Michael Reynolds in General on Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A great website is the result of careful planning, great website content, beautiful design, and strong marketing tools. This includes calls to action (which you are A/B testing, of course), professional photography, and landing pages.
Another component of a great website is video. Customer testimonials, product demos, and stories can all make great content for website videos.
We get a lot of questions about video ranging from how to shoot and edit to how to come up with ideas for topics. One common question we also get is how to host videos on your website.
Since video files tend to be very large, it can be a little tricker to store the files on your web server, which is why most organizations choose to use a third-party video hosting service and then embed the videos on their websites using embed code.
But what's the best choice for hosting your website videos? Here are our top picks for hosting videos on your website.
This is the clear leader and the most popular. You can't really go wrong with YouTube (well, almost — more on that later). It's the market leader, owned by Google, and has plenty of SEO benefits. It's also very social in nature and allows lots of social interaction. It allows you to embed your videos on your website very easily and will work great on mobile devices, as well.
- SEO benefits
- Easy to use
- Ad opportunities (promote videos, in-video ads)
- Limited thumbnail choices
- Limited customization
- Not a lot of analytics data
- Often blocked by corporate IT departments
- YouTube logo always appears in videos
Vimeo is a popular choice among those who want a little more control over their videos and want a high-quality end result with less bandwidth. WIth a paid account, you can also get priority processing of your videos so they publish faster. Vimeo also offers complete customization of its player so you can embed your logo and brand it. In general, vimeo is better suited for businesses that want more control over options and might also need to restrict videos to specific URLs or intranets.
- Free version
- High-quality video playback
- Complete customization of player
- Excellent analytics
- Less traffic than YouTube
- Questionable SEO benefit
- Upload limits
- Commercial videos require a Pro account
Wistia is a little-known competitor to the bigger guys but is a hidden gem that is worth a look. Described as "video hosting for business" and priced accordingly, this service has a ton of tools that make marketing directors jump for joy. Wistia allows easy website embedding, crazy-good analytics, mobile optimization, calls to action, SEO benefits, complete customization and more. You can restrict videos to a specific URL which makes it perfect for membership sites or intranets.
Wistia also offers video heat mapping, which lets you see exactly what your viewers are doing and how much of your videos they are watching. If you're serious about managing video for your business, Wistia will make your day.
- Outstanding analytics
- Viewer heat mapping
- Marketing tools (calls to action, etc.)
- Complete customization and branding
- Excellent video management dashboard with customized user access
- Project folders to organize videos
- Video player API
- Email marketing integration
- Email collector option
- Higher fees than other services
While there are many options for hosting video on your website, these are our favorites. A good third-party video hosting service will save server space for your website and will offer many more benefits that can lead to better lead generation and results.
What are your favorite ways to host video on your website?