What makes a good house? Is it the construction? You know: Sturdy walls, a roof that doesn’t leak, windows that don’t creak, etc.? Is it the decoration, maybe? Tasteful furnishings, an airy floor plan, plus a couple of stylish canvases hanging in the foyer? Or is it the location? Being conveniently close to all of your favorite spots, but still set apart enough that you have some privacy? Taken all together, what is the defining factor?
Of course, there is no correct answer because our initial inquiry is flawed. A better question might be:
What makes a good house for you?
That’s because every individual (or group of individuals) has radically different wants and needs. For example, if you’re a family of five, having enough room for all three kids might be your biggest concern. But if you’re a young, trendy couple, maybe what you value most is living somewhere close to downtown. Plus, no matter who you are as a theoretical homeowner, you will almost certainly be concerned about cost.
The same question–and the same concerns–can be asked of video hosting platforms. Forget “What makes a great video hosting platform?” and try to focus on “What makes a great video hosting platform for you?” instead.
For the majority of content marketers, the first platform that leaps to mind is (unsurprisingly) YouTube. After all, YouTube is already the second-biggest search engine in the world, with viewers watching over one billion hours of content every day. Additionally, YouTube offers brands free, unlimited video hosting. All together, that makes for a pretty tempting package with a lot of obvious benefits.
But just because YouTube is your natural first pick doesn’t mean that you should pick it. On paper, YouTube is a good house. However, is it a good house for you? To help your brand decide, here is our list of the four best video hosting platforms that are not YouTube, with all the helpful details you need to make your decision.
Of all the platforms on this list, Vimeo is the most overtly similar to YouTube – just think of it as YouTube for the arthouse crowd. However, there are still several key differences that you will want to keep in mind. First, some of the negatives: Vimeo’s free Basic plan has significantly limited storage in comparison with YouTube. At just 500MB of video storage a week, up to a grand total of 5GB per account, their overall capacity is extremely modest. Plus, those weekly limits make it much more difficult for your brand to try consistent posting, when just one video can max you out for seven whole days.
On the flipside, every video hosted via Vimeo is 100% ad-free, and comes pre-optimized with Google Analytics. Plus, their easy-to-use password system makes sure that only the videos you want to be seen are visible. If your team decides to pay for a Business ($50/month), Premium ($75/month), or custom-built Enterprise plan, most of the limitations of the Basic plan are removed. With Premium, you can host up to 7TB of storage, and receive access to unlimited live streaming with integrated audience chat, graphics, and live polls. Overall, Vimeo is a dignified, creative-friendly platform, and one that is popular enough to feature full integration across most major social media platforms.
Unlike YouTube and Vimeo, Wistia is a platform that was specifically built for business owners. Because of this, you can expect to pay business prices to use it. A free Wistia plan only comes with the hosting capacity for three videos at a time, while the next available tier, Pro, immediately jumps to $99/month. However, even that plan only lets your company host up to 10 videos, with all additional content running you an extra 25 cents per video. When you are trying to put into action a video-forward content strategy, all of those little quarters will add up over time.
But don’t let that scare you away. As imposing as they seem, those hefty fees are going towards a worthwhile set of professional-quality tools and capabilities. Wistia houses the most robust set of analytic features to be found on any video hosting platform; these include heat maps, video engagement metrics, and more. Pro Wistia users are able to share their video content via a customizable, unbranded player that can be easily embedded in emails or on social media. You can even integrate lead forms or other calls to action directly into your videos to generate immediate, intuitive conversion. For serious content marketers with deep pockets, Wistia will give you the deepest insight into how your videos are performing – and why.
3. Hippo Video
A much smaller and less well-known platform than the others, Hippo Video is also accordingly much more affordable. Your brand can choose from an array of plans, which range from a free plan (featuring unlimited hosting and 100GB of bandwidth) to a $49/month Growth plan (with 200GB of bandwidth, a custom domain, dedicated account manager, and more). All of these plans give your brand the option of multiple additional features, such as custom subtitles and increased bandwidth.
One of the main distinguishing features of Hippo Video is its personalized video toolset, which allows you to add unique text content to your videos for every prospect that they are sent to: Their name, job title, home city, etc. These can then be emailed in bulk, allowing you to message all of your potential customers at once with personalized versions of your video content. While this may not sound like a must-have feature, especially considering the extra $100/month it will cost you, the integration of personalized video can increase email conversion by 500% – a staggering number that suggests personalization as the future of video content marketing.
While Brightcove may not be the most powerful or accessible video hosting platform, and while it is much less open about its costs (to find out, users have to contact their sales team following a 30-day free trial), there is one area in which it truly shines: Customer service. Hosting and managing your videos can be a challenge, especially for startups or companies that are just starting to explore content marketing. Unless you are hiring an outside production company to take care of these things for you, all of the little details can quickly become overwhelming.
To help out, Brightcove offers all of its users a dedicated account manager and a host of detailed consulting services, as well as (in their own words) “expert-level support specialists” and “administrative knowledge.” As a result, their customer support team has earned the Support Staff Excellence Certification from the Technology Services Industry Association for five years running. Additionally, their broad ecosystem of partners (including giants like WordPress and Google Ad Manager) ensures your brand will have total integration with dozens of the biggest marketing companies in the world.