You want to host an online event and you will be live-streaming the main content for the event. You want to have a chat for viewers and you want some analytics on who watched and when. You've seen loads of YouTube live streams but you want more branding opportunities for your event and you want it to feel "exclusive" - not just another YouTube video. If this sounds like you then building a microsite for your event might be a great idea.
As always, there will be different views / opinions, but this is based on our experiences, and those of some of our clients over the last 18 Months this is what a microsite will offer in comparison to YouTube channel:
1) A personalised / branded experience -
YouTube will always just be a YouTube channel. Branding may be restricted to only a banner Ad, whereas a microsite can fully represent the brand.
2) Viewers see what you want them to see
A microsite offers an uncluttered viewing experience – no suggested videos or content unrelated to the stream
3) Invite only and secure access events
4) Data collection at point of entry
guests register / log in, and that data is collected.
5) A customised experience
Build the features you want and don't have anything else getting in the way.
Easy integration of chat (moderated ) and polls
YouTube can do both, but quite honestly (and anecdotally) , we have been told we have the "preferred"/ easier, and more feature rich moderators dashboard. (we use slido)
6) Integrate your existing systems
Easy integration of other third party apps / RSVP systems/ APIs
8) Online support during stream.
9) No advertising on your event
YouTube updated their T+C’s earlier this year to allow advertising at any time, so it’s possible that the stream may be interrupted by some form of advertising. Whether that actually happens is debatable, but the pint is they have given themselves the right to do so.
YouTube owns the uploaded content. Confidential content could land up in the wrong / other places
10) No music limitations
YouTube restricts the music and visuals we can use and opens the door to potential copyright infringements. Our sites are entirely private and have no copyright monitoring, which allows our clients to stream the content they need to stream without any fear of copyright violations.
11) Security you can control
Our security is much more flexible. Our privacy and data processing policies are much more flexible.
Analytics – In some instances, YouTube may be better,
· Watch Time (YouTube is better )
· Audience Retention (YouTube is better)
· Demographics (equal unless every attendee has a Gmail account in which case YouTube trumps- we can also allow for social logins which would improve our demographic analytics, but typically this goes against our client's privacy policies)
· Playback Locations (equal)
· Traffic Sources and Devices (equal)
When to use YouTube
If an event only requires playback and unmoderated chat with the standard analytics, then YouTube might be the free and easy solution for you – notwithstanding the branding opportunities discussed above
When to look elsewhere
However if you want features that YouTube cannot offer, then you start looking at Microsites or other virtual eventing platforms.
Out of the box V.S custom made
Certainly buying a solution out of the box will often be cheaper than having the solution custom made. The same is true with digital experiences... Although there are a host of brilliant platforms like Remo, Hopin, Livestorm and more - it always looks the most professional when the outfit is tailored to the exact needs of the client. A microsite allows for this level of customisation that can bring a streamlined feature rich experience with customised and tailored solutions at every step of the way. Having said that, regardless of which features you wish to use on an out of the Box solution, you’re paying for them.
Our out-of-the-box solutions
Just like some of our competitors, we also have microsite solutions that require no customisation and work out of the box, but our focus is assisting brands who need a one of a kind experience to achieve their specific goals.
Finding the right solution is our job
Ultimately we will always advise the solution that makes the most sense for the event and conforms to the budget requirements, whether that be through a microsite, YouTube or otherwise.
A microsite and a YouTube cannot be compared in functionality, because the microsite will have the opportunity to exceed the YouTube channel at every point. Not only this, but a YouTube channel can be embedded into a microsite allowing full benefits of YouTube and the custom benefits of a micros site; YouTube alone will always just be YouTube alone.