Choosing where to post your company videos can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of where to begin. I’ve compiled a list of often-used video hosting sites, along with some of the pros and cons of using each one.
Before you read on, consider what your company videos seek to accomplish. What kind of viewers are you looking to attract? How will they find your videos? Once found, where will users watch them? The answers to these questions will help you select the hosting site that’s right for both your videos and your company.
If this option seems obvious, it’s likely because this is, by far, the most popular video hosting site on the Web. YouTube is the perfect place for users who want their videos to be found, because it also happens to function as the second-largest online search engine, processing more than 3 million searches each month. Google (the first-largest search engine) owns YouTube – a fact that can play a role in search engine rankings. The search engine optimization that YouTube provides make it the overall best video site if your business hopes to entice new customers via online videos. However, if you don’t want just anyone to come across your business footage, then you may want to consider other options.
YouTube’s prevalence makes it easy to embed your company videos on your website and social networks like Facebook. Their hosting service provides reliable playback and can help you track viewing analytics.
There’s only one major drawback to hosting on YouTube – the distractions. After your video is done playing, viewers are presented with links to similar videos, and they make just click away from your company site instead of towards it.
Videos hosted on Vimeo also turn up in search engines. Users who gravitate toward this video host tend to be focused on quality, limited distractions, and a creative-type online community. You’ll find a lot of amateur video content on YouTube, but that kind of thing doesn’t seem to show up very much on Vimeo. Video footage here tends to be artistic or purpose-driven, making Vimeo a great place for professionally produced company footage. Don’t expect to enjoy the same kind of search engine optimization you’d enjoy over at YouTube, however.
Although Vimeo is now open to commercial use, companies are expected to pay for a Vimeo Pro subscription for promotional video hosting. It’s $199 per year, which may or may not fit into a small business budget. A pro account provides 20GB of storage each week a number of additional unique features.
If your company needs to keep any videos private (say, available only internally), then Vimeo may not be the best choice. You can password-protect individual videos, but your company Vimeo profile will be visible to the public.
Vidyard is a great choice for the business user. This host provides advanced tools that allow you to tweak your video content, such as customizable players, A/B split testing, and final calls-to-action. You can also track data and viewing analytics on Vidyard, which makes it a great place for businesses who want to know these details. Vidyard provides users with YouTube integration as well, giving users access to the SEO power of the world’s second-largest search engine.
If your company has an excellent grasp of SEO and employs an in-house IT staff for website maintenance, self-hosting can be a great option. When a company hosts its own videos, it retains all traffic on its own webpage. However, that traffic may be limited without the extensive search capabilities found on YouTube. Some things you will have to consider are the file formats in which you present your video. Different devices and different web browsers handle media files in their own ways, so be prepared to create your video files in 2 or 3 different formats (something the other services handle automatically).