A couple enjoys a video sent as part of a text message marketing campaign

When television took the world by storm in the 1950s, people were enthralled. Almost as soon as video was introduced, it became the preferred method by which people got their news as well as their entertainment.

Today, a similar revolution is already well underway. Instead of a “magic box” in the living room, this time the magic is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Mobile viewing is already the most popular method by which most people (62 percent, to be precise) consume video content, and YouTube reports a massive 126 million unique viewers each month. As phones get smarter and mobile video continues to grow in popularity, it’s clear where marketers need to turn their attention.

If you want to keep your audience engaged, using videos in your text message marketing campaigns is perhaps the most vital tool you can have in your company’s toolbox.

Using Videos in Text Message Marketing: SMS vs. MMS

There are two ways to include videos in text messages:

With an SMS (plain-text) message, you can include a link to a video. This can be useful if you have a video you’d like to share that is longer than 30 seconds, or one that is built into a larger page design/motif. However, keep in mind that while SMS messages have a 98 percent open rate (within minutes!), not everyone who opens your message will be willing to click on a link to watch a video. You’ll also want to make sure to use a URL shortener to avoid saturating the typical 160-character limit of SMS with unnecessary text.

With an MMS (multimedia) text, you can embed a short video directly into your text. This saves your subscribers the extra step of clicking through to a new web page or app to watch your video, meaning more people will be willing and able to watch it. However, videos must be kept concise due to file size limitations—ideally around 15 seconds, and no longer than 30 seconds. Additionally, you’ll need to be sure to use the right file type—MOV files are acceptable, but MP4 videos are preferred since they send and load much faster.

Both options can be suitable for certain situations. Longer videos that still contain useful and timely information (such as big product or service updates that require a bit of explanation) can be easily shared via SMS, with the text message itself emphasizing the importance and relevance of the video’s content to your users’ experiences. However, because short clips are more convenient, both to access and to watch, MMS is often the more efficient and effective option for including videos in text message marketing campaigns. 

Keep in mind that every time you ask people to leave the conversation to follow a link, you will lose engagement. 

When to Implement Videos in Text Marketing Campaigns

Multimedia messages (MMS) offer an excellent way to keep text marketing content fresh and exciting for your subscribers, but it’s important to know how to maximize the efficacy of this approach. Here are a few examples of the best times to include video in a text marketing campaign:

Brand Awareness

Video content primarily geared toward building a bigger audience and strengthening connections with your current subscribers.

  • Behind-the-scenes clips showing how a product was made or the planning behind an upcoming or recent event.
  • Customer reviews and testimonials. Consumers are more likely to trust peer recommendations than take your company’s word for it, and that trust is exponentially increased by being able to see the reviewer’s face on-screen.
  • Entertaining videos such as a silly skit about a new offer or a dramatic product reveal—the key ingredient of any viral video is that it evokes a strong reaction, whether it’s laughter or anticipation.

Customer Education

Videos that share relevant, helpful information and position your company as an authority on a subject.

  • Instructional videos, such as how-to videos explaining how to use a new product or how to troubleshoot certain issues.
  • Product demos that show off how new products or services work and share insider tips for getting the most value out of them. 64 percent of viewers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
  • Updates concerning new and upcoming products, services, or changes to your company.

Customer Engagement

Videos that directly encourage a desired response on the part of the consumer.

  • Promo videos for flash sales, seasonal products, or other limited-time offers.
  • Narrative videos to raise awareness around an issue. Because of the increased empathy video content can generate, even a 30-second clip can be an ideal way to raise funds for a cause or encourage users to take action.
  • Video contests: ask customers to create and send in short clips talking about your product or service or showing it in action. Share the winner’s video with your full list, and offer a small gift or special promo code as a prize.

As with any good text marketing campaign, the key considerations here are relevance and timeliness. Your audience doesn’t want updates about offers that ended last week or after-the-fact product announcements. Your subscribers opted in because they care about what your company has to offer and they want to be the first to know about whatever you come up with next. Be sure to reward their loyalty and trust with value—as much as possible, and in as few characters (and seconds) as possible.

Reaping the Benefits of Using Video in Texting Campaigns

SMS and MMS messages are by far the quickest and most efficient way to reach your audience to date. And, because most texts are opened and read within a matter of minutes, your message will not only be sent but—far more importantly—received while the information is still fresh and relevant. Even better, you already know that you’ll be focused on your target audience, as only interested parties will have opted-in to receive your texts in the first place, meaning you’ll always be getting the right messaging to the right people at the right time.

Utilizing video in your text message marketing campaigns not only caters to your customers’ preferences, but it also helps you connect with your audience on a deeper, more personal level. Plain-text messages are limited to a handful of characters and perhaps an emoji or two, but with a video, you’re sending your message out not just with words but with facial expressions, physical gestures, and tone of voice—all of which can generate stronger emotions and motivation to take action than a brief text can typically achieve.

And, as mobile video viewing continues to rise in popularity, companies are starting to catch on. The prevalence of video as a marketing tool rose as much as 18 percent in 2019 alone, with no signs of slowing down. Including video in your text campaigns sooner rather than later, will set your company apart as one that keeps in touch with its audience and stays ahead of the curve.

Ready to start implementing video in your text message marketing campaigns? NorthText offers an easy-to-use, innovative text marketing platform that makes creating and sending SMS and MMS text blasts a breeze. Call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070 and we can get you set up in a matter of minutes.