It’s no secret that video content has been dominating the social space in recent years. According to Adobe, nearly 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. So while you may have great video content, the next big question is, “Where’s the best place to put it?” We’ll explore a few of the heavy hitters below to see what platform may take the crown in 2016.

Compared with YouTube and Facebook, Vimeo is a smaller, niche community that was started by filmmakers in 2004 and now gets more than 170 million monthly viewers. Vimeo’s layout is clean and uncomplicated, with minimal ads, which means content can be more prominently displayed and viewers don’t have to sit through commercials to get to the video they want to see. Video content uploaded to Vimeo tends to be of high production quality, especially with the rollout of 4K in 2016. The target audience is still primarily other filmmakers, and top content ranges from documentaries and short films to suggestive/explicit videos made for mature viewers.

While Vimeo has a smaller audience compared to other social platforms, Vimeo’s niche market can also mean a stronger community feel. If businesses are trying to engage users with their video content, Vimeo may offer more meaningful engagement from its user base. However, Vimeo doesn’t offer up a lot of the admin controls that pharma often requires, which could explain the lack of healthcare-related content on the platform at this time.

Another drawback of Vimeo is that it lacks “SEO juice.” In other words, if you build it, they WON’T necessarily come. Content on Vimeo would be very unlikely to garner any significant organic search traffic.

YouTube was started in 2005, a year after Vimeo, but has historically been the leader in video content thus far, with over 1 billion registered users. YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34- and 18-49-year-olds, respectively, than any cable network in the United States. YouTube is definitely for the everyday user. Popular content includes a wide range of videos, including funny clips, music videos, sitcom episodes, health information and more.

Thanks to parent company Google, YouTube’s SEO benefits outweigh those of other platforms. Seventy-seven percent of online health information-seekers say they began their last session at a search engine such as Google. With YouTube leveraging dual search power, their videos are more likely to show up in those Google results where patients, caregivers and HCPs may be searching for an answer. Once a user clicks on a video, YouTube Cards can also help extend the video’s reach and value by driving viewers to a website or related videos and offering up contextual information that could help accomplish KPIs.

It’s worth noting that YouTube’s much larger user base can often mean a lot of spam. Many businesses have experienced high numbers of spam or promotional comments on their videos, resulting in low-quality engagement with audiences and limited patient insights from that engagement.

For pharma, YouTube allows companies to enable a wide range of safety features, including an important safety information widget, disabled sharing, disabled embedding, blocking, moderated comments or no comments, disabled ads, disabled suggested channels and videos, and much more.

Facebook has made video content a big focus in the past two years, with its rollout of auto-play, 360-degree video, live video, and a significant update to the design of the video tab for Pages that is similar to YouTube’s longstanding layout. The new layout includes a “Featured Video” module, custom playlists and visible video description.

Businesses were previously able to leverage their Facebook Pages to drive users to content hosted on other social media platforms, such as YouTube, but Facebook continues to decrease reach on those types of status updates and instead favor those that entice users to stay and play within the platform. Pages that want to maximize their video views will have to upload that content directly onto Facebook, which has reportedly beat YouTube with over 8 billion daily video views. Remember, however, that a view on Facebook is counted after only three seconds, while YouTube’s count may be more than that since a view is defined as “an intended watch of a video where the primary purpose is to watch the video.”

Additionally, patient communities are rampant on Facebook due to the platform’s ability to host multiple forms of content and a layout that allows an uncomplicated flow for conversation and engagement among users. From a brand perspective, Facebook lacks many of the pharma-friendly controls that YouTube is known for offering, but it doesn’t mean brands should avoid participating there.

While Vimeo’s smaller, niche market gives more prominence to the videos within the platform, it’s no match for YouTube’s established audience, known popularity, SEO power and pharma-friendly features. That being said, Facebook has continued to edge its way into the space by increasing reach on video content and adding new features to the platform.

According to iTriage’s article, “Getting Social with Health Literacy,” Facebook is the top social channel for health education, while YouTube comes in at number two, showing both platforms can be a great spot for health content. While we can’t make the decision for you, it’s important to keep in mind where your specific audience is participating and what type of engagement you’re striving to get out of that specific platform. If you’re interested in learning about what’s best for your brand, we’d love to help!