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Customer Service Email Campaign email marketing Entrepreneurs Marketing marketing campaign Startups video email

How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns

video email campaign

Email marketing has resurfaced as one of the most effective ways to reach audiences. While many companies spend entire budgets trying to improve their social media presence and get heard above the noise, email campaigns offer a more personalized and direct approach, even when it comes to new audiences.

That being said, nobody likes spam. The current rise of newsletters as an informative and entertainment medium has proven that audiences are drawn to receiving content that’s not just interested in selling or promoting something.

And here is where the video comes in.

By pairing your email campaign with a video marketing strategy, you’re getting the best of both worlds by delivering valuable and engaging content straight to your customer’s mailbox.

In this piece, I’m going to guide you through the necessary steps you need to take to boost your email campaigns with video. We’ll see how to choose the right type of video for your newsletters, what are some of the best tips and tricks used by the pros, and much more.

But first…

Why Video?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

As you probably know, time is one of the most precious goods of the digital landscape. And video is the most efficient form of communication, cramming large amounts of information into just a few seconds of animation.

Plus, video is the king of engagement. You see it everywhere, from binge-able content and video tutorials to the recent popularity of streaming platforms such as Twitch and Tik Tok. Video is the preferred format of content for all kinds of audiences.

Marketers have been using the virtues of video content on their email campaigns for a while now, and the results speak for themselves:

Choosing the Right Type of Video for Your Message

There’s at least one type of video for each of your marketing needs. So, you should start by determining your campaign‘s main goal and then work with a production team to create a piece designed to achieve it.

Here are some of the most effective type of videos for your email campaign:

New Product or Service Reveal

Newsletters are a way of showing your subscribers what you’ve been up to, and there’s no better news to share with them than the launch of a brand-new product or service. This comes in the form of a product video or demo that showcases your creation’s most important features and characteristics.

A great idea is to include your subscribers in the pre-launch phase of your campaign. That way, they get an exclusive treat before anyone else. This tactic can be especially useful for small businesses that are looking to build a loyal customer base and for brands that want to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

Explainer Videos

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how audiences demand valuable content from the brands they follow, and no other type of video is more helpful than the explainer video. Just as the product video centers around the features of your product, the explainer video focuses on the benefits of your product and how it can better the lives of your customers.

Explainers are short animated pieces that usually don’t go over the 90-second mark. But suppose you need a long-form video that guides users through a lengthy process. In that case, you might want to consider making a series of tutorials or how-to videos that give specific and clear instructions on how to install your product or use it properly.

Customer Stories

Many marketers make the mistake of talking way too much. But isn’t it more effective to let your happy customers do the promoting for you? Customer stories are honest and heartful testimonials from the people you’ve helped along the way. And what better way to deliver these powerful stories than directly to your leads’ inboxes?

Customer stories are at adding a real human face to your brand, humanizing your company, and making your customers trust you more. After all, people trust other people, as simple as that. Make sure your testimonial feels as honest as possible.

Event Invites

Promoting events through email just makes sense: it’s like delivering an invitation right to someone’s mailbox. And what better way to get your audience excited than with a stunning video.

Your vid doesn’t need to be lengthy; just an intriguing animation with your event’s date and location will do most of the time. If it’s a regular sort of event, you can also create a recap of last year’s edition to attract those on-the-fence attendees.

The Three Golden Rules for Using Video on Your Email Campaign

Like with any other marketing strategy, there are plenty of ways to approach using videos on your emails to great effect. However, that’s not the same to say that some practices and principles don’t tend to outperform others!

Here are some we recommend following.

1) Don’t Embed Video on Your Email

One of the most common first-timer mistakes is to think you should embed your video on your email, just like you do on your landing page. But if you’re subscribed to a couple of newsletters, you’ll notice that most of them rather use a thumbnail linked to the video hosted online. This is because many email clients often don’t support the technical requirements needed to play a video right inside the email.

But if you think this is a limitation, then turn that frown upside down. Think about it: instead of making your audience watch a video within the email itself, you can direct them to a landing page where they can watch the video and visit your online store next (or any other specific action).

2) An Attractive Thumbnail Can Make the Difference

Using a thumbnail is the most practical form of ensuring your subscribers will watch your video regardless of the device or email platform they use. So, it’s time to design an attractive thumbnail that intrigues your audience! There are a couple of ways to do this:

· Use a static picture with a play button

This is the easiest way. You can simply use a screencap of your video and insert a play button right at the center of the picture so that your audience knows it’s linked to a video.

· Use a short GIF of your video

GIFs are the closest thing next to actually uploading your video, giving the illusion of video but with the key difference that they are well-supported across email clients. And even though some platforms like Outlook 2013 and Windows 10 don’t play GIFs, they’ll show the first frame of your GIF as a static image.

Extra pro tip: Keep your thumbnail below 200KB, or below 1MB if you’re using GIFs. There’s a chance your email will be identified as spam if it contains heavy attachments.

3) Place Your Video Below the Copy

Before embedding your thumbnail, make sure you write a brief introduction. It doesn’t need to be too long, just a few words to introduce your piece. Formatting is super important in emails. A message with just a picture will look like spam.

Conclusions

The global lockdown has made many companies rethink the way they connect with their audience. Now more than ever, audiences demand valuable content from the brands they support, and an email campaign that uses video can do that.

The pandemic has also taught us how unforeseeable the future is and how things can change from one second to the next.  While this article provides a comprehensive guide, it’s up to you to start figuring out what your own audience likes and dislikes, and what type of emails and videos are going to strengthen that bond. I wish you the bests of luck.

The post How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Business Strategy Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs inbound marketing Marketing startup Startups

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools for Startups and Entrepreneurs

marketing tools

Startups and entrepreneurs have a unique challenge they need to face to effectively promote their solutions in a digital environment. The days of creating amazing content, paying for advertisement, and then leaning back on your chair to get great results are essentially over. Here are five essential inbound marketing tools for startups and entrepreneurs.

Today—and particularly in the pandemic context—you need to put a little more work to build a relationship with your audience.

Rarely will you turn cold leads into happy customers if you don’t address their concerns and questions throughout their buying process.

But how to get started? Let us help you with that!

In the guide (below), we’ve compiled five key marketing tools you can’t miss adding to your social media and video marketing strategy. By using vids, not only will you create excellent content to display in your pages and networks— but you will also attract new and returning customers.

Display Your Competence with Downloadable Written Material

Whether your business consists of marketing solutions to gardening tools or grilling equipment, you can deliver great value to your prospects by giving them long-form written content.

This is a staple that many brands use today to showcase their expertise on a particular subject. There are countless options you can go for, including:

  • Compilations of your best blog posts or essays that dive deep into important topics.
  • ‘Ultimate guides’ and workbooks to help those interested in developing a particular skill.
  • Manuals to show your prospects how to best take advantage of your product.

The benefit of the free written material is that visitors must subscribe to your email list to get it. Rather, if your content is great and easy to consume, prospects will likely see you as a reliable provider and consider your services when comparing your brand to other options.

To succeed with eBooks, you don’t have to offer something completely revolutionary, try to create content that sets you apart from the rest. For example, there are many writing guides out there; but perhaps not many offer specific advice on crafting an effective hook.

Bonus tip: You can repurpose the eBook’s long-form content to produce shorter blog posts, infographics, newsletters, or videos—anything that helps you keep your content up to date. Just be sure to give them a different perspective or expand even further on the eBook’s ideas.

Convey Your Ideas with Powerful Animation

As with eBooks, the purpose of creating videos for your brand is not to shamelessly advertise your services, but to present yourself as a useful and knowledgeable provider.

Adding videos to your marketing toolkit is a very versatile solution. Your vid will provide insights, tips, and tricks on topics related to your brand. There are many types of videos you can produce to follow prospects during every stage of their buying journey.

An animated video production comes particularly in handy for framing a problem. Then you show how your solution can ease the viewers’ lives. With the use of colorful visuals, sympathetic characters, and an engaging story, you can help your prospects better understand their needs and identify their pain points—all while watching a fun video!

Having this content on your landing pages and social media accounts will help you differentiate your ideas and solutions to those of other brands.

Bonus tip: Audiences love interacting with videos. When you create them, be sure to upload them everywhere, and don’t be afraid to repurpose your vids as shorts, for marketing and fun.

Enjoyable, informative videos tailored to a social media platform are great material to generate interactions and shares.

Create Amazing Sweepstakes and Contests to Entice Your Prospects

The chance of winning an awesome prize gives your prospects a unique incentive to engage with your brand. Now, with services like Rafflecopter and ShortStack, launching sweepstakes and contests events via email, social media is easier than ever.

One question you may have, though, is whether this is an effective strategy. After all, isn’t marketing more about gaining than giving away?

The answer is that sweepstakes and contests can be useful not only for generating buzz about your brand but for research purposes. You can collect valuable information from participants, which you can later use for developing a targeted content marketing strategy. Some essential entry options include:

  • The participant’s name.
  • Email address.
  • Phone number.
  • Address and zip code.

Now the trick to creating killer sweepstakes and contests that attract valuable leads is the prize. You will surely gain lots of entries with a MacBook or Super Bowl tickets, but hardly any of them will become potential customers.

Instead, you need to offer something more relevant to your audience. One good idea is to give away a product that complements yours. For example, if you specialize in selling drinks, a set of custom glasses would create a great response.

Bonus tip: As you start in the business, consider partnering up with other people to provide the prize for you. There are many brands out there who are eager to promote their products via other users.

Entice Visitor with Optimized Landing Pages

A landing page is a great place to showcase your content and explain your ideas in full detail. In general, landing pages should be very informative and direct to communicate what your product or service is about.

When you design one, focus on clear goals: tell visitors what your value proposition can do for them and what steps they can take to learn more. In practice, that means having your most important content front-loaded.

Prioritize clean, minimalist designs that draw attention to your product and CTA. For example, if you’ve produced videos and images related to your product, they should be in the center of the page and not have intrusive elements that distract visitors.

Bonus tip: It’s critical to define the right spot to place your forms: that’s where visitors interested in learning more will subscribe to your list and/or download your content.

Visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the form. Place the form in the upper right corner. Pay attention to your metrics and data to gauge response and interaction with the content positioning as well.

Launch Social Media Promotions and Offers

Having a solid social media presence is an essential component for any startup or entrepreneur’s success that aims to build a strong relationship and trust with their prospects.

You can use social media to give your followers preferential treatment by keeping them up with your news and big announcements. But you can also provide value with special promotions and offers, such as discounts, coupons, and promo codes.

Some of you may feel that social media promos are no more than an inconvenience every startup goes through to reap benefits in a very distant future eventually. I get it, and that’s true for many people—unless you learn how to strategically launch your promos.

To run successful social media promotions and offers, you first need to define your goals.

Although promos are very effective for attracting new clients, you can also use recurrent promo cycles to target your existing customers and encourage retention.

The key is not to launch promotions for their own sake, but to identify real marketing gaps and develop targeted promos and offers to address them.

Bonus tip: Often, we need real-time experience to assess whether we are using promos effectively. Fortunately, services like RevLifter and Rignite not only help you generate and share promos easily—they also give you comprehensive reports that let you track and analyze data. Or you could use live-streaming platforms as promotional venues and get instant feedback and metrics you can use to improve your future campaigns.

Time to Get Started

We’ve reviewed the purpose of the marketing tools to turn casual websites or social media visitors into eventual clients and committed promoters of your brand.

You really need to work on your social media platforms, since those are the places where users will most likely first hear about your brand. Give your followers an entertaining yet informative video and make them feel special by promoting your promos and giveaways in those platforms.

When users decide to pay you a visit to your website, be sure to have optimized landing pages and a value you can offer them for free, such as an eBook.

Together, these tools will allow you to successfully navigate your first experience with your online business.

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Branding customer testimonials Entrepreneurs explainer videos product videos Startups video video marketing video production

Using Video to Build Consumer Trust in Your Startup

video marketing

Building trust is important for every business, but it’s even more essential for startups. If no one has heard of your product yet, and nobody trusts your brand, how can you expect your business to take off? Here is how you can use video to build client and consumer trust in your startup.

The Early Stages of Promoting Your Startup

If you’re in the early stages of promoting your startup, you’ve probably thought about trying every possible marketing tactic out there: emails, blog posts, targeted ads on social media — you name it. However, few channels can match video content as the best medium to display a company’s competence and expertise that will let you in to your customer’s hearts.

In this article, we’re going to see what the best production companies in the business can teach you about using video to elicit trust from your audience — While also making your new venture stand out amongst the competition. Know how different types of videos can accomplish varied marketing goals to help you get your startup out there.

First of all — why video?

Time moves fast in the digital age, and as an entrepreneur, you should keep in mind that video is the medium that lets you explain your product or service in the shortest amount of time.

There are solid reasons why video is being heralded as the king of content for the digital age. It has become both a key piece of every marketing strategy and the most preferred way in which audiences consume content online. Now, more than ever, audiences have the power to pick and choose what content they consume, and when and where they want to do this.

Video keeps coming up as the best performer — on top of other formats.

Outperforming other means of building your company — branded video content must be at the top of your game. Merely promoting your product or service just isn’t enough anymore. Effective videos must be captivating and entertaining. A vid can promote a brand, but they should also give something back to the audience.

Building a lasting and fruitful relationship with your customers is all about trust.

Videos are viral in nature, and within the right marketing strategy, they can spread through the internet like wildfire. A quality video with a professional finish can do amazing things for your brand – From boosting your online presence to converting potential customers into clients.

The three most effective types of video content you can choose to build trust in your startup:

  • product videos
  • explainer videos
  • and customer testimonials

Putting the spotlight on your offerings with Product Videos

There’s a reason product videos are so popular in eCommerce marketing: they offer a straight and simple way of communicating your product or service’s features and benefits.

Product videos are one of the most traditional types of branded content out there, and they can be presented, similar to ads. But traditional doesn’t equal boring. The best product videos are the ones that don’t feel like over-selling commercials, but rather look like a cool and flashy reveal of your goods. Take, for example, this piece:

Apple is great at producing amazing looking videos of their products, like this one they’ve made for the iPhone 8. The company is known for using a minimalist approach. Notice how there’s no voice-over, no text, nothing but footage from the product on a black background, edited to sync with uplifting music.

Thirty seconds is all it takes to show the new design and some of the new features of the product without giving it all away, leaving the audience wanting more. It’s a great example of doing a lot with little, and how not every product video has to be “in-your-face� with its content.

Showcase expertise with an Explainer Video

Storytelling is one of the oldest art forms. There’s something about stories that connect with people on a deep and emotional level. Explainer videos use that to their advantage; no wonder they are one of the most engaging types of branded content out there.

Explainers tackle complex topics in a way that’s easy to understand. Through animation and motion graphics, they can use a wide range of resources like characters, infographics, and metaphors to educate viewers on what your startup does and what benefits you can offer.

Unlike product videos, explainer videos don’t look like traditional ads at all.

Instead, they are a sort of combination of educational and branded content. They talk directly to your audience, explaining to them how your product or service can make their lives better. They usually start by bringing up a problem, suggesting a solution, and then showing how your product works. For example:

Blume Beverages is a manufacturer of super-food drinks. See how this piece promotes the product but doesn’t focus exclusively on that fact. Instead, the vid begins by explaining the unique benefits of their ingredients, and then moves on to the origins of their company and mission.

By making Blume look like a relatable industry expert on the matter — it helps audiences trust the brand. And above all, when you finish the video, you end up having learned something new.

Share happy customer stories with a testimonial video

And last (but not least), let’s talk about customer testimonial videos. We all know that telling others how great you are is not nearly as persuasive as having another person do it for you. Testimonial videos are widely used as a tool to drive trust by sharing positive experiences of happy customers.

Customer stories let your work speak for itself by focusing the conversation on the tangible benefits of your product or service. This allows viewers to get a better sense of the positive impact you can bring to their lives or business.

Few things are more convincing than a happy customer, but it also needs to be an honest and realistic review.

Choosing clients who are representative of your target audience gives the piece a real-life application that will achieve a great impact on your audience.

When you have a good customer review and combine it with the engaging force of video, the results can be really impressive. Let’s watch an example:

It can be hard for software companies like FreshBooks to explain the benefits of their service in an engaging way. Watch as this customer testimonial tells the story of an interior designer that almost ran her own business to the ground before switching to their software.

Notice how the piece clearly structures the review: the problem, the solution, and the benefits.

Using example to watch how video content can humanize your startup by turning the spotlight away from your product or service and towards the people who buy them. Instead of thinking about FreshBooks as a faceless software company — now you’ll associate the brand with real people and happy customers.

Must-Follow Production Tips

Before you go, let’s review two fundamental tricks and advice that will help you, regardless of the type of video you end up choosing:

  • Don’t underestimate the value of a script: Whether you’re doing an animated video or interviewing customers, you’ll always need to begin with a script. This will be your guide all throughout the production process of your video, and it will help you stick to your original vision.
  • Keep it simple and short: As we’ve said before, time is very precious in the digital era, and nobody has the time to sit through a long-form piece about your product. So, better keep it short and simple if you want your audience to watch the whole piece.

Conclusions

Trust and personal engagement is a critical part of every startup success. With the use of video content, you can connect your products or services with your target customers in impactful ways.

People trust only what they can see, and video can deliver personalized content to your audience to increase your online presence and get your business off the ground. If you love your startup, video content should be one of your primary marketing tactics.

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