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Vimeo vs. YouTube: Which Platform is Best for Economic Development Marketing?


vimo vs youtube


Video assets are necessary for economic development marketing.  Not only do videos provide an engaging and visual way to communicate your brand, but the medium is quickly becoming one of the most influential ways to reach your audience. In fact, according to Business Insider, data from social media analytics company Socialbakers found that “video is now the most effective way to reach users in Facebook’s News Feed, driving more than twice as much reach as photo posts.” (Check out this blog post from DCI’s Rebecca Gehman on five reasons why your organization might want to capture your region on camera.)

Once your organization is ready to post videos, however, you may not know the best platform for sharing your video content. Of the many platforms out there, two stand out: YouTube and Vimeo. Below are pros and cons to both sites, so that you can determine which makes the most sense for your economic development marketing.


The world’s third-most visited website, YouTube is by far the world’s largest video-sharing website. While its popularity is certainly attractive, the site also has its share of pros and cons for professional video content.


  1. Large Audience – According to YouTube Statistics, more than 1 billion people visit the site each month and the number continues to grow, as the number of visitors to the site has increase 50% year-over-year.
  1. Free to Use – Anyone can have a YouTube account for free, and users can have unlimited uploads at no cost.
  1. Paid Promotions – If your EDO has the budget, YouTube offers a solid paid advertisement option that utilizes AdWords to target key viewing audiences.


  1. Competition for Attention – On the flipside to the many pros of YouTube’s high traffic numbers, the large number of visitors and sheer volume of videos uploaded can make it difficult for your video to find an audience.
  1. Advertisements – While YouTube’s ads are attractive for advertisers, these ads can also cause viewers to lose interest before a video plays, resulting in fewer overall views.
  1. Professionalism of Other Videos – YouTube is primarily visited for entertainment. While having a YouTube page can help legitimize your brand, know that your professional video may be followed by a video of a cat playing the keyboard.


Known for its oftentimes stunning, high-quality videos, Vimeo is a favorite among professional videographers. Below are some pros and cons for EDO video sharing on the site.


  1. Quality Visitors – While Vimeo’s 100 million unique visitors is nothing to scoff at, these numbers fall well behind YouTube’s 1 billion visitors. Still, where YouTube wins in quantity, Vimeo wins in quality, as its visitors are often professional users who pay for upgraded accounts and are often active members of the Vimeo community.
  1. Ad Free – Users who pay for upgraded Vimeo accounts can deactivate in-video advertising, ensuring that viewers aren’t distracted by outside (and possibly competing) brands.
  1. Customizable – Vimeo users have the ability to completely customize their look of their video player – including adding their own logo – allowing EDOs to create a look that is on-target with their branding.


  1. The Best Features are Not Free – The best perks of Vimeo come at a cost, and the site offers two paid options. Vimeo Plus, which is offered at $59.95 a year, provides users with 5 GB of storage a week, banner ad-free viewing and advanced statistics, among other benefits. Vimeo PRO, which costs $199 a year, provides up to 20GB of HD video storage a week, zero ads and full SEO visibility.
  1. Fewer Visitors – Vimeo may have more high-quality viewers than YouTube, but it is not an ideal site for EDOs looking to create the newest viral video.
  1. SEO Not on Par with YouTube – Videos hosted YouTube, which is owned by Google, have great SEO, especially when tagged properly. Vimeo simply is not as strong on this front.

While each EDO will have different needs for their video marketing efforts, all will need to produce more video content to stay competitive. There are pros and cons to both YouTube and Vimeo, and it is up to each EDO to decide which video-sharing platform best suits its needs.

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