Wistia, the video marketing solution that allows brands to build their own video hubs, has rolled out a free version of its Channels product. It has also added new features, including a Subscriber tool that lets brands capture emails and the ability to create Facebook Custom Audience lists from viewer data.

Free Wistia Channels. SMBs with limited resources can create a free Wistia Channel to post videos on their sites without having to use a platform like YouTube to share or distribute video content. Wistia Channels allow brands to produce and showcase a collection of videos similar to a streaming service, with customizable features and ownership of all the viewer data. With the free version, businesses get access to one Wistia Channel that they can share via a public link.

Wistia’s free plan also includes access to an A/B testing feature to compare the performance of two videos at a time.

Wistia adds “Subscribe” button. Users will now have access to a “Subscribe for updates” button that can be added to their Channel interface. You can customize the Subscriber form to ask for first and last name and email or just email.

Once you start collecting viewer email addresses, you can schedule email notifications to send when a new video is added to your Channel.

Wistia email notifications

The “Subscribe” button is available on all three of Wistia’s plans — Free, Pro and Advanced — to users who have a minimum of 250 Channel subscribers. The automatic email notifications are only available to the Pro and Advanced plan users.

Facebook Custom Audience integration. The integration allows users to automatically create Custom Audience targeting lists in Facebook Ads Manager. This feature is only available on Wistia’s Advanced Plan. Custom Audience lists can be created with user data from individual videos or Channels.

Why we should care. The IAB reported that digital ad spend on video is expected to climb from $14.2 million last year to $18 million this year, with more than half of it going to video ads featuring original content. But video marketing is not a cheap endeavor, the free Channels plan could help SMBs with the video budgets compete and grow their video marketing efforts.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.