machine with a screen
Forrester thinks video is a sales and marketing essential. PHOTO: Andrew E. Weber

Marketers should consider alternatives to YouTube and seek video technology that offers self-service, analytics and integration with customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems, according to Forrester Research.

In a new report on online video platforms for sales and marketing, Forrester Analyst Nick Barber noted that YouTube has limitations. While it is among the most popular video channels and serves as a great repository, it's clogged with 576,000 hours of video daily. It also lacks security, analytics and integrations that an enterprise-class online video platform can provide.

Marketers need platforms that are easy to use; include robust, actionable analytics; and allow for video content changes for different segments and platforms.

Brightcove, Kaltura, Vidyard Lead Pack

Barber and colleagues Stephen Powers and Jaclyn Galan analyzed online video platforms (OVPs) from Adobe, Brightcove, IBM, Invodo, Kaltura, Ooyala, Qumu, uStudio and Vidyard. All nine have a product in general use providing more than two million streams per month, at least $10 million in annual revenue and integrations with CRM and marketing automation platforms

Three — Brightcove, Kaltura and Vidyard — were rated leaders. Adobe and uStudio were rated strong performers. IBM, Ooyala and Qumu were rated contenders, and Invodo was rated a challenger. 

Forrester analysts evaluated capabilities such as device support, workflow, administration, player design and features, syndication and distribution, the ability to build a custom video portal, targeting, personalization, discovery, live-streaming, user-generated content, marketing and lead-generation tools, sales enablement work flows, enterprise application integrations, reporting and analytics, global support, security, proven scale and licensing models.

The Leaders

  1. Boston-based Brightcove has a flexible player design that supports heavy customization, which it does for its portals for live and on-demand videos with "the most intuitive tools of any vendor we evaluated." Integrations with CRM and marketing automation systems are a plus. Users are able to create customized videos for social, another advantage. It could improve its HTML5 deployments because some users reported being stuck using its old Flash-based player. Polling is not native to the platform, something Forrester analysts said would serve them well.
  2. Kitchener, Ontario-based Vidyard offers a platform that helps sales and marketing teams with an "impressive suite of capabilities." Vidyard users can create in-video personalization (dropping a person's name into the video). Vidyard could use better direction in analytics. Some customers told Forrester it can be confusing to measure results when videos change inside of the players. It also lacks large deployments and venture funding.  
  3. New York City-based Kaltura has a platform with strong integrations. It has on-demand and live tools that are easy to use. Its enterprise application integrations are strong, but it needs to improve its CRM and marketing automation integrations to better target videos to specific users, according to Forrester. It helps marketers make videos, landing pages and collect lead information. 

Forrester described video as essential, noting that marketing and sales teams that don't deploy it as a signature part of their campaigns and programs will lag. 

Online retailers see nearly triple the conversion rates on product pages that have video; people process video 60,000 times faster than text, Barber noted. Video conveys more emotion than other media," he wrote.