Video Platforms for Small Businesses

The market is full of video services with different features, costs, and limitations. Depending on the kind of class or service you intend to offer, we can recommend our picks for the video platform most likely to get the job done for you. Create an account with whichever video service provide best meets your needs.

Vistaprint's Top Picks

Here are our picks for small businesses:

Class or Service Top Pick Runner Up
1-on-1 Consultations Webex FaceTime
Small Group Meetings Google Hangouts Webex
Live Streamed Classes Facebook Live YouTube
On-Demand Patreon YouTube

Wherever possible we recommend $0 free solutions to help small businesses get started with virtual, innovate, and stay in business with little-to-no upfront investment or sunken costs.

Cisco Webex Free

Webex is Vistaprint’s top pick for 1-on-1 consultations. 

Pros

  • The Webex Free plan is $0.

  • Unlimited duration meetings for up to 100 people.

  • Unique link to your private Webex Personal Room.

  • Unique Meeting Passwords are automatically generated.

  • Your customers do not need to set up an account in advance.

Cons

  • Mobile devices require the Webex app.

  • Additional communication is required to share the meeting password with each participant.

    • This detractor is worth it because it protects your privacy and security.

Impressions From Testing

  • Video and audio call quality is pretty good.

  • Slight delay is apparent for fast-paced music/dance classes.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Copy/paste your Webex Personal Room URL onto your Vistaprint website, business email signature, calendar invites, and chat messages.

  • For online appointment booking tools, copy/paste your Webex Personal Room URL into the email signature for automated appointment notifications.

  • Email each participant their unique meeting password in advance of the appointment.

  • To limit interruptions, log in to your Webex Account Preferences and set up an automatic lock. This prevents latecomers from entering your meeting after a certain number of minutes.

Monetization

Patreon

Patreon is a great paywall tool for businesses with committed fans. The platform is set up to charge patrons a price for access to many kinds of content including pre-recorded, on demand video.

Patreon is Vistaprint’s top pick for on-demand video. 

Pros

  • Patreon costs $0 to start as a creator.

  • When your patrons subscribe, Patreon takes percentage of the revenue plus transaction fees.

  • Monthly payment schedule or charge per creation.

  • It accepts USD, GBP and euros.

  • Subscription model facilitates reliable, recurring source of revenue.

Cons

  • You must be committed to posting regularly with high-value content.

  • Pay-outs to creators are processed monthly, not same-day.

Impressions From Testing

  • Really nice interface; easy to set up creator account.

  • So many options and features I could spend hours customizing and uploading content.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Copy/paste your Patron public page onto your Vistaprint website, business email signature, calendar invites, and chat messages.

  • Don’t forget to post on social media.

  • Monetization, on-demand video, and live streaming are built into the Patreon platform. Just use their tools.

Monetization

  • Patreon is free to get started and takes percentage of the patron revenue plus transaction fees.

  • You can choose a monthly payment schedule or charge your patrons per creation.

FaceTime

FaceTime was our runner up for 1-on-1 consultations. This video platform is ideal when both you and your customer have Apple devices.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Ask your customer if they would like to FaceTime and have an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.

  • All you need is their phone number or Facetime account ID.

  • Click “Make a FaceTime call” or the video call icon on your Apple device.

  • Try to be on Wi-Fi or make sure you have generous data plan.

Monetization

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is our #1 pick for small groups. 

Pros

  • Google Hangouts video chat costs $0.

  • Unlimited duration meetings for groups of any size.

  • It is easy to add a Hangout to a Google Calendar invitation.

Cons

  • Everyone must have a Gmail account.

  • No advanced management features.

Impressions From Testing

  • Video and audio call quality seem fuzzy.

  • Super simple and easy to use.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Add Google Hangouts to your Google Calendar invites and send those to your customers.

Monetization

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is our top pick for live streaming video. 

Pros

  • Facebook is ubiquitous.

  • Share the live stream on your Business Page.

  • Use your mobile device to capture video.

Cons

  • All viewers must have Facebook accounts…but who doesn’t?

Impressions From Testing

  • Good video/audio quality.

  • No lag for fast-paced music or dance classes, because there is no interaction. This is effectively broadcast.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Get the word out on social media in advance. Send emails too, linking to your Facebook page and inviting your customers to call in at the appointed day and time.

  • In the Vistaprint Website Builder, add the Facebook Page element to any page on your website. Link to your business page on Facebook, and a feed of your latest activity will be pulled onto your Vistaprint website. Publish so your latest changes go live. This includes Facebook Live video posts, which a website visitor can play on your site without navigating away.

Monetization

YouTube

Youtube is a solid option both for live streaming large-group classes and uploading on-demand pre-recorded video. 

Pros

  • Creating a YouTube channel and uploading or live streaming a video costs $0.

  • YouTube Studio features include: description, inserting cards, pre-scheduling a public release.

  • The unique YouTube URL is easy to share.

  • Default video limits are 15 minutes or 20 GB.

  • Similar content will eventually link viewers to your video.

Cons

  • YouTube has “private” options for video uploads, but let’s be real: your content will be on YouTube’s servers forever.

  • If 15 minutes/20GB is too little, you can request verification. If approved, you get upgraded to 12 hours/128 GB limits.

Impressions From Testing

  • The video on the platform is as good as the original recording quality so having a professional setup will really show.

  • There are a crazy amazing number of settings and features in YouTube Studio.

  • Most viewer comments are irrelevant to your content.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Log into the Vistaprint Website Builder and add a YouTube Video element to any page. Double-click the element to link to the URL of your video from YouTube.com. Watch a step-by-step video here:

  • Link to your livestream from social media.

Monetization

  • Mention and show your Venmo handle or Paypal username during the video.

  • Add payment links to the announcement messages, video description and follow-up messages.

  • Apply to join the YouTube Partner program to display cards onscreen during the video that link to external websites (like your preferred payment method).

  • Learn more about charging for online classes and virtual services.

Video Platforms for Small BusinessesFollow

The market is full of video services with different features, costs, and limitations. Depending on the kind of class or service you intend to offer, we can recommend our picks for the video platform most likely to get the job done for you. Create an account with whichever video service provide best meets your needs.

Vistaprint's Top Picks

Here are our picks for small businesses:

Class or Service Top Pick Runner Up
1-on-1 Consultations Webex FaceTime
Small Group Meetings Google Hangouts Webex
Live Streamed Classes Facebook Live YouTube
On-Demand Patreon YouTube

Wherever possible we recommend $0 free solutions to help small businesses get started with virtual, innovate, and stay in business with little-to-no upfront investment or sunken costs.

Cisco Webex Free

Webex is Vistaprint’s top pick for 1-on-1 consultations. 

Pros

  • The Webex Free plan is $0.

  • Unlimited duration meetings for up to 100 people.

  • Unique link to your private Webex Personal Room.

  • Unique Meeting Passwords are automatically generated.

  • Your customers do not need to set up an account in advance.

Cons

  • Mobile devices require the Webex app.

  • Additional communication is required to share the meeting password with each participant.

    • This detractor is worth it because it protects your privacy and security.

Impressions From Testing

  • Video and audio call quality is pretty good.

  • Slight delay is apparent for fast-paced music/dance classes.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Copy/paste your Webex Personal Room URL onto your Vistaprint website, business email signature, calendar invites, and chat messages.

  • For online appointment booking tools, copy/paste your Webex Personal Room URL into the email signature for automated appointment notifications.

  • Email each participant their unique meeting password in advance of the appointment.

  • To limit interruptions, log in to your Webex Account Preferences and set up an automatic lock. This prevents latecomers from entering your meeting after a certain number of minutes.

Monetization

Patreon

Patreon is a great paywall tool for businesses with committed fans. The platform is set up to charge patrons a price for access to many kinds of content including pre-recorded, on demand video.

Patreon is Vistaprint’s top pick for on-demand video. 

Pros

  • Patreon costs $0 to start as a creator.

  • When your patrons subscribe, Patreon takes percentage of the revenue plus transaction fees.

  • Monthly payment schedule or charge per creation.

  • It accepts USD, GBP and euros.

  • Subscription model facilitates reliable, recurring source of revenue.

Cons

  • You must be committed to posting regularly with high-value content.

  • Pay-outs to creators are processed monthly, not same-day.

Impressions From Testing

  • Really nice interface; easy to set up creator account.

  • So many options and features I could spend hours customizing and uploading content.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Copy/paste your Patron public page onto your Vistaprint website, business email signature, calendar invites, and chat messages.

  • Don’t forget to post on social media.

  • Monetization, on-demand video, and live streaming are built into the Patreon platform. Just use their tools.

Monetization

  • Patreon is free to get started and takes percentage of the patron revenue plus transaction fees.

  • You can choose a monthly payment schedule or charge your patrons per creation.

FaceTime

FaceTime was our runner up for 1-on-1 consultations. This video platform is ideal when both you and your customer have Apple devices.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Ask your customer if they would like to FaceTime and have an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook.

  • All you need is their phone number or Facetime account ID.

  • Click “Make a FaceTime call” or the video call icon on your Apple device.

  • Try to be on Wi-Fi or make sure you have generous data plan.

Monetization

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is our #1 pick for small groups. 

Pros

  • Google Hangouts video chat costs $0.

  • Unlimited duration meetings for groups of any size.

  • It is easy to add a Hangout to a Google Calendar invitation.

Cons

  • Everyone must have a Gmail account.

  • No advanced management features.

Impressions From Testing

  • Video and audio call quality seem fuzzy.

  • Super simple and easy to use.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Add Google Hangouts to your Google Calendar invites and send those to your customers.

Monetization

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is our top pick for live streaming video. 

Pros

  • Facebook is ubiquitous.

  • Share the live stream on your Business Page.

  • Use your mobile device to capture video.

Cons

  • All viewers must have Facebook accounts…but who doesn’t?

Impressions From Testing

  • Good video/audio quality.

  • No lag for fast-paced music or dance classes, because there is no interaction. This is effectively broadcast.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Get the word out on social media in advance. Send emails too, linking to your Facebook page and inviting your customers to call in at the appointed day and time.

  • In the Vistaprint Website Builder, add the Facebook Page element to any page on your website. Link to your business page on Facebook, and a feed of your latest activity will be pulled onto your Vistaprint website. Publish so your latest changes go live. This includes Facebook Live video posts, which a website visitor can play on your site without navigating away.

Monetization

YouTube

Youtube is a solid option both for live streaming large-group classes and uploading on-demand pre-recorded video. 

Pros

  • Creating a YouTube channel and uploading or live streaming a video costs $0.

  • YouTube Studio features include: description, inserting cards, pre-scheduling a public release.

  • The unique YouTube URL is easy to share.

  • Default video limits are 15 minutes or 20 GB.

  • Similar content will eventually link viewers to your video.

Cons

  • YouTube has “private” options for video uploads, but let’s be real: your content will be on YouTube’s servers forever.

  • If 15 minutes/20GB is too little, you can request verification. If approved, you get upgraded to 12 hours/128 GB limits.

Impressions From Testing

  • The video on the platform is as good as the original recording quality so having a professional setup will really show.

  • There are a crazy amazing number of settings and features in YouTube Studio.

  • Most viewer comments are irrelevant to your content.

Implementation Tips for Small Businesses

  • Log into the Vistaprint Website Builder and add a YouTube Video element to any page. Double-click the element to link to the URL of your video from YouTube.com. Watch a step-by-step video here:

  • Link to your livestream from social media.

Monetization

  • Mention and show your Venmo handle or Paypal username during the video.

  • Add payment links to the announcement messages, video description and follow-up messages.

  • Apply to join the YouTube Partner program to display cards onscreen during the video that link to external websites (like your preferred payment method).

  • Learn more about charging for online classes and virtual services.

Want to contact us?
phone
1.866.614.8002
Sun. 8:00 AM-8:00 PM Mon. - Fri. 7:00 AM-3:00 AM Sat. 8:00 AM-8:00 PM
chat
Live Chat
Talk with a specialist
email
Send email
We'll answer you within one working day