The popularity of online video continues to grow at a rapid rate. These days, people visit their favorite video-hosting sites not only for entertainment, but also to look for product reviews and to research companies and brands.

If your business is interested in leveraging the popularity of online videos, you’ll want to host those videos on networks where they’ll get the most brand exposure. Here are six great video-sharing sites to consider for your video marketing campaign: YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, and Ustream.

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so keep reading for the information you’ll need to make your decision.

1. YouTube

YouTube should usually be your first choice when it comes to video hosting. It’s owned by Google, which means you’ll be on the network with the best chance of search exposure, and it’s free to use.

Videos can be up to 15 minutes long, and when shared publicly, they have the potential to be viewed by YouTube’s 133 million visitors per month (US traffic only). YouTube provides a variety of video sharing options, and you can easily embed YouTube videos in third party platforms like Facebook, WordPress, and HubPages.

2. Flickr

Flickr, the well known photo-sharing community owned by Yahoo, has recently started hosting videos on its network as well. With over 21 million visitors per month, it’s definitely a site worth checking out.

Unlike other video-sharing sites that allow you to upload videos that are several minutes in length, Flickr only allows videos up to 90 seconds long. So, if you have short, commercial-like videos that run less than a minute-and-a-half, Flickr might be the right platform for you. Free-account owners can upload two videos per month, whereas paid-account holders can upload an unlimited number of videos (maximum of 90 seconds each). Teleflora demonstrates the use of Flickr for commercial content above in a behind-the-scenes video for its 2010 Super Bowl spot.

3. Vimeo

Though significantly less popular than YouTube, Vimeo still receives over 9 million visitors per month. Videos can be any length, as long as the file size is under 500 MB (megabytes) for free-account users, and under 5 GB (gigabytes) for plus (paid) users. Paid-account holders also get ad-free videos and great statistics tracking capabilities.

4. Dailymotion

Dailymotion is the next most popular video sharing site with over 8 million visitors per month. Regular users (assuming you’re not a film studio, politician, or news media outlet) are limited to 100 minutes and a maximum 2 GB file size for their videos. Dailymotion claims it has higher quality and better playback than their competitors, as explained in the video above.

5. Metacafe

Metacafe is another great video-sharing site to consider. It receives over 7 million visitors per month and allows users to have free accounts, with videos up to 10 minutes long. Assign categories to your videos like “Art & Animation” or “Wheels & Wings, or use the “How To” category for your tutorial videos.

Community is also very important in the Metacafe network. Members are encouraged to comment with each other through the message center — a sort of social network within a social network. If you have a number of different departments, all providing their own videos to a video-sharing site, Metacafe may be a good place to host your videos and build an organizational community at the same time.

6. Ustream

Want to get a little more interactive with your video experience? Then Ustream, a relatively new service that already sees almost 3 million visitors per month, may be the network for you. You can broadcast video, complete with live chat, or record the broadcast to view and distribute later. Ustream allows you to invite “co-hosts” to join your broadcast, and you can conduct live interviews between multiple people, all on the same screen.

What are your favorite video sharing sites? Share your thoughts below.

[Image Credit: Cliff1066]