Video is an increasingly vital part of your marketing mix. Are you hosting your videos directly on your website? Doing so lets you customize the player’s look to match the rest of your site, eliminate ads, control what videos are seen in a playlist and appear super sharp.
But these advantages have a cost. Video gobbles up space and bandwidth, which can mean having to buy more from your hosting provider. You can avoid those fees – plus gain other benefits – by using online video hosting services such as YouTube or Vimeo. Each of these popular, mostly free platforms has its advantages. Use a combination to get the best from each.
YouTube for Mass Sharing
Put your video on Google-owned, streaming giant YouTube when you want the world to see your stuff. Its massive audience offers more search and sharing. At last count, YouTube was pulling in 1.7 billion unique visitors and 14.3 billion total visitors a month.
YouTube has become the video hangout. To be seen, go where the eyeballs already are. This video-dedicated search engine gives you a much greater opportunity to have your video discovered organically. Search is a key YouTube activity. If you want to find a video, you turn to YouTube.
Just go in with your eyes wide open. YouTube gets crazy amounts of video uploaded each and every minute of the day. You see it all. Both in the videos posted and in the totally random, irrelevant and sometimes hateful comments they generate.
Public is the default setting when you upload a video to YouTube, but it’s easy to change the privacy settings. Private makes it viewable only by you. Unlisted lets you share it while keeping it restricted, i.e. unfindable through search. Unlisted videos won’t appear in subscribers’ feeds.
Vimeo for High Quality
Turn to the smaller (230 million monthly viewers and 1.9 million paid subscribers) Vimeo platform for quality and maximum control. A Vimeo-embedded video on your website looks better because it compresses better. Videos are larger and have less clutter around the frame. The focus is the video.
A huge plus for viewers (and as a marketer it does hurt a bit to admit this), but viewers are not forced to watch a commercial before your video launches or get distracted by a banner selling this or that. Vimeo has no ads. It lets you control whether to allow other videos to be recommended, what site can embed your video, and if the Vimeo logo appears when your video posts on another site. Note, YouTube allows you to choose whether or not to monetize your content – so if you don’t want an ad to play before your video, you can set it up not to.
Vimeo, by contrast, never puts ads before, after or on top of videos or the video player. It does have limited display advertising below the player, though, on some vimeo.com pages. There is an out, though, if you want it. Plus members and above don’t see display ads when logged in.
Vimeo’s smaller, more targeted audience tends to be genuinely interested in what you have to share. Because Vimeo serves up less fluff, viewers come for more professional content. That’s reflected in the comments, which tend to be more constructive and professional.
You can password-protect your videos and share them discriminately before going public. Simply share the link – and the password.
Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too
It takes a bit more work, but it’s worth it to upload your videos to both YouTube and Vimeo. You probably invested a tidy sum to create highly branded, professional-quality product videos. Make sure they get seen by the right people and the most people – in the best possible way.