There are a lot of options out there for distributing your brand’s custom video content. Obviously, YouTube is the biggest player in the market and one you can’t ignore. But depending on your content and the audiences you are trying to reach, it’s worth considering some others.
I took some time and explored some of the other sites out there. I focus below on what the channel’s unique value appears to be and what the audience seems like. It’s important when distributing video that your content fit the channel and resonate with the audience. Otherwise it will just be stranded out there.
The Big Fish
YouTube is unavoidable. Everyone is on it. For that reason it is powerful. But in terms of building an audience, it is also easy to get lost.
The thing that really stands out about YouTube though, is that it is a (frequently disastrous) level playing field. Anything goes. Sometimes the more disastrous the production values and content quality, the more successful the content can be (see Rebecca Black).
This gives you some choices:
- Define your audience and let them come to you.
- Experiment with reaching out in different ways and with varying production qualities to many different audiences.
- Use YouTube primarily for its quality embeds, and take it to your properties, and don’t worry about the actual YouTube audience.
One note: beware of comments on YouTube. They can be nasty, mean-spirited, and brutal. Make sure you approve them first.
The Brand Buddy
Right from the homepage, you know Viddler is very business-friendly. It wants to attract branded content, and it does. Some major brands are there: Gawker and Sony Playstation, to name a couple.
This makes Viddler a viable option for hosting videos, with a reasonable expectation of continued support for brand content. That is worth thinking about as sites change their terms of service all the time.
But trying to attract brands is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it means the audience there expects and is even seeking out brand content. On the other hand, it probably limits the number of potential eyeballs that may just stumble onto your video content.
Blip.TV positions itself as a whole new approach to network TV. They want to foster and promote a new generation of quality user-generated content. It’s much more focused than YouTube, but the content is still working itself out.
That, in itself, provides a great opportunity for brands to get in there and produce some best-of-channel content. If you could make video with regular episodes or a repeatable format, you’d be in good shape here.
The audience is expecting to be informed and entertained on Blip, not just expecting to find random weird videos. It has promise as a good place to be able to reach a real audience. Not as wide and as large as YouTube, but perhaps a more focused and engaged audience.
The Cool Kid
Vimeo is a fantastically designed site with a great user experience. It has positioned itself as a creative community with some serious restrictions on commercial content.
You may be tempted to just say OK and keep looking, but it is by far the highest quality audience of the bunch, because they trust the community to deliver the goods.
Your options on Vimeo are to really let your creative juices flow and create high-quality, non-commercial – perhaps artsy – content to build your audience. Or you may be able to partner with Vimeo and create some sponsored content on the site. But in order for that to really resonate, you’ll still have to amp up the quality.
No matter which platform you pick, it’s important to stick with it. Don’t just give up if you don’t see the results you want right away. Get to know the audience there and experiment with engaging them.
To help yourself pick the right channel for your brand, figure out your goals up front.