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How big is video on the internet?

Well, seeing as an entire third of all online activity now involves viewing videos, I’d say pretty big.

Video isn’t just popular—it’s one of the most effective ways to market your brand online. Brands use it to increase engagement, and videos are easy to consume on mobile devices.

In short, incorporating video is a no-brainer. But you already knew that. The bigger question is which hosting site to use as your main platform.

That’s why we’ve put together this overview of the 2 major players: YouTube vs Vimeo.

The temptation is to go straight to YouTube because it’s the biggest. But let’s take a look at both of them to work out which is the best platform for your videos.

youtube-logo-full_colorWhy Choose YouTube?

YouTube seems like the obvious choice for video marketers. It is, after all, not only the original video platform but by far the largest and the most popular.

YouTube is a fundamental part of the web, a site that many people have grown up using on a daily basis. With over a billion unique visitors a month and 6 billion hours of video watched each month, there are an awful lot of people using the site—which means a lot of potential viewers of your videos.

That makes it a tempting proposition for video marketers. But there are other benefits to the platform.

Easy to Get Started

For a start, there is no barrier to entry. You don’t have to pay anything to get started, and there is no kind of quality control. With a few restrictions, you can upload anything you want, of any quality you want, on your own channel.

Free To Use, No Upload Limit

You don’t have to worry about the cost because it’s free. That in itself makes it a tempting proposition.

In addition, you never have to worry about your upload limit because there isn’t one. You can upload as many videos as you want to YouTube because it has unlimited uploads for everyone. So if you have a lot of videos, or you think you will in the future, YouTube makes sense.

Everyone Has the App on Their Phones

Android phone comes with the YouTube app as standard, which means hundreds of millions of people have ready access to the platform from their mobiles. You simply cannot say the same about any other video app.

Targeted Advertising Options

Because YouTube is free for all, it relies on ads to make money. We’ll look at some of the cons for that in the next section. But as for the positives, it means you can use paid promotions to reach out to your target audience.

There are some excellent opportunities for targeting users, so this is something you may want to experiment with.

Annotate Videos

YouTube can also be a great source for directing traffic to your website.

Of course, YouTube wants viewers to stay on the site, and for that reason it makes helpful suggestions for other videos to watch to keep them there.

But you can still add interactive elements to your videos like annotations, clickable hotspots, extra text, calls to action, and more to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel or visit your landing page.

Good for SEO

Finally, it’s a Google website, and it has been for 10 years now. And that can’t be bad for your SEO. Indeed, with a strong presence on YouTube, you could find you improve your presence in the search engines.

YouTube itself is also the second largest search engine behind Google, meaning it should usually be a part of every marketer’s toolkit.

2000px-vimeo_logo-svgWhy Choose Vimeo?

Compared to YouTube, Vimeo is a different beast entirely. It also provides a platform to upload and view videos, but that’s where the comparisons end.

Despite being a lot smaller than YouTube, Vimeo has a lot going for it, meaning it should definitely be a consideration for your main video marketing channel.

Small Is Good

Firstly, the fact that it has a smaller audience could be a plus. The sheer size of YouTube means it has a huge amount of competition from millions of videos. A good video can get lost in the clutter, which is less likely to happen on Vimeo.

Ad-Free Videos

Another big benefit is that Vimeo has no ads. That means your viewers do not have to sit through ads at the start of your videos.

No advertisements on Vimeo means no distractions. That means there’s more chance viewers will watch the video, and they also get to view it exactly as you intended it to be viewed.

But another potential problem with ads is that your competitors can advertise on your own videos and direct traffic away from you.

Alternatively, ads to other services that you do not approve of my be displayed, such as political ads that you don’t want to associate with your business.

Of course, with no ads, Vimeo is a paid service. (although it has a free Basic plan to get started). Vimeo Plus is $5 a month, Vimeo Pro is $17 a month, and Vimeo Business is $50 a month, so that is definitely something to keep in mind.

Focus on Quality

Another feature of Vimeo is that, in general, the content is of a higher quality. Sure, there are some very high-quality videos on YouTube. But when hundreds of hours are being uploaded every minute, a lot of it is going to be junk.

There is every chance that such spammy content will show up next to yours on YouTube, which again may not be what you want.

In contrast, professional filmmakers use Vimeo to display high-quality videos. YouTube compresses videos, which lowers their quality, but Vimeo makes them look more beautiful.

This is worth keeping in mind if you want to create better videos and you really want to show off their quality. And there is also less chance of your video being displayed alongside low-quality videos.

Good Community

Vimeo also has a strong community where constructive criticism is welcomed. In contrast, YouTube is plagued by trolls and spammers, which is often unhelpful.

More Customization Options

The customization options are excellent with Vimeo, which can be attractive to marketers. For example, on Vimeo Pro you can customize the video player by adding your own logo.

You can also choose where the video can be embedded by limiting it to your website, a selection of websites, or nowhere at all.

You can also customize the URL of your videos to create something more memorable, which is not possible on YouTube.

Good Support

Support is a lot better than on YouTube. For example, on the Pro and Business packages, you are guaranteed a 1-hour response time on business days, which can be very useful.

So Which Should You Choose?

There is no right answer when deciding which platform to choose for your video marketing. It all depends on your branding, your target audience, and the types of videos you create.

To simply get the most views on your videos, YouTube is the best option. It is also better for your SEO, for advertising, and for getting more mobile views.

But if you want a higher-quality platform with better quality videos in general, no ads, and more constructive criticism, then Vimeo is worth trying. Clients that lean towards Vimeo tend to comment about having “more control” over the video process.

In my opinion – If you just want to get your video “out there” to as many eyes as possible – choose YouTube. If you want your video online mainly to place on a specific spot, like your website and are more concerned about quality and support when you need it – go with Vimeo. 

Of course, there’s nothing to say you can’t use both. Why not give them both a go and see which works best for your business?

What video service do you use? What are the results? Post a comment or ask a question below!

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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