How To Choose The Best Video Host For You & Your Business
Choosing the right video host can make all the difference with your video marketing efforts. Video hosting services enable users to upload and share their content on the internet in a reliable way. Going straight to internet giant YouTube might seem like the obvious answer, but there are good reasons to use other services.
Coming up with an idea, shooting, and editing your content is already hard enough, so we compared four video hosts that could be perfect for your company.
Video Host Feature Chart
Unless you haven’t touched the internet for over a decade, you know what YouTube is. The ever-growing video platform now only trails parent company Google as the second largest search engine on the internet. With over a billion users a month, simply put: YouTube is huge.
YouTube sees itself mainly as an entertainment and social platform. It’s a great tool for content creators who want to grow their subscriber base on YouTube itself. YouTube gives you a great audience for your business to access and build brand recognition.
As the second largest search engine, being on YouTube makes your videos easier to find. YouTube videos also rank well on Google.
Continually, YouTube embeds are designed to promote your video on YouTube. So, if you embed a video on your site, that shareable return link will send viewers to YouTube, not your web page. This redirects traffic away from your website causing you to lose potential leads.
The amount of content on YouTube is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can conveniently find a video on almost anything in one user-friendly place. On the other hand, YouTube is bogged down with useless amounts of low-quality posts. This can get your video lost among the weeds.
Although YouTube is not designed to serve companies, it can bring some great things to your video hosting experience. Their analytics feature is run with Google Analytics and can tell you whether people found your video through a search or a related video and how long people watched.
The barrier of entry is also really low. The only requirement for creating a YouTube channel is a Google account. While there is no customizable call-to-action feature, you can add clickable annotations called cards to the end of your videos to promote your other content. You can also buy clickable ads on your own video, but that’ll cost you.
If YouTube has one real competitor, it’s Vimeo. Vimeo is the second largest video hosting platform with 280 million monthly users – still substantially behind YouTube’s one billion monthly users.
One of the aspects that sets the two apart is their communities. Vimeo prides themselves on having high-quality content, more attractive site design, and a more artistic indy crowd compared to YouTube.
Vimeo also provides two services to users: Vimeo Pro and Vimeo Business. Both come with a range of features at different price points with Vimeo Business having the larger set of features for a higher price. These services are designed to help individual professionals and businesses get the most out of their video marketing content.
With Vimeo Business, users can customize their player to fit their brand image and add calls-to-action with email collectors to generate leads and improve engagement. These collectors allow viewers to submit their name and email within an interactive pop-up window. This feature pairs with email software -like MailChimp– to make retrieving the contact information a breeze.
Vimeo Business also integrates with Google Analytics. This gives users access to engagement graphs that track video performance and show what interests viewers the most. Vimeo also shares the same SEO problem as YouTube with embedded URL’s linking back to Vimeo rather than your site.
Wistia’s purpose is to serve your company and optimize how you use your video content.
Unlike YouTube and Vimeo, Wistia does not provide its video hosting service through its site. Instead, Wistia is for companies looking to use “on site” video content for marketing, promotion, and sales. This allows you to drive more traffic to your business’s website, giving you more control over your branding and message.
The control you have over content doesn’t stop there. You can also customize the player to change the color and size so that the video fits well with the design of your site. Wistia has a similar email collector to Vimeo – called turnstile – that can require viewers to add their email before they can continue watching.
Wistia’s heatmap analytic display shows an in-depth graphical representation of an individual viewing session. It gives you personalized information about that particular session of your video by attributing viewing activity to individual specific emails.
You can find out anything from if international viewers tune out quicker to what part of the video interests your viewers the most. The darker parts of the heatmap signify parts of the video where viewers watched multiple times. The lighter areas of the heatmap indicate spots viewers only watched once or not at all.
With all these features comes a price. Wistia can get pretty expensive with their Pro Package coming in at $99 per month compared to Vimeo Business’s price of $50 per month. You also don’t get the exposure that searchable platforms like YouTube and Vimeo can give you.
Founded in 2004, Brightcove has always been on the cutting edge. Their platform uses a video cloud that runs an HTML5 video player (as opposed to a Flash player) which provides high-quality video streaming across all devices – especially with mobile.
If all of that sounds like a bit much to take in, you wouldn’t be alone. While Brightcove is pretty comparable to Wistia, it isn’t nearly as user-friendly. Brightcove suffers from having a clumsy interface and hard to use player customizer.
Brightcove boasts a highly sophisticated analytics feature that will create a customized analytics report that fits your company’s needs. The analytics feature also lets you see how your video is performing with particular audiences.
They also provide a high-quality live streaming function that allows you to broadcast any of your events live in HD. You can choose the ads that go on your show to better monetize your stream and also give your audience the ability to pause and rewind the event.
Live streaming is a great way for you to engage potential consumers better and can drum up excitement about your business. If used properly, it can be a great tool for your company.
With its advanced features, Brightcove can be an amazing video hosting platform and can give your business the leg up it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Choosing The Best Video Host for You
What it’s going to come down to is what type of budget you have and what you’re trying to accomplish with your video content. One suggestion to maximize the performance and exposure of your video content, is to use a mixture of video hosts. I know it may sound like a copout, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to one video host.
You and your company can take advantage of the exposure that platforms like YouTube and Vimeo can afford you. At the same time you can reap the business specific “on site” perks of Wistia and Brightcove.
You need to find the best combination of video hosting platforms that works for your business, so get out there and start maximizing your video marketing potential!
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