This post is not political by nature and is not intended to be; only my opinion.
Although Vimeo is no slouch, when it comes to video marketing YouTube is certainly the giant among video publishing platforms! If you want to be noticed, YouTube is the biggest way to go. The question is, is it the best platform for your business?
For its part, YouTube is free; revenue for YouTube/Google is dependent on advertising dollars spent vs. having a paid platform. Unlimited storage, unlimited uploads that can be immediately pushed or scheduled, can be recorded & uploaded or streamed live (once your live streaming service is connected), and your video can be as long or short as you decide. It’s easy to add a description with keyword, with or without hashtags, and tags to help your video be seen by more viewers. There’s also a mobile app for those who like to make video “on the go” without fear of what I call PNS – Powdered Nose Syndrome. YouTube also makes it easy to embed your video to your webpage, or share the link on social media – increasing the opportunity to be seen by yet more viewers unfamiliar with your brand. You can pay $10/month for ad-free videos if this makes sense for your business.
Vimeo, on the other hand, has both a free and paid platform, so take care to notice the storage size limits before you make the jump (free = 500MB weekly, 5G monthly). There may not be nearly as many users of Vimeo, but the community offers more constructive feedback than you may find on YouTube. You also have to mind the community standards and realize your video will be removed without warning if you don’t follow them correctly. One benefit I’ve found is Vimeo offers the same embedding or sharing features as YouTube. Another benefit I’ve discovered is I can replace a video on my Vimeo channel and not lose any stats – that’s way cool! For more on the pluses and minuses, check out this in-depth article from TechSmith.
How do you decide which platform to use? The key to consider is in the number of users. YouTube boasts over 2 Billion users, while Vimeo reported just over 1.46 million users at the end of Q3 in 2020.
So, why not go with the big guy?
It depends on the videos you’re creating. Certainly, being big has it benefits. It also has drawbacks. To YouTube’s benefit, any YouTube user can create and upload a video or go live. This can also be YouTube’s Achilles heel – literally anyone with a pulse can create an account and start making & uploading videos. This means it’s an uphill battle for viewers and subscribers to find your channel or video. You don’t want to “spray-and-pray” your marketing, meaning, you’ve sprayed your video (created) and now pray for viewers to come see and hopefully deposit a thumbs-up. The audience on Vimeo is smaller but also considers itself more professional, which may make it easier for decision-makers to find your videos.
With either YouTube or Vimeo, you’re better off embedding your videos onto your webpages and driving traffic back to your site vs. depending on the channel to drive the right traffic to your videos.
The other factor that should be considered, unfortunately, is in the current censorship by YouTube. Again, this is not meant to be a political post or endorsement/condemnation, only a professional observation.
What alarmed and frustrated me was in learning that YouTube was going to remove dislikes from videos posted to The White House YouTube channel. Because the number of dislikes is very disproportionate to the number of likes per video, YouTube/Google decided many of the dislikes were “spam” and decided to take steps to “be more accurate” in its reporting. In my view, likes and dislikes of videos are a lot like positive or negative comments on videos, social media posts, or blogs – they are opinions of that audience.
Additionally, it also called into question what we’ve perceived as true analytics. Since the day social media channels have been created, we’ve been encouraged to be ourselves – genuine and authentic. If YouTube/Google can simply remove likes or dislikes from videos because it controls the algorithms, how then do we know what we see is actual, factual analytics? How can YouTube/Google remove information yet be viewed as authentic and genuine?
Let’s now take into account the “pay to play” format of most social media channels. If you want your content viewed by more eyeballs, it’s an accepted practice to pay for an ad. If you don’t pay for ads, there’s no guarantee more of an audience or prospective audience will find your content, let alone read/view it. Now, what if a competitor who DOES pay for ads finds itself getting less views for their content against a business not paying for ads? How would that business paying for their ads know if their analytics were authentic, genuine — in other words, the real deal?
Most of us shouldn’t have to worry about this, since the current targeting appears to be political by nature. I fundamentally disagree with this line of thinking for one reason: what happens when the censorship stops being political? Who’s next?
Bigger isn’t always better. Make sure you completely understand to whom you are surrendering control of your content. Keep your audience in mind and their eyeballs on your videos.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.
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