Video is now recognised as one of the most important weapons in the digital marketing arsenal, with demand for video content growing more than ever.
The start of the new year is a great time to think about how effectively your business is reaching the right audience online. Each of the major video platforms have their benefits, and finding the right channel depends on the unique goals of your business.
So let’s take a look at the most popular platforms for video in 2018, and where things are likely to go over the coming year…
Still the name most synonymous with online video, and the automatic go-to place to watch video content online, YouTube continues to grow from strength to strength.
The platform had its share of bad publicity in 2017. In March, more than 250 brands pulled content from YouTube after it appeared next to extremist content. In other investigations, obscene comments were found alongside videos of children.
Despite this, YouTube managed to grow around 30% year-on-year in 2017, and is still the biggest platform around, according to a new report published by Brian Weiser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research.
“Although brand safety issues are concerning … the sheer scale of YouTube … means advertisers have a continuing interest”, Wieser wrote.
Best for: Reaching the largest audience
The closest rival to YouTube in terms of scale, Facebook continued to take video more and more seriously in 2017. Facebook Watch, introduced in August, is the social media giant’s move to reel in more viewers for longer form content. Some commentators see the potential for Facebook Watch to rival YouTube.
There are, however, concerns over the growth of the platform. While user numbers continued to grow, actual usage dropped, according to Brian Weiser’s report.
On the upside, Facebook video content does get shared a lot more – up to 10 times more in fact.
Added to that, brands can feel safer in the knowledge that the strict Facebook real-name policy tends to ward off the trolling and extreme views that have been seen on YouTube.
Best for: Generating positive engagement
Traditionally associated with still photography, the last few years have seen Insta focus more on video, and today this is one of the best platforms for bite-sized video content.
Instagram Stories, released in 2016, has now overtaken Snapchat in terms of daily engagement, with the feature looking likely to keep growing throughout 2018.
The ephemeral nature of Instagram stories typically means the videos have lower production values. But with more than 50% of businesses on Instagram producing an Story in the last month, brands are now striving to compete, by producing more professional content for the platform.
Best for: Reaching a younger audience with shorter, snappier videos
Wistia is seen by many as the best platform for business video hosting, free from the pre-roll ads and other user experience issues of Youtube.
In 2017, the company launched Soapbox, their innovative cloud-based screen and webcam recording software. Soapbox allows users to record, edit, and share a high quality video in just a few minutes.
The extension is further proof of Wistia’s commitment to helping businesses use video to streamline all types of communications. Their excellent blog is full of ideas, like this recent guide to creating Christmas videos.
If you think it might be time for your business to start getting more serious about video hosting, Wistia may be the platform to go for.
Best for: Business focussed video
While YouTube has been breaking records for online video, Vimeo has been quietly gathering a reputation for high-quality artistic and creative video work.
With just a fraction of the user base of YouTube and Facebook, Vimeo is not the place to host video when you’re chasing an audience. However, the tradition of quality content has seen the platform gather a sophisticated audience. Vimeo is a great place for edgier films which may be ignored in other places.
And if your business is looking for help making videos, chances are your next collaborator can be found on Vimeo.
Best for: high quality artistic video
These are some of the most popular platforms for hosting video in 2018, each with their own unique benefits for different audiences.
But choosing a platform is just one part of the video strategy puzzle. For more ideas about creating your video content, visit our blog and learn how to Make your Next Video Hit the Target, Using Storyboarding to Boost Your Brand and more.