So, here I’ll do my best to breakdown some of the most popular options and weigh why you may choose one over the other. From there, it’s on you to make a decision!
What Should I Consider When Choosing A Video Hosting Platform?
Not all video hosting platforms are created equally. Different platforms — like Vidyard, Wistia, and Vimeo — have different specifications and are going to be a better fit for different businesses/videos.
Each of those platforms offers high-quality playback and embedding, but you need to choose the platform that best fits your goals and helps you create the desired value with your video marketing.
In my experience, most small to medium (and some mid-market) businesses creating a handful of videos across a small variety of channels are going to be most concerned with three things:
Let’s cover and discuss which platform we recommend for achieving each of these.
Building Awareness for Your Video
When choosing where to host your videos with the goal of building awareness, it’s all about how the hosting platform helps drive new views to your videos.
There are three main ways people will come across your video:
With organic search, people are searching for a keyword on their favorite search engine (read: Google) and your goal is to come up for any combination of keywords that relates to the content of your video. This is usually dependent on how optimized your tags, title, and video description are.
In-app views come from the hosting platforms mentioned in this article that are actually social media platforms, Vimeo and YouTube.
Because they are social platforms, they actually have in-app search and extensive recommendation algorithms that help serve your content to visitors that are likely to engage with it. (i.e. Through related videos, “trending videos,” etc.)
Lastly, on-site views describe those that come from videos displayed within pages of your own site. The awareness of these videos is directly influenced by the visibility of the pages themselves, but it’s still important to focus on video SEO best practices.
That being said, the best platform for generating awareness for your video is YouTube.
YouTube is owned by Google and shares many of the qualities that have made the search platform the first choice for most english speaking web users. YouTube’s reach is no different.
YouTube is actively, through organic search and in-app recommendation algorithms, trying to show your content to people who are likely to be interested in it.
Add in the fact that you can embed YouTube videos into your site and generate awareness through the on-site method, there should be no surprise that YouTube is the best platform for generating awareness through your video content.
Generating Leads From Your Videos (Conversion)
Video isn’t always about attracting new views; It can be an incredibly powerful tool to help explain a product, educate a visitor, or sell a solution. For those reasons (among many more), conversion and lead generation is one of the most powerful ways businesses are leveraging video.
Let’s say you have a visitor on your main product page and your goal is to explain exactly how it helps them. This is a perfect time to explain a potentially complex idea with an engaging medium like a video.
Once you’ve made that explanation, you want to capitalize on the excitement that you’ve generated and convert that visitor into a contact so you can continue to market to them.
To do this effectively, you need additional tools like call-to-actions, advanced analytics, and integration with your marketing automation tools.
Only one of the aforementioned will accomplish that, which is why:
The best platform for using video for conversion is Vidyard.
Wistia is another great platform that a lot of businesses use for hosting their sales and marketing videos. As a digital sales and marketing company that has been in the game for 10 years, we've had a chance to use both Vidyard and Wistia.
Here is what you need to know about both platforms, and why we choose Vidyard:
For some organizations, the quality and presentation of their video speaks directly to the quality of their product. For example, think of brand experience agencies, film producers, and motion graphic design firms.
For those industries, there’s simply no sacrificing the way their video looks and sounds. If you’re one of those people, you probably care a good bit about this “magic number” called bit rate.
Bit rate is a simple concept, but there’s a lot to it and it has quite an effect on the presentation of your video. Basically, bit rate is how much data your video contains over a given time. All other things equal, as bit rate increases, so does the visual quality of your video. When people talk about video compression on the web, they’re often talking about bit rate.
This is all an over simplification because there are other factors like resolution, codec, and frame rate that affect this, but the most important thing to note here is: If you want a better looking video higher bit rate is almost always better.
However, you don’t always want the highest bit rate as possible. Bit rate is, by definition, the amount of data that needs to be sent in order to show your video, and having it too high can wreak havoc on your page load times and performance for mobile users.
With that being said, if your goal is video quality and presentation,
The best platform for presentation of your video is Vimeo.
Both YouTube and Vimeo support impressively high bit rates of 85 and 60 Mbps, respectively. To put that in comparison, those are both over 8 times the amount of data that Wistia displays per second.
To add to that, Vimeo supports the use of Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) which is an industry standard codec that media professionals use for encoding videos.
Now, if everything I shared means little to you, you’ll probably not stand to benefit much from using Vimeo, but if you’re like me and you're blown away by any video you watch on the platform, it may be the obvious choice.
...But What Choice is Best for You?
In my professional opinion, the answer is all of them -- depending on what’s most important to your video marketing initiation.
Hopefully, I’ve demonstrated that these three platforms all serve very specific needs. Your use of them really depends on which needs best suite you.
Here’s how I would think of it:
Host your videos on YouTube to get found. If the videos would reinforce the content on your website and help buyers in their buyer’s journey, then add them to your website using Vidyard. Lastly, if you have any videos that represent quality of the product you deliver to a client, upload them on Vimeo.
Ultimately, all three platforms have their merits and the best strategy includes using each to your advantage.