Ben Silverman

Video has become increasingly important for online marketing, and according to a recent report from, about 72 percent of marketers want to not only learn more about video marketing, but also plan on increasing their use of video. Facebook, the most popular social network in the world, released new updates to its newsfeed algorithm, which increases the display priority of its own videos. The increased visibility of its own native platform encourages users to upload their video content directly to Facebook, rather than embed from other hosting services like YouTube.

While there are dozens of popular video hosting services, each with unique attributes, five services have established themselves as the clear leaders in the field.


At 10 years old, YouTube is usually the first video-hosting site that users search with or get directed to.

  • Over a billion users
  • 300 hours per minute uploaded to YouTube, hundreds of millions of hours watched per day
  • 30 seconds counts as a view
  • Videos autoplay with sound on, but don’t loop
  • Embeddable video format

Best practices for YouTube video content marketing

  • Brand your channel
  • Roll out content consistently (without sacrificing quality)
    • Make the most of YouTube’s subscription feature
  • Treat YouTube like the search engine that it is (It’s one of the world’s most popular). Think about what your target audience might look for online – “How to fix my transmission,” “summer movie reviews,” “Sports news” and “how to tie a necktie” all lend themselves to a video format on a service like YouTube. Whether your audience searches directly on YouTube or is directed there from Google (which prioritizes YouTube results in its algorithms), your videos will reach users on this all-purpose, industry-leading platform.


In the wake of the social network giant’s newsfeed algorithm updates, which prioritizes its own native upload platform, Facebook videos’ daily views have risen to 8 billion, double what it was in April of this year. That’s over 7 and a half centuries of watch time every single day. Though YouTube currently remains safely in the lead in terms of views and uploads, Facebook is emerging as a legitimate contender for online video hosting dominance.

  • 3 seconds counts as a view
  • Videos autoplay, but without sound or auto-looping
  • Videos are embeddable outside the platform

Best practices for Facebook video content marketing

  • Create visually appealing content. Since most people have autoplay enabled (by default), you have to opportunity in the first few seconds of your video to create eye-catching, engaging content that stops users from thumbing past your video as they scroll through their newsfeed
  • Tag the captions of your videos. Unlike in YouTube, you have the ability to reach out to other pages and viewers in the social network by mentioning and hashtagging you videos.
  • Take advantage of the call-to-actions available at the end of your video – Include “Learn More,” “Watch More,” “Shop Now” and “Sign Up” buttons at the end of the video to keep your users engaged in your content and brand.


Like Facebook (which bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion), videos autoplay but are muted by default.in_clip

  • As of September 2015, Instagram has 400 million users who like 1.5 billion pictures and videos daily.
  • There are more than 40 billion videos and pictures on Instagram, with over 80 million added daily.
  • Videos auto-loop, but are limited in length to 15 seconds.
  • You can embed Instagram videos, but only with the rest of the full Instagram post, which includes a username, caption and comments.
  • Unlike YouTube and Facebook, non-advertisers don’t have access to the insights or view count.

Best practices for Instagram video content marketing

  • Similarly to Facebook’s videos, one of the biggest challenges for Instagram video content marketing is to grab your users’ attention with an appealing, eye-catching first second or two of content (which, like Facebook, is especially challenging without the help of audio).
  • While services like YouTube are video hosting sites with social elements, Instagram is a social network first, with video sharing functions. Take advantage of the network by including relevant, trending or popular tags.
  • Create content that can go viral. Your video content marketing should be more fun and entertaining than sales oriented and promotional. A successfully marketed brand video should make viewers like the videos or tag their friends in the comments.
  • You have 15 seconds to tell a satisfying story – every second counts.
  • Post videos that take advantage of Instagram’s photography and subject matter style, taking advantage of their automatic filters. The better your videos look, the more viewers you’ll attract.


Vines are to video as tweets are to blogs. Vine is a social, short-form video sharing network with maximum video length of 6 seconds. Acquired by Twitter just a few months after it was founded in 2012, Vine is known for its optimization for Twitter, but can also be embedded on Facebook.vine_clip

  • Videos autoplay and loop with sound on.
  • One full loop counts as a view (and loops update in real-time, without refreshing), but no full insights are available to the publisher.

Best practices for Vine video content marketing

  • You have even less time to tell your story on Vine than you do on Instagram, or even Snapchat. Telling a simple, but complete story is crucial for a successful Vine campaign. Hint: You can use the remaining characters in your Twitter-embed to add context to your Vine.
  • If you need to communicate something complex, Vine is not the tool to use. Your Vines should be simple or fun. The short format lends itself to sneak peaks, short demos or quick-cutting “slideshows.”


Vimeo sees lower traffic than YouTube, but prides itself as a smaller, more professional and select community of directors, artists and constructively critical fans.


  • Vimeo is available as a free, “Plus” or “Premium” service.
  • There are 35 million registered users, watching 715 million videos monthly.
  • Vimeo features a cleaner layout, without the 15 or 30 second ads or “click-to-continue” ads that clutter YouTube.

Best practices for Vimeo video content marketing

While Vimeo can’t compete with YouTube in terms of users and views, marketers can take advantage of the artistic culture that the site fosters.

  • High-quality, well-directed, non-promotional videos are best for Vimeo’s base. This branded video published by Old Spice features their advertising spokesman in a setting that isn’t directly related to their products. While the same spokesman more directly advertises the brand’s product during Superbowl spots, this video serves simply as engaging, entertaining content.
  • While YouTube offers more content to a wider range of viewers, Vimeo offers more selective content to a narrower audience.
  • Vimeo is close-knit group, so the more time you spend interacting in the network, the more fluent you are likely to be in the community’s culture.

For a look at how a video blog became a top 10 reusult on a landing page within a month, head to the Brafton blog here.