There is no argument that video content is an important component of marketing. Audiences crave short, engaging videos that drive home messages in a concise way. Long videos are an engagement killer! There, I've said it. This is why the trend toward "short-videos" in marketing has taken over the Internet. Streamlining your message is so important that it is estimated that a viewer decides in the first five seconds of loading your video if they're going to stick around to see your entire message. Short video + fast loading - improved viewership, sales, and profits. A win, win win! With that said, I've compiled a list of the top video hosting services. With this list, I've taken into consideration the quality of the service and support, the time it takes to incorporate video into your site, the tools for monitoring success, and the speed at which the video loads. So––here we go––the a closer look at our list of top 5 video hosts.
Launched even before Youtube (way back in 2004), Vimeo stands out as one of pioneers of video hosting. Its long track record makes it a reliable option. For businesses promoting their products and services through video, Vimeo offers a platform without having annoying advertisements for your users/audience (even on the basic (free) package). Furthermore, with Vimeo's large backbone of servers across the globe, you can rest assure that your content will be seen at the four corners of the world (if you believe, like me, that the Earth is flat––of course it is). If you're interested in integrating social media into your video and marketing campaigns, Vimeo offers this interaction with the major social media networks. Vimeo does offer premium features for a price, which can be quite hefty. Such as, authority over determining the privacy of the video and the capability to rent or even sell it to a potential buyer.
If you're seeking Youtube like functionality, but with better revenue split, then Dailymotion is an acceptable option. With Dailymotion's basic and free package, you get unlimited storage and bandwidth. But with this comes a cost––Ads! Dreaded Ads. Like Youtube, Dailymotion shows ads, however, unlike Youtube, their ads don't interrupt the viewer during the video––ads appear only at the end of video. I'm pretty keen on their personalized branding tools, their player technology, and customizable widgets. They also have search and filter feature that is built into the Media Manager. This makes content management that much easier. For official partners of Dailymotion, you detailed analytics, including audience retention, social network traffic, minutes, watched, and a lot more. Overall, a great alternative to Youtube, but only if you're okay with ads.
Not all video hosts are the same. Some focus on the user experience and others on making money and siphoning off your customers. With Brightcove, you get a range of tools that help you focus on the user experience. With greater freedom of customization, lead generation tools, live event streaming, monetization via advertising, branding features, mobile optimization, and advanced analytics, Brightcove can be an attractive option. Their packages are divided into categories based on your needs. There's a package for a marketer, a publisher, broadcaster, and the enterprise-level customers. If you're confused, don't worry, they make it easy. Brightcove does offer a 30-day free trial so you can test run their features before paying. I'll be honest, over the years I know many customers have jumped ship from Brightcove because of their customer support. Please take this into consideration.
Wistia isn't the cheapest video platform. It isn't the splashiest. It isn't the fastest loading. But their ability to target users is incredible. It is easy to upload videos, customise them, and add components like surveys and actionable items. You don't get much as a free user of their service. Your limited to uploading only three videos, but it is enough to taste what they offer. You can also choose a custom thumbnail for all your videos and send a shout out for each of your new uploads via the email or on social networks. Their analytics are great. You can track users through the video watching process to see where they dropped off. You can also collect email addressed right in the player so that you can integrate with places like MailChimp and Infusionsoft. For premium packages, Wistia offers history tracking, an unbranded player, call to actions, trend graphs, and annotations to help improve the conversions.
If you are looking for instant video load speed, unlimited bandwidth, and simple integrations with WordPress, your blog, or any HTML based website, then Swarmify might be the right choice for you. Swarmify provides unique features, like instantly auto-converting from any existing video on YouTube, Vimeo, or others. Their video player provides advanced Edge AI to deliver the fastest and highest quality video experience. The player can also be customized to completely match your brand and site colors. It doesn't have any of the distracting watermarks or logos, like other players. Pricing is simple, starting with a $50/month plan. You can try Swarmify for free for 30 days with all the same features you get with a paid plan. Did I say Unlimited Videos. I've seen this claim before, with others. But typically this means the quality is cut down or they're making money with ads. Swarmify doesn't have ads, that's not their deal. They just giving you a great player at a great price. All plans come with analytics to show you how your video is being viewed. Swarmify primary strength is their technology. They have a patented technology that makes loading video faster and eliminates all buffering.
Phew! How is that for a great list of video players. Remember. Video load speed is vital. Short videos are the trend. Retaining your customers should be a top priority. With these factors in mind, try out these great players and grow your business with an ever stronger customer base. There are other players out there, of course, but these are some of the best.