Wendy Placko

Vimeo vs. YouTube for Marketing: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Wendy Placko on July 11, 2018

Vimeo vs. YouTube

Nearly all of our clients have incorporated digital video content into some part of their marketing efforts, and the reason is simple. The number of users engaging with video content has exploded in recent years now that it is more accessible from various devices and platforms.

You can certainly upload a video to various social media sites on its own, but if you are looking to manage your library of videos in one place, you might consider choosing YouTube or Vimeo as a video manager. But how to choose? Let’s explore some of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly about each option.

*Disclosure: video content can also be used as a revenue source by making money from ads, or monetizing. I will not dive into that in this article.


YouTube is a logical choice for many. Let’s see why!

The Good

The amount of traffic alone on this platform is staggering. Nearly â…“ of the internet browses YouTube, and its content reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the US. If you’re looking to potentially reach a broad network of people, YouTube is a great choice.

YouTube features a powerful search engine (because it’s owned by Google and they care about that sorta thing). This will help users find your content, which is very important if you are a B2C company. It may be less important if you are B2B.

Storage is free, and you can use your YouTube uploads in Google AdWords campaigns if you are interested in promoting your video on YouTube or within the Google Network of websites.

The Bad

Ads will be served on your content if it is popular. That means your competitors could potentially show up over your own content and snatch your business. Also, there are restrictions on your ability to allow users to click through to your website directly from your video.

The Ugly

I won’t sugarcoat it, YouTube’s customer support is straight-up terrible. If you ever lose track of the email account you created your channel with (which I have seen a lot as employees come and go from organizations), there is a good chance you will not be able to recover access to manage it ever again.

It is a free product, and YouTube simply does not have the resources to manage all of the requests that would come in if they did offer support. It is not unreasonable for their support to be so nonexistent, but it is really hard to inform clients that there is no way to recover their account.

One other thing to consider is that a glorious, giant community can be a bad thing at times. With so many active users, there are also some nasty trolls on YouTube that could leave negative feedback on your content for little to no reason. As someone who produces independent films in my free time, I’ve always joked that I can’t wait for someone to call me fat on YouTube (it will happen, folks).


Of the two platforms, Vimeo is my preferred choice, but it isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. Read on to see if it matches your needs.

The Good

Vimeo was designed as a platform for filmmakers – this insight might help you understand their major strengths. They provide a community for people to showcase their creative work.

Vimeo provides a beautiful player tool that can be customized to look like your brand when you embed your videos on web pages. There are more options for managing video privacy (though YouTube does now allow for private videos), and handy tools for managing feedback and working collaboratively.

I’ve never had an issue with the player or my account to warrant needing to contact customer service, but I have read reviews that say their team is top-notch in helping you out.

The Bad

A good tool does come at a price. Their plans range from free to $75/month, and the tier structure is all based on what your storage and upload needs are. If you aren’t uploading more than 500MB per week and you don’t need to store over 5 GB of data, the free plan will meet your needs, but you will potentially have ads served over your content.

It is possible to advertise on Vimeo, but you can’t manage ads yourself like you can on YouTube’s Google AdWords TrueView platform. You have to contact sales directly and work with an actual person (but depending on your situation that can be a good thing, and not bad at all!)

The Ugly

The biggest drawback to Vimeo can also be viewed as its biggest strength depending on your audience. The community watching videos on Vimeo is currently about 42 million in the US, which is a small fraction compared to YouTube viewers.

That being said, it is generally a supportive community of people. You won’t encounter the same number of trolls who might be lurking on YouTube. And remember, a person watching content on Vimeo is probably more appreciative of creativity and art in a video than a YouTube viewer (you might think of a Vimeo viewer as calling it a “film” and a YouTube viewer as calling it a “movie”).


For some organizations, there may not be a huge difference between picking YouTube or Vimeo for your platform. Many people simply need a place to host their video to embed on their website (and I have had several clients use both platforms!). But, if you are looking to engage with communities on that platform once you are there, being intentional about which content you offer where can make a big impact.

Finally, if you are not creating video content at all, you should! And I’d like to help you with that. Give us a call and we’ll help you determine how to best promote your organization through this amazing medium.

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About Wendy

Wendy brings a variety of talents to the table at Neuger Communications Group. She is a skilled coder, designer, planner, organizer and video producer – skills that she uses to help clients tell their stories. Wendy is passionate about connecting different media together to create the best possible work for clients. Her interests in strategy and data, paired with her eye for design, make her a valuable asset to our digital team, and when she contributes to office brainstorming sessions her ideas are creative and boundary-pushing. Learn More About Wendy »

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