Video Hosting Solutions for Small Business
If you’ve been thinking of creating video content or are ready to start placing it on your business site, you will need a place to host and serve these video masterpieces. The following are four video hosting solutions that every business needs to understand:
Wistia is a powerful and robust paid video service. The basics are there— like being able to upload, share, and embed video files— but it goes far beyond that. Some of its most unique strengths are in the analytics the service provides. You not only can monitor how many times a video is watched but also how many times it is downloaded or which portions are watched multiple times or fast-forwarded through with a tool they call video heat maps. This is helpful when using training or instructional videos. Users watching a certain section repeatedly could indicate that portion is confusing or unclear. You can watch in real time what users are viewing within your content and how they are viewing it.
You can also build specialized playlists for your content just like other services, but Wistia provided an embed code that allows you to add a playlist to a web page. This allows multiple videos to be presented in one player.
Another advantage of Wistia is the ability to collaborate. You can share video with a group like clients or co-workers and they can download, edit, and respond with their own videos.
Viddler is a very interesting, lesser-known video service. Like Wistia, it has a strong collaborative element to the service. When videos are created and posted, they, too, can be embedded and shared. But Viddler allows users to comment within the video. Simply by clicking on the video timeline, a user can type in a response or even film a video response. These are indicated by little dots on the timeline. If users click on those dots, they can read or watch other users add input to the video. This is particularly useful in a scholastic or collaborative project setting.
Vimeo was initially the artist’s video solution, because it actually restricted commercial use. It is a simpler and cleaner interface and is well suited for HD video. It could be used for business, but not every business— like musicians and videographers for instance— until Vimeo Pro rolled around. Vimeo provides several account levels: Basic, Plus, and Pro.
Basic is free and gives you:
- 500 MB a week of content uploads
- 1 HD upload per week
- No HD embedding
- Limited to 1 group, 1 channel, 3 video albums
- Subject to banner ads
Plus costs $59.99 annually and provides:
- 5 GB a week with a 1-GB limit on files
- Unlimited HD uploads
- HD embedding
- Unlimited groups, channels, and albums
- No banner ads
In response to the success of YouTube and the Vimeo fans complaining about the lack of business use, Vimeo responded with Vimeo Pro. It is basically Plus with some differences:
Vimeo Pro costs $199 annually and offers:
- Portfolios or custom channels with no Vimeo branding, appearing like standalone websites
- Brandable video player
- Ability to password protect videos for client or internal viewing
YouTube is, by far, the most popular video hosting solution. It is free, easy to use, and has the incredible power of gaining traffic to your site, because the service is also the second most popular search engine in the world. This brings some intrinsic value. Since so many people are searching and viewing videos, you have a great opportunity to get exposure for your brand with a very large audience. If you tag your video well— use keywords to describe the video, service, company, and the like along with a good description and a link back to your site— you could gain traffic from YouTube viewers or at least get more views for your video than you would if it just lived on your website. YouTube is a great choice to house video to be served on your site. You can also create a branded channel and specialized playlists to share your content. YouTube also has an element of monetization, allowing you to sell ads and pop-ups on your video. Like TV, the higher the views, the more you can make with your videos and your channel.
EVERYBODY knows YouTube as a place to house video, but many overlook its massive potential for marketing your business. However, YouTube is so big it sometimes overshadows other solutions that may be more useful for certain businesses. These are four solid solutions that can help build more engaging and satisfying web experiences for any business, no matter what their individual video goals are.
Unsure what types of videos your business should consider hosting? Check out How Video Benefits Your Business Site for good ways to integrate video and creative video ideas.
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