Web video: a powerful complement
to e-mail marketing
Web video is the fastest-growing content channel on the Internet, the Web Video Marketing Council reports. And while consumer video sites like You Tube make up a sizeable share of the Web video explosion, Web video is fast making inroads into B2B cybermarketing as well.
Web video is still in its infancy. "Harnessing online video as an advertising and marketing platform is a monumental opportunity — and challenge — for digital marketers this year," says Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer, which conducts research and analysis on digital marketing and media.
B2B marketers have understood for some time the natural appeal of online marketing channels and how, because of their lower delivery costs and higher return rates, these channels have been steadily replacing traditional mediums, such as print and television.
Today, most Internet users have high-speed connectivity and 95% of their computers are flash compatible. This creates a formidable base of prospects that are able to easily access Web video. Another advantage of this sophisticated new technology is that it delivers the same data tracking and analysis benefits offered by more traditional e-mail marketing channels.
Whatís more, Internet video can blend multiple marketing elements to the advertiserís advantage, and it does so more than any other advertising format, according to David Hallerman, Senior Analyst at eMarketer.
Combines e-mail, TV benefits
Web video is unique in that it delivers both the attention-getting multi-sensory advantages of television and the tracking and viral marketing advantages of e-mail. Most important of all, however, might be that the viewer can — all at the same time — watch, listen and interact with the video.
Because video engages senses on three levels, it enables audiences to absorb content better than when they are only interacting with content visually. This is particularly good news for providers of complex commercial financial services; for them, getting a prospect to just understand the features and benefits of sophisticated new financial services is a common roadblock to a sale.
Web video can enable corporate prospects to quickly absorb the relevance of the content, the key pain points addressed, and the advantages of the solutions presented, all within minutes. This can shorten learning curves for prospects and reduce sales cycles while generating higher win rates for financial institutions.
Results of our experiment
Todayís customers are short on both time and attention. So given the choice of video or print, which do you think they prefer?
Last month, we conducted a test of MarketScope subscribers to find out. We sent out a broadcast notice inviting e-mail recipients to access a special newsletter edition: a 2007 Year in Review for Bank Marketing. Recipients could click through to either watch an audio-video version of the Year in Review or download a PDF version of the same report that included a readable script of the same presentation (both are listed under Recent MarketScope editions).
The results? The audio/video version had an open rate four times that of the print version and recorded the highest readership percentage achieved by MarketScope in several years.
Keep in mind that e-mail delivery is a key component to making the most of Web video as a trackable marketing medium. Videos are easily converted into hyperlinks that you can embed in broadcast notices or individual e-mail messages. Using a commercial grade e-mail platform enables you to track who opened and viewed your video, providing your calling team with the kind of information they need to make more targeted and relevant follow-up calls to individual clients and prospects.
Video-heavy Web sites
Forrester Research predicts that next-generation Web sites will be video heavy. B2B organizations with complex offerings may find featuring a video on their home page — i.e., "Take a Tour" or "Watch a Demo" — can provide an easy-to-absorb overview of the features and benefits of their products and services. And more e-newsletters will feature accompanying Web video as a way to either provide an alternative delivery channel or to delve into greater detail on the subject matter of a particular newsletter story.
Todayís tracking is so sophisticated that you can monitor the informational preferences of individual e-mail recipients, gathering insights into their mind set and interests by tracking what Web pages they visited and for how long.
Jupiter Research predicts video media advertising will grow from $400 million in 2005 to $1.5 billion in 2009.
The tag team of e-mail marketing and Web video will take interactive, relevant marketing to an entirely new level. For this reason, FPS has decided to add Web video to its portfolio of content offerings and content channels.
We created two short Web videos to accompany this newsletter to illustrate the power of this audio/visual format and to show the tracking and reporting capabilities in action.
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