Unless you’re uploading directly to social media, you’ll need to choose a platform to host your videos.
Video files are typically pretty large, meaning if you upload to your own server or directly to your website, it could slow things right down (especially if you’re not a tech guru). Without a hosting platform, video quality and appearance can also suffer.
If you try and manage it yourself, your videos are likely to result in different looks through different browsers, which can result in a poor, inconsistent experience for your audience.
Hosting your videos on a third party platform is the simplest and smartest way to take care of those issues. They ensure your video is available to viewers without any stress, and include multiple analytic features allowing you to measure, learn and improve.
Here are the big three – YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia – broken into positives, negatives and the all-important cost.
YouTube is free and easy to use. It’s also the second largest search engine, trumped only by Google, making it one of the best options for getting your videos in front of the masses.
But YouTube is certainly not a “build it and they will come” platform (unless your videos are of crazy goats or Justin Bieber). You will still need to promote your videos through your own platforms.
- Search: YouTube is the second largest search engine, helping you get found
- Reach: You can boost the reach of your videos through YouTube’s advertising platform
- Share: Videos are easy to embed on your own website, share on social sites, or integrate with many other platforms
- Analytics: To track views, likes, dislikes and comments
- Privacy: You have the capability to hide videos from public view and search
- Collaboration: You can add individual users to your business channel to help manage your account
- Focus: YouTube can be a distracting. The platform encourages procrastination by suggesting videos and engaging in comments
- Customisation: There’s minimal customisation options available although you can add buttons and links within your videos.
- Free: To upload videos and to watch, making it a great starting point
- Paid: You can promote your videos through their paid advertising platform
Vimeo is what we use here at 3Genies. It’s a creative, business and quality focused platform that includes default HD streaming and customisation.
- Focus: Attracts creative types that make high quality videos, so there’s far less noise
- Privacy: Paid plans have privacy options with password protection
- Customisation: The video player can be customised
- Collaboration: Higher tier plans allow team collaboration
- Share: It’s easy to embed videos or link them
- Analytics: Basics on the free plan, with more advanced options with the paid plans
- Search: Anecdotally, you’re less likely to see a Vimeo video in Google search results. Google owns YouTube so they have that slight advantage.
- Free: The basic plan is free, with limited storage space, analytics and support
- Paid: Paid plans start at $69.95 AUS / year, with Vimeo Pro/Business $219AUS / year being the package most suited to advice practices
Wistia is for serious videographers. They have a beautiful player that can be customised to any colour plus advanced statistics and analytics.
Wistia has the ability to add an email capture or call to action within your video as well. They also have an outstanding blog with plenty of tips on creating and using videos.
- Analytics: Advanced analytics and heat map tracking show you exactly what’s working
- Privacy: You can restrict where videos are played and how they appear on search and social
- Customisation: The player is highly customisable and offers premium features such as capturing email addresses and calls to actions
- Share: It’s easy to embed or use video links
- Search: Video SEO returns results directly to your website
- Collaboration: Additional users can be added to paid accounts
- Focus: Wistia acts only as a place to host videos, which means no distractions
- Price: It can get pretty pricey if you need to upload a lot of videos or use a lot of bandwidth
- Free: The first 5 videos are free
- Paid: Paid plans start at $100 US / month and increase from there
There’s not one best platform suited to everyone and you may end up using more than one. Wistia to host your homepage hero video, YouTube for blog videos, and Vimeo for your private client-only videos.
The great thing is, you can try them all for free before commiting. The key is to consider your needs and goals, and make a reasoned (and budgeted) decision from there.
Here’s to using video to grow your business.
Note: Pricing is accurate as of July 2016.