Hooray for online videos!
With the demand for online video only increasing, smart marketers should definitely be considering it as a tool in their digital marketing toolbox. If you decide to use it, part of your strategy is deciding which video platform makes the most sense for you.
Should your videos just live on your website? Should people be able to find them before they find your website? Should you use a free platform, or a paid one?
If I were psychic, I could answer those questions for you. Or if we had a consultation, I suppose. But why wait? What I can do here is share the four platforms that tend to be a good fit for most of the people we work with.
This Google-owned platform is definitely one of the more popular out there, partly because it’s free. The fact that it’s the second most visited website online doesn’t hurt either. That means that many people can actually find out about you through YouTube, rather than just through your website.
Aside from making your videos public, you can also make them unlisted or private. Both public and unlisted videos can be embedded in your website, so you don’t have to pay for the space or bandwidth they take up. However, they’ll still have YouTube’s branding on there.
Here at T&S, we use YouTube for the videos we want to be public and the ones we think people may want to subscribe to on an ongoing basis.
If you don’t like the idea of someone forcing their branding onto your videos, Vimeo may be a good alternative. While it is a paid solution, one of the benefits is the option to customize your video player to match your organization’s visual branding. And that can include removing the Vimeo logo.
Unlike most web hosts, Vimeo has no limit on how much space your videos take up. Instead, they limit how much you can upload each month.
Vimeo tends to be a good choice if you have a budget for a paid solution, and you’re planning on putting videos on your website. Here at T&S, we use Vimeo for videos on our website, like the one on our home page.
If you think people will want to share your video, Facebook can be a great platform. While you can share a link to your Vimeo or YouTube video on Facebook, it won’t get anywhere near as much exposure as a video uploaded directly to Facebook.
Live videos are currently also popular on Facebook. They do tend to have lower production values, as most are shot on smart phones. But Facebook is promoting them heavily right now. So if that makes sense for your organization’s strategy, strike while the iron is hot!
Be aware that Facebook doesn’t allow embedding in the same way that YouTube and Vimeo do. As a result, it’s not the best fit for embedding videos on your website.
At T&S, we upload our fun videos to Facebook, as well as our episodic show, PixelTV.
While it’s the platform we currently have the least experience with, Wistia looks to be an extremely good option for lead generation videos that live on your website. Wistia lets you customize the player to match your brand, and lets you include email collection forms as part of your videos.
In fact, you can even require an email address be entered in to watch a video! And it apparently integrates with our favorite email provider, MailChimp, as well as a number of other platforms.
Wistia is quite a bit pricier than Vimeo, although it seems to have a lot more capabilities.
Of course, you an use a combination of all four of these options, if you’d like! And there are other video platforms out there as well. But regardless of which you pick, be sure you make an informed, strategic decision based on what’s most important to your organization.