YouTube V Vimeo V Wistia, which is the best video host?
There are real differences between the three main video hosting sites. Read our take on the advantages and disadvantages of each one to help you decide where to host your videos.
Let’s talk about YouTube first.
YouTube is owned by Google. So if someone is searching for something specific a video hosted on YouTube will probably have the best chance of being returned for that search.
The good thing about YouTube is that it’s free, And videos will be found by searching and stumbling. (Some people may see your videos deliberately… or as a suggestion by YouTube) So it’s good for attracting as broad a range of viewers as possible.
If you are in a B to C environment, having a YouTube channel can be great if you have content which is engaging and of a broad interest.
However, thought needs to be given as to the suitability of using YouTube.
YouTube should not be your default host just because its the most well known!
We have done a quick blog to help you see if YouTube is suitable to host your videos.
Hosting material on YouTube will help to drive organic search to your content, though not nessecarily to your website. So big numbers of viewers may not lead to big conversions.
YouTube is not great for general commercial content or product videos, it needs engaging and entertaining material to avoid a high bounce rate which could have a negative impact on your SERPs. This is really important… you must put the right content on YouTube… if your content is not engaging to a wide audience, you will get a high bounce rate. And because this is linked to your website and Google gets ALL the stats for your video, this may have a negative impact on your SEO.
The YouTube “player” (which is the box that the video sits in on your site… ) is not easily controllable, so it can’t be customised easily to match your branding, but YouTube is becoming more business savy, and has good facilities to customise end content and add hotlinks, which can be useful to drive conversions.
YouTube will not automatically serve the best quality, often it will throttle the resolution. So your video which you spent loads of money on, might look like pants.
YouTube will automatically generate other suggestions which will display in the player at the end of your video when shown on YouTube, (You can disable this on videos that are embedded in your website.) so you might end up with your competitors videos being suggested as a consequence of your hard work.
YouTube may choose to place adverts on your videos for all sorts of reasons that seem to change all the time. (this is largely down to music licencing…) You have less control on how your video might be seen, or what might be associated with it, than you might like.
You get limited statistics from YouTube, so it doesn’t help provide good information for your digital marketing.
So, the upside for YouTube is that it lots of people might see your videos, and it’s free. YouTube is also becoming more business savy, and you can add clickable links in your video to help with conversions.
The downside is that the videos might not look their best, your competitors might get a advert on your work, you don’t get good stats to enable your marketing, and if your content isn’t interesting… the high bounce rate might negatively impact your SEO on both Google and YouTube itself.
Let’s look at Vimeo.
Vimeo is now the number two host for video content.
Using a Vimeo pro account, which costs around $200 per annum, you get far more control of your content, and you don’t have to worry about adverts, or competitors being linked with your content like on Youtube.
Hosting on Vimeo is not that different from hosting on YouTube. You set up a channel, and then grab the embed code and put it on your website.
You have good control of the player, so you can customise the look, titles, colours, what the user sees at the end of his play, you can brand it, you can control where material is embedded, you can force it to always serve the video at the highest possible quality, all of this means it simply looks better and better supports your brand values.
You get better statistics to help track the effectivness and ROI of your content.
Embedding commercial content will not have a negative impact on SEO, and private sharing of content is easy and secure.
Video embedded on your site will still be indexed by Google, if you provide a video site map, so traffic is more likely to be driven to your site when found.
Of course the downside is it costs money, and you don’t get the wide search exposure that YouTube content gets.
However, if your using targeted narrowcast content to add value to customers or if your video is commercial in nature, then Vimeo is a better tool for directly embedding video on your site.
Its also a better place if you want control of your content, and where it can be used and copied to. (This may be important to indie filmmakers for instance who want control of the distribution of their material.)
In a nutshell, if your content is how to assemble your widget, then your better on Vimeo. If your content is a cute kitten playing with your widget, then YouTube.
How about Wistia?
Wistia is a great host for folks who want really good stats and information about how their video is performing.
if your running a full blown digital marketing campaign, then Wistias statistics and controls will be essential, for serious business use where metrics are really important to judge effectiveness, Wistia should be your first choice.
Wistia has all the good video managment stuff like Vimeo, and then some.
In particular its statistical information about your videos can be enormously useful for tracking engagement levels. Wistia gives you a far more detailed breakdown of how your viewers have engaged, in particular giving you information about WHEN they stopped watching your video.
Used appropriately this sort of information can help a business to identify good and bad content.. and allow your business to better craft your videos to maximise engagement.
But it’s more expensive still than Vimeo. (Though still pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things.)
Wistia gives you excellent control of your player and all the other stuff that Vimeo does as well.
In the end it’s not YouTube V Vimeo V Wistia, it’s YouTube+Vimeo+Wistia.
We think that most businesses should use a combination of hosts… A YouTube Channel and a secure host, placing content appropriately.
YouTube should be used at the top of your sales funnel, introducing your brand to potential customers and building trust and authority by providing helpful universal content of wide interest, and a secure host like Wistia or Vimeo should then be used to provide targeted useful information of a more commercial nature to either directly convert customers on your site, or provide useful support to those customers of a technical nature.
If you would like more help in moving a video project forward, then contact us at Nottingham video producers Page One!
Whilst this video blog post was written in 2016, its still relevant today!