As a brand, or someone marketing a brand, it is common knowledge by now that you should be active on video.
No other format comes even close to video when it comes to getting your audience to click on it, consume it fully and share their thoughts on it.
That really is all we want, and expect, from our content.
My aim is to map out which video hosting sites marketers can pick from.
It should serve as a place to pick out the right hosting option for any marketing campaign that you’ll take on.
Here's what we'll cover
- What is video hosting?
- Where do you use video hosting?
- 1. Video hosting on social media
- 2. Freemium video hosting Sites
- 3. Paid Video Hosting Sites
- 4. Screenshare hosting
- 5. File sharing hosting
What is video hosting?
It is a service that you use to host your videos, in our case marketing videos.
The videos we use are to bring people in and introduce and sell our product.
But these need to be hosted somewhere, and this is where a LOT of options open up.
Where do you use video hosting?
I should probably take the time to list out where marketers will need video hosting too.
This should put into context the types of video hosting I’ll be listing later on.
Using video in email
We love us some email campaigns, don’t we? It’s the life-blood of what we do. No better way to engage our customers than to set up a good email chain.
One way to bolster the value and make it more personal is to embed a short video in these emails.
It is far easier to consume, and so a lot likelier to be watched through.
Embedding in sites
If you have a website or blog, it’s a great idea to implement video in them.
Preferably above the fold, a video on any page should explain the summary or the entirety of the information on it.
This gives the visitor the easiest way to consume your content.
Content promotion with video
If you have this massive sequence of related content ready to go, you would have a detailed promotion strategy ready to go with it.
And ideally, this should revolve around video. A short 2-minute video/teaser to get your audience excited about what’s coming is a great way to start.
Follow this up with more tidbits about this content sequence. You would do this mainly on social media.
Video customer testimonials
No better way to get new customers than show them your truest results.
What do your existing customers have to say about you?
Here too, video is the best way to go as it has an indescribable effect on a prospective customer.
A format where a brand/business discuss their product or service regularly.
Rather than have an avalanche of information drop on your audience, you keep them steadily engaged with this format.
This can be a way to gradually educate your customers about every aspect of what they’ve bought.
Or it can simply be engagement that you want. This can be about the market in general, and new developments in it.
Now, that that’s done with, let’s get down to the actual hosting options for your business.
A straight-forward cost-effective way to host your videos.
Sign-up for an account on any number of free social platforms and start churning out content.
There is no other format that can boast the same number of audience or the time spent on it.
The numbers really are mind-boggling. But that does not mean that it is the best option.
Having a torrent of information of all kinds does make it a bit harder to stand out.
But nevertheless, it is advisable to have your own channel. If not to bring in attention, but to host a library of explainer videos.
Hardly the first platform when anyone thinks of video, Twitter nevertheless is a great way to promote.
You can either upload the video to Twitter or record one from the app and go from there.
The length of the videos is limited to 2 minutes and 20 seconds, which is perfect for its intended purpose.
A quick teaser for upcoming events or offers or anything else exciting to do with your product.
A highly successful switch from just images to a more video-centric approach has worked wonders for Instagram and for its regular users.
Instagram videos clearly engage better than image posts.
The fact that they have a maximum length of 1 minute, means people are likelier to watch it completely.
Again, this is great for what it should be used for. Promotion.
Facebook has been a great place to promote brands and businesses, outside of the ads.
The best way to use it is to stream something live, as these tend to bring in much higher engagement.
Then you have the option of making the replay available, so no one misses out.
But it is definitely the live videos that bring more people to your content.
The best place for B2B outreach, LinkedIn has embraced video.
The best thing to do when you’ve started a business is to consistently post video content relevant to your field.
LinkedIn also has the benefit of being a more serious platform, where only value-adding content, and not fluff, do well.
Although, not quite at the level of YouTube, DailyMotion is a social video network that you can leverage for business.
2. Freemium video hosting Sites
These are hosting options that do offer a free hosting option but keep their best features to paying customers.
This is the section where you’ll find a few marketing-specific platforms, whose purpose is creating, promoting and analyzing videos for the sole purpose of brand building.
Vimeo is an excellent example of the freemium model.
Restricting free users to 500MB upload/week and only basic analytics, it is still a decent option, especially for creative brands.
They even offer marketing tools like email capture on the Business and Premium plans.
Paid members can customize the look of the Vimeo video player when you embed it on your site, which is crucial for user XP.
Commercial content is a no-go here, so you should be mindful of that.
The free plan offers you the option to upload and share unlimited videos. But you get to embed just 5 videos.
That is a severe restriction for serious marketers, but a good way to start.
Paid plans remove these restrictions and Vidyard branding. They also offer features like data integrations and custom user permissions for paid users.
Hippo is a video editor as well. It has a solid starter plan that lets you create and host unlimited videos.
The provided bandwidth of 100Gb gives you enough time to judge if the tool’s a good fit.
Then you can opt for the paid options that’ll let you market and sell more seriously, with email integrations, lead generation tools and more.
3. Paid Video Hosting Sites
These are hosting options for small businesses and larger enterprises.
The bulk of the best marketing platforms built around video will be in this section.
No other hosting plan has us more excited than Wave.Video. Specifically their 4.0, which will drop sometime in December.
With 4.0, Wave will push the concept of video funnels. A marketing funnel based only on video.
Wave is an online video maker and hosting site. But in the new version, they will let marketers add CTAs to their videos and automatically create video landing pages.
This means Wave alone is what you’ll need for your entire marketing needs. I’ll be adding more to this section, and my post on video funnels, once it is actually released.
But suffice to say, it is hugely anticipated here at Actionable Tools. Especially when we heard that the top plan will be just $99 a month.
Wistia is another video maker focused on brand promotion and business growth.
Technically, it adopts the Freemium model. But a free plan with a 3-video limit is more like a trial of the video-editing experience.
Wistia has clickable CTAs too. How it works is you have the option of pausing a video at a certain time and give the audience the option to click on a link.
This is great because it invites people to take action, without taking them out of the video.
The video player is customizable to suit your brand.
An excellent tool to edit and market videos, VooPlayer has a customizable video player, gating content and great analytics for their paid users.
The analytics is especially good with it giving you the details of who watched what. Moreover, you know the parts they watched, rewatched and skipped.
This is priceless data when you want to figure out what kind of content is working.
Sprout gives a 30-day free trial of its full features to a new user.
It is made specifically for business, and it shows with the features they’ve included. Security is a big part of what they offer, as you have complete control of how your videos are shared.
VdoCipher is the most secure option of the lot. Videos hosted on VdoCipher cannot be downloaded using any plugins or web tools.
This is great for e-learning businesses, but also for marketing purposes.
Dubb aims to be an all-in-one solution for your video marketing. That’s always an attractive proposition.
You don’t need multiple subscriptions and the hassle of migrating data between them.
Dubb offers email video editing & hosting, email campaigns, contact management, workflow automation, landing page builder, and data reporting.
This form of hosting is when you want to record and host sessions of your screen.
The most common use-cases are onboarding and how-to videos for tools. It is a great addition to a welcome mail after customer purchase.
Loom is an excellent way to get your message across to your customers and even internally among your team.
It’s a lot more convenient for a new user to figure out a tool when support sends in a video with step-by-step instructions on using the tool.
This extends to customer support in general, as a video beats a solution over email, any day.
Loom makes recording, storing and sharing these sessions ridiculously easy.
With the chrome extension, it makes recording web app sessions very easy too, which has been a big asset for me personally.
Nimbus is a screen-grab tool that also offers video recording on Google chrome.
It is possibly the best chrome extension you can get if you use screenshots and screen-shares regularly.
You can add webcam footage to the screen-share to add a personal touch. Dealer’s choice.
They do focus on still images and editing them, but the video option is solid too.
SnagIt is a product from TechSmith, makers of Camtasia.
So it’ll be no surprise that SnagIt is an excellent way to record screen sessions, add your voice-over and even add visual instructions if need be.
Outside of screen-share hosting, it even lets you build videos from images and add voice to them later.
Droplr captures screenshots and screencasts for the express purpose of making messaging easier.
This can be for communications with clients or just for notes within your team.
Add messages to screenshots and screencasts with the text field to make your message crystal-clear.
CloudApp is an elegant screen-recorder software that can integrate webcam footage.
It is built for B2B communication. Its purpose is to accelerate this process.
It also lets you create GIFs which along with the video, can make communication so much faster and clearer.
5. File sharing hosting
These would be cloud servers that are good at hosting large files, that you can then choose to share with customers or internally.
It would also act as repositories for data in general.
A great way to share files with clients and that includes video files. This would be useful if you are a marketing or content creation business.
Share a Dropbox folder with your current client and it is a convenient way to share data.
It’s not the most elegant way, but Dropbox is a familiar tool for everyone, so that counts as an advantage.
PCloud is an alternative. It provides top-notch cloud storage services for businesses and individuals to upload and share files of all formats.
It backs up good speeds with great security to ensure it is a good package overall.
I’ve laid out the various types of video hosting available for marketers and provided good options under each type.
It’s clear that there’s no one ‘right’ option.
We personally are partial to the paid video hosting options, because that’s where the true marketing platforms appear.
Marketing platforms like Wave, Wistia and VooPlayer.
Wave is something we’re especially excited about after it’s the announcement of 4.0.
So watch this space for more related content.