Software buyers are more pressed for time than ever before, leading to customer testimonial videos becoming even more important in the sales and marketing process. Propelled by that, testimonial video hosting has become a necessity.
B2B software prospects want to hear and see results from real existing customers. They want to be assured that the capital they're investing in another company is going to provide a solid return. It's easy to dismiss the assurance of the business trying to sell you a product or service.
It's difficult to overlook the word of an established peer who is providing actual results and concrete numbers to prove a company's effectiveness.
The most impactful way to feature a customer testimonial on your website is through video. Then the question is: How should you host the actual videos on your website? And why should you use video as opposed to text testimonials? Read on to find out your options for testimonial video hosting.
Why You Should Include Testimonial Videos?
Video is far and away the most effective and impactful choice for customer testimonials. When you look at a video testimonial next to a text-based review, there is no question as to which can make a stronger emotional impact on your prospects.
Beyond the emotional weight of actually being able to see the person testifying, it's been proven that people retain significantly more information via video than through text.
A prospect watching a testimonial video can typically retain up to 90% of the information relayed within.
It's also a fantastic way to build trust with your prospects. Even if they don't fully trust your company yet, being able to see and hear your testifying customer creates a strong emotional bond. This is especially true if the prospect watching the video is in the same demographic and shares a lot of the pain points of the testifying customer.
Furthermore, video content helps with your SEO. Google's algorithm likes to see videos featured on the sites that it ranks. Video is even better for mobile users as it is easily viewed in the mobile format and shared along social channels.
In fact, when it comes to the actual numbers, adding videos to landing pages has been proven to increase conversions by up to 80%. Video marketing has been hailed by 83% of businesses as being great for ROI. On top of that, 57% of buyers say that video gives them more purchase confidence.
Choosing Your Testimonial Video Hosting Provider
Now that you understand the power of video as it pertains to customer testimonial videos, let's discuss how to actually get your completed videos on your site and working for you.
We'll highlight five video hosting services with both free and paid options. Any of the following options would work for the uploading, hosting, and embedding of testimonial video content. Though some are more effective than others—depending on how sophisticated you'd like to get with your analytics, reporting, and integrations within your marketing automation system.
Video Hosting Provider #1: YouTube
When it comes to a testimonial video hosting provider, YouTube is certainly the most well-known service in existence. No one else even comes close to matching the brand reputation and awareness that Google's signature video service carries. It is possible to host your testimonial videos through YouTube. However, we don't necessarily recommend it as the number one choice for business hosting on your company website.
Only Using YouTube For Your B2B Testimonials? Think Again.
While YouTube is the easiest video hosting service to use, it is also the least powerful from a B2B perspective and comes with a couple hefty drawbacks.
- A lack of granular analytics, especially when compared to some of the other providers on this list.
- "Related videos" can be unrelated to your brand and lead prospects away from your site.
YouTube wants to keep you watching more videos on YouTube. That's how they make their money. They do this by promoting other videos on YouTube. Oftentimes, this includes driving them off your site, to YouTube itself through the "Related Videos" section displayed after the video finishes playing. Those videos might even be a link to your competition.
You absolutely should be posting your videos to YouTube regardless of your hosting choice. YouTube is a social media powerhouse and the world's second largest search engine. That being said, it's not purpose-built for business video hosting, as evident by the above-mentioned drawbacks.
YouTube Bottom Line
If you want the most effective business tools and features, best analytics, and in-depth integrations with your marketing automation platform, you should consider another video host. However, if you're in a hurry and just need to get a video up, it will certainly work in a pinch!
Just remember, YouTube is fundamentally a consumer platform. It's not purpose built for B2B marketing and you'll be missing many of the rich B2B features other platforms offer.
YouTube is a free service, however, it lacks the effective extra features offered by many of the paid options on this list.
Video Hosting Provider #2: Vimeo
Vimeo is a great option for embedding your testimonial videos. Its HTML5 embeds are well known for being responsive and quick, while keeping your pages lightweight. Keeping your page loading times optimal will also impact your SEO scores for the better.
Vimeo also avoids including ads before your videos and will not play other videos automatically when yours are finished. This allows you to keep everything on your site branded and controlled.
Vimeo Free vs. Paid
Vimeo allows you to customize your player. Basic (free) members are able to customize the size of their player, the colors of the text and play bar. It also allows you the option to show or hide portraits, bylines, and video titles.
Paid subscriptions offer many business features. Adding team member and additional storage is just the beginning.
Vimeo's paid plans can provide you with up to seven terabytes of storage with no weekly limits. Or even unlimited streaming.
The player is highly customizable with enhanced privacy settings. You can easily collaborate with team members using the video review tools and time-coded notes, making revisions a snap.
Many businesses like the ability to hide the Vimeo logo as well as the option to show or hide Share, Like, and Watch Later buttons. Additionally, you can choose which specific sites the video is able to appear on.
It can also aid in lead generation efforts with clickable calls to action to capture email addresses from prospective buyers.
Finally, Vimeo uses Google Analytics for advanced statistical analysis and engagement graphs to help you determine where your videos are succeeding and failing.
Vimeo Bottom Line
Given that even Vimeo's free plan is fairly robust, when in doubt, we recommend Vimeo as a great place to get started. And again, the ability to insert business specific features like "call to actions" and email capture on the paid plans is extremely helpful for B2B lead generation.
Vimeo has plans ranging from $7 per month up to $75 per month. Their premium plan comes with seven terabytes of storage and unlimited live streaming.
Hosting Provider #3: Wistia
Wistia is a great platform for in-depth analytics, customizations, embedding options, and marketing integrations. Small businesses and teams would likely enjoy Wistia as a testimonial video hosting provider.
If you are interested in using in-depth analytics, Wistia offers plenty. You can see how viewers are watching your videos to gauge effectiveness. Gorgeous heat maps provide additional information of how users are interacting with your videos. Then engagement graphs allow you to perform A/B testing to determine what's really driving your video engagement levels.
Wistia Excels With Customization
On the design side, you can upload and customize your videos with both free and paid options. You're even able to add customization to the video after it has already been embedded. Once you update a video, it will be altered in all of the places where it has been featured on your site and elsewhere.
You can also upload multiple copies of the video or use advanced embed options if you want different customizations of the same video to appear in different places.
Wistia's "Embed & Share" option allows you to choose the embed code type and customize the code for your specific needs. There's even the ability to create both inline embeds and popover embeds.
An inline embed will place the video onto the page and keep it in line with the rest of the page's content. Popover embeds allow the video to pop over the content instead of playing regularly on the page. This can be launched by clicking on a thumbnail image or a text link.
Wistia comes with a brandable player, which you can customize by color and even upload your brand logo. You can also customize video thumbnails, with features like looping video and text. With premium plans, you can include calls to action in your videos with clickable links to engage viewers. It also has a very handy dedicated lead generation feature which allows you to gate your content and capture emails.
Lastly, Wistia works along with several marketing automation platforms like Pardot, HubSpot, and Marketo. So if you're a sophisticated user on the marketing automation side of things, you'll find that Wistia will play nicely and integrate extremely well with your existing marketing automation provider.
Wistia Bottom Line
Small businesses and teams will appreciate the ease of customization and embedding in Wistia. The beautiful design and pricing options are great to boot.
There is a free option, but it only includes standard features, and all videos will have Wistia branding. Their premium Pro plan is $99 per month as of writing—though they do seem to frequently test different pricing setups. They also have an advanced plan which is available for negotiated pricing, depending on your usage needs.
Hosting Provider #4: Vidyard
Vidyard is positioned as a testimonial video hosting solution for growing B2B businesses with marketing and sales teams of several people. It's definitely more complex from a user perspective. However, it comes with a number of extremely powerful features that should appeal to any B2B marketer at a growing company.
Vidyard lets you upload and store unlimited videos, and gives you the flexibility to share them anywhere. It guarantees 99.9% uptime, so you never have to worry about your videos being unavailable.
Team members also won't need a dedicated account thanks to Vidyard's uploader widget tool. You can also download your videos at any time with full resolution.
In terms of analytics, Vidyard provides you with real-time data for all of your videos, including ROI insights. This platform also monitors levels of engagement such as where people are viewing your content and what devices they're using.
Lastly, Vidyard also optimizes your video for SEO. It creates transcripts of all video content automatically, giving you the option to provide captions. It also provides you with metadata and XML sitemaps in order to make your videos more appealing to Google and other popular search engines.
Vidyard Bottom Line
High-growth businesses with a marketing team and a decent marketing budget will love the attention to analytics and SEO in Vidyard. Plus the guaranteed uptime and unlimited videos allows for their continued growth.
Vidyard changes their pricing frequently, we'd recommend referring to their pricing page for the latest most accurate information.
Choose Your B2B Testimonial Video Hosting
Regardless of which testimonial video hosting provider you choose to go with, creating more testimonials will help you build trust with prospects faster and create a deeper emotional connection. Ultimately, increasing inquiries and accelerating sales.
In general, if you have the budget and want to get sophisticated with attribution, linking, and tracking all videos in your marketing automation system, Vidyard is your best bet.
If you want something slightly simpler that is easy to use, with a fair amount of feature crossover, and great design, Wistia may be the one for you.
Vimeo is worth checking out as well, as they are quickly improving their business hosting features. Their pricing is also very competitive.
YouTube is the easiest option, but is a social media platform, not a business tool and we cannot recommend it as the top hosting option.
That being said, you should always upload your videos to your company profile on YouTube. You'll benefit from YouTube being a search engine and social media platform. But for B2B business, we absolutely recommend a dedicated business video hosting provider for your website embed.
Your in-depth research to choose the testimonial video hosting platform that will work the best for you will pay off in the end.