People are watching videos all across the internet, across all devices, all the time. It can be hard enough to keep up with the constant demand for content on one channel, let alone across multiple sites in order to reach the full scope of one’s audience. Despite this seemingly overwhelming supply-and-demand routine, video is still a must for digital marketers. When properly planned out and effectively utilized, video has an incredible ROI since footage can be shot once and then edited and re-edited an infinite number of times to account for any desired posting locations or formats. In order to have an efficient production, you need to know the end goal of the shoot, i.e. how and where it’s going to be used. While there are plenty of sites and apps to view videos, we’re going to concentrate on three of the biggest hubs for video hosting: YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
There are pros and cons to each of these sites, and right off the bat it should be noted that you can, and generally should, be using some combination of all three in your marketing scheme.
On Youtube, videos up to fifteen minutes in length can be easily uploaded from a computer, Android phone, or iOS device. YouTube requires users to verify their Google account in order to post videos between fifteen minutes and twelve hours in length. A wide variety of file formats are accepted, including .mov, .mp4, and .avi. It’s important to remember that YouTube is a vast sea of video content, and that optimizing your video with tags will help people find it.
It is recommended to upload a video directly to Facebook, rather than sharing a link to a video from a different site. Facebook also allows a wide range of file types, but recommends users upload videos that are .mp4 or .mov formats.
Vimeo is a cleaner interface that emphasizes film creators and artists, but comes without the distractions of Facebook and YouTube. Vimeo offers a variety of premium membership options, but their basic membership has a weekly upload limit of 500MB and total storage limit of 5GB. They also accept a variety of video file formats and have integrations with major editing programs to upload directly from Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. Vimeo also allows users to replace their existing uploaded videos with new versions, a quick fix for typos or other last-minute changes without sacrificing views or engagement. Videos can also be optimized with tags to help them show up in searches.
Within your YouTube channel, you can organize your uploaded videos into playlists.
Videos can also be added to playlists on Facebook, as explained here.
For Vimeo, your main account can be split up into multiple channels. The video content you upload can be organized into albums, which function similarly to playlists on YouTube and Facebook.
YouTube allows users to adjust their privacy settings during the initial upload process, though these settings can also be modified at any time after the video is published. There are three ways videos can be listed on YouTube: public, private, and unlisted. Public videos can be viewed and shared by anyone, and will be visible on your channel. Private videos are visible only to you when signed into your YouTube account, or to select users you specifically chosen by you; they cannot be shared or embedded and will not show up in a YouTube search. Unlisted videos will not show up on your YouTube channel or in a YouTube search, but can be viewed and shared freely by anyone with the link.
On Facebook, you can control the privacy settings of your uploaded videos to change who can see your content by using the “audience selector” tool. These settings can be customized to allow access to as many or as few people as you want.
Vimeo also has complex privacy options. You can keep videos viewable only to yourself, to people you follow, only users selected by you, as well as making videos completely public or password-protected. Premium memberships have a few other settings available to them, including making a video available only to those with a private link and making a video invisible on Vimeo but visible when embedded on outside sites. Embedding and commenting have separate but more streamlined privacy settings, limited to “anywhere”/”anyone”, “nowhere”/”no one”, and “only where I choose”/”only people I follow”. However, keep in mind that the privacy settings of sub-channels will override the individual settings of a video, so if you have a video listed as private and you add it to another public channel, it will become public on that channel.
Live video has continued to be hugely popular, with more and more sites allowing users to “go live”. Facebook and YouTube are two of the most popular livestreaming sites. YouTube has a main “Live” channel that features a wide array of individual live streams from users across the website, allowing viewers to find current or upcoming streams from various categories. In order to broadcast live from your channel, you must first verify your Google account and enable the livestreaming feature in your channel’s Creator Studio settings.
Facebook live is aimed at individuals and those wishing for a more intimate, casual live-chat interaction with viewers. It’s free to use for all profiles and pages, for up to 4 hours per stream. It’s centered around the chat feature, where viewers can comment and “react” to the livestream. Your friends and followers can choose to receive notifications when you go live. Facebook prioritizes live video in its newsfeed algorithm in order to attract more viewers to live videos.
Livestreaming on Vimeo is a newer feature, and comes as part of a $75/month premium membership package aimed at professionals and brands.
Sharing/social media integration/behavior on other sites
By default, YouTube allows you to embed any public or unlisted video uploaded to YouTube on an outside website, regardless of who uploaded it. If you want to prevent people from embedding your YouTube video, you can select this option in the video’s settings, under “distribution options”. As you have likely noticed, when a YouTube video ends, a screen with several recommended videos will pop up. These might be other videos by the same account, videos from other users related to the same topic, or videos related to those the viewer has watched in the past. When embedding YouTube videos onto outside websites, such as your company’s website or blog, a best practice is to disable this “Recommended Videos” screen from appearing. This will keep viewers on your website, rather than being distracted by these videos and going on to view unrelated content or even content from your competitors. You should also consider enabling privacy-enhanced mode to disable tracking cookies in the embed code. More information about privacy-enhanced mode can be found here.
Facebook is optimized to display videos uploaded to their site over videos that are linked from other sites. Any video that is listed as Public can be embedded outside of Facebook; should the privacy settings for that video become more restricted, the video will no longer be playable outside of Facebook even if it had been embedded on a website or blog.
Vimeo allows users to easily embed videos on outside sites, and premium members have a significant amount of creative control over customizing embed player options. Basic customization tools are available for all users, though a basic understanding of HTML is helpful for customizing the embed code.
Interaction with viewers
Many social media channels are built around viewer-creator interaction. YouTube allows people to subscribe to channels and turn on notifications for users whose uploads they want to be notified about. YouTube also allows users to comment on videos, unless the uploader chooses to disable comments for the video in question.
Facebook is, unsurprisingly, built around social interaction between users. Users can even include videos in comments on posts. Should you want to, you can disable comments for an individual post.
Vimeo is a social network, and many users value the feedback from other users, but comments can easily be turned off for videos.
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