YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook: Where to Post Your Videos?
Regardless of how long you've been producing videos, you may wonder where you should post them. It’s a good question, and my personal answer has been evolving over the last several years.
The first options that may come to mind are YouTube and Vimeo. Personally, I use them both, because each has its strengths and weaknesses. But Facebook has become a real contender, and it deserves consideration as well.
YouTube is the 800-pound gorilla, the video outlet for the masses. With 1.3 billion users, it’s the second largest search engine on the internet, behind only Google, which owns it and favors it in its own searches. 300 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and its reach is truly global: I am baffled to report that my modest little videos have been seen by viewers in over 100 countries.
But YouTube’s amazing reach is also its downside. Have you noticed that at the end of a YouTube video, the player presents nine suggestions of other videos you might enjoy? That may be fine for the viewer but not so good for you as the source of the video — those suggestions might well point your viewer toward competitors. That happens to me a lot, and it irritates the heck out of me.
Vimeo, on the other hand, doesn’t do that. When a viewer finishes watching one of my Vimeo videos, they also get suggestions for further viewing — but instead of pointing visitors away from my content, it makes recommendations from among my other videos. Other advantages of Vimeo: It has a clean interface, the viewing experience is better (at least to me), and you can brand your videos with your business’ logo.
Downsides for Vimeo: The potential audience is smaller, which is okay if you're just interested in getting your content in front of targeted viewers. And while YouTube is free and unlimited for everyone, Vimeo’s free version limits the amount of video content you can upload in a given month. Unlocking additional features requires a “Plus” membership ($60/year) or “Pro” membership ($200/year).
The third option is Facebook — and it may not be what you’re thinking. It's common practice to share YouTube and Vimeo videos on Facebook, but it also has a feature that allows you to upload a video file directly to your Facebook page, where it becomes an integrated part of the Facebook ecosystem. Here’s why that’s important:
Any time a Facebook visitor scrolls past your video post, the video starts playing automatically; the visitor has no choice but to start watching. The viewer must click on the audio button to hear the sound and thus get the full impact, but that’s a relatively easy lift: enabling the sound on a video that’s already playing is less of a commitment than clicking “play” to start the whole thing from scratch. And many videos can be effective without any audio at all (there are some neat editing tricks that can help in this regard).
Facebook has several advantages over both YouTube and Vimeo. The autoplay feature is a biggie: something in our human nature prevents us from scrolling past a video that has already started playing. What’s more, a Facebook video goes straight to your target's feed. Your target audience is probably already on Facebook, so they couldn’t miss your video if they tried. Plus, some of your viewers will share your video with their friends. You get all of this for free, but if you want to spend a few bucks, you can “boost” your video, using Facebook’s extensive database and sophisticated algorithms to put your content in front of a highly targeted group of viewers who don’t yet know you.
I'm assuming you already have a Facebook presence with a goodly number of friends and/or followers. And depending on the compliance regime at their firm, financial advisors may face a challenge getting permission to use this form of distribution. But more and more firms are learning how to utilize Facebook and other social media in a compliance-friendly way, so it's definitely worth a look.
Let’s close with a simple (non-financial) example. A few weeks ago our little town held its annual children’s festival known as Super Saturday. I made a 94-second video of the festivities (naturally) and posted it to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. I did no special promotion, just put it on my YouTube and Vimeo channels and Facebook page. (For reference, my YouTube channel is well established with 397 subscribers, I have 907 Facebook friends, and my Vimeo channel is barely two months old.)
Which outlet do you think generated the most views? Facebook, by a mile. Current view tally: Facebook 1,436, YouTube 53, and Vimeo 0. But I chose the Vimeo version to embed on my website as part of this blog post. Vimeo is hands-down the best option for embedding; we’ll talk about why in a future post.