Video Email

Silent films might have made their debut in the late 1890’s, but the style seems to be making a 21st century comeback. In the past year, Facebook has trained marketers to create video that can be understood without sound. These clips are meant to be viewed by Facebook users who, thanks to the auto play feature, are exposed to over 100+ million hours of video on a daily basis. The push for muted clips has led many marketers to wonder if silent films are the new preferred marketing medium.

Are Silent Clips The New Marketing Medium?

While Facebook has preconditioned marketers to create videos that can easily be understood without sound, Snapchat seems to have taken things in an entirely different direction. The new social media player recently announced that approximately 67 percent of its 8 billion daily video views aren’t viewed in a muted mode. In fact, the majority of videos on the network are viewed with the sound on. The question becomes why.

Snapchat focuses on creating a unique user-experience. This particular experience plays into the prominence of sound and unexpected visual displays. On the other hand, Facebook, is already heavily influenced by visual displays and features a continuous-scroll newsfeed that won’t disappear once it has been viewed. This stark difference could be why Snapchat users expect sound, whereas Facebook users don’t. More specifically, Snapchat users look for audio cues and voice-overs to elicit a laugh, comment, or other type of instantaneous reaction.

While Snapchat might dominate the audio intensive promotional clip market, and Facebook isn’t afraid to embrace its love of silent clips, marketers shouldn’t be afraid to bridge the gap. Take, for example, Netflix. The streaming giant recently promoted its new season of Orange Is the New Black with a mixed text ad that read, “Busted! Swipe up to see an exclusive clip from Season 4.” If the phone’s speakers are toggled off, then subtitles for the clip are automatically generated. This move plays directly into a user’s habits by a) encouraging them to interact with the ad, and b) recognizing that the majority of Facebook users will have the sound toggled off for in-app videos.

While it might be tempting to take a page from Netflix’s book, it is probably advisable to recognize that not every video clip requires subtitles for every word. In fact, your 10-second Snapchat video might be more effective with one or two words that leverage witticisms to drive home the message in a memorable fashion. As marketers continue to play with the formula needed for video email marketing success, one thing remains certain — the statistics reveal that video is the preferred marketing medium for appealing to a wide audience base.

What Do The Numbers Say?

Both Snapchat and Facebook have announced that their networks receive over 8 billion daily video views. Combine the latter viewers with the over 1 billion YouTube users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of video on a daily basis, and suddenly it makes sense that video email marketing is an important channel that needs to be explored. A few other key statistics to keep in mind when designing your video email marketing campaign, include:

  • Video is projected to account for 74 percent of all Internet traffic.
  • More than 50 percent of YouTube views are on mobile devices.
  • Facebook recently reported that it has an average of 8 billion daily video views that are achieved by more than 500 million unique users.
  • In an average day, Facebook users will have seen a cumulative of 100+ million hours of video.
  • Snapchat has an average of 8 billion daily video views that are achieved by 100 million unique users.

No matter whether you choose to cater to the Snapchat-style video that features loud visuals and witty one-liners, or prefer to create a video that doesn’t rely on sound, one thing is certain — you must create content that connects with audiences. The key to connecting with audiences lies in understanding how they are viewing videos, what devices they are using, and what marketing style they expect from a video. In other words, is your audience more interested in the visual component of the video (i.e. a Facebook style video that can be understood without sound), or the audio that is delivered (i.e. a Snapchat style video that relies on creative features and witty voice-overs)? Answering this question is the key to creating a video that can can be delivered via email and achieve the following marketing objectives:

  1. Build brand awareness by sharing your brand’s story in a unique, memorable fashion.
  2. Reach your consumers where they are located (this is specially important for local businesses).
  3. Increase your digital footprint by delivering shareable content.
  4. Generate online leads with interesting content.
  5. Attract a wider number of prospects by delivering content that appeals to a large array of audiences, buyer personas, and businesses.

The Bottom Line: Video Email Marketing Is A Must

As seen with the growing number of videos that are shared on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter, audiences have come to expect visually stimulating content. In other words, video marketing has not only achieved rapid social media success, but it is here to stay, which means that it can and should be deployed via email. While your Return On Investment (ROI) will depend on how you use your videos, the key to your success is to set goals, track results, and determine what style of video is best received by your intended audience. By testing videos on Facebook and Snapchat, you can decide which style is best suited for your unique needs. And who knows, you might take a page out of Netflix by creating a video that bridges the gap between the silent film era of Facebook and the visually-stimulating audio-heavy era of Snapchat. No matter which style you use, one thing is certain: video email marketing can and will help you to reach your intended audience.

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