YouTube or Vimeo: Which Video Platform is Best for Your Small Business?

youtube logo                  VS                vimeo logo

It would be shocking and maybe even a bit disturbing if you’ve never heard of YouTube before. If you are a small business owner, then you know YouTube could be a part of your marketing strategy. It is the giant of all things video, viral and breaking.


What you might not know, is that by 2019, roughly 80% of all web traffic will be driven towards video content. If you haven’t begun a video marketing strategy or campaign, now is definitely the time to get rolling.


What most people do start to wonder is if there’s more than YouTube to share with. YouTube certainly is a powerhouse, but you may have also heard of Vimeo and wondered if you need to start creating a campaign there as well.

In a nutshell, the difference is that you can find just about any type of video on YouTube, for free. It is an endless array of anything from current events, to a kid taping their family singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ On the other hand, Vimeo offers a more mature community of higher quality and more artistic type video uploads without ads.

You might still be scratching your head as to which video platform will best suit your small business. So here’s more of a breakdown:

The Community
YouTube will knock Vimeo out of the park any day with just the sheer number of users; over 1 billion to be exact. The problem here is that the YouTube community is not afraid to be vulgar, offensive and leave nasty comments for your video. How rude!


With Vimeo, the number of users is closer to 170 million and the community is much more supportive. Your videos are more likely to receive constructive criticism and general, positive support. The overall production value with Vimeo will also be higher, because the audience is a bit different.

Search Optimization
With YouTube being the second largest search engine on the internet (next to its parent company, Google), there’s just no comparison. YouTube is the best place to upload how to videos for easy search queries. However, you do lose out on that intimacy that Vimeo is better known for.

Both platforms have free and paid versions, depending on what you’re looking for. YouTube is completely free with unlimited storage, however, they also have a paid version. For $9.99/mo you can enjoy YouTube Red that will eliminate all ads.

With Vimeo, you do not receive the same, unlimited storage capability without paying for it. The free, basic membership limits you to 500MB of storage space. Beyond the free account, Vimeo offers Plus, Pro, Business and Premium plans to increase your storage space, bandwidth, customization and support. Since Vimeo makes their money on monthly memberships, you’ll notice the lack of ads before, during and after videos play.

video recording

Updating an uploaded video

One of the biggest downfalls of YouTube is the inability to edit a video after uploading it, without losing the analytics. Uploading videos to YouTube needs to be done carefully and after being absolutely perfected. The problem is that even if you want to change just a little bit of the video, you must completely re-upload the video and lose every stat from the original.

With Vimeo, you can make edits whenever you need, without losing your stats. This makes uploading a video a little less stressful.

Both video platforms do offer analytics to help you determine if your video is performing well. What you will find is that YouTube offers their analytics for free. They both show stats on views, likes, shares, total plays and geographical data. With Vimeo, you will need to be at least a Plus member to enjoy these features.

Additionally, YouTube provides insights to things like traffic sources, gender, devices viewers are using and audience retention. YouTube also offers annotations to lay on top of your video. These allow for the user to click and interact with your video. Vimeo does not allow for these specific analytics or annotations.

So, which video platform is right for your small business?
What is right for your business is what will help you accomplish your business goals. As it appears, YouTube in general has a lot to offer for a small business, especially if you are seeking to increase search optimization and use ads. However, if your business wishes to gain exposure through quality (artistic) videography and gain exposure in a specific niche, then Vimeo might be your best option. You may also choose to try both platforms to see which one performs best for your goals.