When it comes to storing and sharing your company’s marketing videos, there are plenty of hosting solutions to choose from. Whether you opt for an industry giant or a lesser-known platform, consider the tools you’ll need for housing, organizing, and accessing your video content.
Let’s take a closer look at the features and functions of six consistently top-rated platforms for hosting explainer and demo videos.
By now, marketing professionals can probably recite the statistics for this platform by heart:
- 500 uploads each minute.
- 2 billion monthly active users.
- Considered the second largest search engine.
Yet YouTube has some significant downsides, too. It isn’t really built to meet the data and marketing needs of businesses. Moreover, YouTube offers minimal branding customization options, especially compared to competitor hosting solutions.
Plans and Pricing: Free for all.
Bottom Line: YouTube might win out for familiarity and popularity, but it’s aimed more toward individual users and creative content producers. There are several business-friendly alternatives that may better advance your marketing objectives for hosting explainer and demo videos.
Vimeo is often mentioned as YouTube’s biggest competitor. While the platforms are similar, a few of the solution’s features stand out for marketing professionals. For starters, Vimeo offers additional social sharing options for easier video promotion, which is always helpful in driving interest and clicks. And as long as you stay within your plan’s monthly size limits, there’s no cap on bandwidth or the number of files you can upload.
Plans and pricing: Vimeo offers a number of plans at various price points, as well as a limited free plan. Business-level subscribers can employ calls to action from the video player. Other key features include lead generation and capture tools, engagement graphs and reports, and integration with Google Analytics.
Bottom Line: Vimeo is extremely popular with video enthusiasts and production companies, but less so with marketing teams as a platform for hosting explainer and demo videos. The emphasis on image quality may be especially appealing to some industries.
Wistia is specifically made for business video needs, with features aimed squarely at the business marketer. Those features include lead generation and detailed heatmaps for more accurate data and an enhanced performance analysis for published videos.
Wistia also offers significant integrations, such as MailChimp and Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.
Plans and pricing: Wistia offers a limited free plan that’s just enough to try the service and platform for yourself and see if it fits your needs. For any serious marketing use, you’ll need a paid plan (costing between $99 and $399 a month).
Bottom Line: One big downside of Wistia is the potential for a surprising cost spike if you exceed your bandwidth. The two paid plans are highly segmented, although the cost isn’t as steep as other platforms.
Access to viewer engagement statistics, enhanced privacy settings, and the ability to create your own video website complete with a dedicated domain are just three of the things that make SproutVideo a business-friendly video hosting solution.
SproutVideo also offers a robust collection of themes, with different layouts to customize the look of your video pages. To further your marketing efforts, you can add a call to action or lead capture form to your video, create specially curated video playlists, and access heatmaps to see how your users interact with your videos.
Plans and pricing: SproutVideo has no free plan, though it does offer a free trial if you’d like to test out its features before committing. Monthly rates for the paid plans start at about $25 and go up to $500.
Bottom Line: SproutVideo pricing can get a bit complex with overage pricing for exceeded bandwidth and files, but the base monthly costs will probably fit a variety of budgets and needs.
DaCast (formerly Vzaar)
It may not be as well known, but DaCast is frequently cited as a go-to for ease of use. This platform is especially useful for teams that might be new to video or less proficient with the medium’s more technical aspects.
An HTML5-based white-label player allows you to brand your video pages your way. DaCast also offers unlimited live streaming events and ad-free high-def streaming, which may be appealing to event marketers.
Plans and pricing: Plans start at $19 a month for 100GB bandwidth. A plan at $125/month (billed annually) increases that to 2000GB of bandwidth. However, DaCast does limit viewer hours and storage, although more advanced plans are available at higher price points.
Bottom Line: DaCast is a solid contender for business use, especially for small teams and those who are new to implementing video.
Unlike YouTube and Vimeo, Vidyard aimed its video hosting solution squarely at the business market. You can take advantage of integrations with major marketing tools, including Salesforce, Marketo, Mailchimp, Zendesk, HubSpot, and more.
Vidyard widely trumpets its “video personalization” capabilities. While this may certainly be useful in some contexts, how much value it actually returns for the investment remains debatable.
Plans and pricing: For video marketing, Vidyard offers three packages, plus a customized option at the enterprise level. These prices are not cheap, ranging up to $850 per month, billed annually. With paid plans, you’ll gain access to analytics, a fully customizable player, and interactive calls to action.
Bottom Line: In one sense, Vidyard offers all the advantages (powerful tracking, deep analytics) and disadvantages (higher cost, an “all or nothing” plan structure) of any closed platform or solution.
The Right Solution for Hosting Explainer and Demo Videos
When you begin to evaluate specific platforms, start with the major overview points outlined above. Don’t forget to look at other impact factors, such as learning curve and ease of use. Finally, keep in mind aspects of functionality, like how long it can take to accomplish specific tasks (for example, adding a call to action or creating and optimizing a video page). You can then fine tune your short-list of candidates based on preferences and budget from there.