Hosting your videos online – where do you put them?! [2015 Edition]

24th June 2015 | Posted in Resources

Sharing your video


This article has been updated! Take a look at the newer edition of this article for more recent information about this topic. See newer version.


 

It may come as no surprise, but we’re often asked about where to put videos online. This usually happens just after we give our clients their videos, ready to be released to the world, yet there’s no real plan in place for where it’s actually going to go. Below, we’ve written up our thoughts on where the best place to host your videos is and how to go about sharing them with the world.

Hosting your videos

Getting your video hosting right is essential for having success with your video. Here are some of the most popular options available and what the benefits and downsides are of each.

YouTube-logo-full_color

Youtube

As the de-facto video hosting service, Youtube is a very reliable, cross-platform host for video content of any length and kind. Youtube can take pretty much any video you throw at it and make it playable on desktop, mobile and other platforms such as Smart TVs and game consoles. This makes it ideal as a host for your content.

Pros:

  • Reliable, cross platform video player that supports a wide range of formats.
  • Youtube content is very shareable with most of the major social networks supporting in-line playback of Youtube content.
  • Youtube videos can be embedded on any website with a simple HTML code which anybody can find.
  • Youtube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Having content on Youtube can increase your web presence.
  • Youtube’s suggested video sidebar and end-of-play suggestions make it easier for people to passively find your content.
  • Youtube is a social network with a community which can subscribe to your content, which is actively used by Youtube to promote content to your subscribers’ inboxes.

Cons:

  • You have little control over the player, player page and the way that your video is presented on it.
  • The suggested video functions may suggest videos from your competitors or videos that don’t align within your brand. This can be confusing for viewers and may drive away sales.
  • Unless you turn off social functions such as comments (which can look a little hostile if you do), you may need to moderate and manage your Youtube channel in addition to other social networks.
  • Youtube is all about keeping people watching content, which means old content can resurface. If you have outdated content on your channel and don’t remove it, it may be be discovered by viewers and leave a bad impression.
  • Youtube displays adverts next to your content.

If your business has a mulit-video strategy, we suggest uploading your core content to Youtube to increase your visibility in Youtube’s search and to help when sharing on social media For self-produced content or content that would be consider ‘cannon fodder’, we would suggest using a less permanent platform. Although, do note that you can set videos to Unlisted so that they don’t show up in search results or suggested videos.

vimeo-logo

Vimeo

Vimeo is often referred to as a professional version of Youtube. Vimeo features a clean and simple video player and is easy to embed on a variety of websites. It also plays nicely with social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. The downside is that while it has social functions, they’re not as prominent as Youtube. This lowers the discoverability of your video greatly. (Vimeo is also very limited until you pay for it on an annual subscription basis.)

Pros:

  • Reliable, cross platform video player that supports a wide range of formats.
  • Professional and clean looking video player with customisation options to personalise it – if you have a paid account
  • The Vimeo video page is simple and relatively clean, meaning that you won’t risk sharing your competitor’s videos if you send out the link
  • Vimeo gives you the option to let the public download your video, which can be useful for training films and other content that may be needed offline
  • Although there is a cost involved, the pricing is reasonable and charged on an annual basis

Cons:

  • Lots of functionality is limited until you pay, and there are still restrictions on some paid accounts
  • You can’t upload more than 500MB of video per week unless you pay, and only one of those videos will be hosted in HD
  • You can’t embed your videos in HD on a free account
  • Vimeo’s social network features aren’t as good as Youtube’s for finding content, making it harder for people to discover your video passively (which may also be a pro)

If you’re looking for a high quality video hosting platform that lets you customise your player, embed your videos in HD and works across a wide variety of platforms, Vimeo is a great option. Just be aware that you’ll need to pay to take advantage the features that set it apart from Youtube.

wistia-logo-full

Wistia

We use a platform called Wistia for hosting and sharing the videos on our website, which we can use for our customers’ videos too. Wistia has a reliable, cross platform video player that supports a wide range of formats. You can customise the player with some advanced options such as custom HTML call to actions. You can also embed your video directly to a webpage or have it pop-over your other content with little effort. Wistia also integrates well with email providers such as Mailchimp making it easy for you to share your video in your newsletters. The only downside is that it’s not as well supported by social networks as something like Youtube so you wouldn’t want to tweet a link to your Wistia video. (Plus, like Vimeo, it’s fairly crippled until you pay for it.)

Pros:

  • Reliable, cross platform video player that supports a wide range of formats.
  • Customisable player, which makes it very useful for a variety of additional marketing purposes such as signing people up to your email lists
  • The Wistia provided video page is very clean and can be branded with your logo (on some plans) but the real power is in embedding
  • Wistia makes it very easy to embed your videos either in-line with your content or as a pop-over

Cons:

  • The service is quite limited until you pay, and costs more than Vimeo
  • Many of the advanced features are aimed more at businesses with multi-layer video strategies or video agencies such as Southpoint Films

Overall Wistia is a great platform, but perhaps not the best solution unless you’re doing a lot with video and need some of the more advanced features such as user control and the email integration.

Sharing Your Videos

Once you’ve decided where you’re going to put your videos, it’s time to think about how to share them. Take a look at our next post on sharing your videos.

For more information about hosting your videos, please feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to talk to businesses that are working with video and need help.

Want more information?

Hopefully you’ve found our content useful. If you have any questions about it, or if you’d like to talk about anything else related to video production, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

Email us at [email protected] or give us a call +44 (0) 800 009 6982