You've taken the plunge and added videos to your marketing efforts. Now what happens? You have to share them, tell your fans about them, and host them somewhere. Of course, you can host videos on your own website, but today's free hosting sites offer an added social benefit. And while it's compelling to just upload to one site and hope it attracts hits, it's not always the best choice. Depending on your industry, content, and video length, a number of different social video sites might be a better choice. Here's a break down of some major players and how to decide which is best for your content.
Which video site is right for your business?
1) YouTube. If you're making marketing videos, you have to put them on YouTube. It's the site with the most visitors who spend the most amount of time watching videos, which means more exposure for you. It's free and you can monetize your videos with ads after a certain number of views. One problem with the service is its mobile compatibility. While some YouTube videos can be viewed on mobile devices, some cannot, which can isolate a large chunk of your viewership.
2) Flickr. Yes-the photo-sharing site will also host videos, which is good if you're already using Flickr and have a Flickr Community around your brand. To help you keep things interesting and well-edited, videos are capped at 90 seconds. With a free account, you can upload 2 videos per month. For $25 per year, you can upload as many videos as you want.
3) Vimeo. While it doesn't get as much traffic as YouTube, the Vimeo community makes it a valuable place to upload your videos. With a free option, you can upload one High-definition video per week. Commercial options give you far more flexibility, which may be worthwhile. A payed option guarantees you a video in HTML5 format (with Flash fallback for older browsers), which means desktop and mobile users will be able to enjoy your video. Most of the videos on Vimeo have an artistic slant, which makes it an ideal choice if you're in a "creative" industry. I will also add that Vimeo's player looks really nice when embedded on a website, even better than the YouTube Player.
4) Daily Motion. It's a lot like YouTube. A lot. It's based in France and has more traffic in Europe and surrounding areas than it does in the US. If this is part of your target demographic, you'll certainly want to post your videos there. The site is growing in popularity in the US as an alternative to YouTube.
5) Viddy. Recently called the "Instragram for videos", Viddy is a social video service that lets you record, edit, and share 15-second video clips using a smartphone app. Free filters are included, which is what makes this service Instagram-eque. Viddy can be configured to share your videos on an assortment of other sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
6) Blip.tv. If you're going to start a web series or create a bunch of videos with a common theme, Blip.tv is the right choice. Videos on Blip are high quality and the service has tools that will help you promote your work, even distributing through other video platforms like YouTube. If you're creating a one-off video rather than a series, Blip might not be the right choice.
7) Viddler. Viddler is business-oriented. It has advanced analytics and monetization options. Videos can be sent to iTunes and video players can be customized to match any brand. Use Viddler for professional content, not homemade "viral" videos.
How many sites should you upload videos to?
In short, you can upload your videos to as many places as you want. You might find it easier to use a video distribution site that will post to multiple networks at once. But to get the best community and most views, target a few sites and use them consistently. It makes sense for you to go where your audience is. A business audience is better served by Viddler, while a younger demographic is better met by Viddy. Think about your videos and your target demographic. If you're not sure which sites are right, upload to a few and track your views and analytics for several videos. Testing in this way will let you see which sites are the best fit for your message.
Where do you upload your video content? Will you be trying any new sites?