Video is becoming an increasingly important component of a well-rounded content marketing program. It helps with search, provides a different way to present content beyond the written word and offers you an opportunity to speak directly to your audience. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words still rings true. To that end, here’s a round up of the top video sharing services. Use one or more of them for your efforts.
Youtube – the first and most well known. YouTube allows you to integrate videos into your site very easily – from simple embeds to working with their APIs. You either link to a video or allow commenting and uploading of videos to YouTube through your site. You can also restrict which videos are linked and accessed through your site. YouTube mobile allows creation of videos from your phone and send them straight to YouTube, as well as viewing.
Vimeo is an upscale sharing service built by and for filmmakers and artists. It boasts one of the best interfaces on the web and the highest quality video including HD. When you want to see some of the best video on the web, it’s a great place to explore. It does not allow any commercial uses such as sales demos, real estate walk throughs, product demos, advertising spots, etc. You are also not permitted to upload any videos you did not create yourself or play a key role in creating. You can, however, advertise on video, but it’s not a resource for content marketing. That said, Vimeo is worth a look – particularly for the elegant interface. They get it right.
Viddler is a versatile sharing service that does allow commercial use and provides tools to build your brand. It features a customizable video player allowing you to incorporate you logo as well as RSS and iTunes integration. While YouTube always shows their logo, Viddler lets you brand the player as your own for better integration with your website. You have the ability to engage your community through comments and sharing on social media. They offer four plans depending on your volume, starting at $100/month for 50GB all the way up to $1,500/month for 4 Terabytes monthly.
Revver, like Vimeo, is a sharing service targeting artists. It’s completely free and supported by advertising. Advertisers can place ads that run just before a video plays or in the bottom 20% of a video as well as ads at the end of the video. Viewers can minimize the ads and you have the option to opt out of the Preroll and overlay ads. Advertisers can also sponsor playlists and create branded banners. Revver offers revenue sharing on the clicks for those wanting to participate. They also screen every video before it goes live. Sharing is the core focus of Revver and you’re able to host, email, download and pass along Revver videos on most Social networks. The benefit to content creators is additional pass around. While you can upload unlimited videos, they’ll eventually remove those that are not viewed.
Blip.tv was formed to help people easily broadcast web shows and series. Think of it as a personal network. They don’t allow one-off videos intended to go viral, but rather focus on hosting a series that allows you to build a following – and your brand. It’s a great venue for content marketers because you’re able to broadcast useful information to your core audience on a regular basis through Blip.tv. This allows you to increase your relevance in search through tagging and building that library of valuable content. It’s not for videos primarily to peddle a product, but then neither is content marketing. They distribute to a variety of networks including YouTube and Vimeo, giving you additional exposure. While the basic service is free, they offer professional accounts for $8.00 / month which allows you more control over distribution, videos up to 4 hours (instead of 1 hour), and priority coding upon upload.
Metacafe is all about entertainment focused on shorter videos. You’ll find movie trailers, tv clips, music videos and sports highlights, but no hard news unless you’ve partnered with them to create custom content integration as CBS has. It’s where Hollywood and independent producers meet the web. It’s purely audience driven – through viewer ratings and reviews. They make money through advertising with Flash overlays and pre and post rolls as well as branded channels, custom content integration, mashups and homepage sponsorships and product placement opportunities. It’s designed less for content marketing and more brand building via advertising. For the visitors and writers, here at the site massive opportunities will be made available. The design of the content marketing should be impressive and beautiful.
Find the service that works best for you effort. Your content strategy will help determine which of these are right for you. Certainly other opportunities and formats will come along and we’ll highlight the ones that matter to content creators and marketers.