8 Things Wistia Can Do That YouTube Can't

June 14, 2022

Topic tags

Meisha Bochicchio


Phil Nottingham


YouTube has over 2 billion worldwide users — equal to nearly one-third of the entire internet. It’s the most popular video sharing platform in the world. So, naturally, it would make sense for marketers to host all their videos there, right?

Well, not necessarily.

YouTube is primarily designed to keep users engaged on their platform in order for Google to serve as many ads as possible. When you host your videos on Wistia, you have much more control over the viewing experience, which can help you better meet your marketing and sales goals.

We’ll break down several things Wistia can do to help your business and highlight a few key areas where YouTube falls short.

1. Easily replace your videos

One of the biggest challenges with using YouTube is there’s no way to update your video after you’ve posted, which can be frustrating for brands whose products change over time.

Let’s say you upload a video to YouTube, but want to change it six months later. You have to upload a brand new video and lose the view count and ranking your original video garnered.

You don’t have to worry about that with Wistia! Our Replace Media functionality makes it possible to swap out media content (and start new stats from scratch) or overwrite the original video (and build on top of its stats). With this functionality, all customizations will transfer with the replacement video. This means the thumbnail, captions, lead conversion tools (such as Turnstile, Call to Action, and Annotation Link), and any player customizations will remain the same after you replace your video.

Additionally, we designed our Replace Media functionality to cause the least disruption possible for your embedded media. So, while the replacement video is uploading and processing, the old media will continue to play anywhere it is embedded. No stats or comments will be affected, and the media will update immediately after it’s finished processing.

Whether you want to update your product walkthroughs every six months, refresh a video on an old blog post, or simply freshen up your homepage video, Wistia’s got your back when it comes to easily replacing your videos.

2. Customize your video player to match your brand

Raise your hand if your business has invested a significant amount of time and money to ensure that everything on your website matches your brand identity. Raise your other hand if you’ve embedded YouTube videos on your website and the video player didn’t quite blend in with the rest of the page. That red play button doesn’t go with everything, does it?

One of the main issues with using YouTube for video marketing is that there are no custom branding options — all of your brand videos end up looking like billboards for YouTube with their logo and colors. You’re essentially promoting their brand, and this is intentional because YouTube was built to keep folks engaged with content on YouTube. Its player is designed to ensure that embedded videos help drive more traffic to YouTube.com, which can directly conflict with many businesses’ goal of driving conversion.

“YouTube was built to keep folks engaged with content on YouTube. Its player is designed to ensure that embedded videos help drive more traffic to YouTube.com, which can directly conflict with many businesses’ goal of driving conversion.”

Wistia is designed with marketers in mind. Our platform allows you to customize your video player with your company’s colors so visitors can recognize your brand and so your video player can blend seamlessly into your website.

Wistia also lets you include your brand’s logo on your videos. That means no more glaring YouTube signage in your video players — your brand is front and center, not anyone else’s.

You can even take your customization one step further by creating custom thumbnails for your videos. After all, it’s the first thing people see before they press play, and first impressions really matter when it comes to building a brand. Wistia gives you the options to choose the type of thumbnail you’d like — a static image or a video. You can also add text overlay to an image thumbnail or a looping video clip to take your brand touch to the next level.

3. Customize your player controls for better engagement

What happens when your embedded YouTube video ends? A bunch of suggested videos pop up within the video player based on what your viewer has already watched on YouTube. And what happens when your viewer follows one of these links? They’re taken away from your website and over to YouTube.com.

With Wistia, you have way more control over how your viewers experience your video. You can autoplay your videos and change player controls to improve visitor engagement. Here are some things you can do:

Choose the start and end behavior for your video

Need to autoplay your videos to grab attention? Check the Autoplay box, where you can choose from several autoplay sound options: Click for Sound, Muted, Play with sound, and Play sound if possible.

You can also decide what happens when your video ends: Pause on the last frame, Reset to the first frame, and Loop the video.

Pick your privacy settings

Want to restrict who can see your video? If you’re using YouTube, you don’t have many options. You could make your video private, which means only you and other channel managers can see it. The thing is, if you add someone as a channel manager, they’ll have full control over your channel and videos. You could make your video unlisted, but it would still be open to anyone who has a link to it. The last option is to make your video public, which means it’ll show up in YouTube search.

With Wistia, you have more control over who can see your videos. Our permissions options allow you to offer granular access to different projects. Alternatively, you can password protect your video anywhere it’s linked or embedded, which is perfect for sharing private or confidential material.

Control the content shown next

With Wistia Channels, you have control over the “Up Next” preview in the upper right corner of the video. This way, you can keep your audience engaged with your content instead of your competitors’ content.

Experiment with A/B testing

It’s possible to A/B test your videos with Wistia, which gives you a side-by-side view of how two different videos perform. You can test any aspect of the video — different thumbnails, different player colors, or even different videos entirely! Then you can dive into the data to see which version worked best before committing to the change.

Customize your Share buttons

YouTube’s buttons only share the YouTube URL. With Wistia’s Share buttons, you can customize them to link to a specific page, such as your own product page.

4. Integrate with your favorite lead generation tools

Businesses that invest in video marketing want to see a clear connection between viewers and customers, but it’s not easy to do that with YouTube videos.

All of YouTube’s video data is kept well under lock and key. Wistia, on the other hand, gives you the ability to sync video data with your preferred marketing automation platform or customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Wistia’s integration makes it easier to create and score leads based on video data. No more guessing necessary — you control your data, so you can measure your video’s return on investment (ROI).

5. Get granular with user-based tracking video analytics

Measuring the success of your video marketing efforts can be challenging, even for the most experienced marketers. It becomes even more challenging when you’re using a platform that lacks the necessary data to track performance.

YouTube provides insight into basic engagement metrics ,  such as likes and views ,  and gives you loads of information if you get tons of views. However, it doesn’t help you see who has been watching your videos and how much they’ve watched.

Wistia’s platform is designed to help marketers who care about each individual viewer of their niche content.

If you want to go beyond pulling basic engagement metrics such as likes, views, and comments, we’ve got you covered. Our platform can track viewer engagement through heat maps and engagement graphs to help marketers see individual viewer behavior and get a granular understanding of when and where videos are most successful. You can also use that information to pinpoint specific moments of engagement and disengagement to uncover underlying brand video trends.

6. Deliver an ad-free experience

Before 2007, YouTube was completely ad-free, but that didn’t last long once the platform saw the potential money they could bring in with advertisers .

Fast forward to today, and video ads are the norm on YouTube. You might be following a video tutorial for decorating a three-tier rainbow cake, and then bam — an ad about how to make millions with cryptocurrency comes out of nowhere.

Ads disrupt the flow of content. Imagine going to see a new movie and, just as a massive plot twist is about to be revealed, a commercial for car insurance comes on. You’d return to the action feeling a little deflated.

Businesses often need to convey complex topics that require concentration, so it’s important to ensure that your video narrative flows well. YouTube slows down the viewing experience with ads, so it takes longer for your brand to get its message across. With all of the distractions, your audience might have a harder time feeling like they fully comprehended what you’re trying to explain.

You also have no control over what ads YouTube decides to place in your videos. It’s possible for video ads from direct competitors to pop up and make viewers think twice about using your product. Your videos may also be saddled with ads from other companies and causes you may not want to be associated with.

Businesses need a custom video player that bypasses ad clutter. Wistia offers an ad-free viewing experience that elevates your content in terms of presentation and focus. Your viewers can focus on a video from your brand all the way through without any roadblocks to turn them off.

7. Automated video SEO

SEO doesn’t only apply to written content. If you want people to find your videos across Google and other search engines, your videos need to be properly optimized for search.

Public YouTube videos are automatically visible on Google, but there’s one big problem: YouTube is designed to drive traffic to their own website, not yours.

Sure, you’re still getting your brand name out there with YouTube videos. But the thing is, all of the SEO benefits your video receives is tied to a site where you can’t make a sale or capture leads.

If you’re a marketer who wants SEO benefits for your business, using a custom video player is an absolute must. Instead of driving video traffic to another site, Wistia’s built-in video SEO capabilities can help your business rank on Google and drive traffic to your site.

You can even use Wistia Channels to help viewers easily find your videos in one place on your site. Once they’re on a Channel you’ve created, they can jump from video to video with no distractions, unlike on YouTube.

Looking to level up your digital marketing chops? Nerd out over our favorite video SEO tips to improve your video performance!

8. Establish direct communication with subscribers

When someone subscribes to your YouTube channel, your content will more readily appear in their feed, and they might get notifications when you publish new content. There’s a problem from a marketing standpoint, though: You can’t find out who your subscribers are. You can only interact with them through YouTube, not with your own email list where you have more control over how your audience hears from you.

With Wistia Channel Subscribers, you have instant access to individual subscriber data such as names and emails. This helps you form a direct line of communication with folks and gauge their potential to turn into leads. Beyond notifying subscribers about new content, you can tell them about your product and include them in wider campaigns down the line.

Stumped by subscribers? Say no more! Learn more about the difference between Wistia Channel Subscribers and YouTube Subscribers.

The custom video player that can do it all

To sum it all up, YouTube is still an important part of video strategies for most businesses, but Wistia is better for videos on your site because it offers more control, better data, ad-free viewing experiences, and more. If you’re trying to grow your business, you need Wistia’s custom video player that supports your brand with ease.

June 14, 2022

Topic tags

Meisha Bochicchio


Phil Nottingham


Mailing list sign-up form

Sign up for Wistia’s best & freshest content.

More of a social being? We’re also on Instagram and Twitter.