Online Video: Now Playing in Your Inbox

A new report on online video marketing looks into some of the latest trends, including incorporating video into email. Find out one association’s creative approach to video-inclusive email.

When it comes to online video advertising, people are somewhat divided on its potential. Either you believe videos are the way of the future, destined to change marketing forever, or you are in the camp that thinks they are an over-hyped trend.

For the believers, a new survey by the Web Video Marketing Council (which has a clear stake in the issue) found that 93 percent of marketing professionals are using online video for marketing and communications purposes in 2013. What may be more interesting than this number, though, is how the 600 respondents are using videos.

A large majority (84 percent) of respondents to the “2013 Online Video Marketing Trends Report” reported using video as part of their website marketing content, but respondents are also posting videos on YouTube, social media outlets, and within emails and email newsletters.

The report noted a 15 percent increase in the use of video in email marketing from 2012—60 percent, up from 52 percent last year. More than half of respondents also reported that the most effective way to use video in email marketing is to create a link within the email to a video landing page or a website. Twenty-four percent said linking to a video player from an email message was the most effective way to integrate video into email.

The National Community Pharmacists Association took a unique approach to incorporating video into emails a few years ago. To help promote its annual meeting, NCPA compiled an email featuring short videos of session speakers. What’s even more interesting is that the videos were created by the speakers themselves.

To get the videos, NCPA mailed the speakers a Flip camera and asked them to shoot a video of themselves sharing one tip that they would be discussing during their sessions at the meeting. The association then compiled the videos into an email, which had an open rate of 20 percent with a 10 percent click-through rate.

The meeting also had a 15 to 20 percent higher participation rate, which NCPA partially attributed to the email marketing strategy. “Whatever the ‘it’ was, we’re obviously doing something right,” Valerie Briggs, senior director of external communications and marketing outreach, told Associations Now. “For us to have that kind of a surge, I think that a lot of credit goes to however it was communicated out to the membership.”

This particular method was also cost-effective—an important factor when it comes to video marketing, considering production costs were the most prohibitive factor for respondents wanting to produce more videos, according to the survey.

What else is holding people back? After cost, it’s difficulty in producing quality content, the challenge of integrating video into marketing programs, and the availability of video assets.

Another challenge with video is often getting the word out. If you’re not uploading videos into an email to be automatically delivered to people’s inboxes, how else will they know they exist?

At Personify, Content Marketing Manager Jenna Crane said the company proactively updates audiences about new videos.

“We reach out to our customers, partners, and other association professionals and have them subscribe to receive updates when a new video is posted, and we push videos out through social media,” Crane told “Producing video is one thing. It’s equally as important to market your work and get people watching. Otherwise, why are you putting video out there?”

Are you incorporating online video as part of your marketing strategy? Let us know how in the comments.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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