It’s no secret that online video has developed rapidly over the last five years. From shoestring budget webcam clips to groundbreaking TV shows produced solely for the web by companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime, video is a predominate force in online media.
A recent report from Cisco confirms video’s popularity, as it projects that 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be dedicated to streaming or downloading video content by 2019.
If you’re looking to produce content in order to connect with your audience and grow brand recognition, you’ll need a video platform to host your videos.
Two of the most popular platforms are YouTube and Vimeo, and while you’ve likely heard of both of them you might still be unsure as to which is a better fit for your use.
Both platforms have their own pros and cons, and it’s important you understand the differences before you decide which to implement into your online video strategy.
Pros of YouTube
YouTube is by far the most popular video platform on the Internet. It boasts more than a billion users, which is almost one-third of all web users. This means if your videos are on YouTube you have the potential to reach the widest audience possible.
YouTube is very accessible because it’s free to use and it integrates seamlessly into your existing Google account. Plus, the fact that Google owns YouTube ensures that SEO works extremely well and your videos are more likely to show up in search results.
Pros of Vimeo
Vimeo caters to video professionals who’ve created content with higher production value and fosters a community where quality content is valued over simple content.
With 170 million users, Vimeo’s network is much smaller than YouTube, but the fact that it’s a tight knit video community committed to quality could be an advantage to your brand depending on your marketing strategy.
Another way Vimeo differs from YouTube is it offers its users the ability to customize the video player by changing the logo, colors and video thumbnail. It’s also ad free, which means your audience will never be distracted from your video content.
Cons of YouTube
When it comes to online marketing one of the most negative aspects of YouTube is that it is more of a public platform than Vimeo, which means you have less control over the environment your content appears in.
A striking example of this is the “recommend videos” feature, which is great for entertainment when it leads viewers to a music video or celebrity interview, but when you’re posting industry specific media it can often place the content of your competitors right next to yours.
Also, YouTube is designed to keep users on its site, which means web traffic will often be driven away from your website and end up on YouTube.
Cons of Vimeo
Since Vimeo is more tailored for a niche community of professional video creators, it has a considerably smaller audience than YouTube.
Also, since Google doesn’t own Vimeo, it doesn’t perform as well as YouTube when it comes to SEO and Google search results. Both of theses factors could mean fewer viewers for your video content.
Something else you should take into consideration is that there aren’t any free accounts on Vimeo for business use, so you’ll have to make an investment in the platform in order to use it.
Which should you use
If you can afford the time and resources, the best strategy would be to use both Vimeo and YouTube.
You can embed the Vimeo versions of the videos on your website to ensure YouTube’s “recommended videos” doesn’t lead people away, and these same videos can be uploaded to your YouTube channel to increase your chances of being found by search results.
Check out Amway’s use of testimonial videos on its YouTube channel to get a sense of how a video strategy can be successfully implemented on YouTube.
A general rule of thumb is if you want to get your video in front of as many people as possible, then you should use YouTube. If you have a more targeted audience and want more control over the viewing experience, then Vimeo is your best choice.