With the rise of mobile technology and tablet adoption, access to online video has never been easier. Couple that with the increase in social sharing and YouTube's position as the second most popular search engine on the planet and it's easy to see why more video content is at the top of many marketers' wish lists.
But while the benefits of video marketing are typically tied to things like brand awareness and audience engagement, the power of video can also be used to add depth and value to your email marketing campaigns.
Consider this: In a recent study by Experian Marketing Services, simply including the word "video" in the subject line of an email was shown to increase click-through-rates by anywhere from 7 percent to 13 percent. The report also notes that email campaigns with embedded video turned in an average conversion rate that was 21 percent higher than those with straight text and static images. A small sample size? Sure. But numbers like these are certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Video lends itself well to a variety of different email campaign types and strategies, and many companies are only beginning to discover the possibilities. Reporting, for example, can provide valuable insight into the true effectiveness of your campaigns. Video analytics can be used to not only measure individual clicks, but also the engagement and retention rate of those viewers, helping shed light on who's truly interested in your message -- information not easily gained from text-based documents.
So how can you start taking advantage of these opportunities? Here are just a few ideas to consider that can really help take your email marketing to the next level.
Live webinars and virtual events are great tools for establishing authority in your industry and, of course, generating new leads. To encourage more attendees, some companies have taken to creating short webinar "trailers" to help drive registration via email. These videos are typically short (two to three minutes max) and often include personalized teasers from the event's featured speaker or expert.
It's also common to make webinars available on-demand following the live event, in which case organizations can use video snippets from the presentation to promote via email going forward, thus further extending the life and value of their content. (Check out my previous post for more best practices on using video to boost webinar registration.)
While general "air cover" promotions are still important, businesses today have the ability to parse and filter email lists in a number of ways. As a result, it makes sense then to have content that speaks to more specific, targeted audiences to support these campaigns.
Video is a great way to get your message in front of particular verticals, markets, and industries, allowing you to communicate targeted messages in a fraction of the time of traditional whitepapers and press releases. Marketing organizations can learn about the needs and challenges of buyers in different industries, roles, and company sizes, and then gear their video content in a way that speaks directly to those audiences via target segmentation and email marketing.
Later in the sales funnel, it's often a good idea to hook prospects in with real-world stories from satisfied customers. But while written testimonials and quotes are all well and good, actually being able to see and hear a customer give a first-hand account adds a lot more credibility to your message.
This type of content works great as a sales resource, but can also bolster your nurturing email campaigns when aimed at specific targets, particularly those that are similar to the customers in your testimonial. Once again, these types of videos are most effective later in the cycle, after at least some interest by the prospect has already been established.
This one admittedly works as more of a sales tool than traditional email marketing, but it's still an interesting example of leveraging video as part of your company's overall email strategy. After a meeting with a prospective buyer, it's sales 101 to send out a follow-up via email. But including a personalized video message can be an even more powerful way to maintain a prospect's attention and help you stand out from the pack.
With today's technology, creating videos is easier than ever before. Sales and marketing reps can even convert PowerPoint slides into voice-enriched videos to be sent out to potential clients. In this case, a follow-up email, or "discovery letter," can include a short overview of the meeting, a breakdown of the prospect's needs and objectives, and specific details and proposals on how your company's product can help solve their particular problems. Since response rates for emails with video tend to be much higher anyway, this strategy can be especially powerful when engaging buyers toward the end of the sales cycle.
Of course, these are just a few examples of how video and email can be used to add value to your business. In what ways have you found video content has helped to improve your overall marketing efforts? Sound off in the comments, and let us know!
Brendan Cournoyer is content marketing manager at Brainshark, Inc.
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