“What are the main differences between YouTube and Vimeo, from a business owner’s point of view?”
We hear this question often from business folks who are using video and want to make sure they are being smart about it. The rules and concerns are a little different for a company than they might be for a film student or a casual user who just wants to share vacation videos with friends.
The main differences between these two top video sharing sites come down to content control and purposes of use. There’s little downside to having an account with both, and many businesses do, including us…
- YouTube is pretty much wide open on both ends – anyone can use it for anything short of porn, but controlling access and sharing of your work is harder to control.
- YouTube is free to use, which is why it wants to show ads before/during/after videos or it limits some of the features available to you. Remember, if you use a free service, you are not really the user, you are the product.
- Google owns YouTube, so the SEO benefits for properly optimized videos are pretty impressive.
- Digital Bard uses YouTube for our client’s videos almost exclusively because of easy user access and compatibility with other software and services (like newsletters, websites, and mobile apps).
- Vimeo has stronger visual and content organizational controls, but has more limitations on who can use it for what on a free account.
- A paid “Vimeo Pro” account (currently $199/yr.) is really the proper choice for commercial use and is a great value for what you gain.
- Vimeo has a variety of aesthetic design controls, including matching the player colors to your brand and defining if controls for volume, repeat, time, etc. are over-layed on the video.
- There are stronger privacy controls and no ad overlays on Vimeo.
- For Subject Matter Experts (SME), Vimeo offers options for paid “Video on Demand” microsites.
Other video sharing options
There are lots of other video sharing sites, and sites that aren’t primarily for video sharing but still offer that option. If you want to maximize your video exposure, consider posting it directly to your Facebook page (as opposed to linking it). Starting in the last quarter of 2014, we started to see significant shifts in engagement with Facebook videos, such that some SuperBowl ads were seen by more people on Facebook than when they aired on TV!
Also consider using Instagram, your Flickr account, or link to video from LinkedIn or Twitter. We mention these first because they are accounts you may already be using but just never thought of them for video.
Additional posting or linking opportunities for your videos may include Viddler, Blip.tv, Veoh and Photobucket. Just know that each site has some content rules (for example, Blip.tv is for web series) but it may be perfect for your audience.
And one final option may be to use a service like OneLoad (formerly TubeMogul) to help distribute your video to multiple sites with one login and upload. It’s kind of like HootSuite for video publishing, and it is a paid service, but if you’ve got a lot of video content to get out, it can be a huge timesaver and it comes with some analytics that you may find very helpful.
Just know the differences and mix-and-match accordingly. Happy publishing!