Today, it’s possible to create incredible video marketing content and put it out into the world in an incredibly short space of time.
The internet and multiple platforms online provide a way for your content to have an expansive reach, but, ensuring that the content reaches the end-user and delivers the best experience is a vital part of the process.
It isn’t enough to create great content and simply put it online, it needs to reach the viewer in the best quality with minimum to virtually no delays. People’s attention spans are dwindling, and if they do happen to find your video content, it needs to load promptly.
Buffering, lagging, freezing or grainy and pixelated images are increasing likely to deter a customer from watching the content you worked so hard to create in the first place. You need to find the best video content delivery system to make sure your videos don’t fall behind.
What Does This Mean for My Video Content?
A 2015 study by Microsoft and circulated by Time magazine found that people’s attention spans had decreased from 12 seconds on average in 2000 to just 8 seconds, shorter than that of the common goldfish.
Of even greater concern, people using social media sites like Facebook only spend an average of 2.5 seconds on any one piece of content on the platform while using a desktop. This figure falls to a mere 1.7 seconds for mobile users.
With the window of opportunity rapidly shrinking, you need to make sure your content gets the chance to be seen at all, and this is where CDNs come in.
What Is a CDN?
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a large network of servers that transport media files, such as video, images, and audio.
It relies on the servers being spread out over a massive distance to provide end-users with less buffering and lagging, and more reliable loading of content.
CDNs are used by streaming services and other media-heavy websites to prevent web traffic from overloading a single server and backing up the service or crashing the site. By having the media files stored at these waypoints, the data can get to the user faster and to a much higher standard.
The best CDNs will mean that your content will get to the viewer in a seamless way on any device, in any location because of the sheer number of servers they have located around the globe.
How Do CDNs Work?
Imagine a CDN as something similar to an Amazon fulfillment center. When you place an order on Amazon, the information gets delivered to the closest fulfillment center.
The Inventory at that location is quickly analyzed to see whether the right product is there or not and if it is, it goes straight to you from your closest center, if not, it will come from the closest center after that which has the right product, back through the nearest fulfillment center and straight to your door.
A CDN does a very similar job in order to act as a video content delivery system, delivering the content straight to your device or getting it directly from the nearest server with the correct cache of files.
It also implements other methods in order to speed up the process, such as resizing video dimensions, optimizing the video compression, and identifying and using the best video format for the device where the content is playing.
All of these factors combine together to make video buffering and loading as minimal as possible, improving the user experience and capturing their attention in those vital first seconds.
What Are the Benefits of Using a CDN?
There are three primary benefits to utilizing a CDN for your video content delivery needs. The obvious reduction in wait times and the ability to improve the reception of your content go without saying, but the biggest selling points for using content delivery networks are scalability, quality, and reliability.
Scaling business upwards is often one of the most significant challenges for business owners. Too fast and things burn out, your site may crash and you’ll have a lot of unhappy customers who can’t even access what it is you are offering in the first place.
Too slow and the business stagnates and potentially shrivels into irrelevance. With CDNs, you can enjoy going viral and having a larger audience instead of dreading that the servers can’t hold it together.
Delivering quality comes with a lot of difficulties to implement and adjust factors that change depending on every user and device, with the right CDNs, this is automatically taken care of ensuring that the user gets the best experience possible every time.
Reliability is assured with a CDN, as they add greater security to your content, providing additional layers of protection to prevent unforeseen circumstances from blocking your progress.
You won’t need to worry about servers getting overloaded or a server going down because the load is shared between a massive network, all working together to support you and your customers as best as possible.
What to Look For in a CDN
There are a lot of different CDNs out there, and many of them are tailored for specific services or clients.
Finding the best content delivery network for your video content delivery system is a priority, so we compiled a list of some of the most important things to look for when trying to find the CDN that’s right for you.
The Number of Servers in the Network
When it comes to the top CDNs, numbers count. The more servers available to deliver your content, the better.
If someone wants to access your content in a location that isn’t an exceptionally high priority, and you don’t have a server with the right files to make the experience smooth, you may lose them.
Having an abundance of servers means there are more locations with the files they need and will reduce total loading times.
Geographic Distribution of the Servers
Similar to the last point but in many ways, even more important. Making your content accessible globally requires you to have servers spread out internationally.
A visitor in Australia shouldn’t suffer because they aren’t as centrally located as someone in the US and with a truly global CDN provider, they won’t.
This is an important metric for understanding how well your content is being received and enjoyed.
Of course, loading times will vary from place to place, with more remote locations struggling to match speeds with more urban areas, but looking at the average performance and loading times will give you an excellent overview of what your viewers can expect.
Live Streaming Features
Social media, streaming giants, and virtual meeting spaces all have one thing in common, they rely on live streaming to deliver content to their users.
Live streaming is surging in popularity, and it isn’t going anywhere soon as people grow with online connectivity to almost anyone in the world bringing us all closer.
Businesses and brands are constantly making use of live streaming features in the day-to-day operations of their work and outreach efforts to ensure they connect to their audience.
Will you need specific additional features to match your business needs and guarantee that you’re operating to the highest standards possible? If so, make note of the features you need and check these against the CDN providers you research.
This is vital! With hacking and other acts of virtual criminality also a growing market, you need to protect your systems and your clients from unsavory experiences.
Many CDNs come with integrated security features to protect you and your customers from being exposed online and divulging private or personal data. Consider your business needs here and how best to protect your clients.
The last point in this brief list of things that need to be considered when finding the right CDN is reporting.
Without effective tracking and recording of the services provided to you and how they are received on the customer’s end, it becomes much harder to recognize progress and growth.
Accurate, extensive reporting allows you to work to specific KPIs (Key Progress Indicators) and keep on growing your business.
What Video Content Delivery System Is Right for Me?
There are a wealth of different options out there to choose from, and it can be overwhelming with so many options to the point that you might be inclined to just go with whatever pops up first, but trust us, you will want to look around a little to discover the best content delivery options for you.
Take your time to read over this article and really get a clear idea of what you need and want to help your business achieve its full potential.
What Else Can I Look at to Help Me Choose?
There are plenty of other articles that go into detail about specific CDNs and weigh up the pros and cons of each. If you are seriously considering using a CDN for your business to help provide the best video content delivery system, have a quick look and compare the available services out there.
Alternatively, if you would like to explore more tech topics and find other ways to improve your online presence, why not look at some of our other blog posts?
Gregory Silvano is the founder and CEO of the Mojo eCommerce platform boasting the highest conversion rates in the industry. When not dreaming up new ways to improve conversion rates, Greg is probably reading yet another marketing book.