Are you using video as a part of your school communication strategy? If you are, you know the power of a well crafted video to tell the story of your institution. But if you aren’t yet using video, or you want to expand your efforts, there are many options to host and share your content. To make matters more complex, the hosting service you choose says almost as much about you as your content.
Here is how five major video hosting services compare in features and price. I’ll also take a look at what you give up and what the site says about you.
Whatever is Included With Your Web Site
The good news is you are already paying for this service, but that’s pretty much the end of the good news.
The pitch: It’s included in what you already pay and works great with your web site. You can probably post and store as much as you want.
What you give up: Your video is in a walled garden and can’t be shared, embedded, or discovered by anyone outside your school. You aren’t saying much about yourself with this option.
Great idea for an upload: Official school content
What to avoid: Careful mixing official school content & less formal videos. Unless you use separate areas of your web site for different kinds of content your audience could get confused.
What it says about you: “We don’t want to be in any conversations outside our own web site.”
If this site was someone at a high school who would it be: The Vice Principal
The 100lb elephant in the room of video hosting. It’s free with unlimited uploads up to 15 minutes long. As a part of the Google ecosystem you could get a SEO boost. But as they say, “If it is free, you are the product.” Look out for ads and potential inappropriate suggested content.
The pitch: Our video could go viral!
What you give up: Goodbye control of your message, be on the lookout for inappropriate content listed near yours and comment spam.
Great idea for an upload: That video you shot on your iPhone
What to avoid: Expecting your content to viral
What it says about you: ”We want to be in conversations outside our own web site, even if those conversations are slightly obnoxious. PS – we are trying to convert eyeballs on YouTube to clicks through to our web site.”
If this site was in high school who would it be: The Class Clown
Starting at $60 a year, Vimeo is YouTube’s classy big brother who went away to college and learned to appreciate art. You won’t find many ads on this site, and you also aren’t going to find any videos of kittens yawning. Vimeo is the home for high quality, artistic content.
The pitch: No ads, good value, we can be seen alongside other high quality content.
What you give up: Fewer viewers means less chance of going viral, if you don’t have high quality content you might look a little out of place.
Great idea for an upload: That video you shot on your Canon EOS Mark III.
What to avoid: That video you shot on your iPhone.
What it says about you: ”We produce high quality content that is worth watching. We want to be in conversations outside our own web site with thoughtful, kind, sophisticated people.”
If this site was in high school what would their afternoon activity be: Drama Club
If your idea of volunteering for your kids Pop Warner team is breaking down game film for the defensive coordinator then you need Huddl. Starting at $261 per year for one team, Huddl is the video hosting service for coaches and athletes. With built in tools to break down video, offer feedback, share with players, create highlight tapes, and broker film exchange with other teams, you are going to want to stop coaching and do this full time.
The pitch: Remember Moneyball? That can be us, and we’ll never have to make highlight tapes for recruits again.
What you give up: Forget hosting anything else other than game film, you’ll need another solution for the music concert.
Great idea for an upload: Yesterday’s big game.
What to avoid: The expectation that Huddl works by magic: breaking apart game film still takes time.
What it says about you: ”We have a top notch athletic program”
If this site was in high school what would their afternoon activity be: Varsity Football
Starting at $23 per month at first blush Wistia doesn’t seem all that different than any other white label video hosting service. But if you care about data then you’ll love Wistia. With viewer tracking, video SEO, pre-roll email collector, post-roll calls to action, video heatmaps, and a whole lot more you’ll be able to get the most out of every video you upload.
The pitch: We’ll be able to calculate the ROI of our video strategy.
What you give up: Discovery traffic, nobody is on the Wisita web site looking for funny videos.
Great idea for an upload: The annual fund appeal video.
What to avoid: Getting overwhelmed by the data, set targets and see if you meet them, but don’t obsess over the hits daily.
What it says about you: We care about data.
If this site was in high school what would their afternoon activity be: Math Club
That’s five video hosting services that you might consider using. Are you using one of these sites? Are you using something else? What do you think they say about you? Let us know in the comments!