YouTube or Vimeo – Which is Right for Your Business?

There’s no denying that a video platform should be included among social media marketing platforms for business. And that video should be an integrated component of a broader social and content marketing strategy. Especially with the popularity of short-form videos and app-made videos, the old excuses for avoiding video – time, money, and production skills – can be thrown out the window.

YouTube and Vimeo stand out as the obvious major video hosting and sharing sites, but which one makes sense for your business? At 800 million unique visitors per month, and over a billion total users, YouTube is by far the most used platform. But user statistics are just one measurement. A sense of community, engagement with content, and aesthetics play a big role as social media and search engine marketing become more user-centric. Assuming that you know how to create a short, engaging brand video, here are some benefits and differences between YouTube and Vimeo.


SEO – YouTube is the clear choice if your main objective for using video is to influence search engine results pages (SERPs) – because YouTube is a Google product. As such, Google inflates the SEO value of any content or activity that takes place on YouTube.

Responsive – More recently, YouTube has promoted the idea that customers are interested in watching and discovering YouTube videos from other devices – mobile, of course (25% of all YouTube views happen from a mobile device.), but also TV. To this extent, the layout of YouTube pages is responsive – meaning it adapts to all of these device sizes and more in order to provide a better user experience. The real question is just how many people actually watch YouTube videos on their TV?

Graphic Branding – YouTube allows for some custom graphic branding for free accounts, including a logo and cover photo. As mentioned above, these images are responsive – so they resize to various devices. This can get messy very easily, though, if low resolution or text-heavy images are used, or the focal graphic element is not centrally positioned.

Fun content – With roughly 72 hours of content being uploaded each minute, YouTube is a goldmine for entertaining content, especially memes and content that is viral-bound. YouTube can either be the most fun or most harmful time-suck on the Internet.

Advertising – For plenty of businesses, there is no point to engaging on a social platform without the potential to advertise. YouTube’s advertising program, GoPro, can help deliver your brand message to a target audience (gender, age, location, interests and more), increase conversion to your website, and widen brand awareness.

Analytics – YouTube’s API (Application Programming Interface) allows for third party app integration, which means that YouTube analytics can be included in social analytics/reporting software. Including YouTube analytics in monthly custom social media reporting is not only convenient, it allows brands to make content and strategy adjustment on a consistent basis.


While Vimeo operates on a smaller scale, roughly 70 million unique visitors each month, the platform is all about developing community and maintaining standards.

Vimeo has strict policies about the nature of content and specifically commercial content. Businesses must enroll in one of Vimeo’s paid models, and it’s not uncommon for Vimeo to pull or block content and users that it deems in violation of its policies. The result of these policies is that Vimeo is viewed by users as more trustworthy, and the content, by extension, more professional and innovative.

Targeted Audience – Vimeo maintains a smaller, niche community of film enthusiasts and creative types. They use social media more selectively and value aesthetics. There are far fewer anonymous profiles, or profiles that have no content compared to YouTube, and thus far less spam. Having a better sense of your audience commands you to create more relevant and higher quality content, and content that focuses on storytelling over self-promotion or a ‘hard sell’.

Community – Despite its smaller audience, Vimeo commenting, sharing and interaction is rooted in providing feedback and constructive criticism – not just on the production quality of a video, but on concepts and ideas. Vimeo also provides tons of options for niche communities within the platform, such as Groups, Channels, Forums, Screening Rooms, and more in order to share work around a specific theme and have authentic dialog.

Distribution/Marketing – These same sharing options are also valuable paths for marketing brand content organically. Distributing content in these categorizes as well as on your Page greatly increases the number of video views/plays and overall brand awareness. Having a high number of Page Followers is a low priority for brands on Vimeo – because users don’t have channel ‘feeds’ and will not automatically see brand content. Instead, Vimeo Staff curates and presents the best video selection that they believe users will enjoy.

Aesthetics – Vimeo boasts a clean layout, free of ads and other distractions. Videos are bigger, they can be featured, and the default play mode is nearly full screen. Analytics and activity are kept tidy to one side, and users have greater control on what content they want visible on their page. Compared to YouTube’s Playlist feature which groups videos, Vimeo offers Groups, Channels and Portfolios to showcase work and increase engagement with those communities.

Robust data – While YouTube integrates with analytics reporting, Vimeo provides data that is more robust – comments, likes, loads, plays, embeds, user stats, geography and more; as well as the ability to compare data sets.

2 comments on “YouTube or Vimeo – Which is Right for Your Business?

  1. Jordan says:

    Personally i feel youtube is better in terms of traffic.But yes of-course in order to market your business you should submit in youtube and vimeo both.

  2. Good point Jordan. Is it quality traffic? The comments on Vimeo seem to be much more legitimate and thoughtful. Will be interesting to see if YouTube’s new commenting system (requiring everyone to have a Google+ Page) will change things!

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