Video content is fundamental to marketing success, and continues to grow in popularity.
According to HubSpot’s latest data, 85% of businesses use video content in their marketing campaigns, and 92% of marketers who use video say that it is critical to their strategy. A striking 88% of those video marketers report a positive ROI from video content marketing.
Video is more engaging, more memorable, and more valuable than any other content format currently available. Marketers in every industry are increasingly relying on video content to broadcast compelling, branded messaging in a variety of forms, such as:
- Sales presentations
- Customer testimonials
- Live streams
- Product presentations
- Live streams, and more.
For the vast majority of professional video content creators, YouTube is the platform of choice. It’s 73.58% market share places it leagues ahead of every competitor, so if you’re making and embedding videos online in 2020, you are probably using YouTube to do it.
YouTube makes it easy to embed video content directly onto your site. However, professional marketers who want to use video content in a website banner or integrate a video into a unique user experience often run into trouble. YouTube does not make it easy to hide its player’s controls and branding imagery.
How to remove YouTube controls and brand imagery from embedded videos
If you are trying to embed a YouTube video as a banner, you won’t want to see YouTube branding or a giant play button in the middle of your website. You also might not want users to see the YouTube logo in the control bar, or encounter unrelated videos showing up after your content finishes playing.
This can be done by tweaking bits of the embed code that YouTube gives you. You can safely change these parameters without any HTML experience, and add new parameters using this simple guide.
First, we’ll cover the parameters themselves and what they do. Then we’ll show you how to insert them in a YouTube video embed link. Here are the parameters you’ll need to use to remove YouTube branding and controls from embedded videos:
This removes the controls at the bottom of the video.
This removes the YouTube logo in the control bar. If you also use the “controls=0” parameter, users will still see “YouTube” in the bottom right corner where the controls usually are.
Once the initial video finishes, this makes the player only show related videos from the same channel. Without it, YouTube will display relevant, public videos to users according to its own algorithms.
This makes the video start playing as soon as the user accesses your website.
This makes the video replay automatically when it finishes.
How to use URL parameters to embed YouTube videos without controls or branding
Copy the YouTube video URL and paste it into your editor
As long as you’re using a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor like WordPress’ Gutenberg, pasting the video URL directly into the text will create the embedded video. We’re going to change small bits of that code and add new commands to it in order to remove YouTube’s controls and logo from the embedded video.
Look for the video URL in the embed code
This part is going to look like “src=http://www.youtube.com/…”. There will be a “?” at the end of that URL, followed by various parameters. This is where you will add your custom parameters. After each one, you will use the semicolon to type in new parameters.
Here is an example from YouTube’s longstanding #1 most-viewed video, Despacito:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kJQP7kiw5Fk?frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Add the desired parameters directly into the code
Here is the same YouTube embedding code, but with the controls removed, modest branding enabled, and autoplay turned on:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kJQP7kiw5Fk?controls=0” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; modestbranding; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Since this is HTML code, you will want to make sure your editor is set to Text, not Visual. It might seem backwards, but in WordPress, for example, the Visual tab will not render your HTML code properly – only the Text tab will.
But I still see YouTube branding on the player!
YouTube doesn’t allow users to embed videos without any branding whatsoever. That’s why the parameter it offers is called “modestbranding” instead of “nobranding”.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the challenges of embedding YouTube videos onto business websites and corporate marketing campaigns. YouTube’s entire profit model is based on getting people to spend as much time as possible on the Youtube.com domain. It is not going to give away its video embedding service without trying to lure users onto its own website.
This means that every YouTube video you embed puts users one click away from leaving your website entirely. After going from video to video, it’s unlikely users will even remember the website they started from!
Beyond that, YouTube is happy to collect and analyze user data to inform its marketing initiatives, but it won’t share that information with you. Professional marketers need that data to improve their video marketing campaigns – you need to know who is watching your videos, what kinds of devices they use to watch them, and how much of each video is being watched.
This is something that YouTube, as a video marketing platform, simply doesn’t do.
Switch to a business-focused video hosting platform and start acting on user Data
Professional marketers already know that collecting and analyzing user data is critical when it comes to content marketing. This doesn’t change when it comes to video content.
There is a good reason why most corporate and business marketers avoid embedding YouTube videos directly on their websites. They use business-oriented video hosting and management platforms that empower their video marketing initiatives by gathering data on their users’ interactions with video content.
Purpose-built video hosting platforms let marketers gather insight into individual viewers’ interactions with their content, on a video-by-video basis. This lets them build powerful, automated marketing systems that hugely improve the ROI of video content creation compared to simply embedding YouTube videos without showing controls – there is so much more that you can be doing.