Marketing isn't just about the content you create, it's about how you share it with the world. With video, choosing the right hosting provider is an important decision but the choice can be daunting. Video marketing is all the rage and it seems like every week there's a new video host advertising their platform.

With this guide, my goal is to cut through the noise and run through 6 services that I've personally used and evaluated. This list isn't exhaustive by design, but beyond my personal experience these are hosts that are well supported and widely used.

1---wistia-1
Wistia is my favorite hosting provider by a mile and we use it to host all of our content. They have a nimble and quick-loading player as well as a ton of customization functions that are well documented and easy to use. On the marketing side, Wistia has a solid suite of built in analytics, integrations with popular tools like Hubspot and an awesome API for developers.

In addition to the primary platform, Wistia also develops a tool called Soapbox. It's a chrome extension that combines your webcam and a screen recorder to easily create, edit, and share video. We love using it to personalize sales emails and send project updates to clients.

Who's it for?
Anyone who makes marketing videos for their website or email.

What's it good at?
Adding marketing capabilities (CTAs, email collection, analytics) to your videos. Flexible pricing tiers mean there's a plan for companies big and small.

Limitations
While Wistia is a well rounded product, it doesn't have every feature. Other platforms have special capabilities for things like adding personalization or organizing a video library.

Pricing: $$

2---vidyard-1
Vidyard is another solid platform for business video with a similar feature set to Wistia. It's a little more complex to implement and manage, but with that complexity you get some cool features like live streaming, A/B testing, and personalization.

That extra functionality doesn't come cheap though, and with most plans you'll have to pick and choose exactly what features you get.

Who's it for?
Larger organizations that want (and will actually use) the extra features.

What's it good at?
Becoming your organization's full service video marketing hub.

Limitations
Besides the higher costs, you'll need an experienced marketing team to take full advantage of their feature set.

Pricing: $$$

3---vimeo-1
In 2016, Vimeo launched their own take on a video marketing platform. It's a step up from their Pro plan and offers some additional functionality like adding interactive elements to your video, analytics tools, and integrations.

It's not as powerful or as feature rich as other platforms, but it's familiar interface and budget-friendly pricing might be a good fit for you. It also has some built-in tools for collaboration which can be useful for managing approvals/revisions.

Who's it for?
Organizations that already use Vimeo and have simple video marketing needs.

What's it good at?
It's easy to use and has a built in community of creatives and brands that care about quality visual storytelling.

Limitations
It's a good entry-level platform, but other platforms have larger feature sets and deeper marketing functionality.

Pricing: $

4---vimsy-1
Vimsy is a really interesting platform that's unlike anything else on this list. It allows you to bring your content together into extremely customizable channels. It's the best tool I've found for easily building video libraries from the ground up.

While the platform is designed to bring in videos from other hosting providers, they recently launched their own player so you have a native hosting option.

In addition to being able to organize all your content in different ways, it also allows you to build functionality on top of that. You can add chapters, restrict content via user groups, and it even has a toolkit for selling content individually, in groups, or as a subscription.

Who's it for?
People that need to create a video library to share or sell their content.

What's it good at?
Vimsy is simple to set up for non-technical folks, and offers powerful customization and organizational tools. It's great for hosting videos for event coverage, customer support, courses and training, or any other use case where creating a library is important.

Vimsy is also quite affordable and has a solid free tier with all the core features of the platform.

Limitations
While it has a hosting option, I think Vimsy works best when used in conjunction with another host like Wistia or Vimeo. Also, the built in customization options are great for creatives and marketers but might be limiting for a larger org that can develop a fully custom solution.

Pricing: $

5---brightcove-2
Brightcove is a platform that's been around for a long time. It has a lot of flexibility and is a good fit for larger enterprises and publishers that can take advantage of everything going on under the hood.

Who's it for?
Publishers and large companies that need an enterprise video marketing host.

What's it good at?
It's a good foundation for custom development and implementation. Right out of the box the features are a bit limited for the price.

Limitations
Brightcove's entry level offering is called the Video Marketing Suite which has a limited feature set compared to Vidyard or Wistia. For additional functionality, you'll need additional products that come with additional monthly fees. The platform is less user friendly for small teams or solo creators.

Pricing: $$$

6---youtube-3
It's easy to hate on YouTube because it's not designed for marketers, it's a social media network. Most brands use the platform as a holding tank and as a result their content performs extrordinarily poorly.

Even when used strategically, the platform has limited tools for adding interactivity and tracking performance. For most clients and campaigns, it's not the right platform but for the right project it can be a perfect fit.

Who's it for?
Brands sharing serialized content designed for a broad audience. Companies with a large and active fan base. FMCG brands running large scale awareness campaigns.

What's it good at?
It's a social network, so content that engages with users and fans can perform well. Content designed to inform or entertain a broader audience can perform even better.

Limitations
YouTube isn't made for business video. It has a lot of reach (for the right content) but it's ultimately designed to keep people watching YouTube videos, not interacting with your brand. The analytics tools are also pretty limited and focused on metrics that creators care about, not brands.

Pricing: Free!
wrapup-3
So how do you choose? The right platform for you should be easy to set up and straightforward to manage while providing important marketing capabilities.

The two most common mistakes people make are buying a feature-rich hosting solution and never using all its functionality or failing to understand the purpose of a dedicated host and using no tool at all.

Take the time to evaluate your needs and internal capabiltiies. The tools you use to share your video really do make a difference.

Have a question or need consulting on this topic?
Click here to schedule a free call with me, Animus' in-house strategist.

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