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Vidyard vs. Wistia: What's the Difference, Anyway?

Zach Basner

Director of Video Training & Strategy, Video Workshop Trainer, Creator of the Facebook Group ‘Film School for Marketers’

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Vidyard vs. Wistia: What's the Difference, Anyway? Blog Feature

Published on October 10th, 2018

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Online video has emerged as a must-have tool for today’s growing business. The medium offers a better way to tell your story, educate buyers, and build a more personal and trusted connection with clients.

It’s no longer just about brand marketing and social media. Video plays a critical role in virtually every aspect of marketing, sales, and customer experience.

As the use of it accelerates and expands, video platforms for business such as Vidyard and Wistia are taking the place of consumer-grade video hosting services (i.e. YouTube and Vimeo).

However, not all video platforms are created equally, and I often hear growing companies ask about the differences between Vidyard and Wistia.

Well, ask and you shall receive!

While both solutions offer cloud-based video hosting, global content streaming, and video analytics, there are some big differences for businesses that want to truly embrace video as a better way to communicate.

Here are six key areas, from our perspective, where Vidyard differs from Wistia, and what those differences could mean for your business.

1. Automatic Optimization

Both Vidyard and Wistia make it easy to embed videos on any page, add a customized call-to-action (CTA), and track engagement rates.

In our experience, however, Vidyard goes beyond this to further optimize your videos to get more people watching and to generate more conversions.

To do this, first, Vidyard automatically transcribes the audio from each video you upload and embeds the transcript, along with all the other video metadata, on every page where that video is embedded to improve your SEO.

No manual intervention required; it’s all automated and as simple as that.

As more people land on your pages, Vidyard will also automatically split-test different thumbnail images to help you identify the splashscreen that produces the highest click-through rate (CTR) to maximize views and engagement.

2. Enhanced Engagement

Now that you’ve got more people watching, Vidyard makes it easy to add interactive annotations, lead generation forms, and customized CTAs to help you generate your desired conversions .

While Wistia also offers CTAs as well, Vidyard’s expanded capabilities give you more flexibility and more conversion opportunities throughout the entire playback experience.

You can even create dynamic ‘choose your own next step’ experiences, but more on that later!

Now that your video is working harder on its main embed locations, Vidyard helps you drive even more engagement by publishing that video to a custom-branded Video Hub -- like your own YouTube channel, but custom-branded on your own website.

This enables your sales reps to send prospects directly to your hub via email, social, HubSpot, Salesforce and other apps using Vidyard GoVideo .

Vidyard even helps you create versions of your videos that can be personalized for each individual viewer to drive up click-through and engagement rates, but more on that later.

It all adds up to ensuring your videos get the attention they deserve so you can get the most value from your content.

3. Video Analytics and CRM Integrations

If your team uses a marketing automation or CRM platform such as HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, Marketo, Act-On, or Eloqua, this part is of particular importance.

Vidyard offers best-in-class integrations with all of these platforms to help simplify how you add video to your marketing workflows and sales outreach, to provide actionable insights on who is engaging in your video content, and to help you report on the true ROI of your video content.

Like Vidyard, Wistia becomes more powerful when used in combination with other tools such as Marketo, HubSpot and Zendesk.

The takeaway here is that if you’re looking for a video platform, making sure that your favorite tools are supported with a full two-way integration isn’t just a nice-to-have -- it’s more or less mandatory.

If you are a HubSpot user, it’s important to note that Vidyard is powering HubSpot Video for all HubSpot Professional and Enterprise users.

This solution provides video hosting, player customization, in-video CTAs, and basic video engagement analytics at no additional cost to HubSpot users, along with the ability to record and share personalized video messages from within HubSpot Sales and Service -- but you can learn more about that here.

With regards to video analytics, no matter which of those marketing and CRM platforms you use, Vidyard enables you to track which videos each of your known contacts are watching and to use those insights within your marketing workflows, lead scoring, and CRM applications.

This helps you qualify leads faster, trigger immediate actions based on video viewing activities, and report on how videos are contributing to pipeline and revenue .

While Wistia also provides video viewing insights within HubSpot Marketing Hub and Pardot to support lead scoring and workflows, Vidyard synchronizes with HubSpot CRM and Salesforce to give your sales team the insights they need to close more deals and your marketing team the reporting they need to tie video views to customer accounts and closed deals.

For those using Marketo or Eloqua, Vidyard offers the most comprehensive integrations that enable you to customize and scale your lead scoring and workflows to accelerate pipeline development.

4. Sales and Service Team Opportunities

This year, sales and service teams have been trying a less filtered, more candid approach to outreach, recording and sharing personalized video messages from the comfort of Google Chrome and Gmail.

It’s proving to be a highly effective way to stand out and build more personal relationships and Wistia Soapbox and Vidyard GoVideo are both great tools for it!

Both products are free and enable individuals to easily record webcam and screen capture videos from within Google Chrome, but Vidyard takes things one (big) step further for businesses, in my opinion.

Vidyard GoVideo goes beyond Google Chrome and Gmail with native integrations into a wide range of business apps including Microsoft Outlook, HubSpot Sales and Service, Salesforce Sales Cloud, SalesLoft, MixMax, and Zendesk, among others.

Vidyard also enables your reps to easily access and share all other videos in your central video library from within the GoVideo app, making it easy for them to send out your latest product demo, customer testimonial, or thought leadership videos to prospects or clients.

They can create custom playlists with personalized introductions, and be notified as soon as the customer watches with full visibility into how long they watched.

Vidyard also enables you to fully customize your video playback landing pages to match your company’s brand and website, and you can even add custom CTAs for each one of your sales reps, such as one-click to book a meeting.

Finally, Vidyard tracks all of these viewing activities back into your marketing automation and CRM tools for comprehensive customer insights and ROI reporting while providing a centralized manager’s dashboard to monitor the adoption and usage by your team.

Wistia users also benefit from detailed analytics with their Audience Page. The Wistia Audience page shows who’s watching your videos, and makes it easy to sort through that date. Much like Vidyard, Wistia customers can send this data back to your analytics platform and CRM.

5. Enhanced Lead Generation

As you embrace video as a new way to engage your audience, Vidyard offers a number of innovative solutions that help you truly stand out and stay ahead of your competitors.

Vidyard’s interactive video player enables any business to create highly engaging experiences that turn your videos into two-way conversations with customers.

You can create customized pre-roll gates, mid-roll overlays, and post-roll CTAs to interact with your viewers in any number of ways, or build a customized “choose your own next action” experience where viewers can go on a self-guided tour of your products or services!

Found a custom CTA that is working really well?

Easily apply it to any other videos in your library to start generating more conversions from your existing online videos. And as you mature, Vidyard enables you to create new interactive video experiences that are designed from the ground up to offer a wow-worthy experience.

And of course it’s not just Vidyard.

Wistia users can collect emails from right within their videos as well. Called a “Turnstile”, this Wistia form can appear at any time during your video, and lets you collect emails and names.

Unlike Vidyard, Wistia Turnstyles are simple forms that can’t be fully customized, however if you’re looking for a simple solution, it will do the trick!

6. Personalization

Vidyard is also the only online video platform to offer automated video personalization .

This unique solution enables you to create videos that are designed to bring the viewer into the story, literally!

By bringing each viewer’s own name, company name, or other relatable information right into the video (and the thumbnail image), many businesses are doubling or even tripling click-through and engagement rates on important marketing campaigns.

Personalized videos can be delivered at scale via automated email campaigns, or they can be triggered by marketing workflows and actions on your website.

7. Support & Scalability

If you’re serious about going video, you’ll need help along the way and a platform that will scale as you grow.

Vidyard offers dedicated onboarding and customer success programs that center around your business goals, not just your videos.

Vidyard’s team can help you build out a video strategy with checks and balances along the way to ensure you’re achieving your goals and offer support to ensure your video programs stay on track.

Also, as your business grows and your use of video expands, so does Vidyard.

With group-based administration and customizable policies, you can confidently expand the use of Vidyard across multiple teams and geographies.

Once you’re ready to take video beyond your core marketing and sales programs, Vidyard provides full support for secure internal video distribution, public and private live streaming , private publishing within Salesforce applications and more.

Ready to Go Video?

As lead Video Strategist here at IMPACT, I have spent a lot of time with both Vidyard and Wistia, and like them both. If I had to pick, I would rank Vidyard over Wistia, just on the feature set alone.

If you really want to beef up your video marketing, Vidyard is going to be the best option for you.

If you are ready to take the plunge, be sure to consider everything:

  • How are you going to be using video?
  • Which other business applications you are using today (i.e. marketing automation and CRM) and how do you plan on having video integrate with them?
  • Is hands on customer service and and support important to you?
  • And what’s your long-term video strategy look like?

Regardless of which platform your choose, there’s one universal truth: Wistia and Vidyard are both terrific video platforms that will take you well beyond the limits of YouTube and Vimeo.

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