Many businesses use videos as part of their content strategy (if you don’t, you should!). Once you have created your video masterpiece, there is still one more crucial decision that awaits you: Where will this video live? It’s time to choose the right channels for your videos. The most important thing you need to know is the difference between hosting and sharing video content. For instance, your company might have an Instagram account with video content. However, the core purpose of Instagram is not to host your video content. Instagram is not optimized for searching or hosting, at least not in the same way that a powerhouse like YouTube will meet your content-hosting needs. Hosting means that your content lives there indefinitely, so it can be discovered and referenced more often. On Instagram, your video will get lost in a feed with no easy way to find it again.
Here’s what you need to know.
Evaluate the channel based on these factors
The first criteria for evaluating a video platform is compatibility with mobile devices. No matter what you sell, it’s guaranteed that your target audience will access your videos via mobile devices at some point in their customer journey. A close second is ease of use. The interface can make or break your message, and this holds true both from a customer perspective as well as an employee perspective. If the platform isn’t easy to use, nobody will use it. Simple as that.
Another critical factor is searchability. Your videos should be discoverable! With smart use of the right keywords, a platform like YouTube makes it possible for the right people to find your videos easily. When you’re choosing the right channel for videos, consider searchability and SEO capabilities.
You should also look for a platform that makes it easy to embed your videos on other sites. With a single copy/paste of code, many platforms like YouTube allow you to embed a video on your company website. Another major criteria you should consider is analytics. Some platforms make it easier than others, and there are workarounds depending on how savvy you are with digital tools. Look for a platform that can provide at least basic analytics. Finally, it’s important to consider accessibility. Choose a platform that makes it easy (or even automatic) to add closed captioning or customize the appearance of the video player. Your brand needs to be accessible to customers with impaired sight or hearing. Plus, the ability to customize the video layer means you can give your audience a more branded experience.
YouTube vs. Vimeo
In 2005, YouTube was launched. In the years since, billions of people around the world access the video platform to view content every month. YouTube offers a lot of SEO options that help people discover your video content. It hosts videos for free and continues to improve its in-app editing tools. YouTube makes it easy for anyone to embed videos and it supports automatic captioning for many videos. Plus, it offers robust analytics. It’s hard to compete with the number one video platform on the web.
Vimeo is YouTube’s film school cousin. It offers many of the same features, like analytics and customized video players. However, Vimeo just doesn’t have the audience or SEO-rich search capabilities that YouTube has. Where Vimeo excels is collaboration. On this platform, it’s easy to work with clients, editors, and other team members to view content and co-create. Vimeo has a monthly subscription fee option that supports some of the fancier features. Primarily, Vimeo is used by filmmakers and creative teams.
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, Periscope
All of these platforms can host your company’s videos, but the search mechanisms are not as robust as YouTube or Vimeo. TikTok is primarily used by Gen Z to create pop culture commentary videos. Twitch and Periscope are both live streaming platforms that do not retain your content after a certain period of time. Twitch is mostly used by gamers to live stream their gameplay and accept tips from fans. Keep in mind that most TikTok users are under the age of 25, and that Twitch users are more than 80% male. If you’re prepared to work with influencers or if your company wants to target these specific demographics, then you might wish to include these platforms in your video marketing strategy. Just remember that these platforms do not offer much in terms of long-term hosting, customization of video player, or analytics.
Your company’s website and servers
Finally, one of the safest options for hosting videos is your company’s own website and servers. On the one hand, you miss out on the incredible discovery options that YouTube offers for creators. But you never have to worry about an outside company controlling or limiting the videos you publish.
Choosing the right channel for your videos means you have to pick and choose. As a result, many companies take a dual approach. They post evergreen videos to YouTube to gain access to analytic and automatic closed captioning, and they embed these videos directly onto their websites. Then they employ a complementary strategy for social media platforms. The social media videos build community and brand loyalty whereas the website videos showcase specific products and a curated selection of customer testimonials.
As you finalize your company’s content marketing strategy, make sure you take the time to consider the correct platform for your videos. The right platform should maximize your exposure to customers, be easy to use on the back-end, and support basic analytics. If you’d like some expert assistance, contact our team to get started.