you are going to present reporting data, it would be great to have the option to dive a bit deeper, and remove any guesswork. Perhaps that is coming in a future version. Details here.
Pricing for Easy Video Player
At the time of this writing, Easy Video Player costs $127. When clicking through to buy, you may be presented with the option to purchase the commercial licnese, which strips all branding, and let’s customers use EVP for their clients videos. The video indicates that they are selling limited quantities of this commercial license, which at the moment is an additional $77. More details here.
Bottom-line on Easy Video Player
This is the best option I know of when it comes to self-hosted video players. I like the control it gives you (split testing), and the flexibility to support nearly any video marketing strategy. If you can handle the hosting options and the limitations of the reporting dashboard, this is the video player you want to get. Learn more about pricing and Easy Video Player purchase options here.
Your Thoughts? Chime in Below