The data are clear: Video content is the fastest-growing segment of online advertising. According to eMarketer, more than 50% of the U.S. population views videos online. MediaPost reports the number of marketers that plan to use video in email campaigns skyrocketed fivefold between 2009 and 2011. And according to a 2009 Forrester report, incorporating video into emails improves click-through rates by two to three times.
These market trends are compelling enough to make almost any email marketer consider adding video to the content mix. So how can you leverage email to drive video views?
Most commonly, b-to-b companies are investing in customer and product videos to help drive sales and marketing efforts. These videos often highlight product features and function, success stories, testimonials from clients or upcoming events. Videos are a great way to add creative dimensionality to an otherwise flat piece of content or ad.
While most users won't be able to view videos within their email client, a simple screen shot (image) of an intriguing piece of video content coupled with a “play” button will add visual flavor to the email and entice users to click, taking them to the video that is often more engaging and effective than a static ad. Be sure to add a headline or piece of text that explains the video's content so users know what will happen when they click through.
Now that you have people watching video on your site, you will need to measure its effectiveness. Common key performance indicators include: tracking which email the user came from; how long the user was on your Web page before they watched the video; how long the user interacted with the video; whether the user reopened the video; whether they took the next logical action that you were driving; whether the sales lead originating from the video converted to the ultimate goal.
Considering the value that sight, sound and motion can bring to your product or service, video advertising is definitely something to keep on your radar. You may have some amazing customer success stories that might be best told in compelling videos. Or consider video to promote upcoming webinars or conferences. Don't be afraid to get your story out in fun ways. You may find video resonates well—and profitably—with your customers.
Amanda Hinkle is a senior digital marketing strategist at StrongMail Systems (www.strongmail.com), a provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions.