Do you use videos for your real estate marketing?
Then you’ve no doubt come up against the age-old (or 21st century-old) question of where to host your videos.
Broadly speaking, when it comes to hosting for your real estate videos, you have two choices: you can host the videos yourself, or you can upload them to a third party host.
While there are several different third party hosting options, the two most popular sites are YouTube and Vimeo.
Importantly, regardless of which option you choose, your real estate videos can still feature on your website. With self-hosting, you can upload them directly onto your desired web pages. With a third party host, you can embed your videos on designated pages.
As such, any differences between the choices relate to control, advertising, cost, quality, web page loading, shareability, and discoverability.
So, how do the three options stack up against these criteria?
At first glance, self-hosting seems like an attractive option. After all, with self-hosting, you retain full control of your real estate videos. This includes control and ownership over the content, over the manner in which the videos are displayed, and over any advertising that’s included.
Unfortunately however, self-hosting is data hungry. It requires more hosting infrastructure, meaning you’ll need a more costly hosting package that gives you enough storage.
Self-hosting can also negatively affect your web page load times, because your website has to load any videos itself. This is a particular problem if you want to use HD videos. By raising your “bounce rate”, slow page load times can prevent you from reaching potential clients as they give up on loading your website and leave.
The other problem with self-hosting is that your real estate videos – and therefore you – are less discoverable. That’s because the videos can generally only be found one way: via your website. As a general rule, they’re also harder to share on social media.
Vimeo is an advertising-free video hosting platform. This means that it doesn’t run any ads or include any pop-ups with your videos. Because your potential clients aren’t forced to sit through an ad to watch one of your real estate videos, more of them will watch it.
Vimeo also allows you to upload higher quality videos. This can allow you to showcase a property to full effect with HD videos. Higher quality videos are also good for your branding.
Videos from Vimeo can be easily embedded on your website, so you don’t have to worry about slow web page loading times. They’re also easily sharable on social media.
However, there are some cons to using Vimeo. Because it’s advertising free, you often have to pay a subscription in order to use it. Like any business, Vimeo needs to make money. As they don’t take ad revenue, they need to charge you in order to continue offering their service.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Google has almost completely removed Vimeo results from their search results – especially from results that include a video preview. This is blatantly anti-competitive, but Google is a business, so it’s within their rights to favour their own YouTube content. However, this means that if you use Vimeo for video hosting, your real estate videos can only be discovered via your website or via Vimeo itself.
YouTube allows you to upload an unlimited number of videos for free. Because they make their money via advertising revenue, they don’t charge you to post your videos. This makes YouTube the least expensive option when compared to self-hosting or Vimeo
Importantly, while YouTube does play ads, you can choose not to have ads displayed on your videos. In fact, this is the default setting. So you don’t have to interrupt your potential clients when they want to watch one of your real estate videos.
As is the case with Vimeo, it’s easy to share videos you upload to YouTube via other social media channels. Once again, the videos are embeddable on your website, so your web page load time won’t be affected. And while it’s generally agreed that Vimeo’s HD outperforms YouTube’s HD, the videos are still good quality.
However, the real selling point for YouTube is discoverability. The whole point of real estate marketing is to be found (and then chosen). YouTube gives your real estate videos the greatest chance of being found online. That’s because, with YouTube, your real estate videos can be easily discovered via your website (if you embed them), via YouTube itself, and via Google. Considering that Google and YouTube are the two most-used search engines in Australia, this is good news for any real estate agent using video marketing.
What About Facebook?
No discussion of real estate video marketing in this day and age is complete without a quick reference to Facebook.
Just as Google favours its own YouTube content in the search results, Facebook promotes videos that have been uploaded to its own platform in the news feed. If you use Facebook for your real estate marketing, you should upload your videos directly onto it. However, as Facebook videos can’t (currently) be displayed on your website, this doesn’t remove the necessity for making a choice between self-hosting, Vimeo, and YouTube.
At the end of the day, choosing between self-hosting, Vimeo, and YouTube is up to you.
So, now that you know the pros and cons, which video hosting option will you choose?