Tags: video

5 Reasons Why You Need Video to Make a Successful Newsletter

5 Reasons Why You Need Video to Make a Successful Newsletter

Beyond • August 15, 2018

With visual social media platforms booming all over the place, it’s easy to forget how powerful a good ol’ newsletter can be. I’m convinced that you don’t need me to remind you that there are direct channels to our audiences that can bring them valuable insights and special opportunities right to their inbox. You’ve surely learned how they can link you to your ideal clients and help you build a beneficial relationship with them all on your own. Of course, for that to happen, you have to deliver content that sparks their curiosity and makes it feel worthy to them. I wonder what that can be in today’s, video-dominated landscape? Well, I’m not being cryptic here. You need videos in your newsletters I’m sure you already know the power videos have for your business. The spectacular numbers about video marketing speak of a glowing future for an already established way of reaching out: people love videos, they don’t get tired of them, and they want more. Including them in your regular emails to your clients is truly a no-brainer. Leaving the considerations of how to include videos in your emails (there are fantastic tutorials on the Web about that), let me break down for you why you need to start putting videos in your newsletter to see its results soar and to revitalize your brand’s message to your audience. Videos build brand trust A fruitful relationship between you and your clients can only exist if they trust you. How can you make that happen? The most direct way is to deliver what you promise (AKA your product or service does what you say it does). However, there are other things you can do to boost their trust in you: showing that you understand the core problem that brought them to you, showing commitment with the solution, being transparent about who you are. Putting all your marketing cannons aimed at your audience to show who you are. You can accomplish all of those things with videos. Company videos that display your brand’s backstory, explainer videos that describe what you do and how can you help, videos with your products in action and testimonials of your happy clients are among the videos you can use to boost trust. All of them address your clients and prospects’ anxieties while making it clear that you know what they are going through, that you can help them, and that you have nothing to hide. A video approach with useful and insightful takes embedded in the emails they get frequently can reinforce trust and make them loyal to your brand. They’re the most popular type of content on the Internet When I talked about “spectacular numbers” before I didn’t overstate the true force that’s video marketing. A few figures that back me up on this: YouTube has more than a billion users (a third of the total Internet users) that watch a billion hours worth of video per day According to Google, mobile video consumption doubles each passing year Video will account for more than 80% of total web traffic by 2019 But that’s not all. With 90% of customers reporting that videos help them in making purchase decisions and with those same people saying that a positive experience with a video ad increases the likelihood of their purchase by 97%, the power of video becomes more than evident: it’s undeniable. You can take any conclusion you want from those numbers, but mine is this: if people are actively looking for more videos to watch (and they are telling us they love videos when it comes to business), then every marketer under the sun should be using videos whenever possible. They increase open and click-through rates It’s not just the (already huge) matter of videos being insanely popular and overtly compelling - they are also great for email marketing. With videos being as widely used as they are and with email being the tried-and-proven marketing tool that we all know and love, combining them was an obvious way to go. Even without the possibility of playing videos in the emails themselves, just the promise of a video inside hinted in the subject line is enough to see an increase in your open rate (some say that the increase goes from 7% to 13%). Many marketers would feel amazing about being able to get just that, but videos in emails can do something extra: they will boost your click-through rates. See, that inability to play the videos in the email’s body works in your favor, as the people getting the mail will want to watch the video, thus clicking on its thumbnail to go wherever you take them. Reports say that doing this will get your CTR up to 300%, which is huge! Provided that you do a good job with your video and the call to actions around it, you’ll have many more people getting your email\'s message - simply by adding a video! Check this example by Litmus: They added a Play button in the middle of their thumbnail to capture people’s attention, which made them click and access their site directly, in an engaging and organic way. Videos are more engaging and easier to consume than text and images I’ve already said that people love video but do you know why that happens? It’s because of the same thing that happens when you have to choose between the book or the movie adaptation: video is far easier to consume! According to recent studies, our brain is wired in such a way that it retains visual content far better than text. In fact, they say that an average viewer remembers 95% of a message when it comes in visual form versus the mediocre 10% of a text message. That’s because we process images way faster than words - it takes us 1/10th of a second to ‘understand’ an image. But that’s not all. Videos are better than just plain images because they are more “complete.” Videos add sounds and movement, which in turn make them more eye-catching, compelling and entertaining than a still image. This can be understood as videos being more engaging because their narrative develops in time while the image story is something you grasp in an instant. In this example, the folks at ReelWorks shared a video preview for their upcoming documentary “72 Hours” on their email newsletter, creating expectations and building up hype for its release. It’s one of the perks of being subscribed to newsletters: to be an insider and getting access to content before the general public. Videos have huge viral potential As attractive and compelling as they are, videos can quickly draw the attention of your audience. The increased impact of a video when compared to texts and images along with the videos innate ability to deliver messages quickly and effectively turn them into the chosen way for people to share those messages. Think about it. How many times this week alone have you watched a video someone shared with you? Heck, how many times did you do that today? Videos are entertaining, are easy to understand, can be enjoyed in under a minute and in almost any modern situation: you can watch any short video on your morning commute, on a work break, in your bed or even in that boring weekly meeting with your boss. And if a video strikes a chord (say, it’s very emotional, clever, or hysterically funny), the way it’s shared feels like a wildfire. A video has the potential of generating that “I have to show this to my friend/family/followers/whatever” feel that images and text are lacking. That’s the viral potential that’s like the Holy Grail - a viral video can put your name everywhere, and if you couple it with a great marketing strategy, you can reach people you’d never have reached before. Summing it up… I know that some of you may think that the majority of these five benefits don’t feel closely related to newsletters but that’s simply not true. The power of video for businesses is so immense that the mere promise of a video inside your newsletter can put all of these advantages at your fingertips. Besides, if you’re trying to maximize your visibility and your business, you are probably putting out videos on a regular basis. So, if the simple inclusion of your best ones in your newsletters has the potential to make this kind of difference, why wouldn’t you try it? With lots of studies and reports talking about how videos can change the face of any business and already-tried strategies to use them in email marketing, you have the path to take already laid out for you. The most popular content on the Internet today plus all the advantages of email you already know - it’s the winning combo you were waiting for!


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How to Use GIFs with Email Marketing

How to Use GIFs with Email Marketing

Practical Marketer • November 26, 2017

Perhaps you\'ve noticed amazing email campaigns that have graphics featuring a lot of movement. Would you like to do the same in your in your next email send? Creating moving graphics is a piece of cake. I will show you here how to create videos and add them to your emails as GIFs. First, you should know a GIF is just an image that moves, and you can upload a GIF in the editor as a regular image. Let\'s start making a GIF a video. For that, let\'s take as an example next video: When using a video, we recommend using short videos no more than 10 seconds. Remember, GIFs will be embedded into your email as an image. People will usually only pay attention for that long. Also, GIFs don\'t have any sound. Way #1 Start by downloading a GIF app like GIF Brewery or Giphy. Both allow you to record your screen and save the content as a GIF. With Brewery and Giphy, just open the app and click on Record screen (if you want to demonstrate something) or record video or window. Now, select the area you want to capture and click on rec button, and don\'t worry about errors. When you finish your recording, you can set the start or the end to avoid some mistakes. Then click on create. [embed]https://giphy.com/gifs/gif-of-a-video-3ov9jDKJu9HDYvzyog[/embed] Very important: remember our Editor only allows you to upload an image of 200 kb. Here is the reason: one of every two people read emails from their phones. When they open emails, they are looking for two things speed and readability. Do not make them spend their time loading images. We do this to ensure the delivery of your email. So, please be careful to make GIFs within that size. If your GIF is heavier than 200kb, it will be shown as a regular image with no movement. Here is how you will see an email with the GIF we have created: Way #2 Playable Playable is a video email creator. You can drag and drop your 10-second video to the platform and Playable will give you an embed code. [caption id=\"attachment_7788\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"615\"] Upload your video.[/caption] [caption id=\"attachment_7789\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1168\"] Copy the code.[/caption] [embed]https://giphy.com/gifs/upload-a-gif-to-benchmark-email-l1J9qyu6NHlrDhMkw[/embed] As you can see in the GIF above, you will add the code in a text block. The advantages of Playable are that you don\'t have to record a screen, make editions or be worried about image size. Just be careful to select a 10-second video. If you are a professional, I know you can use Adobe Suite or any other available software to do this, but by trying this way can save you time. There are many reasons to start using GIFs. Not only do they help enhance a brand’s message with visual content, but they are friendly with mobile devices and can be embedded in your email, and hopefully, readers don\'t leave your email to watch it. Confucius used to say \"a picture says more than 1000 words\" but Giphy\'s Ceo Alex Chung says \"the average GIF contains sixty frames, then they’re capable of conveying 60,000 words – the same as the average novel.” Let your emails become more interesting for your audience and start using GIFs and let us know in the comments how it goes.


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Tiger by the Tail:  Video Content in Email Campaigns

Tiger by the Tail: Video Content in Email Campaigns

Beyond • November 22, 2017

Video in email marketing improves campaign results more than any other form of content. Blame it on the saber-tooth tigers, probably.  Motion in the grass was a KMI (key mortality indicator) for our marketing ancestors. Figuring out why something is moving - hungry? not? - was important.  So we still can’t help but give attention priority to things that are moving. Video content is a savage beast, even for marketers with infinite budgets and no deadlines (and other fictitious creatures.)  The rewards are fantastic - your audiences will look and click and watch 2x-8x more.  But sourcing and using video content is the problem. Video is expensive; the Small Business Cost Helper says ‘corporate video packages typically range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the length of the video.’ Video is still quite technical.  Encoding, hosting, embed codes, mobile-ready - these are just the chapter headings for hours of work.  (For even one video!) Video is SLOW.  Writing, storyboarding, shooting, sound, editing, post-production take time, or budgets to hire talent, and they still take time! Feel the bite? I do and have.  Our small studio produced hundreds of videos, mainly for Fortune 100 clients - about six weeks and six figures on average.  More often than not, our clients took that precious artifact and buried in the digital jungle (YouTube). Sometimes it got to their website; sometimes on their social media pages, but I can think of just a few that put their expensive video assets to work in their email campaigns. Disappointing.  Frustrating.  So we decided to tie a knot in that kitty’s tail by developing one platform with all of the pieces needed to create and use video content - Vid.One. Imagine you’ve got a critical campaign going out the door through Benchmark.  Geez, it would be great to see the numbers bump up a bunch - adding video would probably do it, but it’s scheduled to launch in 1 hour. Grrr! Relax. You can use the other 59 minutes for something else, because creating a video, and getting the key assets ready to use in Benchmark (including an animated GIF thumbnail - remember, we look at moving things) will take about 1 minute on Vid.One. Sound useful? Read on. Tigers Aside, Why Does Video Have Such A Bite? The saber-tooth thing is part of the video story; our eyes go right to a thing-in-motion without any conscious prompt.  (Open a web page with a looping GIF, and leave it on-screen for a minute.  Distracting, isn’t it??)  It’s one aspect of a broader principle - we process visuals first and fast - then text.  The generally-accepted stat in the world of visual communications in that we process visuals 50,000 times faster than text. That means the people who get your campaign are going to assess the visuals before they peruse that copy your team has been sweating over.  Most of them won’t read the copy, either; they’ll skim and scan, hit the H1s and breeze over the rest. No wonder clickthrough rates are single-digits. In simple human terms, the impact of video makes sense.  It’s got visuals - 1000 words per picture; it’s got motion - about 30 images per second. Forrester combined those figures to come up with their controversial estimate - 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words of text.  I think Forrester’s equation leaves out another dimension in video - story.  Video unfolds over time; it’s inherently suited to story. On the longer time axis - memory & recall - the combination of visuals and language and story structures make video potentially the best way to get a little piece of a viewer’s memory banks.  Competing studies and academic theories abound; the Picture Superiority Effect, which argues that we’re more likely to remember images than words, has been verified repeatedly. Dual-coding theory, Sensory semantic theory, and Weldon and Roediger-transfer appropriate processing theories propose reasons why.  (I do wish one of ‘em would come up with a diagram - visuals, right?) The punch line is, if you want brand recall, use video. Video for Email Made Simple It’s faster to create a video in Vid.One than to read this blog post, and you’ll see what the tool does in 2 quick screens.  But some people prefer to read first, so for both of you, here are the essentials. Pick a template.  You don’t need to bring video footage or audio tracks.  Vid.One offers thousands of professionally-designed video templates. You can browse by themes (People, Nature, Technology), or search in 22 different languages.  The soundtrack has already been picked for each template, and all of the music is properly licensed; don’t put your company at risk with unlicensed soundtracks! Write a tiny story: beginning, middle and end.  By design, Vid.One provides that most basic of narrative forms. You’ve got full layout control - multiple text blocks, hundreds of fonts, colors, etc.  Think of it as writing three great subject lines. Add logos & photos. You can incorporate your visuals into the video - logos, photos or existing marketing graphics. Size them, lay them out, even rotate & drop-shadow them. Preview, tweak, preview, tweak.  We generate video previews in just seconds, so you can watch and adjust until you’re happy.  Then just hit Publish. Use It with Integrations & Downloads.  Benchmark integration is built right in. Click the Benchmark button and sign in; Vid.One will instantly transfer an animated GIF ‘teaser’, and a still thumbnail, right into the Benchmark image gallery. Add an image block; select that image; link to the video landing page or (better) the video on your website. You can also publish your video to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Buffer...and download the HD video file and thumbnails. (We’re working with Benchmark to provide ‘Add Video’ shortly; did you know Benchmark is the only major email platform with a built-in video gallery?) Video isn’t quite on the same footing in the inbox as the browser; video doesn’t play reliably and predictably in email, and that will probably remain true for some time.  (The technical reasons deserve a separate post.) But study after study shows that video thumbnails - which are a visual promise to deliver a video - and, more recently, animated GIFs - still change engagement and action rates substantially. Free.  Then Cheap. Vid.One is not a subscription service. Vid.One is not a subscription service. That seemed worth repeating since just about everything seems to be a subscription service these days!  New users get a coupon code for three free videos, instantly. (Sign up & check your email.) After that, individual videos run between $5-$10.  You get perpetual rights - it’s yours to use, forever.  Vid.One does include 30 days of video hosting, and there’s an option to extend hosting if you find it useful - but it’s not required. Email platforms like Benchmark have fantastic email templates and design tools to modify them.  Vid.One aims to do the same thing for video; it should be just as quick and easy to add a video to your campaigns as an image. How To Make The Most Of Your Video Assets Email marketing doesn’t operate in a vacuum; you have other channels, and it’s worth pointing out some ways to manage your video assets to get the most out of them.  Here are a few guidelines: Keep them brand-coherent.  You will, over time, create and use many separate videos; I’d bet you have that problem with static graphics now.  Decide what kind of visuals suit your brand; decide where your logo goes, and what kind of call-to-action information you include. 
(Video is hard to modify after-the-fact; get it right up front.) One video = many assets.  A quick Vid.One video for a campaign gives you a cloud-hosted video, which has its web embed code and email merge tags.  It also provides downloads - HD video, SD video, PNG thumbnail, GIF and GIF teaser.  Each of those can be re-used elsewhere. One video = content for many channels.  
Email, check.  Why not put that same video on your social-media pages? Embed it on your website.  Paste the merge tag (which is a thumbnail linked to the video landing page) in a template in your CRM system, too. SEO super-magnet.  Search engines LOVE video. Forrester calculated that a page with video is 53 times more likely to reach Page 1 than a text-only page. Keep track of your videos.  Video is a pain in the tail (tiger joke) to manage; the files are big, and a file name doesn’t tell you all the things you need to know. HD or SD?  Version 1? 2? 93?  H264 or OGV?  I’ve had clients get in touch a year after a project, asking if we could send them a copy because they lost it.  (You paid six figures for this, and you lost it? Sure...hang on a sec…) Start evaluating video-hosting options.  If you… Want to look at ROI on video content… Want to track visits, views, viewers…. Want to capture leads. Want to keep people on YOUR website, not YouTube.com… Want to improve your SEO. Want to make better video content in the future Then you’re probably in the market for a business-grade video hosting platform.  The costs are relatively modest, the benefits - especially in the long run - are enormous.  Vid.One is integrated with Wistia, Vidyard and Vimeo - direct transfer, no download! Try Video, It Won’t Bite Video is a relatively new piece of the online world, and it is still far more complicated than it should be.  It’s still surprisingly technical; it’s still quite fussy and easy to break.  HTML5 isn’t magic; rumors to the contrary, HTML5’s <video> tag doesn’t fully sort out the vexing issues. Video playing in email has some additional costs to consider, too.  Many of the critical measures for digital marketing are made on-page - website, social-media page, or some other landing page. Playing a video within an email client doesn’t close those loops. After a bunch of research and attempts to get video to play within email clients, we put that particular tiger back in the cage. It’s just too unpredictable; it moved Vid.One away from click-and-market simplicity, back into the HTML/if/CSS !important jungle. (Tip:  if you want to test video-playing-in-email-where-it-can, take a look at Viwomail.com.) There’s still a bunch of ROI in video content for email campaigns, though.  Do static PNG/JPG thumbnails increase read & clickthrough rates?  Yes - but you’re promising your prospect a video when you show them a thumb.  Beyond that - what about animated GIFs?  We looked at some A/B tests of animated-GIF thumbnails; the one that convinced us to build them in showed a 49.7% increase in clickthroughs over static JPG thumbnails. That makes Yet More Images to manage, but Vid.One tames that beast as well.  Static thumbnails and animated ‘teaser’ GIFs thumbnails are included, and those images are pushed directly into Benchmark for ease of use. If you’ve been putting off testing video in your campaigns, you’re in great company. Video has been a budget and time sink.  Video-making solutions are getting better, but that’s only part of the equation; integration, like the Vid.One→ Benchmark integration is key to making video a natural part of campaign management. Three free videos?  Instant Benchmark campaign assets?  Yup. Give it a try at https://app.vid.one; look for the Benchmark icon under each finished video.


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Top Video Marketing Trends For Increased Sales & Conversion

Top Video Marketing Trends For Increased Sales & Conversion

Beyond • November 6, 2017

Marketing has, time and again, proved to be one of the most volatile aspects of a business. What works today may longer be effectual on its first anniversary. Think of it in the following way: Text-based content had its fair share of marketing before still images emerged and turned things around. But textual content didn’t completely disappear. So, both had a grip on marketing until recently, when video surfaced and overturned the space. In the past, video was mostly a preserve of broadcast media, but thanks to social media, emerging tech, and devices and changing consumer behavior, its consumption has been revolutionized. Video consumption is now on the rise. Video marketing itself continues to evolve as well. Discoveries and improvements are made now and then that makes it more effective, powerful, and relevant. Today, we expose top video marketing trends that have demonstrated exceptional ability to increase sales and conversions. Personalized Videos A one-size-fits-all kind of video had its place in the past and it sort of worked, but it is just not as good as personalized videos. Today’s personalized videos pack data such as name, image, titles, and email (you name it), and uses it to deliver a viewing experience unique to each viewer. This technique creates a connection between the brand and the targeted person and results in an impact that increases conversions. Hubspot reports that in-house marketers who personalize their web experience and quantify the improvement can experience, on average, a 19% rise in sales. There are a lot of things already competing for our attention today and scattering a person’s details across the video is a sure way to pique their interest and call them to action. Personalized videos can be placed on landing pages, social media, websites, and emails amongst many other places for marketing purposes. And they are perfect not just for large but small and medium businesses, plus startups as well. If done well, expect a rise in conversions and sales. 360 Videos Hong Kong Airlines is among the first companies that put out a 360-degree video ad, and the results were beyond the expectations of many. Its effectiveness was rated 35 times better than that of the traditional 2D ad. Recognized brands across the world have since expressed interest in 360 videos. This is because it’s not only innovative but exceptional and, more importantly, exhilarating.  As such, it makes it easy to capture the attention of your audience and raise their engagement levels. With 360-degree video content, users control the perspective either with a VR headset or through other devices, such as phone and tablet. Tests were done by Google on the effectiveness of this 360 videos in comparison to the standard format exposed incredible results that included higher click-through rates, shares, views, and subscribers. Reputable camera manufacturers such as Kodak and GoPro are already manufacturing 360-degree cameras. Known platforms that support 360 videos today include Facebook, YouTube, and Google. Video Storytelling We all (at least many of us) relish a good story. Good stories make us thirsty for books and TV shows. Millions of people watch Netflix today, and millions of others continue to buy Amazon Kindles. The majority of them keep doing so because of how they feel when they read or watch something. When something is emotionally compelling, we hardly want to let it go. The details stick to our minds. Good storytelling has the same effect. So, the art of storytelling is a craft every marketer should master. Loading a bunch of data or info on a video won’t achieve the same thing video storytelling can. If not building excitement and motivating your audience, video storytelling will create stronger bonds when done right. Animoto reports that four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video than reading about the product. If you can leverage this through good storytelling, then you can get as many people as possible to buy your product or service. Make the story about the customer, use context, and, of course, show some conflict, and offer a solution. Testimonials are another great example of great storytelling. Bonus Point: Video in Email Despite there being an influx of new trends in online marketing, email marketing has weathered their influence. Proof of this is in the fact that it still delivers a comparatively higher ROI. Even in the wake of high video consumption, the majority of people still hold on to their emails accounts for different reasons. Combining the two is like taking the best of both worlds. For many, the result has always been a rise in click-through rates, increased sharing, and time spent checking out the email. So, the bottom line is, no matter the trend, you can always expand your video\'s reach by sharing the video with your email subscribers. Final Thoughts If your business or brand has not adopted video marketing, much less the trends we’ve mentioned, time is running out. Your competition is probably leveraging video in their marketing campaigns and enjoying the pie alone. Nonetheless, you still have a chance to make the most out of video, and incorporating these up-to-date trends into your marketing strategy is a sure way to take your business or brand to the next level.  


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How Can I Use Videos Effectively In My Emails?

How Can I Use Videos Effectively In My Emails?

Practical Marketer • September 21, 2016

Using videos in email marketing is not as simple as embedding a video. Unfortunately, some of the big names in email software, like Gmail and Outlook, do not support video playback within the email. However, there are some tips and tricks to not circumvent the video playback inability, but at the very least get attention to your videos and make them effective in your strategies. Call to Action Every email you send out needs a Call To Action (CTA). Something that compels reader to reader to click on something in your email. A video itself can be a CTA, but since it can’t be played in the email, it will need to go somewhere else. Depending on the content you would send the readers to: HTML version of the email if the users should continue reading the rest of the email like a newsletter Web page with the video embedded to direct readers to content on your website Video source because the video may be monetized and that is the focus of your email You would take a still of your video and place a play button over it to simulate that it can play, but then send them to any location you need them to end up in. Otherwise, it can be difficult to get them back to the email Use an animated .GIFs Using .GIFs in emails is also difficult because not all inboxes support them either. Using them in conjunction with videos can provide an amazing reading experience for your subscribers. Because videos can\'t be played, in place you could use an animated .GIF to draw attention to the video. The animated picture should provide a preview of the video and entice them to view more of it. What about the inboxes that don’t support animated .GIFs?  Well, fortunately, the behavior in that situation is predictable. The .GIF will display the first frame of the image and will use that to display a still image. Take advantage of that and use a still for those who won’t be able to see the cool animation. Create videos specifically for your subscribers People love exclusivity and your subscribers are no different. What\'s even better is that you can segment your list based on the information you collect. It is good email marketing practice to segment your list. Based on those segments, you should also create videos specifically for them whether it is showcasing or demonstrating products and services, or customer testimonials from local people of that region. So even though you can’t play the video in the email itself, videos still can be a powerful tool to use and to garnish attention. It also makes reading more enjoyable to your subscribers. Remember to keep in mind where you want your readers to watch the video to keep their attention and to avoid distractions.


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The Art of “How-To” Videos for Your Email Marketing Campaigns

The Art of “How-To” Videos for Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Beyond • September 21, 2016

It’s a commonly known fact that people hardly read anything anymore. If you want to grab someone\'s attention, you’re going to need to throw in some pictures, wrap it in a pretty design, or feature a video. There’s no contest on which one of these has more traction when it comes to increasing followers, conversion, and generating brand loyalty: videos. What Creating Videos Used to Look Like When I first started out in marketing, smartphones weren’t even a thing. Videos were big clunky productions that took way too long to execute and process, and they required some basic knowledge about lighting and staging. You still need to know how to stage your product or person, which is simple because all you really need is a clear uncluttered area. Even if it’s a creative and celebrated space with lots of (let’s say) art and books, it shouldn’t be cluttered. The other issue is lighting. Make sure the light is falling directly on the product or person. Yet, most video editing apps now have features to edit the video easily. Plus, smartphones themselves are of a much higher quality that pretty perfectly grab what you need as long as you’re not recording in the dark. A Prevailing Myth of Marketing Videos The reason I’m telling you this is fear of production or the idea that you need some special knowledge is a debilitating mindset that will keep you from pursuing videos. However, there’s another thing you should really embrace and that’s the concept of Facebook Live. Facebook Live is a “live” recording feature that lets followers see you and engage with you in real time. How this benefits you with email marketing videos is this: no one expects perfect, but they do want real. People want to see your authentic self. So grab your phone, set to record, and explore the roulette of these winning ideas. Nailing Your How-to Videos The most popular of these is the “how-to” video. This sort of video doesn’t need to take a clinical approach. You don’t need to go step by step to break down a subject matter. In fact, doing that is pretty boring and goes against the earlier idea of just being yourself and being organic. So if you are giving step-by-step instruction, keep a natural rhythm in the video and keep the steps limited to three or four key points. If you’re in retail, a how to can just be about showing people how to pair products or change things up. If that’s the route you\'re taking, please don’t treat people like they are fools. Most of these style videos show minimal respect to the audience by adding cheesy music or showing the simplistic one-step change and acting like you’ve discovered a new element in the periodic table. Keep it honest. Maybe add in your own experience of how you struggled with a transition, and maybe even mix up the story. Most people going from the office to work are already dressed for the most part. But how about people who are working from home and aren’t used to investing an hour to get ready that people working from an office regularly invest every morning? What kind of video could you show them? How about a how to get ready in fifteen and show maybe 3 or 5 different pieces they can use to make that happen. You can still take advantage of how-to videos even if you’re not in retail. How-to videos are great conversation starters. They can be used to offer guides that point to a landing page, a webinar that will go into the subject in greater detail. How-tos are also fantastic for dealing with tough issues that require a real conversation with people, especially where there isn’t always a ready opportunity to have that conversation. The “how-to” video lets you create a doorway to that chat. And still another fantastic how-to idea is to problem solve, especially when you envelop your own brand or services back into the equation. You can show a study on your company overcame a challenge internally or for a client’s campaign - and rather than produce a complicated infographic or write out a boring study, you can just talk about it. You’ll get more eyeballs on it, more people in your corner, and it will be much faster to produce especially if you’re not worried about scripting it.


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Top 4 Reasons You Need Video Email Campaigns

Top 4 Reasons You Need Video Email Campaigns

Beyond • September 10, 2015

Despite email marketing still being one of the most effective means of communication to a target audience – there’s still one issue: they need to read them. Regardless of what type of audience you have, you’re battling for their attention span. If you’re in retail, then your content is image heavy. If you’re detailing with a chunk of information, then you’re straddled with a lot of text that a reader has to get through. Both scenarios would benefit from video email campaigns. The former gets another layer of creative visual assets shared with their demographic, while the later gets to stream text heavy content into more engaging media files. Full Product Reviews Images are one thing, but most female shoppers have a hard time trusting the images, especially if it’s a textile. Having a video product review offers a more tangible way to experience the product – and it helps increase sales. Products that are felt and touched by the host offer a sort of tactile experience that “connects” the shopper with the product. This is why in home shopping networks, products are often touched and explored or played with rather than just on display. The former experience creates intimacy, trust and curiosity while the latter is remote and detached. Video Testimonials Send out video testimonials by encouraging “…one of your most loyal, happy customers to create a video testimonial to your business and send it out to all your recipients. If you can include more than one, go for it. If not, just showcase the best one to encourage others to be excited about your business or organization.” On that note, any kind of testimonial or exchange can be shared via video, include and particularly interviews. Message from the CEO Create a message from your CEO to your customers, which can be tactically used to push key messages that really need to be communicated, adopted and acted upon. Having your CEO – or key face of the company or organization – give a personal message also create a direct connection and offers access to top tier personnel without your busy executive needing to go out of their way or eat up valuable time with in person meetings. Direct to a Landing Page There are a multitude of ways that marketers can employ videos for email marketing purposes. In addition to triggering greater interest in the message that’s being delivered, it can also be used to direct readers to a specific landing page. Most landing pages require action, and it’s incredibly hard to encourage action without offering something in return or being crystal clear in your messaging. Now that you know “why,” the next step is starting your first video email marketing campaign – and mastering it! If there’s one takeaway, it’s to remember that videos are a lot more difficult and time consuming to produce than traditional text-based content. Don’t overshoot – start with one a month or one every two weeks and get your footing before trying to take on doing more. The quality, pace and feel of your video will improve over time as with anything else.


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Tips to Master Your First Video Email Campaign

Tips to Master Your First Video Email Campaign

Beyond • September 8, 2015

A recent study showed the marketers are increasingly turning to video messaging as part of their email marketing campaigns. In fact, in my last post, we discussed the top reason why you need video email campaigns. But we’re not the only ones that feel video is a compelling mode of communication when it comes to email marketing campaigns. Here’s what other thought leaders are saying: Mimic the look of a typical video player Here you’re adding a visual indication that a video is part of your email with the play button. When readers are prompted with this play button, they’ll click the image and be directed to a landing page – or a branded video sharing page – with your video embedded. Using a compelling image to link readers to your video content within email works really well to increase click through rates. Source: Ian Hutchinson of Vidyard, a video marketing blog that offers resources, inspiration and tactics. Hutchinson also had another great idea that layered on a common approach. Instead of just hosting your video on your landing page – in addition to your email campaign - consider having your landing page video set to autoplay. In the case of sharing it on your landing page, have a email sign up subscription featured that encourages people to opt in to get more great video content delivered right to their emails. Turn up the data with heat maps Every email marketing campaign needs to be be data driven. Video email marketing campaigns aren’t an exception. Every view generates a heatmap, which shows exactly which parts of the video the viewer watched, skipped, and rewatched. Trend Graphs let you track how your entire video library performs over time. Source: Wistia, which offers professional video hosting with analytics and marketing tools. Once you’ve created your video and tracked data, the next video email marketing step is creating video number two and finding a way to organize your video assets through a robust CMS, which Benchmark offers: Storing all your videos in your own gallery that you can access 24/7 Dragging and dropping in videos directly into your layouts and templates Sending recipients to a mirror page showing the video if it gets blocked by their email providers Think in GIFs Gifs are short punctuated videos or slideshows, or an animated graphic, that are wildly popular right now. That said, think in GIFs the next time you need to create a video email campaign. The GIF you create an be used to prompt readers to a landing page. Marketing Land has a useful post with practical example. There is no one way to go about using video email marketing campaigns – but there is only one way to do it right … and that’s with the right tool that serves all your email marketing needs. When shopping for your video marketing tool that allows you to embed creative and information videos in emails, check to see how much more a platform is charging for that service. Unlike Benchmark, not all platforms include this feature as a basic tier of service that’s included in each plan.


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Honey Maid’s Controversial Video: A Planned Spontaneous Reaction

Honey Maid’s Controversial Video: A Planned Spontaneous Reaction

Beyond • April 15, 2014

“No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid. Everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is wholesome.” It is difficult to believe that it was that rather innocuous video commercial narration which has galvanized a nation. The visuals which accompanied this voiceover were not of yummy graham crackers but of unorthodox families: a two-dad family, a rocker family, a single dad, and two interracial families. Social media exploded over this ad with countless thousands of comments ardently defending the content and many others excoriating it. Honey Maid’s amazing reaction to this social media tempest can act as a lesson to all online marketers as to how to weather the storm… even if you’ve just created it. Ultraconservatives had claimed the term Unwholesome Honey Maid’s ad is certainly not the first commercial ever to feature gay or interracial families, but the key to the entire controversy is its repeated insistence that “this is wholesome.” That is the kind of term which is usually bandied around by the fundamentalist extreme right wing in conjunction with traditional family values which in many cases is restricted to a man and a woman of the same race having children. In order to rationalize some measure of intolerance against these new types of family structures, the ultraconservative faction has long claimed that they are against the rule of nature and therefore are “unwholesome.” The mother of all flaming wars So here comes Honey Maid whose business is not social engineering but manufacturing graham crackers and throws the entire “unwholesome” term right back in the face of the people who would restrict these different types of family nucleuses. While the majority of Americans are in favor of gay and interracial family groupings, the extremely vocal minority came out with all guns blazing and the mother of all flaming wars began on Honey Maid’s social media presences as well as on blogs and forums across the net. A follow-up video, not corporate platitudes However, Honey Maid did not restrict itself to letting the conflagration play out on social media with the occasional corporate platitude thrown in as is the usual modus operandi of online businesses. The company decided to drive its point home even further by creating and releasing a follow up video where artists take each contrarian comment, roll it into a tube, and create a floor sculpture which spells out a cursive and flowing LOVE. As the voiceover of this second spot describes how “the best part was all the positive messages we received. Over ten times as many…. Proving that only one thing really matters when it comes to family… Love” we are left with the powerful impression that Honey Maid was able to trump the haters and the flamers. Millions of dollars of free exposure It may seem that this was a magnificent reaction to a situation which faces many online brands as there are certainly no dearth of controversies out there. Personally I prefer to look at that second video as not so much a reaction but a planned implementation. It would have been clear to everyone at Honey Maid’s advertising agency when the original video was on the drawing boards that it would have drawn massive vitriol from certain quarters. The second LOVE ad was the perfect reply to the online hate and placed the company in an online light equivalent with sainthood in the eyes of the majority of its audience… along with exposure and promotion that millions of ad dollars couldn’t buy. It is disingenuous to believe that in this age of constant consumer sentiment tracking Honey Maid produced a gollygeewhillikers video and then was driven by pure altruism to show that “all you need is love.” Call me an old curmudgeon but to me it’s clear that both videos were conceived in unison as the result of some wise online marketers who understand the value of sparking a controversy just so their brand can come out of it smelling like a rose. The question as it relates to your brand becomes: Is that essentially free massive promotional exposure something worth emulating?


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Getting Social with Benchmark Email Marketers

Getting Social with Benchmark Email Marketers

Beyond • July 28, 2010

Bill Simmons, \"The Sports Guy\" from ESPN, begins every single one of his TV show mailbags with, \"As always, these are actual questions from actual readers.\" Here at Benchmark, we love our interactions with our customers and the email marketing community. They always ask great questions or have smart and witty remarks to ours. So here they are: real people with real (and sometimes witty) questions and answers. Question of the Week Can you see who forwarded your emails? Yes. In your Reports section of your account, click on the number next to Emails Forwarded to see who passed along your email. We have had some customers tell us that they like to see this so they can thank the people who forward their emails. They do it with a gift, often in the form of a discount. This question came from our email marketing webinars. We\'re holding them daily now to make it convenient for you to come get a crash course on email marketing. Favorite Tweet This week we asked our Twitter followers: What are some of the ways in which you segment your email list? The reply from @remybergsma: Cranky, happy, weird and coupon, I guess. But srsly, it\'s by interest, frequency pref and language ;) Thank you, Remy, for managing to make a Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs joke and for being informative...all in 140 characters or less! You, too, can find us on Twitter @BenchmarkEmail for more email marketing madness more often. Benchmark Email Video blog Wednesday is hump day. We get it. You don\'t feel like reading the blogs this week (except for this excellent post). Just watch this week\'s video blog on The Top 10 Steps to Gaining Social Media Success.  


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