One of the disadvantages of text message marketing is the 160 character limit. It can be hard to get the details across let alone the story or feeling behind a message within this limitation. Video is a great way to provide more information, an interview, or an entertaining clip within a text message.
With smartphone adoption creeping closer to 50% more and more people are able to view mobile videos on their phone. YouTube (as well as other services like Vimeo and Brightcove) make it very easy to upload a video that’s compatible with most smartphones. For example, videos uploaded to YouTube are by default mobile-ready. You can even use the same URL from your desktop browser. YouTube will detect for a mobile browser and redirect the viewer to the appropriate format.
If you need to build a database of text message subscribers here are three ways mobile video can help. In all three the mobile video link would be contained in the auto-response text message.
- At your event have people text-in to see a quick video of what it took to put the event together behind-the-scenes.
- In your traditional media (especially radio, print, and outdoor) have your audience text-in to see a video of your product in-action or an interview with a recent customer.
- Create an ongoing video contest for people at your location. Have your visitors shoot video of what they did there, a story they can tell, or something creative. Pick one video to be the current favorite and have all other visitors text-in to watch (this is especially if they may be standing in line).
If you already have a database of text message subscribers here are three ways mobile video can help you better communicate with them:
- The next time you’re promoting an event last-minute, link your subscribers to a video that shows them all the fun everyone had at the last event, and why they should change their plans and attend.
- If you’re a nonprofit looking for support or donations there’s no doubt video will tell your story and stir emotions better than text alone.
- Text messaging is a great way to announce breaking news, but mobile video can help provide more information at a time when the audience is most interested.
3 things to keep in mind when sending mobile video via text message:
- Be sure to use a URL shortener (like bit.ly) to save characters and track the click-throughs.
- Keep the video length to less than 30 seconds. You never know how much time your audience has to watch what you send, and if you lose them there’s a good chance they won’t come back to the message later.
- Avoid complex soundtracks that use music and voiceover. If they don’t have headphones on you’ll be relying on the phone’s built-in speaker, which is never great. If you’re going to use music with a voiceover keep the music as soft as possible.
Did we miss anything? Have you tried sending mobile video over text message before? What were the results like?