We previously wrote about the various video platforms in terms of technology. Here I will talk about the available platforms in a bit more detail and explain the individual benefits of each platform.
A video hosting service allows individual end users to upload and share personal or business videos. There are over a dozen video hosting services such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Twitch. YouTube, however, is the number one hosting site of all of them.
As more and more people consume content through video other social media platforms have rolled out their own video sharing options. Here’s a list of the most popular ones and how they stack up against each other.
When we created our first video for a client over a decade ago, YouTube was the only available video hosting site. Its ease of use allowed us to upload videos there and get feedback from the client as part of the sign off process. The client was then able to embed the final video into a page on their website. Years later we still continue to use the unlisted or private option on YouTube to get client feedback. All for free.
When we think of creating videos, YouTube is admittedly the first channel we create for as we know the videos are easy to share on other channels. And by using the right keywords and metadata we know the videos we want to be found will be much easier to find on YouTube.
Vimeo is mostly used by professional and semi-professional video content makers probably because it is not so easy for people to rip off and convert Vimeo videos. Budding filmmakers would use this channel to show previews of their upcoming films. It’s not the first channel people think of when searching for interesting videos.
Vimeo offers free and paid services. Some of our clients use the paid Vimeo Plus option so that they can embed videos in their webpages and customise the appearance of the video player. Vimeo has the option to choose to show your other videos once a video has finished playing rather than have other people’s content showing. Vimeo video is rarely used for sharing on social channels.
Facebook is a schizophrenic social media platform that doesn’t play well with others because of its concerns with market share. When the company realised that people loved to share video links on the platform, they launched their own video sharing tools and changed their algorithm so that other video links such as YouTube would not automatically show up in a user’s timeline as Facebook doesn’t actually make money from those views.
For many brands, Facebook is where a lot of engaged users are so it’s a good idea to experiment with streaming live video to keep customers invested in your brand. Of course, you need a proper content strategy to make sure you are notifying your audience beforehand about when you intend to go live and having a plan of what you actually want to get across during the stream.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter actually does allow users to share video links from other channels. For a time, its own video platform, Vine captured the imagination of millions of users but was officially shut down in 2016. Twitter offers the user the option of recording a live video or uploading a video directly.
Creating video content and doing live video streaming just for Twitter can help raise brand awareness. You need to make sure that your target audience on this platform is big enough to put in the effort.
Instagram offers live video sharing and a story option where you can combine images and video that lasts for 24 hours. If you are already using Instagram for marketing then you should leverage the benefits the video and stories feature.
If used well you can actually benefit from creating 60-second teaser videos on Instagram that link to full video content on Facebook or YouTube.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send videos and pictures, both of which will self-destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them. It is mainly used by young people and is a more personal means of communication. Although more brands are experimenting with Snapchat you may not find your target audience there and should not force yourself to use this platform.
YouTube and Facebook are equal winners for most brands.
We have to acknowledge that the ability to self-host video on your own website would be more beneficial for your brand in terms of SEO. However, finding the right host and the cost implications can be prohibitive.