As a video hosting software and all-in-one video editing tool, Wistia makes it easy to get started in the world of video content. There’s even a free version so you can test the functionality and start creating your professional video content in no time.
In today’s Wistia review, we’re going to be taking a closer look at one of the popular video hosting platforms for content creators. Wistia is a powerful up-and-coming tool for creating, editing, sharing, and hosting video content. As video content marketing continues to skyrocket in value, solutions like Wistia are helping companies to reach and engage a wider audience.
What is Wistia?
Wistia is a comprehensive video marketing platform, designed to help creators and companies build their brand, and expand their audience. Wistia’s features resolve around three core areas: solutions to create your content, present or share your pieces with your followers, and grow your audience.
The all-in-one technology ensures you can record videos straight from your browser, make convenient edits on the go, and store your creations in the cloud. What’s more, you can also optimize your videos, strengthen your market reach with advertising tools, and discover unique ways to engage and convert your audience.
While Wistia is still in its early stages of growth, it’s already captured the attention of countless leading companies, including Starbucks, Mailchimp, Sephora, and HubSpot. The safe and secure video platform even comes with advanced analytics, so you can examine which of your pieces are gaining the most attention, and what kind of content your customers resonate with.
Notably, Wistia is particularly well-suited to beginners. You don’t have to be overly tech savvy to access the platform, and there’s plenty of content to guide you. The company has its own comprehensive learning center, where you’ll find customer stories, an asset library, and an informative blog. There are even various videos to watch, and insightful industry events too.
Wistia has a few different options available from a pricing perspective. The first option is the Free plan, which allows users to test the functionality of the platform for up to 10 videos, and 1 user. You still get access to basic analytics and the customizable player too. Other options include:
- Plus: $24 per month for all the features of Free, plus 20 videos, 3 users, and lead capture. You also get 500 archived media pieces, 3 channels, 1TB of bandwidth, Turnstile access, social media and email integrations, view streams, captions, transcripts, and email support.
- Pro: $99 per month for everything in Plus, as well as 50 videos, 5 users, and video heat maps. You’ll also get 5 channels, custom CTAs and CSV data exporting, plus A/B testing.
- Advanced: $399 per month for everything in Pro, plus 250 videos, 20 users, and marketing integrations. There’s also access to Live video with a 2 hour time limit and 4 panelists, unlimited channels, marketing automation, and a customer success manager.
There’s also a custom enterprise plan called “Premium” which comes with all the features of Advanced, as well as over 2TB of bandwidth, unlimited users, unlimited archived media, and up to 1,000 videos available for your channel.
So, what exactly can you do with Wistia? Let’s answer that question by diving into the first core element of the platform: video creation. Wistia makes it simple to produce engaging and unique content with a powerful browser-based screen recorder called Soapbox. You can record your screen and your face at the same time, then export the content to Wistia for sharing and embedding.
Alongside Soapbox, you also get a convenient video editor, where you can trim and make changes to webinars and other videos to make them look more professional. You can even create, host, and market live events, with useful real-time analytics.
Let’s look at each creation tool in closer detail:
Soapbox is the convenient browser-based tool Wistia offers for video content creation. The solution is offered as a chrome extension, so you don’t need to download anything to get started. All you need is your browser, a webcam, and an internet connection. The streamlined interface will allow you to decide whether you want to share your webcam, your screen, or both at the same time.
If you’re working on video with a range of content creators, you can use the “Soapbox Station” to provide your entire workforce with the same mobile studio. What’s more, you can build libraries of content directly from Soapbox, and export them into the Wistia hosting service with a couple of clicks. You’ll be able to organize your content with Wistia channels, and add different forms of media, like slides and complementary videos.
Soapbox has unique transition options for social media, and you can export your content directly to the channels your customers use. Plus, there are integrations available for your email marketing tools, too. You can turn your video into a GIF, or add a text overlay to improve your chances of reaching your audience.
2. The Wistia Video Editor
The Wistia video editor is how you make your recorded content as professional and engaging as possible, without any coding knowledge or expertise. The editor is built directly into the Wistia platform, and you can jump to it immediately once you’ve created your videos with Soapbox.
Within the editor, you can use a simple drag-and-drop slider to trim bits of your video, and save new versions, without losing the original file. You can also “split” sections of your content, and remove them to show off smaller pieces of a larger file on social media or your website.
The editing tools allow you to get right down to every individual frame, so you can make exact trims and cuts. There are also transitions and other features available, so you can make your presentations look as engaging and interesting as possible.
3. Wistia Live Streaming
One of the more recent additions to the Wistia platform, Wistia Live streaming gives you an all-in-one webinar tool where you can create powerful content in seconds. The user-friendly platform allows you to choose a specific layout for your webinar, invite panellists, and even create a chat box for viewers.
If you want to preserve the content from your webinars and live streams to use later, Wistia will automatically save all of the content to your account as soon as you’re done streaming. Once you have your file, you can use the in-built video trimmer to edit components of your video, and create on-demand replays with a customizable player, captions, and chapters. You can even add your own call-to-action content for monetization purposes.
For live streams, Wistia offers a registration form solution where you can collect contact details and names of each of your attendees. Plus, after the event, you can automatically transform your registration page into a landing page, where you can upload your video for viewers to watch on demand. All that, and you get built-in analytics for tracking who registered for your video, who attended, and what kind of engagement you achieved throughout the experience.
Wistia Review: Video Hosting and Management
Wistia isn’t just a tool for creating videos, it’s also a platform where you can host and share your content easily. There’s the option to create your own customizable video player, video galleries and channels. The all-in-one cloud platform has its own video CMS, where you can upload, manage, and share both video and audio content with your teams.
The solution even makes it simple to embed video content directly to your website, with 4K and mobile streaming options for any need.
Wistia Video Management
At the core of the Wistia video management features is the cloud-based CMS. This provides a flexible environment where users can store and share their videos in seconds. When working with collaborators, you can also invite them to leave time-coded comments on your videos.
When you replace videos on your Wistia account, this will also automatically update any embeds you have on your website. So, if you need to make changes down the line, you don’t have to re-do your embed codes.
The comprehensive library also makes it simple to conveniently scan through your content with search, add projects to your “favorites”, and use projects to organize, present, and protect your creations. You can add sections to projects, turn them into channels, and even enable appropriate access levels with passwords and permission settings.
For companies and creators who design videos as part of a team, Wistia has a host of collaboration features, such as comments on your video page, with their own unique time stamps. You can also set permission levels, to ensure your content doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Admins maintain complete control over reviewing content before it goes live, sharing videos for internal and external use, and protecting sensitive information. Video password protection also determines exactly who can view your content at any moment.
Wistia Video Player
The Wistia video player is a customizable and reliable HTML5 offering designed to offer your users the best possible experiences. There’s built-in support for high-resolution videos, and adaptive streaming with HLS. As an added bonus, implementing your videos into your website through Wistia won’t weigh down your site, thanks to small, lightweight embed codes.
The video player is responsive and mobile-ready, capable of scaling automatically to suit any screen size. Plus, you can customize various aspects of the player. You’ll be able to add your brand colors, choose specific thumbnails, and control content by adding a CTA, password protection, or chapters.
Wistia allows your audience to choose how they want to use your content, with the option to adjust the quality up to 4k, and even alter the speed of playback. Plus, there’s a Player API, so you can customize your video for any environment with a little coding.
Timeline actions even allow users to make videos interactive, with turnstile, call to action buttons, and annotation links designed to collect leads and drive engagement. Built in social sharing supports exporting of your video to any channel, and Wistia is also fully compatible with all screen viewers.
Wistia Video Hosting
Wistia’s online video hosting gives companies an ultra-fast, high-quality playback environment, without ads or recommended videos from the competition. Thanks to a range of top-tier global video CDNs, the system delivers content from a location close to your target audience, so they can expect ultra-fast results. There’s also high-quality adaptive streaming, which ensures your videos can adjust to suit the needs of any device or internet speed.
Whenever you host a video on Wistia, the solution will automatically create a new embed code on your behalf, so you can just copy-and-paste the content into your website. The standard embeds are designed to load super-fast on all devices.
When you generate your embed code, you can choose from an “embed type”, which allows you to determine how you want your video to display. For instance, you can choose between a pop-over video, inline video content, and even responsive or fixed players. All embeds automatically inject meta-data via JSON+LD to your site, and optimize your video for search. If your website is hosted on WordPress, you can set any embed code to be an oEmbed with one checkbox.
Though Wistia is primarily a video hosting platform, it also offers support for podcasting. You can create simple and effective podcasts, with editing tools for trimming out sections of content. Once you’ve designed your podcast, you can also choose how you want to embed it on your site, with Channels, individual episodes, and distribution to the top podcasting platforms.
Wistia allows users to customize their podcast players too. You can change the colors, add a logo, select light or dark mode, and even add episode artwork. Plus, you can order transcripts and leverage the included rich-text editor to add further links and context.
Just like with your video content, Wistia offers analytics for your podcasts, so you can pull out information about listening statistics. There are heatmaps for embedded podcast episodes to see exactly which parts of your content your customers are most engaged with.
Wistia Review: Marketing and Growth
To boost your chances of reaching the largest available audience, Wistia offers a selection of marketing tools. Every video created is automatically optimized for the search engine, and comes with native Google and Facebook integrations. There are also various engagement tools available, to connect with your audience through annotations and call-to-action buttons.
Wistia also has the unique “Turnstile” feature to collect leads directly from your videos. Plus, you can integrate the platform with any marketing automation tools you’re already using. The core marketing features from Wistia include:
- Video SEO: Every video is injected with Schema.org markup via JSON-LD to help Google read your page. You can also order and upload transcripts which are included in your markup to provide extra context for Google, and boost your keywords. There’s also the option to create SEO enhanced channels with a selection of video content in one place.
- Lead generation: The Turnstile service allows companies to collect email addresses at any point in the video timeline, to grow email lists and enhance your CRM. There is customizable button copy and options for how you want forms to appear. Plus, you can add CTAs, annotation links, and integrate Eventbrite forms into your videos. You even get a notification every time someone registers.
- Integrations: You can link Wistia to some of the top email and marketing automation platforms available, including Pardot, Marketo, and HubSpot. Plus, you can upload all of your conversions and stats to your favorite channels too.
- Interactivity: There are various ways to add interactive elements to your videos with Wistia. You can collect email addresses with embedded forms directly in your video timeline, and add CTAs to help your viewers act. There’s custom HTML, annotation links, and easy chapter organization options to help customers jump through your video.
- Reach and Retarget: Users can send their Wistia viewer data directly to Facebook and Google, so it’s easier to reach new audiences with tailored ads. You can even create ads based on both channel data and individual video data. Whenever a viewer engages with a video, you can retarget them based on how much they watched, or create Lookalike audiences.
Wistia Review: Analytics and Integrations
Wistia makes it quick and easy to collect meaningful insights from your video marketing strategies. You’ll have complete access to a range of video metrics within the stats section of the platform, and you can run A/B test to find out which videos work best. With integrations for your favorite marketing platforms, you can also connect your data across multiple channels. Wistia’s analytics features include:
- Video metrics: Built-in analytics allow you to track engagement with graphs, checking for rewatches, drop-offs and interactions. You can access viewer-based tracking to collect data for your CRM, use heatmaps to see which parts of your video get the most attention, and collect social stats from social media.
- A/B Testing: A/B testing gives users the opportunity to compare the performance of one video against another. You can compare everything from video thumbnails, to turnstiles, annotation links, CTAs, and video lengths. Plus, the whole experience is easy to set up and follow. Visual graphs and insights make it simple to share data too.
- Integrations: Users can pass all of their Wistia viewing data straight to channels like HubSpot, Adobe Marketo Engage, and Pardot. There are also integrations for Databox, Google Analytics, Medialytics, Theta Lake, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign, Drip, and many others.
Wistia even allows you to integrate your platform with various paywall and production tools, like InPlayer, Powtown, and Animoto. Or you can link to Productivity tools like Trello, sales software like Intercom, and support systems like Zendesk.
Wistia Review: Verdict
If you’re looking for an alternative to tools like Vidyard, Vimeo, Brightcove and similar tools, Wistia could be the best video hosting platform for you. With no need to download any computer software, highly customizable components, and great customer support, it’s ideal for a range of users.
Engagement graphs and overall rating video analytics give small business leaders an excellent insight into their target audience. The video marketing software integrated into the system also makes it easier to reach the customers you want to connect with.
Whether you want to upload videos direct to the cloud, access useful SaaS marketing and editing tools, or engage with your subscribers, Wistia has everything you need.