By Chris Karel published April 18, 2017

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog is for you.

In this “Ask a Producer” post, I offer my comparisons between YouTube and Vimeo as it relates to business video.

Origins

Vimeo was designed, and still remains, the platform for filmmakers to share their work and moments about their lives. There are amazing things to watch, such as Vimeo staff picks and  categorized channels filled with visual storytelling prowess. It’s a creator’s warehouse of what’s possible in today’s world of production.

YouTube was created as a platform for “users to upload, view, rate, share, … and comment on videos.” I watch YouTube more than I watch Vimeo. This has been a change for me over the years. I consume news, music, features, shows, and entertainment on YouTube. If you are in business, you need to have a YouTube presence! YouTube has replaced network TV for a generation of people. In fact, Susan Wojcicki announced that YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than the top 10 network TV shows combined.

Four Business Factors

Now let’s compare the two platforms as it relates to you, the makers of business video. I’m commonly asked about four areas: cost, quality, SEO, and audience.

Cost

YouTube is free with a Google account. Vimeo ranges from $204 to $600 billed annually (more about vimeo pricing).

Quality

Video quality can appear higher on Vimeo, but lagging and buffering from the Vimeo player can be more commonplace than it is on YouTube. Both platforms allow uploads in 4K, but the viewing experience depends on the user’s connection. In other words, if you are watching on slow connection, then the YouTube video will play, but at a lower quality. This allows YouTube to deliver video over any network. For some reason, Vimeo’s player does not automatically adjust to the network as seamlessly as YouTube’s player. This causes many people to say the video isn’t working.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Think of Occam’s razor for this comparison: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.  YouTube is owned by Google. Therefore, if you post content on YouTube, it will more likely reach your audience through search results, then if you post the same content on Vimeo. Of course, optimizing your content for search engines is also important.

Audience

YouTube is the best place to build an audience. With over a billion users, you can reach your target market if the video content you produce holds value for your audience. There is risk involved. The YouTube community harbors more trolls than Vimeo. To deal with trolling, I suggest that you set commenting to Held for review; this will enable you to vet viewer comments before they go live. Vimeo tends to be a more supportive environment, but it’s smaller and your business is less likely to reach your target market unless they are filmmakers. However, Vimeo is ad-free and this is reason alone for some people to prefer the platform.

BONUS SECTION

Even though I strongly suggest everyone have a YouTube presence, Vimeo currently has TWO capabilities that YouTube simply does not provide, and these features may be sufficient reason for your business to go with Vimeo, or to have a presence on both platforms.

Vimeo offers the ability to change the video file assigned to a URL. (Google, if you are listening, please add this to YouTube.) This allows you to change a video during the production process without changing the link. This is perfect when you need to make changes to an embedded video and don’t want to lose the SEO associated with the existing URL.

Making changes on Vimeo is even more efficient since they added the Review page on their platform. According to their help center, “Vimeo PRO and Business members have the ability to create video review pages, making it easy to gather feedback and securely share rough cuts. These pages are semi-private and unlisted, so you can easily share them with reviewers — even if they don’t have Vimeo accounts.” If you are making videos and getting feedback from people, I’ve not found an easier, more affordable way to receive input. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Did you agree with what you read? Give me a thumbs up. Is your experience with the platform different than what you read here? Comment.

I love feedback; it helps me grow. Would you rather comment or ask directly? Email me: [email protected]. If you liked what you read, please subscribe. Thank you for reading.

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