This is a continuation of our Video Marketing Tips series. If you’re new to video marketing, check out Video Marketing Tips: Getting Started.
Now that you know the basics of creating stellar video content, it’s time to segue to the best platforms to host those files online. There are many options; every platform has pros and cons, as well as specific nuances particular to each.
Popular Video Hosting Platforms
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the popular video hosting platforms so you can make an educated decision about which is best for your brand.
No doubt you’re heard of this video juggernaut. YouTube is the world’s most popular video sharing program. According to YouTube’s press page, they have more than one billion unique visitors per month, more than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, and 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute.
With so many videos to compete with, how can yours stand out in a sea of others? Here are some pro tips to make YouTube work for you.
Produce lots of content. It’s a numbers game: The more content you produce, the more your audience has the opportunity to view and share.
Supplement YouTube videos with your web content. It’s short-sighted to consider your YouTube channel a stand-alone marketing element. Effective use of YouTube means consistent branding across your channel and your website. A simple way to do this is to embed your YouTube video content on your website. YouTube content ranks high with Google, so by integrating video in your site in this way, you’ll boost your search results.
Interact with your YouTube community. YouTube isn’t just a platform for sharing video, it’s also its own vibrant social media community. It’s a mistake to post a video and allow it to gather dust. Be proactive about building your community by engaging with your audience. Old Spice is a great example of how to do this with video content.
Consider paid ads. YouTube ads can deliver higher click-through rates than AdWords alone. Try experimenting and tracking metrics to determine the cost-benefit of paid ads.
The bottom line is that YouTube’s massive stage allows your video to reach many, but you need to be engaged and proactive to make sure your video doesn’t get lost in the crowd.
Vimeo is often mentioned alongside YouTube. But even though it’s not as large as YouTube, the smaller nature of the Vimeo community means that you might find a more focused audience and share the stage with better quality videos, which ups your virtual “curb appeal.” Vimeo also doesn’t run ads on videos, so users can watch your entire video without ad interruptions.
Vimeo isn’t free, but its paid subscription service is affordable. A business plan starts at $17 per month and includes up to 20 gigs of video storage per week. Since Vimeo caps the number of uploads available, you have to be discretionary about what to post and when.
There are a few ways to make Vimeo work for you: Comment on other’s videos. Since the site is more intimate than YouTube, you can build real relationships with the community. Also, plan to use Vimeo in accordance with cross-promotion for your video so it can reach the largest possible audience.
Instagram started as a photo sharing platform and has since branched out into video.
First, the pros: Instagram’s free! It’s also very user-friendly, so you don’t need any particular video experience to get started. Now, the cons: Instagram can skew young, which may not be in line with certain brands. However, video length is longer, capped at 60 seconds per video.
Here’s how to make Instagram work for you: Instagram might be a strong platform if you have a limited budget. Fresh ways to use Instagram include sharing behind the scenes footage, teasing new products, or simply showing teasers for full length videos you may be hosting elsewhere. If you decide Instagram’s right for you, here are tips on how to create awesome Instagram videos.
Twitter’s Vine is a popular video sharing app which focuses on mini videos of just 6 seconds.
The biggest pro of Vine is instant gratification. You can create a 6-second clip and instantly share the Vine video through your social networks, as well as embed it in your website.
The biggest con is that it’s 6-second limit won’t allow intricate storyboard ideas.
Here’s how to make Vine work for you: Don’t look at the 6-second cap as a negative, instead use it focus on intriguing customers to leave them wanting more.
Some ideas to consider: Tease product launches, or collapse longer clips into a faster time-elapsed time format. Take a look at what British retailer ASOS did when they jumped into the popular unboxing trend on Vine.
Ultimately, each video hosting platform has pros and cons. It’s up you to determine which platform complements your message, your content, and your budget.
Top Tools and Software
Creating, distributing, and tracking the success of your video is much easier with the right tools and software. Here’s a short list of expert picks to get you started:
- YouTube Editor allows you to edit directly on their site, including adding transcriptions and annotations as you edit. Even better: It’s free!
- Powtoon is another free service for creating customizable presentations and animated clips. The finished video can then be embedded in your site or shared on social media.
- Wideo is another tool with customizable templates to fit your brand. You have the option of adding logos and branding materials to your videos.
- Stupeflix allows you to mix photos, video and music. You can also add text, soundtracks, and voiceovers. Your multimedia masterpiece can be then shared on YouTube, embedded, or downloaded.
There’s no doubt that video marketing is a trend that’s here to stay. With the right tools, you can create a video marketing campaign for your own business which will wow your audience and boost engagement.