When it comes to powerful marketing tools and techniques, video has emerged as the must-have type of content to drive people to your website and explain what your business is all about. From explainer videos, to testimonials and video ads, video marketing is used by 87% of online marketers, showing just how popular it is.
It is not just popular though, it is also a key method for generating more sales, with 89% of video marketers saying that they achieve good ROI when they use videos. So, any business that wants to have an effective marketing strategy should be investing their time and budget into creating great video content.
As well as determining the right type of content to include in videos, businesses also need to consider the technical aspects of creating and sharing videos. With smartphones now having excellent video recording capability and additional editing features, there is no need to use more complex video recording equipment, so video marketing is easy to create.
Once you have developed your content strategy and created great video content, you now need to think about the best way to share your videos. If you want to feature your videos on your website, to generate more visitors and convert more leads, you need to decide how to host your video.
While many CMS platforms will enable you to upload videos directly onto your website server, this puts a heavy load on your website and can cause lagging or can even bring your website down. Therefore, it is usually better to use a third-party video platform to embed videos into your website. However, if you do prefer to host your videos on your website, it is a good idea to choose a scalable cloud platform that will be able to handle all your website development needs, as your requirements grow.
There are many different video hosting options, so you should do some research before you decide which host is going to be right for your business, based on factors such as cost, ease-of-use, file size restrictions and lots of other key information.
These are ten of the best video hosting solutions available in 2021:
A video host that needs no introduction, YouTube is the largest video sharing website in the world and for many people, the familiarity of using the site helps them to decide on this host. When you choose YouTube, you have unlimited file storage and unrivalled audience-building opportunities but one of the drawbacks is that businesses have to use the branded iframe player if they want to embed onto their website.
Another host that many people will already have heard of is Vimeo, the video hosting platform that has been designed with creative professionals in mind. File storage is limited to 500 MB per week for free users, and 20 GB per week for pro users. There is also a file size limit of 500 MB per week for free users and 256 GB per week for pro users. The video embed is more discreet than YouTube and there are no annoying ads.
Even though Facebook is predominantly a social media platform, it also provides you with the ability to upload videos that you can then share from your website. One of the major benefits of this is that you have a massive audience-building potential, with almost 2.5 billion monthly active users. The negatives to choosing Facebook are that you have a max file size of 4 GB, have to put up with ads and the branded embedded player does not give you as much as the other options do.
If your website is built on WordPress, you might want to use the Jetpack plugin, as part of the Jetpack plan costing £10 per month for the first year and around £20 per week after that, providing you with unlimited video hosting. As well as having a customisable embedded video player, you get video stats in your dashboard but the cost is the main drawback.
Wistia is a good choice for tapping into marketing features such as embedding lead capture forms and integrating marketing software. The free plan allows you to upload just three videos, so you would need to upgrade to Pro (£71 per month) or Advanced (£287 per month) if you want to upload regular video content.
Another video hosting option that is geared more towards integrating marketing tools, is Brightcove. There are lots of great features of Brightcove but you will need a fairly big marketing budget, starting at around £170 per month and signing up for an annual contract. It would suit bigger businesses but is not ideal for small businesses who want to keep their costs down.
Vidyard is built around driving sales by creating marketing videos that bring emails to life and engage readers enough to keep watching. There is a free plan that allows unlimited recording and uploads and provides analytics. The main issues with using Vidyard is that you have limited website embeds and the customisable player is only available in the more expensive plans.
SproutVideo is another video hosting solution that is focused more on the sales related features, such as capturing leads within the video, while also providing good analytics and allowing you to design unique video players for each video. The basic plan starts from around £20 per month but unlike YouTube and Facebook, there is no audience on the platform to be able to reach. Some marketers have described SproutVideo as being more complicated than other video hosting solutions.
While Uscreen is classed as a video hosting platform, the main purpose of Uscreen is for training and education providers to monetise their videos. If this is what you are looking for, it is the ideal solution, as it also offers fast HD video hosting. The basic plan starts at around £80 per month, so would only suit companies with bigger marketing budgets.
The hosting solution previously known as vooPlayer is now known as Spotlightr. There are some very useful features and 360 videos are supported, making it a popular choice for estate agents showing virtual tours of properties. It also integrates with Google, Facebook and Instagram ads. The basic plan starts from £25 per month, with the main users of this solution being more experienced digital marketers due to it being more complicated to use than most other video hosting solutions.
When you are choosing the right video host for your business, you need to decide what your main goals and objectives are and base your decision around which host will provide the features that will help your business to grow. If you are working to a small marketing budget, you will need to opt for a free video host or one of the less expensive ones. If you want your videos to drive high volumes of sales, then solutions with lead capture features will be important.
Another factor to consider is how experienced you, or your marketing team is, if you have a marketing team. Some of these solutions are very complicated to use, so if you do not have experienced digital marketers using your hosting solution, you should opt for one that is easy to use.