Vimeo vs. YouTube Advertising

By Joanna Hatt

YouTube is the most popular video streaming service on the Web.
i Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

YouTube is undoubtedly the most well-known video streaming service on the Internet. However, it's not the only service. Many other video services, such as the popular site Vimeo, are competitors for YouTube and are also an attractive medium for advertisers. Since online video is almost synonymous with YouTube and its videos generate billions of views per day, it's an obvious hot spot for advertising your business. Both services offer small businesses the ability to advertise, although each site's content, composition and offerings vary.

YouTube: Pros of Advertising

YouTube offers a number of different advertising opportunities for small businesses. These include display ads, preroll video ads and promoted videos. The site offers advertisers the option to pay to have their ads appear when specific keywords are searched -- a tactic that often delivers great results simply due to the sheer volume of traffic that the site receives daily. As well, advertisers have the ability to launch integrated marketing campaigns on YouTube that incorporate different elements. Its website states, "Marketing on YouTube turns viewers into fans, and fans into new customers -- delivering you real success day by day." It gives advertisers a global and widespread, yet targeted, reach.

YouTube: Cons of Advertising

Advertising on YouTube does pose certain limitations. Advertisers do not have the power to directly choose what content their ads appear before or next to. Therefore, there's the potential that a competitor's video will appear adjacent to your advertisement, or your advertisement will be a preroll ad for a video with a competitor's content. Because of this, there is inherent danger that viewers will mix up brand messaging and confuse you with your competitors. Also, viewers do not always view preroll advertisements favorably. Since all YouTube videos now contain preroll ads, some viewers may be frustrated even before the ad begins playing.

Vimeo: Pros of Advertising

One of the biggest pros of Vimeo is the customizable features it offers on its video player. This allows brands to embed their logo and branding into the video player directly. On YouTube, brands cannot do this as the video player always displays the YouTube logo. Vimeo also offers paid-account holders the option to disable preroll video advertising so viewers can better focus on the content of the video. This gives the site a more engaged viewership. Vimeo makes high-quality video a promise, so if you've put a lot of time and effort into making a good-quality videos, Vimeo is the site to showcase them most optimally.

Vimeo: Cons of Advertising

Although Vimeo's popularity continues to rise, it doesn't have an audience even close to the size of YouTube's. If the chief reason you're advertising is mass exposure, YouTube videos will get more views and thus that site is the better choice. As well, with a free account, Vimeo allows for only one HD video upload/week. To upload more, you must upgrade to a "plus" or "pro" account, or upload videos to YouTube.