Video is one of the most potent marketing channels on earth—86% of businesses use video to bring in new customers and sell their products. 

That number has been steadily rising throughout the years. More and more people are turning to videos to make purchasing decisions, learn about brands, and work out at home. In fact, 82% of broadband homes in America are now paying for a video-on-demand subscription product like Netflix or Hulu. 

So, how can you get ahead of the trend curve? Create a video website of your own! 

Sharing video content online isn’t just a great way to market your brand, but it’s also a chance to monetize your products. However, traditional video-sharing websites like YouTube are restrictive for businesses: you can’t gate content, customize your design, or charge for subscriptions. 

So relying on tools like Vimeo, creating, customizing, and publishing a professional video website possible without breaking the bank. Luckily, it only takes five easy steps.

Let’s get started. 

Step 1: Choose a video platform.

When launching a video website, the first decision you need to make is what platform you’ll use to host and store your content. 

Now, many website builders on the market (including Squarespace and Wix) have basic tools to showcase videos, but they lack the features needed to optimize and monetize content. This is the job of a purpose-built video platform—a tool that has video website templates, SEO features, and different ways to monetize content under one roof. 

Other features that a purpose-built video platform will have include: 

  • OTT apps (to stream your content on mobile devices or TVs)
  • Integrated payment systems
  • Real-time analytics

It’ll also take care of the advanced infrastructure needed to run a platform powerful enough to share videos and handle subscription packages. 

Video platforms require CMS, transcoding, and inbuilt players along with analytics and payment gateways to track audiences and revenue. Paying an engineer to create a custom platform for your brand will cost thousands (and thousands) of dollars, but a purpose-built tool will only ask for a monthly fee or a percentage of subscription revenue. 

As most OTT platforms are white-labeled, your platform is completely branded so that your customers will never know that it’s a third-party provider.

The other big win for hosting content on a purpose-built video platform (instead of using a Squarespace website or streaming it over YouTube) is that it’s focused on monetizing content. Creators often opt for selling subscriptions or individual videos to make money, but many OTT providers force viewers to leave the app (or go to a third-party service) to pay for a subscription. Having an inbuilt payment gateway minimizes friction when visitors sign up for your videos and makes the process seamless. 

PRO-TIP

If you already have an existing website, you can embed Vimeo content with popular sites WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr. Or, if you need a truly customized integration, you can also build something from scratch using our API.

Step 2: Design your website.

Next, your attention should turn to your website’s design.

The design of your website should match your existing brand identity, so visitors know they’re on the right site, and your videos need to be front and center. 

There are two ways you can design your website: either from scratch or with the help of a template. Vimeo’s OTT platform comes with preselected themes that you can use to customize, so the site is fully functional as well as visually appealing. 

Moonstone
An example of a customizable Vimeo template.

The templates allow you to change everything from the logo to color swatches, photography, and typography. Once you pick a theme, the interactive editor also allows you to change footer links, promotions, and preview content before you push it live to make sure it looks good. 

Theme editor!
An example of Vimeo’s template editor.

There are also other settings you should customize to make sure people can find your site, like: 

  • Site title: The title seen on search engines and the top of the browser window when someone visits your site
  • Site description: The description of your site when it appears in search results (i.e., Google)
  • Facebook page: To link your Facebook page, which will also show up in search results
  • Twitter username: To link your Twitter profile, so it shows in search results
  • Primary site color: Specify your brand’s color to use for buttons and player controls.

The reason it’s important to customize all of these areas isn’t just for aesthetics—it’s so search engines can find your website and direct traffic to it. 

Step 3: Create and publish your videos.

Once you have designed your website, it’s time to fill it with quality content. 

Don’t be intimidated about making quality videos to put on your website. Thanks to templates and smarter editing tools, even video novices can now create and publish high-quality videos in a short amount of time. 

For example, Vimeo Create is packed full of templates that marketers can craft event announcements and short videos in minutes. Start by searching the library for a template that fits: 

Then, use the inbuilt editor to change the video’s color palette, overlays, text, and the video content itself. You can even add music at this stage by uploading MP3, MP4, WMA, ADTS, OGG, WAV, or WAVE files and overlaying them over the video to make it more appealing. 

Once the video is ready to go, Vimeo will save it as a draft in your dashboard, where you can make additional changes and then publish it to your site when you’re ready. 

Step 4: Organize and categorize your content.

Organization is key to creating a successful video website—the user experience needs to be easy to navigate and find videos.  

There are two important considerations for this step: how do you want to display your content, and will people have to pay to access it?

Let’s start with the first consideration: how to display your content. 

If you’re using a video platform like Vimeo, uploading content is a piece of cake. Just upload videos, and they’ll be stored in your database, ready to publish to your site. 

Once your content is uploaded, you have many options to organize your content. For example, your content can be organized into “collections,” where videos are put into groups and organized into playlists. There are three collections to choose from: 

  • Movie collections: For feature films with optional supporting content
  • Playlist collections: For groups of thematically similar videos that aren’t specifically a Movie or a Series 
  • Series collections: For a series where videos are episodes sorted into unique seasons

Here’s an example of how GUEtv uses collections to categorize and organize its diving tutorials:

GueTV diving video tutorials

Topics are categorized into different collections based on experience levels and environments. Not only does it make it easier for GUEtv’s subscribers to find what they’re looking for, but if they’re interested in learning more about a specific dive (e.g., cave diving), they can binge-watch a series and immerse themselves in the collection. 

Additionally, thumbnails are a great way to create visual interest in your catalogs of videos. Check out how Naturally Sassy uses thumbnails to make their ballet skill catalog more appealing: 

Naturally Sassy ballet tutorials

Each thumbnail gives the viewer a preview of what to expect, breaking up the page’s white space and making it more interesting. 

Finally, you’ll need to think about how you want to monetize your content. You can choose from several options inside Vimeo, from Pay-What-You-Want pricing to subscription (SVOD) products. Once you’ve decided which option you are happy with, it only takes a minute to implement it in the dashboard. Just set your pricing boundaries, and you’re done! 

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Vimeo’s pricing dashboard makes it easy to set prices for your content.

Step 5: Create an app.

If you want to supercharge your offering, you could look to launch your own OTT (over-the-top) app

OTT apps are specifically designed for each device to give the viewer an optimal experience, and they cover everyone’s favorite platforms, from Roku to Apple TV, FireTV, or Android TV. The good news is that creating an OTT app can take as little as 30-days. With Vimeo, we do it all in four steps: 

1. Setup: We work with you to design an app and customize everything from branding to your monetization model(s).

2. Build: We build your app from scratch using in-house developers 

3. Test: We put your OTT app through its paces and test its quality, functionality, and user experience

4. Submission: We submit the app to the Android or Apple developer platform for review 

Installing an app also has another positive for your business: OTT app data. Apps track what videos users watch and how engaged they are with your content. Using analytics, you’ll be able to track stats like:

  • Gross customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Gross revenue per user (GRPU)
  • Paid churn
  • Trial information (new trials/ conversions/ average)
  • Usage trends by views, hours viewed, or audience size
  • Hours viewed by device
  • Hours viewed by platform

Tracking these analytics gives you a unique insight into which content your viewers are watching the most and what devices they’re using. This knowledge then helps you make smarter decisions about what kind of content you should be producing based on their preferences. 

Wrapping up

Creating a video website that’s affordable and gives your viewers an awesome experience can happen thanks to purpose-built video platforms. 

It’s easy to create a video website that’s organized and optimized for search engines thanks to premade templates and drag-and-drop editors—even if you’re a complete newbie. 

Ready to create a video website? Get started today with Vimeo OTT.