Just a couple weeks ago, I was one of 70+ automotive marketing professionals invited to speak at the Automotive Analytics and Attribution Summit, and we had an awesome session on the growing importance of video content to dealerships like yours. But, after discussing the pros and cons of Facebook vs. YouTube as video posting platforms, a question arose. What about VIMEO?
And it’s a great question. On a monthly basis, Vimeo has about 1.4 million active users. This, of course, is sort of a drop in the bucket compared to YouTube’s 2 billion active monthly users. So, what sets Vimeo apart as a viable platform? And is it right for your dealership’s video content?
It would be fair to say that one of Vimeo’s primary focus is “quality over quantity”. YouTube has to strike a balance between compression speed and quality in order to process the 500+ hours of video that are being uploaded to the platform every single minute. With a lighter load, Vimeo is able to employ better encoding techniques, at a higher bitrate, to improve the quality of the videos that it hosts both in terms of visuals and audio. Is this important to everyone? Maybe not. However, it’s incredibly important to prestige artists and creatives who want their videos to be seen in the best possible light. Which brings us to…
Part of YouTube’s appeal is its accessibility, and the high visibility of its potential for monetization. That said, YouTube is often described as a “video dump” since it plays host to everything from reaction and unboxing videos, to makeup tutorials, to your nephew’s attempt to become a gaming superstar. Ugh. That said, Vimeo content is viewed as as a far more professional and prestigious platform. However, it doesn’t offer the same kind of SEO value that YouTube does.
Since YouTube is a Google-owned entity, uploaded videos are heavily scrutinized to determine if they conform to YouTube best practices, copyright restrictions, and to determine how effectively aligned they are with YouTube’s algorithm. In fact, when it comes to suspicion of copyright infringement, YouTube favors a “silence first, fix later” approach. This means they’ll flag and mute your content (even if there’s a hint of licensed music recognized in the background), similar to what Facebook does as well. Vimeo provides greater creative freedom in this regard.
But even if NONE of this makes a difference to you, here are some unique features and customization that Vimeo offers and YouTube doesn’t.
Free & Paid Plans.
Like YouTube, Vimeo can be used for free but you’ll be limited to 500MB of uploads per week. That said, you can upgrade to Vimeo’s Plus, Pro, Business and Premium-tier plans which can offer up to 7TB of storage with a number of other valuable features including ad-free viewing.
It’s not uncommon for content creators to update their content. Maybe it’s meant to bring it a video current, or simple to correct an error in the original upload. Doing so on YouTube means deleting the original video and waving goodbye to any valuable engagement it may have earned, before uploading the newer version. On Vimeo, you can simply swap out the old file for the new, retaining the original URL and all of the engagement.
There are other benefits to Vimeo from the ability to password-protect your videos, to the ability to restrict certain domains from viewing your video. Another worthwhile benefit comes in the ability to brand your web player (including your logo, brand colors etc) which differentiates it from YouTube’s standard format, creating a more unique viewing experience (especially if you choose to embed that video). So…
Should Your Dealership Favor Vimeo over YouTube?
(record scratch) Probably not. Well, that was anti-climactic. Well, at least not in terms of your primary video platform. In all seriousness, there are certainly many benefits to Vimeo, but they’re really geared towards true creatives like musicians, film makers, and digital artists, just to name a few. The benefits geared towards your dealership are the branding features, which can help to create a more immersive web experience on your site. That said, similar features can be found on any number of sites, like Wistia, which we ourselves use.
So, there you have it: a hot take on the viability of Vimeo for your dealership.