Video is now one of the most popular forms of content on the Internet. Pretty much everyone loves watching videos. If you have video content or are in the process of creating video content, you’ll eventually run into the issue of where to host your videos.
First off, let me say Never—I mean NEVER—host videos on your own website. At first it may seem like a great idea because it feels like you have ultimate control of your video. But let me tell you why it's a bad idea to host your video on your own website:
Bandwidth: When you purchase hosting on a server for your website, the hosting company gives you a predetermined amount of “power” or “bandwidth,” which your video will pull from. If you have a lot of traffic to your website, you could exceed the amount of predetermined bandwidth and the hosting company will stop letting people view the site. If your video goes viral, you could end up shutting down your entire website.
Search Engine Optimization: Google recently stopped allowing video clips to pop up in its search unless the video is housed on YouTube, which is, by no coincidence, owned by Google. So your video will no longer show up on the No. 1 search engine.
Socialization: Websites like Vimeo and Youtube already have millions of active users. Hosting your videos on your own website cuts you off from all of those people just waiting to find the next “keyboard cat” video.
So where should you be hosting your video? The obvious answer is YouTube, right? Before I say yes, we really need to take a look at what type of video you have.
Each video should have a purpose, so what is the purpose of your video? Is your video a how-to video, a video blog, a product or service demonstration video, or a fun work place video? All of these videos serve a different purpose, and different hosting sites will complement them in different ways.
I like to break down videos into three categories: Social, Brand and Exclusive. These aren’t the technical terms…yet! However, they help describe what the purpose of the video is.
Social videos are your vlogs, how-to’s and funny videos that have a good message but don’t intentionally promote your company. It shows creativity and culture without blatantly trying to sell something.
Brand videos are the videos you want people to see on the homepage or product page of your website. These videos tell your customer what you are all about and can be fun but still need to get a message across and have a clear call to action.
Exclusive videos are videos that show small glimpses into the culture of your business. Typically these are funny workplace videos or videos showing you out in the community and are typically shot on a phone and uploaded to your social media site.
For social videos, you will want to host these videos on YouTube, Vimeo or Daily Motion. These video hosting sites have large followings and are specifically designed for social interaction with your followers. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and has the most active users. Additionally, if your video is hosted on YouTube, it could show up on Google search. The downside to using YouTube is the annoying ads and the player isn’t necessarily attractive when you embed the video.
If you are looking for something that will look more attractive on your website and you don’t want to worry about ads, then Vimeo is a great choice. If you are a freelance videographer/filmmaker you will most likely end up on Vimeo. Vimeo has a slick interface and allows you to keep your branding without mucking it up with all the distracting extra videos on the side navigation bar and the ads. Plus you seem way more artsy if you post a video on Vimeo.
As for Daily Motion, it seems to me like the “mini-me” of YouTube. Also, use at your own risk; if you’re not careful, you or your clients could “accidentally” run into some adult content.
Next, you will want to host your brand videos on Wistia, Vidyard, or Brightcove. These companies are geared toward marketing, conversion and sales. They also integrate well with your other online marketing resources such as Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, and Salesforce. All of these companies have customer service, customizable embed player, HD video streaming and built-in analytics. Choosing the right company really depends on the size of your business and how much video you plan on putting out. So put your best person on the job and have them do a little research on what company fits your brand and budget.
Finally, exclusive videos are the videos you host on your Facebook, Vine, or Instagram account. Your social media accounts are great for sharing all types of video, but hosting videos on Facebook or any of your other social media sites limits you to those who have followed you on those sites. And with Facebook constantly changing the way you see content, a lot of people will miss your posts if you limit your video to Facebook only. Instagram and Vine don’t filter who sees your video but do limit the length of your video, which can make it difficult to deliver your message. Remember, you will still want to share all of your videos via social media, but try not to use it is as the main place to host the majority of your videos.
Choosing the right place to host your video can seem like a difficult task, so hopefully this information helps you figure out what video to host on what site. Let us know if you have follow-up questions in the comment section below!