The growth of video microsites
When it comes to promoting your company online, static direct marketing content has become obsolete. Distributing print content through email and WebPages yields low engagement and response rates. The growing use of interactive web video, in particular, interactive HTML 5 video microsites, for web and mobile video marketing opens up exciting new opportunities for direct marketing and communications. Direct Marketing is shifting from static to rich audiovisual content. Online video marketing drives higher engagement and response rates. According to studies conducted by Flimp Media and the Web Video Marketing Council, video microsites yield an 88% engagement rate and a 103% response rate among engaged viewers.
The surge in web video viewing and mobile device use coupled with marketers’ need for more engaging, responsive and measurable marketing channels, is creating the opportunity for interactive direct marketing through online audiovisual video microsites. The integration of multimedia, web video and direct response marketing has created more application and demand for a new online direct marketing product: Video microsites.
What are video microsites?
A video microsite is a self-contained web page with video that enables direct marketing through the use of multiple videos, calls to action and branding. Video microsites can also be referred to as video landing pages, video postcards etc. The important characteristic is that the microsites are not part of a larger website. They contain a message and content focused around a topic or objective. The purpose is to derive engagement and corresponding responses. A HTML5 Video Site or a Video Landing Page can be a standalone URL that can be distributed and tracked through email or online platforms if it supports the Video Analytics.
Video Microsites are used for:
- Email Marketing and Communications
- Social Media
- Online Advertising through company pages
- Web video within other content
- Mobile Devices- Need bite size pieces of content to engage on a mobile player rather than static text.
The majority of applications for video marketing thus far have been to embed videos on company websites or use them for online video advertising. While web video advertising is appealing to large consumer advertisers, interactive agencies, online ad networks and media companies, it is cost prohibitive or not practical for most B2B companies and direct marketers. As a result, many B2B marketers have not fully embraced web video as a viable option for direct marketing.
Microsites are typically used to focus attention on a specific topic. Video sites contain audiovisual content and typically generate much higher engagement and response rates than static image and text microsites. These sites may or may not be linked to a main company website but exist as standalone pages and URLs. The emergence of audiovisual microsites will change the way many marketers and communicators view Internet marketing. They must reevaluate the roles of web sites, email marketing and paid search marketing. Video microsites can generate high response rates by combining an interactive digital experience with targeted distribution, viral messaging and comprehensive video analytics and viewer tracking capabilities. No other direct marketing application combines all of these features.
Video Sites are also crucial to use for mobile device viewing. As more and more consumers choose to view video on smartphones and tablets, it becomes increasingly important to provide a quality experience to a broad range of devices.
Traditional company websites are difficult to navigate on mobile devices. A great deal of static content is difficult to see due to formatting and size on non-computers. It becomes difficult to make sense of content when it is viewed on a small screen such as a smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, many websites are not formatted properly on these mobile devices. This runs the risk of a platform appearing unprofessional and a consumer becoming unengaged, frustrated and confused.
Rather than limit a business to a static online platform, a video microsite can enhance the viewing experience on all devices. By providing an informative video you can engage and inform viewers in a succinct, professional and effective manner. As part of the video site, the viewer is provided with additional resources to gain access to any requested further information. On a video microsite’s standalone URL there exist custom calls to action which drive the viewer to download a report, sign up for a service or buy a product depending on the purpose of the microsite. Additional links provide resources where viewers can access additional information. No longer is it necessary to have extensive pages and articles of information that cannot be navigated on many devices when a simple video landing page or microsite can share information and resources in an effect manner across all platforms.
The essential elements for successful direct marketing are as follows:
- Interactivity. An actionable, interactive message containing audiovisual content and other content elements that provide a clear “call to action”.
- Online Distribution. The ability to distribute or “push” the microsite to target viewers using Internet communications methods such as email, blogs, podcasts, weblinks and searchlinks.
- Measurability. The ability of the microsite to collect detailed viewer activity and response data for follow up and to measure campaign results.
Successful web video marketing campaigns provide an opportunity for viewer interaction and response together with the capability to capture and measure the activity and response data. When using video microsites, the multimedia content has to provide an opportunity for interaction that can be measured by a built-in analytics component beyond simple traffic numbers. Ideally, a video microsite will be able to instantly capture and report detailed viewer data in a reporting dashboard by individual email addresses.
It is important to realize that videos alone cannot be direct marketing. Video must be combined with branding, other forms of content or links to content, and calls to action in order to create a video microsite that can be used for direct marketing. This, combined with an effective online distribution and video analytics and tracking data is what will help direct marketing reach its audience. Video microsites are to online direct marketing what print mail pieces were to traditional marketing. They are the integral and most crucial part to effective, engaging and comprehensive marketing.
Just as traditional direct marketing was transformed by email and search marketing, web based direct marketing has been transformed by the use of web video and interactive audiovisual microsites. New technologies are available that are helping direct marketers use audiovisual content for their online direct marketing campaigns. FLIMP 5 is an online video platform that enables users to easily combine video and multimedia content to create and distribute portable, self-tracking video microsites and video landing pages with no programming. On average the video microsite marketing campaigns when delivered by marketing company Flimp Media, through its collection of actionable analytics has reported very high engagement and response rates across a variety of vertical markets. These types of engagement and response rates are unseen with static marketing. This technology, in addition to HTML 5 video are the foundation for powerful direct marketing and web video marketing that is affordable and accessible to marketers as direct mail and email marketing. Web video microsites have become the new direct mail in the world of marketing.
Author: Wayne Wall
Wayne Wall is CEO of Hopkinton, Mass.– based on-demand video software provider Flimp Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.