Vimeo vs Youtube: Which Video Sharing Site Should You Use?

MattBusiness, Filmmaking, Video Production7 Comments

vimeo vs youtube

As a video production professional, you’ll no doubt eventually come across a longtime debate in the video world: Vimeo vs Youtube. Do you go with Vimeo (the relatively new player on the field), or do you side with the veteran (and time-tested) old-hand, Youtube?

I wanted to take some time in this article to tackle the question of Vimeo vs Youtube. After all, if you want to get your work out there and seen by people in the best way possible, this is a question very much worthy of consideration.

What You Will Learn

  • The pros and cons of Youtube as a video platform for your work and your client’s work.
  • The pros and cons of Vimeo as a video platform for your work and your client’s work.
  • The top 5 tips for maximizing your videos and time spent using any video sharing platform.
  • Why you should consider becoming a full-fledged digital marketing agency.

The (kinda) new kid on the block

Most video professionals are slowly but surely stepping away from YouTube and heading towards Vimeo.

It might surprise you, but Vimeo has actually existed longer than Youtube. Vimeo was founded in November 2004, whilst Youtube didn’t emerge until February 2005. Because of Youtube’s meteoric rise to fame, most people believe Youtube is the veteran of the video sharing industry.

If you ask most people on the street which platform is the oldest, 9 out of 10 would say Youtube. In fact, a large portion of those asked wouldn’t have even heard of Vimeo.

But Vimeo has actually existed longer than Youtube.

More people than ever before are consuming video content online and the numbers are only going to increase each year for the foreseeable future. According to Statistica data, 213.2 million people in the U.S. watched online video in 2015, and online video advertising spend hit $6.42 billion for the year:

Vimeo vs Youtube: The pros and cons

I’ll try and be as objective as possible in weighing the pros and cons of Vimeo vs Youtube, but you can probably see which direction I’m edging towards already.

Top 3 Reasons to use Vimeo over YouTube:

1. Vimeo has a more professional and dynamic look to it. When you embed something using Vimeo, you know you’re getting a premium look. In fact, the whole of your Vimeo channel is a great look right out of the box, but it can be customized to appear exactly the way you want it (paid version).

2. There’s a vibrant and active filmmaking community built into Vimeo. From groups, channels and top filmmakers having a presence; Vimeo is the filmmaker’s video sharing site.

3. Most folks online associate YouTube as being a salesy platform, due to all the annoying ads that interrupt videos you watch there. First impressions are everything in lots of situations, so set yourself apart and use a premium platform like Vimeo.

I still use both, but embed the videos on my website’s Portfolio page using Vimeo. We also use our Vimeo videos for every video we post to social media for our production company.

I’m assuming lots of people reading this already have a Vimeo channel. Do you use it as your primary account for your video production company’s activities?

And, no, I don’t work for Vimeo.

Check out this video for more:

Top 3 Reasons to use Vimeo over YouTube:

“Okay, I get it: you love Vimeo.”

I’m sure you’ve said something like that to yourself as you finished that last section. I do think Vimeo is pretty darn awesome, but here are a few pros on why you’d want to choose Youtube over Vimeo:

1. First and foremost, it’s the biggest and most popular video sharing platform in the world. Not only that, but next to Google, Youtube is the world’s second biggest search engine. And that’s really saying something.

2. Youtube is well monetized. Yes, if you’re looking to make money from the videos you upload to the platform, Youtube is better equipped at earning you money. Of course, unless you have a hugely followed channel with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you won’t see much more than chump change.

Still, it’s worth noting here as a pro over Vimeo.

3. Finally, Youtube is owned by Google. This is a biggie and shouldn’t be underestimated. The world’s biggest search engine owns the world’s second biggest search engine. Also, the world’s biggest search engine has predilection for featuring videos from the world’s second biggest search engine at the top of their rankings.

In plain English: Google favors rankings Youtube videos over other video sharing platform’s video (most notably Vimeo’s).

The most important factor: what your clients want

Now we’ve gone into the pros and cons of both Youtube and Vimeo. We’ve described the benefits of both, but we haven’t asked the most important question: what do your clients want?

There’s a distinction that we should make here:

1. Having video sharing platform accounts for marketing your video production company and displaying your work to interested parties.

2. Using video sharing platforms to display videos that you’ve made to promote client’s businesses (by uploading them to a client’s video sharing platform account).

In the case of option 2, whether you’re making videos for your clients and then adding them to their own video sharing platform accounts. Or whether you’re setting up a whole video sharing platform and social media strategy for a client. You’re going to eventually need to ask: what does my client want and what serves my client best?

It’s all very well saying Vimeo is the better option because there are no ads and it has a more professional, premium interface. But if you’re client is looking to rank for keyword terms and also promote his videos within the platform to build an audience, maybe Youtube would be the better solution.

Some questions to ask yourself (and your clients):

  • Do your clients have to rank their videos on Google?
  • Do your clients intend to make use of ads to promote their videos?
  • Is a premium looking interface a requirement for your client?

video sharing

The marketing side of the equation

Imagine if you could make extra money promoting the videos you make for clients.

In a lot of cases, you’ll be working with clients on a video project, but they’ll also be interested in the wider scope of their promotional efforts, i.e.: how do our videos get more eyeballs on them.

In this way, you’ll find that you have options to upsell clients on a marketing service after your video production work is done. This is one reason why many video production companies become all-service digital marketing agencies.

Let’s face it: the same clients that come to video production companies looking for video production solutions are the same clients that also need marketing solutions. Making a video is only part of the overall marketing equation.

Without going too in-depth on this, as I plan to write a detailed future article on How To Start a Digital Marketing Agency, here are some things you might want to offer your video production clients as upsells:

  • website design and creation,
  • graphic design,
  • search engine optimization (SEO),
  • content creation (articles, posts, etc),
  • social media strategy and implementation,
  • and more.

Of course, you don’t have to be an expert on all of these (or even any of them), as outsourcing skilled work online is now very much a part of the digital landscape.

More and more video production companies are realizing that in this day and age, you need to cater to all sorts of client needs, rather than focusing on one aspect. Specializing is fine, but offering upsells is good for business, and can be a stepping stone towards converting your company into a fully-fledged digital agency.

5 Tips For Doing Video Sharing Platforms Right

Whether you go with Vimeo, or you go with Youtube, here are some general pointers on doing video sharing sites right:

1. Comment on other people’s videos. By commenting, you start the networking process and you get clickthroughs (and eyes) on your videos.

2. Optimise all your videos. Add quality descriptions, tags and keywords to all your uploads. Same as if you were adding content to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

3. Personalize your profile. On Youtube, this means personalizing your channel. Whether you’re using Youtube or Vimeo, add eye-catching visuals that grab people’s attention. Add links back to your site and fill out your profile in great detail.

4. Promote your work by engaging in communities. On Vimeo, this would be joining groups and actively participating in them. You can also post videos on forums that are related to a specific video. Engage communities with Reddit and watch your work go viral.

5. Transcribe your videos. If you have the option, pay to have your videos transcribed. This helps with search engine rankings, as well as helping people consume your content in other ways.

Conclusion

For my money, Vimeo is just a much more professional and smoother operating platform for displaying your video. Vimeo is great for both video production company promoting their work, as well as filmmakers of all kinds looking to display their work.

On the other hand, Youtube as a more established authority in the video sharing platform space stands as a better option if you have clients who are looking to promote their videos: be it through ads, or ranking factors with Google.

If you go the Youtube direction for increased video marketing options, you might want to consider taking your video production company in a new direction and offer services that are similar to an all-service digital marketing agency. Even if you don’t go with Youtube, this is an option that I strongly recommend you consider.

And, let’s not forget: there’s nothing stopping you going with both Youtube and Vimeo. Of course, it’s a little harder to focus fully on both at the same time, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have accounts with both and focus more fully on one in  particular.

Before you consider your decision in the question Vimeo vs Youtube, make sure you consider all your options. The choice you make depends on both your goals and the goals of your client.

I hope you’ve found this article on Vimeo vs Youtube helpful in making a decision. Let us know in the comments below if you have any thoughts, questions or care to share your experience.

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