In our previous posts, we’ve discussed why you should be using video in your email marketing campaigns, as well as the different formats and strategies for the same. In this post, we’re going to see how to record, and publish videos. We’ll also be checking out the metrics that you need to capture to measure the success of your video.
Let’s get started by seeing what are the different elements of recording a video that you need to consider.
Recording a video is a carefully planned process that consists of several elements you should be focusing on. These include the video background, the recording device, the content, the video thumbnail, and the CTA. Let’s take a look at each of these elements.
Choosing a Background for the Video
A good background with excellent lighting is essential for a good quality video. When it comes to background, there are several options available.
You could either have a solid background or one with people around you.
Using a solid background is more efficient, quick, and more flattering to your subject. You could use dark colors such as grey, dark blue, etc. and create a gradient effect using lighting.
On the other hand, using a background with people around you creates authenticity, and makes the video seem more natural. This would require more effort at your end, and you’ll have to consider plenty of factors such as ambient light, location, people moving, sound, etc. This background is ideal for customer testimonials, case studies, and casual videos.
You could also try using a whiteboard background like Moz does in its videos. However, this means you’re going to have to focus a lot on your lighting to reduce the reflections and glare from the whiteboard.
Choosing a Device for Recording the Video
We recommend that you record the video using a DSLR camera designed for recording videos. This would give you the best possible results.
However, if you don’t own one and feel that a DSLR is too pricey for you, no worries. You could use your smartphone for recording. There are several smartphones that come equipped with great video cameras. However, they’re no match for the quality that you get from a DSLR. Which is why we recommend that you invest on accessories such as tripods and creative lens. Using a tripod and creative lens will drastically improve the quality of your videos. It makes your footage look much smoother, polished, and professional. What’s more, they’re relatively inexpensive.
One more piece of advice – for recording, use an external microphone to enhance the audio quality. There are plenty of reasonably priced mics available that you could purchase.
Optimizing Video Content
There are three steps to crafting great video content –
- Find an overarching theme for your video,
- Zero in on your target audience’s problems and needs,
- Craft a story that evokes emotions
Ideally, you should find an overarching theme and then communicate that theme to your target audience in an engaging way. Easier said than done, right? Let’s explore each of these areas.
Finding an overarching theme is easy – this would be your passion and purpose, what drove you to start and run your business? Was it your passion for technology? Environment? People? This will serve as the purpose of your video and needs to be crystal clear.
Next, you have to zero in on your target audience – who they are, what do they do, what does their typical day look like, etc. Use this information to hook your viewers to your video. In fact, the best videos you create will be the ones where you talk directly to your target audience about who you are and why you do what you do. Especially emphasize on the “why” of your brand. Infuse some humor if required so that your video isn’t too dry or boring.
Last but most the important bit is engagement. The answer to this lies in crafting a good story. As we discussed in our previous post, stories evoke an emotional response from your audience, which in turn drives conversions. You can accomplish this by focusing on the pain points of your target audience, as that’s something they could relate to. Always develop your video content bearing in mind what emotions you wish to evoke in your target audience, and the corresponding action you’d like them to take.
Google does video marketing brilliantly with their emotional tear-jerking video called Reunion. The story, as well as the theme of this video, is people and relationships. Google shows how theirs is a service that truly improves the lives of their users. You can watch this video here.
Another ingenious example of great video content is Always, whose mission is to empower girls everywhere. Their #LikeAGirl campaign has impacted millions with a solid theme and an emotional story that appeals to their target audience. Their goal is to stop the drop in confidence that girls experience at puberty. The purpose of their campaign video is to change the meaning of “like a girl” from an insult to a compliment. The video appeals to its target audience, empathizes with them and ends with a great call to action. You can watch the video here.
Follow these three steps and you’ll have an incredible video that’ll truly stand out, get a lot of attention from the right people, and drive your conversions.
Final Touches – Thumbnail and CTA
A thumbnail is the first thing that your audience is going to notice. Think of it as a book cover, for a lot of thought goes into choosing the right cover that delivers the right message in the right way. Which is why you need to pay attention to the thumbnail of your video. Most video sharing platforms let you set a custom thumbnail and you should take advantage of this feature. Here’s what you need to do –
- Pick a frame that best suits the message you wish to convey with your video.
- Take a screenshot of this frame. Ensure that the image is clear, in-focus, and relevant to your video’s content.
- Upload it as the thumbnail image.
Adding a text overlay to your thumbnail would make your message clearer and help your video stand out, provided the text is short yet informative and easy on the eyes.
The whole purpose of your video is to prompt your viewers to take the next step, which is where the CTA comes into picture. Hence, never forget your call to action (CTA), at any cost. A CTA could be text or an image that tells your viewers what to do next, generally appearing at the end of the video.
The CTA needs to be persuasive. Use powerful, actionable, and positive words to compel your audience to take action and in turn, increase your conversion rates.
You’ve got a great video ready. What’s next? Publishing it at the right channel. That’s because embedding your video in the email isn’t going to work for a majority of your target audience (unless most of them use iOS devices). Which is why you need to publish your video somewhere and then link it to a static image in your video. Let’s take a look at the various video publishing options that you have.
You could publish the video on your own website to generate more leads and increase conversions. Not just that, using a video on your website would greatly improve your search engine ranking, help you gain your customer’s trust, and build a rapport.
However, hosting a video on your website also has its cons – it takes up a lot of space, slows down the load time, and the video quality might suffer as different browsers require different formats and sizes.
Video Hosting Sites
An alternative to hosting the video on your own website is to host it on third party hosting site. Let’s take a look at the various options you have when it comes to hosting sites:
- Youtube – YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. Naturally, it’s one of the most popular video sharing platforms in the world – free, easy-to-use, and has a great reach. Plus, Google search rankings favor Youtube videos.
However, Youtube also features lots of aggressive advertisements that distract viewers from your message, and the featured video is of a poorer quality than your original source video. Also, there are limited options for customizing the videos. Another problem is that Youtube cannibalizes traffic to your website by showing your audience suggested videos. This, in turn, makes them stay watching Youtube videos instead of directing them to your website. We recommend that you stick with Youtube if your business goal is to reach the maximum possible viewers and get favorable search rankings.
- Vimeo – As compared to Youtube, Vimeo offers better quality, customizable video player, more video analytics as compared to Youtube. And the best thing about Vimeo: no advertisements before, after, or during your video! So you have a better control over your viewers as there aren’t any distractions in the form of aggressive ads. Additionally, Vimeo has a smaller, niche community of viewers who aren’t spammers or trolls, but filmmakers, documentarians, and videographers. They value quality content with a high production value. The downside is that the audience is smaller and hence your reach is lower. Plus, Google rankings favor Youtube over Vimeo. Lastly, unlike Youtube that’s free to use, Vimeo costs money to use (Vimeo Pro for Business) with plans starting at USD 170 per year. We recommend that if your business goal is to appeal to a niche community of filmmakers and creators, then definitely go for Vimeo.
- Wistia – If you wish to make a serious difference with your video marketing, then you should opt for a professional video hosting and marketing solution like Wistia, that’s built for business. Wistia provides a great solution with an incredible amount of customization options that would make your video truly stand out. They also provide excellent support and wonderful training videos to ensure that your needs are catered to in the best possible way. Their USP lies in their analytics – their heat maps show you exactly what part of your video is most attractive to your audience and which parts are causing viewers to drop off. The only catch here is that Wistia could be quite costly. You can create your first five videos for free. But afterward, you need to purchase a pricing plan that could range from USD 25 – 100, depending on the number of videos you wish to store. Another problem is that Wistia isn’t going to rank higher when it comes to search engine rankings; videos published on Youtube and Vimeo would be ranked higher. What we suggest that while using Wistia is a great option, you should also consider publishing your video on another platform and not just rely on Wistia.
- Vidyard – Like Wistia, Vidyard is another video hosting and marketing platform built for business. On Vidyard, your video speeds would be blazingly fast. Vidyard could get pricey too, however, their ultra premium plans are tailored to your specific needs, which ensure that you don’t overpay. Also, they provide seamless integration with social media, as well as third party services such as Marketo, Google Analytics, Salesforce, etc. that help boost your sales, communication, and engagement. Bottom line – if you’re on a budget, Wistia offers the most value for money. But if you’re okay with spending more for an intense increase in value and ROI, then Vidyard is a service to consider, too.
Measuring the Success of Your Videos
You’ve spent a great deal of time and efforts creating and publishing your video. You think your final video is great and is going to create a real impact on your audience. But wouldn’t it be great to know it for sure whether your video’s working its charms? That’s why you need to measure the performance of your video – who’s watching, how long did they watch it (to identify where they lost interest), are they sharing your video, etc. Let’s take a look at the most important metrics that you should be analyzing.
Open and Click Through Rates
First things first. For you to measure the success of your video, you need to know whether your emails are getting opened and whether your viewers are clicking the link to your video. Email marketing services help you measure these rates. Additionally, there are several free tools that you can use to measure your email performance.
We at Mailee have created an ROI calculator. All you need to do is fill in the required data, and then sit back while our calculator does the math and shows you immediately whether you’ve recovered your investment, or are still behind. And the best part? It’s free to download and use. Download the free ROI calculator by Mailee here.
Clickthrough Rates on Video Thumbnail
As mentioned before, viewers decide whether or not to watch a video by taking a look at the thumbnail. That’s why we suggest that you test different thumbnail images and identify which entices your audience to click and watch your video.
Views, View Time, and Video Shares
The total number of views shows how popular your video is and how many people it’s reaching. Video shares let you know how popular your video is and how active your viewers are with your video content.
However, just measuring the number is views is a rather poor way of analyzing the success of your video. What’s more important is the view time – to know exactly how long people were viewing your video for, if they completed it, and where exactly they stopped watching.
You can begin to measure this information using free tools inside YouTube Analytics. With this, you can identify drop-off spots as well as the most engaging parts of your video, and even tweak your content on the fly. The same could be done using Vimeo and other video hosting tools. If you’re using a solution such as Wistia or Vidyard, then you can use their heatmaps to get this information and accordingly, optimize your video content.
Capturing viewer demographics helps you determine if the profile of your viewers is consistent with your target profile. For example, if your video is intended for a predominantly female audience within the age group of 25-40, then you need to make sure that you’re reaching your target. The number of views and shares wouldn’t matter much if you aren’t engaging your target audience. This metric also helps you finding out who else is interested in what you have to offer. This is something you might not have considered initially, but using the metrics you’ll be able to discover your secondary and tertiary targets, which in turn would help you optimize your business goals and marketing strategies.
Video hosting solutions like Wistia and Vidyard help you in capturing this piece of information.
Other than these metrics, it would be worth your while paying attention to –
- What is the percentage of viewers who follow through with your end-of-video call to action?
- What is the total amount of video content that your leads consume (the number of videos that your individual leads watch in a day, a week, a month, etc.)?
- Which specific videos did your converted leads watch?
- What type of device are your viewers using to consume your video content? Consuming video on mobile is quite a bit different than on a desktop and this can influence how you package content. You’ll want to make sure campaigns are optimized for mobile if that’s where your audience hangs out.
Before you start measuring …
Blindly measuring the performance of your video isn’t going to accomplish much. Before you start measuring, you need to clearly define what you wish to accomplish with your video. Here’s a sample guideline for defining your expectations from your video content –
- Who exactly do you wish to reach with your videos?
- How many leads do you wish to collect?
- How many leads do you expect to follow through with your CTA?
- By how much percent do you wish to increase your email open and clickthrough rates for video in email campaigns?
This is just a sample and there are several other guidelines that you could use to measure your video’s performance. Define these guidelines as per your business goals and requirements, and then start testing what’s working for you and what isn’t. Optimize the ones that are working, analyze the reasons for the ones that aren’t.
There’s much more to using videos in email than just recording and sending the link to your video. Using video in email needs to be a carefully planned campaign, wherein you need to pay attention to not just what you share, but where and how you share it as well as how you measure your success. We hope that this post is able to serve as a guide for you and greatly helps you chart out a successful video in your email campaign.
To help you out, we’ve created a PDF containing tips to record, publish, and measure the success of your video. You can download it here for free.