There is no shortage of options for video hosting. The free ones tend to be the most tempting, like YouTube, with some charging for premium upgrades like Vimeo’s Plus and Pro offerings. But when using Vimeo in particular, video marketers need to tread lightly to make sure they’re in compliance with the guidelines which restrict commercial use of the free service.
Here we’ll explain the different flavors of Vimeo services available and best practices around using each.
Vimeo Basic: The ‘Free’ Social Media Platform
The public-facing Vimeo community that most of us are familiar with is intended as a platform for independent production companies and artists to showcase and promote their own creative work. It is a social media network at heart, offering users tools to browse, curate, and comment on the work of other creators.
Where Vimeo differs significantly from YouTube and other free hosting solutions, is in the type of users that generally make up its community. These are highly engaged users who appreciate the extremely high-quality streaming, the clean and simple interface, and the amazing network of peers eager to provide feedback. It’s a great place for filmmakers and motion graphics artists to generate inspiration and ideas for their own work, something that our team spends a lot of time doing on the website.
What it’s not a great place for is for companies to host their promotional videos as a means of reaching potential customers, unless you’re doing it as the producer/artist involved in making the video itself. This is not only against Vimeo’s Terms of Service, but given the community’s specific niche, a platform like YouTube may offer much better reach for your potential audience anyway – unless of course, you’re offering tips and resources for filmmakers.
Vimeo Plus: The Premium Upgrade for Power Users
For users who find the weekly and annual upload cap to be too restrictive, Vimeo offers an upgrade. Vimeo Plus also provides priority video conversion (so that you don’t have to wait in the long queue for your video to finish uploading), advanced privacy, stats, and customization, along with priority support.
You’ll still be subject to the same restrictions on commercial use, however, so this is still not a solution for businesses.
Vimeo Pro: For Professionals and Businesses
One of the main reasons why people seem to turn to Vimeo for hosting their videos is the quality of the playback and its sleek video player. If you like the technology that drives Vimeo, then Vimeo PRO hosting is the solution.
By default, videos uploaded to a Pro account are actually private to the network, helping you to stay in compliance with their guidelines (remember, it’s just a bunch of filmmakers on the site anyway). You can then embed the videos onto your own website while taking advantage of Vimeo Pro’s advanced customization options like the ability to add your logo to the video player, as well as its advanced stats and VIP support.
Note: This is also positioned as the option for producers and filmmakers hoping to sell or rent their videos online – the ‘professionals’ they’re referring to – something which in my opinion only adds further confusion to the differences between the services.
Is Vimeo Pro Right for Your Business?
The cost of Vimeo Pro is likely insignificant compared to how much you will have spent on producing your videos in both time and resources. But if you’re going to be spending anything on video hosting, it may be worth considering a few alternatives.
Professional marketing solutions like Wistia.com and Vidyard.com which offer much better analytics and advanced tools like email gating and integration with marketing automation platforms, without trying to integrate a front-end social network at all.