19 Dec Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Organization – A Beginner’s Guide to Vimeo
Just like that the end of the year is upon us and I’m getting closer to wrapping up my series of Beginner’s Guides to Social Media Platforms. But, before we say goodbye to 2014, let’s say hello to Vimeo.
Last month I focused on YouTube, and Kate covered 5 reasons video should be part of your content marketing plan. But could Vimeo be the better platform for your business? Let’s watch…er, see.
The basics: Founded in 2004, Vimeo is a site that allows users to upload, share and view videos. Vimeo was founded by a group of filmmakers who wanted to share their creative work and personal moments from their lives. (Side note, Vimeo has actually been around longer than its more well-known competitor, YouTube.)
Demographics: While YouTube boasts more than 1 billion unique visitors each month, Vimeo has closer to 170 million viewers each month. Those numbers break down further to reveal 55 million viewers in the U.S. (in September of this year) and 25 million registered members.
Access: Vimeo’s CEO, Andrew Pile, recently noted that more than half of the site’s traffic comes from mobile devices. However, Pile also points out that, “If you’re a serious Vimeo user, you want to browser (sic) more easily, search, and delve more deeply, then the app experience makes more sense.” Much like all of the other social media platforms we’ve already discussed, Vimeo is easily accessed from both desktop computers and mobile devices.
One thing to note with Vimeo is that while you can register for a Basic account, which is free, you also have the option of signing up for Vimeo Plus or Vimeo PRO (also known as Vimeo for business). Both come with additional storage, higher video conversion speeds, and an unlimited amount of high definition video playback, as well as many other features.
A big difference between Vimeo and YouTube is the complete absence of advertisements. Regardless of what level of service you sign up for, Vimeo has “no ads before, after or on top of your videos.”
How it’s being used: Unlike YouTube, which is dominated by music videos, movie clips, and cat videos, YouTube is more niche and appears to have higher quality content. Vimeo also houses their videos in a variety of ways – allowing the user to search through categories like Animation, Arts, Causes, Comedy, Documentary, etc. And, while Vimeo does have channels, they’re not necessarily the same as the ones found on YouTube, or as easy to find. This can be confusing. For example, a quick Google search revealed that Tesla Motors has a Vimeo PRO account but simply using the search function in Vimeo did not return the page for me.
As with YouTube, Vimeo shouldn’t be used in a silo. Don’t just post videos there and wait for someone to find them. Like with all good content, the videos you post on Vimeo should be promoted to the masses through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
There’s also social interaction to consider. Users are able to comment on videos, share content on other social media platforms directly from Vimeo, or “like” a video. As with other social networks, this ability to comment means that company representatives need to remain engaged. They must keep up with the social activity that’s going on and be able to respond to comments as necessary or appropriate – though, the comments on Vimeo seem to be of a higher quality than on YouTube.
Analytics: Vimeo offers analytics only to Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO members. Truthfully, this is probably fine; since Vimeo has far fewer videos of people’s children taking their first steps, it’s really only the Plus and PRO members who likely care about the stats. If you are interested in analytics, Vimeo does a nice job of providing “detailed information on your videos’ activity (that) helps you identify your strengths and track your progress as you focus on what’s important to you.” Vimeo allows you to view your weekly, monthly or yearly stats, see where people are watching, see who likes or comments on your videos, and much more.
Pros: One of the biggest pros of Vimeo is that there are no paid advertisements. As a consumer I can’t stress how amazing this is. The ability to search for a video and then watch it immediately is wonderful. Not having to wait 30 seconds for a commercial I couldn’t care less about to end AND constantly be closing banner ads while watching the video makes me think I should be using Vimeo more! Also, because Vimeo was founded by filmmakers, and has a smaller number of users than YouTube, the quality of the videos is generally stunning.
Check out this beautiful time-lapse video of Seattle for proof.
Cons: Along with a markedly smaller audience than YouTube, Vimeo also has the disadvantage of not being owned by Google. I’ve seen other blog posts that point out that it has been “speculated, though not yet confirmed by Google, that the search engine will start to remove videos from their results pages that aren’t hosted with YouTube.” Additionally, none of the Vimeo package offerings allow for unlimited uploads, which is something that comes free with YouTube.
Final thoughts: While I really like Vimeo, and do believe it has higher and better quality videos than YouTube, if you’re looking to boost SEO or organically promote your content, I’m not convinced it’s worth it for a business to pay to have a dedicated page on the site. Because Google seems to favor their own properties, brands would have to work pretty hard to promote their content on Vimeo, and the fact that a search for Tesla Motors did not return the Tesla Motors page doesn’t speak well for the search function of the site. Ultimately, brands have to consider their goals and then choose a platform or two that will help them achieve those goals. As much as the consumer in me likes it, the businesswoman in me is not convinced that Vimeo should be one of those platforms.