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When it comes to video marketing, YouTube is usually the first video-sharing site that people think of when considering where to submit their video content. This isn’t surprising as YouTube is the undisputed leader in terms of audience reach, market share, and the volume of video content that is uploaded to it everyday.
Ironically though, the site’s phenomenal success means that it is becoming increasingly hard to make your content stand out due to the large volumes of other content on every conceivable subject matter. Unless you hit the viral jackpot, which is tricky and unpredictable, you therefore may not see huge success on YouTube in terms of video views or clicks through to your website. Additionally, the fact that anyone can post a video on any subject means that the audience is fragmented and can be hard to target.
For these reasons, some marketers find that they have better success submitting their video content to smaller, more niche video-sharing sites. Even if you still want to be on YouTube, submitting content to alternative sites can be a good way to discover the best fit for your specific content, and a great way to extend your reach even further.
Which video site you choose will depend on the type of content you’re uploading and the intention of your video, whether it is to teach, entertain or spread brand awareness. The net effect will be spreading your content further and to different audience types, which can ultimately mean you could drive more traffic to your site and convert more visitors to customers.
With this in mind, here are four YouTube alternatives worth considering:
Established in July 2002 long before YouTube, Metacafe became the largest independent video site when Google purchased YouTube in 2006. The site has more than 45 million unique visitors per month, and the combination of an internal community review system and a strict submission policy means that videos on Metacafe stay remarkably free of spam, duplicates and inappropriate content. The site focuses on original, short-form content rather than second hand content such as recordings of TV shows.
Best for: Short videos of original content that are designed primarily to entertain rather than to educate or demonstrate.
2. Yahoo! Video
Yahoo! Video’s obvious advantage is its affiliation to the Yahoo! search engine – meaning that content you submit to Yahoo! Video is likely to do well in Yahoo! search results too. (With plans for Yahoo! to adopt Microsoft’s search technology, it’s unclear how this will affect Yahoo!’s video content, but presumably it should improve or at least stay the same). Yahoo! has added functionality where you can watch videos from within the search interface itself, and the most popular Yahoo! video content periodically features on the Yahoo! home page for even more exposure.
Best for: Specific video content that lends itself to answering queries posed on search engines.
As opposed to a free account, the Viddler business account is pricey at $100 a month, but gives you 50GB of uploads and storage a month, secure hosting, dedicated support and detailed analytics. Perhaps most useful is that you can customise the video to your own branding: you can change the player’s colour scheme, and you can include your own logo and permalink within the video so that it links directly to your website. Viddler also lets you add tags and comments directly into the video that are then bookmarked, which means you can add useful add-on text to your videos that is contextually specific.
Best for: How-to and instructional videos, or videos that aim to build your brand and drive traffic to your other web properties.
Probably the most niche of video sharing websites mentioned here, Vimeo focuses solely on featuring high-quality, original video content that is strictly non-commercial in nature. This means that even if you’ve created your video yourself, you’ll be violating its terms of service if you upload a video that you ultimately want to use to build brand awareness on your site. Vimeo’s key differentiating features are its ability to download the original video once it’s been uploaded, the lack of ads on the video interface, and the ability to password-protect videos.
Best for: Businesses producing creative videos as part of their core offering, such as advertising agencies, production houses and other creative outfits. Also, if video creation is part of your core business, this can be a good way of getting feedback on your work from a very knowledgeable and active filmmaking community.