There comes a point in every marketer’s life when they begin to realize that YouTube has several drawbacks.
Any video on YouTube always ends with suggested videos. Not only does that create an opportunity for distracting a viewer, it could also open the door for competitors information to appear alongside yours (which might not be a bad thing). Brands are also finding out that their advertising is funding hate speech. To YouTube’s credit, it shines when you want to host content that can be discovered through organic search.
So this doesn’t seem like a rant against YouTube, I’m going to outline some of the pros.
- High visibility potential due to popularity of Google
- Free hosting
- Provides another online marketing channel
- Remarketing unlocks the power of YouTube
There are more than 10 alternatives to YouTube; I will cover 7 video hosting platforms that I’ve reviewed and think are great.
Wistia is a leading video hosting platform that has close ties with Hubspot and Brightcove (which is a hosting platform at the enterprise level). Wistia’s great for some of the following reasons, a user friendly interface, and They provide information aimed at educating marketers on improving their video making process.
Wistia offers integrations with leading marketing automation platforms, CRMs and e-mail campaign platforms like Mailchimp. They provide easy to comprehend reporting at a glance and my favorite feature is a heatmap which shows you what portions of your videos are being watched and which are being skipped by viewers. Finally, their Turnstile add on allows for lead capturing via an e-mail gate. Check out their free trial!
The pricing structure is pretty clear cut although they are probably one of the priciest services for small businesses to use.
When to Use Wistia Instead of YouTube:
- When you’re getting serious about video marketing.
- When you’re at the early stages of video marketing at an enterprise level.
- When you want more data than YouTube will provide.
- When you need to combine your video marketing efforts with a platform like Hubspot/Pardot/Marketo/etc.
Vimeo gets two thumbs up. They’ve really upped the ante in terms of adding features that marketers could use, like post-play call to action, e-mail gating and granular analytics. They even have a review platform so your team can collaborate on video projects in progress remotely. Finally, the visual quality of Vimeo is much better than YouTube due to their compression algorithm.
You will not break the bank with Vimeo and their hosting plan is generous when compared to other platforms.
When to Use Vimeo Instead of YouTube:
- You’re getting started with video marketing.
- You care about the quality of the video playback.
- When you want some of the features of Wistia without the cost.
Sprout Video is a great platform for the non-techie video marketer because of it’s easy to use interface. It has a few unique features worth mentioning: a “shareable” player, allowing your viewers to share the video on any number of social platforms, a video microsite which allows you to publish videos to a microsite and customize it’s look and built in integrations with MAPs and e-mail campaign platforms (sense a pattern here?).
It’s pricing for what it offers is reasonable at any tier.
When to Use Sprout Video Instead of YouTube:
- If you’re not entirely wooed by Wistia’s marketing, but you want their features.
Kajabi is a turn-key platform for hosting, marketing and selling your video content online. If you’re a trainer, professional speaker and a good portion of your income comes from paid workshops Kajabi is another way to distribute and market that online. It offers responsive design, full hosting or integration with any number of platforms through an API. It allows you to create landing pages, drip campaigns; all self contained! You can interact with your subscribers, add course materials (like workbooks. Kajabi pretty much makes it brain dead to set up. You provide the video content, you control your marketing campaign and in theory, the rest falls into place.
Kajabi’s pricing is fair for the tools it offers, but don’t jump into it without a business plan and an existing client base.
When to Use Kajabi Instead of YouTube:
- When you want to stop giving away the brunt of your content for free and sell it (I’m ready for the Inbound marketers to scoff).
- When you feel that your platform (brand, content, material, etc.) has a strong enough following to make the investment make sense
- When you appreciate no-brainer solutions.
Viddler is an e-learning platform that combines video hosting, analytics in a turn-key system. This is a platform for businesses that don’t want to invest in developing an e-learning platform internally, but need to be able to develop courses for internal training with the ability to distribute, track and analyze performance.
When to Use Viddler Instead of YouTube:
- You need to bring your internal training to the next level
- You need to keep your internal training private
- You don’t want to investment in a development team to build one from scratch
- You need to track the progress of many individuals
JWPlayer is deceptively simple: upload a few videos, copy the embeded links and you could have your first video published in under 30 minutes. JWPlayer is highly customizable and unless you have a developer on your team, I don’t recommend you use it. This doesn’t mean it can’t be used for video hosting, but you will have to have some level of scripting in your background to be able to take full advantage of this system.
Fun Fact: JWPlayer is the most licensed online video player out there, so when you review video online, there’s a good chance that it’s because of their innovation.
When to Use JWPlayer Instead of YouTube:
- When you want to start your own Video Ad Network (this is the one to do it on)
- When you want to customize your experience.
Vzaar confuses me as to who it’s for. The UI felt a little outdated, but everything was easy to configure. It offered quite a few features, like branded landing pages, pre/mid/post play call to action and the ability to integrate, through an API, and become a heavily customizable platform, whether you wanted better analytics, e-commerce capability or marketing integrations. Their customer service and account people were very responsive (the companies that made it to this post all had outstanding sales and customer service response times). I feel they need to revisit their pricing, going from $25/month to $250/month is quite a leap when compared to Sprout or other platforms.
Fun fact: Oliver Stone is an investor in this platform.
When to Use Vzaar Instead of YouTube:
- As with other platforms, Vzaar is a good place to get started with video marketing.
- Added security features make this a good hosting solution for sharing proprietary video data.