Sometimes when you’re trying to send a message to your audience, a video provides more impact. When you think about online video, you may immediately go to YouTube — but they’re not the only players in this ballpark.
While they may be lesser known, Wistia and Vimeo have their own valuable platforms. What’s best for video content marketing? It depends on your goals and resources. You’ll need to know which platform gives you the best chance for success. The wrong platform could mean the videos you’ve worked so hard to produce sit somewhere in the wasteland with no views.
Ease of use, quality in the user experience, the ability to track metrics, and how big of an audience you can reach are key factors. Let’s take a closer look at YouTube vs. Wistia vs. Vimeo and see what each has to offer.
YouTube vs. Wistia vs. Vimeo in a Nutshell
YouTube: Biggest audience; Google’s search functionality; limited uploads for unverified users
Wistia: Customizable video player; Channels curation feature; smaller niche audience
Vimeo: Filmmaker-focused; cleaner aesthetic; lacks Google’s robust search capabilities
Let’s start with the big one, which simply cannot be ignored: YouTube. According to their data, YouTube has over two billion monthly logged-in users watching a billion hours of videos every day; it’s viewable in over 100 countries around the world and sees over 500 hours of content uploaded every minute.1
Yeah, YouTube’s a pretty big deal. As massive as they are, as a marketer you still have to ask, “How does YouTube’s functionality meet my needs?” Default users can upload videos only up to 15 minutes in length. Verified users, however, are free to upload videos up to 12 hours long or 256 GB, whichever is less. But the verification process can be cumbersome. Does this mesh with your marketing plan or your business goals? Here are some more considerations to think about.
YouTube’s Enormous Audience Means More Potential Views
With an audience of billions, you might be able to draw a higher number of people to your videos. However, with 500 hours of content uploaded each minute, your video can easily become a needle in a haystack. Such a big audience is hard to ignore though, and if you make a strong promotional attack, you can grab a foothold.
YouTube Is Free To Use — Which Can be Good or Bad
YouTube’s free service includes unlimited uploads and live streaming. Because it’s owned by Google, the search function is quite robust, too. Users can create channels and playlists while sharing videos effortlessly. However, there’s a tendency for YouTube (in its free form) to lose aesthetic appeal with a cluttered interface and high number of third-party ads, which can sometimes make for an annoying experience for users who don’t have a YouTube Premium account.
The Advertising Options On YouTube Are Nearly Endless
If you aren’t using YouTube as a content marketing option, you can still make it into a tool for strong advertising if you want to pay to make it happen. Businesses, nonprofits, and public campaigns use YouTube as a proxy for television advertising, so if that’s what you’re looking for, YouTube’s huge audience is a major advantage.
YouTube is Easy to Use and Widespread Across the Web
Because it’s been around since 2005, the overall aesthetic of YouTube’s player is familiar to most users. Although the player is well known on the internet and easy to use, designers might have something to say about how the ever-present YouTube logo affects your branding. If you want all of your marketing content to align with your branding, this isn’t ideal.
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What is Wistia?
Wistia is a marketing software and video hosting platform made for B2B marketers with free or paid plans available.
While Wistia may not be the BMOC like YouTube, it still brings valuable functionality to the table for marketers and should be seriously considered as a viable video platform. What makes it such a qualified contender?
Wistia Shines with Analytics and A/B Testing
Wistia has robust analytics tools and A/B testing that can give you insight into creating engaging content in the future. It’s also great for lead generation, allowing calls to action (CTAs) that guide viewers to sign up for emails, and it offers gating capabilities that require someone to enter an email opt-in prior to viewing. Additionally, the platform can be integrated with popular marketing software, including HubSpot.
Wistia Offers A Customizable Video Player
You can change the color of the play button and video player controls to your branded palette, allowing you to fully control the viewing experience. And adding those CTAs is a customizable feature you won’t find just anywhere. Overall, the look is clean and inviting without the clutter and distraction of unnecessary ads, banners, or graphics.
The Wistia Channels Feature Allows Branded Curation of Your Content
With Wistia Channels, you can gather all your video content in one place, which is convenient for you and your viewers. This channel can be customized to match your brand’s colors and general style, and you can collect leads here as well. It makes your content more accessible to your audience, and this organization can help you stand out from the competition.
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Vimeo is the other big player in the video content arena, and while it may not be as popular as YouTube, it can still provide what some marketers are looking for. Vimeo offers a free plan to start, followed by tiered pricing for a plan that will work for you. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Clean Aesthetic Appeal
The user experience of Vimeo is at a different level; everything is organized, easily searched, and it all feels like an artistic portfolio. In addition, the video production on Vimeo tends to be higher quality. This is all part of Vimeo’s appeal as an artistic community versus the sometimes “anything goes” approach of YouTube.
Vimeo is More Niche and Centered Around Good Filmmaking
The Vimeo community tends to be a more professional crowd, made up of filmmakers and film enthusiasts. Some may compare YouTube to Facebook and Vimeo to LinkedIn, giving Vimeo a more refined vibe that gets filtered throughout its approach to video hosting. This is a big plus for B2B marketers in particular.
Vimeo’s Embedded Player Stands In Contrast To YouTube
An argument for Vimeo is that they’ve designed their player to seem more like third-party or native media players than an embedded player. The design is made to highlight content rather than any sort of Vimeo branding, so you can customize it to better match your brand.
Which Video Platform is Right for You?
That’s all a lot to consider! Each one has its pros and cons, and your decision will likely come down to your marketing strategy and overall business goals. As you look to make a decision based on attracting, engaging, and delighting the right audience, you might find one that works better than the other. But it’s also not unheard of to host videos on multiple platforms depending on their functions. You can certainly test the waters with each one!
The key with all inbound video content is to meet the needs of the viewer by creating content that communicates clearly, provides a helpful answer, and delights the viewer. No matter which platform you use, be sure to make the viewing experience the best it can be.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of video marketing? Visit our Video Marketing Resources page for loads of helpful videos and blogs that demonstrate the most effective ways to tell your story and reach your audience.
1YouTube Official Blog, YouTube for Press, Undated