Choosing Your Video Platform

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The rumors are true…YouTube is not the only video marketing platform available to the public. Big names such as YouTube and Vimeo are by far the most search-friendly platforms, offering your audience a chance to get to know you through little more than a quick search and the press of a button. Facebook, new to the video game, has the largest audience of all, but no search functionality. Other platforms, such as Wistia, offer complete customization and varying embed options, as well as third party integration and superior traffic charting. The list goes on; there are dozens of alternative video platforms that will all offer a port in the storm to your wayward video content. But for now, let’s take a comprehensive look at these major players, and evaluate which one best suits the content you are looking to distribute.

 

 

Youtube Icon Purple

 

PROS:

  • It’s 100% Free
  • Audience is There and Waiting
  • 2nd-Largest Search Engine

CONS: 

  • Ads on your Content
  • Weighted Towards the Big Brands
  • No Credit for Video Traffic on your Website

 

Despite the surge in video traffic elsewhere, YouTube is still (arguably) the first name that pops into your head when you’re discussing video hosting. In addition to the immediate benefit of being able to upload content for free, the global YouTube audience has been built over the course of a decade, and their powerful search engine makes it easy for your potential “fish” to find your content hook, as long as you know those clients well enough to use the correct bait. The largest shortcoming of YouTube, however, is that there are quite a number of undesirable fish, and quite a few competitive fishermen. In order to triumph, you have to offer the best deal, the best product or service, and/or present in the most relatable way. When a fishing spot becomes popular, it tends to quickly capitalize on its popularity, even if doing so makes it more difficult to fish there. YouTube is great for large brands who simply wish to push brand awareness or a “one size fits all” video campaign, but for smaller brands looking to build a more targeted audience, this venue may be too broad and too self-motivated to do any real good.

 

 

Vimeo Circle Icon

 

 

PROS:

  • Tailored for Artistry and Photography
  •  It’s 50% Free
  • Reputable for Higher-Quality Video Content
  • No Ads

CONS: 

  • Tailored for Artistry and Photography
  • No Credit for Video Traffic on your Website

 

Too often Vimeo is referred to as an “alternative to viral video platforms”. While it can be good to distance your own video content from that of the industry giants or the daily vloggers on YouTube, Vimeo is moving with the current; not against it. Vimeo was actually one of the first platforms to pursue viral video functionality. To combat the steep rise of YouTube, Vimeo has recently retooled and geared itself towards the more artistic video creators, who find the less-noisy interface and ad-free videos to be a better environment for narrative video content. If you’re a creative storyteller looking to share your art with a very specific audience, this could be your ideal lake to fish in. However, Vimeo is not as open-world as YouTube, and certain premium functions, such as extended video duration, privacy settings, and sales and conversions are pay-to-play.

 

 

Facebook Circle Icon

PROS:

• No Ads
• Targeted
• 100% Free
• Auto-playing Videos

CONS:

• No Search Functionality
• No Credit for Video Traffic on your Website

 

At this point a well-publicized statistic, Facebook has taken the lead on video views over both YouTube and Video…totaling over 4 billion views across all platform videos. To quote Matthew Broderick in Godzilla, “That’s a lot of fish.” Facebook also allows you to target your audience very specifically, and share your content only with those who fit your customer profile. But what view count is worth to you will determine whether or not Facebook is your preferred fishing spot. With no video search functionality, there’s no way to seek out a video or even a type of video. Facebook’s video model is tailored to build audience and brand awareness, not to facilitate conversion. In other words, you can put exactly the right bait on the hook, and lure exactly the right fish to the hook….but you may have a tough time actually reeling that fish in.

 

 

Wistia Orange Circle

PROS:

• Full SEO credit
• Full Customization
• No Ads
• Full Analytics

CONS:

• Pay-to-Play
• No Search Functionality

 

Explainify said it best:  Prospective Customers come to your Website, not to your YouTube channel. If you’re looking to communicate privately with a qualified audience, customize and control the viewing experience, and get the full array of Search Engine Optimization benefits for hosting a video on your own website, then you’ll want a video host that can facilitate a more private and customized interaction. Wistia is the go-to here, offering everything a business needs to convert leads through video interactions. You can even gate your video content- that is, require an email address submission in order to continue the viewing experience- to start reeling the prospects in before they’ve even finished watching the video. Mind you, Wistia is not a social hub; only your first 50 videos are uploaded for free, and none of these videos are public access. If you are looking to begin a more aggressive video campaign, you’ll either have to purchase a premium plan or find another platform. For smaller businesses and more targeted campaigns, however, 50 videos is more than enough to build your audience and facilitate conversion.

 

 

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Each of these platforms is unique, and each can be used to achieve a unique goal. But businesses rarely limit themselves to just one goal! There is no shame in allocating space on multiple platforms. If you want to customize and monitor traffic of an embedded video on your webpage while still making it searchable and available for the broader audience to find, you should be utilizing social platforms, creative platforms and targeted, qualified platforms alike. As long as you still use each individual platform in the correct way, you’re still getting full marks for platform efficiency, and you’re benefiting your overall search ranking as well. Video is overwhelmingly powerful, and if it is to accomplish anything, it must be used purposefully. If you want to take a prize-winning fish home, you have to know how to bait the hook and where to cast the line.

Questions? Contact us at 410.853.7892 or email us via info@myrender.com to get us involved. Make sure to sign up for our quarterly newsletter for more video marketing tips and tricks to come!