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Mobility Drives Multichannel Video Strategies
The personal nature of the platform requires new customer engagement tactics.
For the rest of the July 2013 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Personalized Communication

The maker of a B2B and B2C video messaging platform, Vsnap is making "feel-good video" the focal point of its brand and mission. "From our perspective, everyone has a screen in their pocket," remarks Dave McLaughlin, founder and CEO of Vsnap. With an excess of 1 billion smartphones in circulation today, "that's one billion video displays connected to the Internet and all at an arm's length. There's no way people aren't going to start using video in new ways."

For Vsnap, taking video to the next level means translating customer communications from static text to a vehicle to convey warmth, emotion, and feeling. Although online video was historically rooted in a broadcast format, or a top-down message from one-to-many, McLaughlin says the Vsnap platform was designed with the one-to-one interaction with a customer or constituent in mind. Each personalized video message must be 60 seconds or less and can be dynamically embedded within tweets and other social media posts with full compatibility with mobile devices.

"If you share a Vsnap via email, we can let you know whether an individual recipient watched it, whether [he] looked at any attachments in the email, and we can include a 'feeling indicator' in front of the recipient to say, 'Was that helpful or thoughtful?'" McLaughlin says. The average view rate for a Vsnap message is 50 percent, with many obtaining a 75 percent to 80 percent rate. Commenting on one of the reasons for its success, McLaughlin says, "Brevity matters."

Furniture and home decor e-commerce site Wayfair.com uses Vsnap to blend personalized video messaging into a broader multichannel customer engagement strategy. After members of Wayfair's social media team returned from events, the company would measure post-event follow-up for email to influencers and bloggers they met on the road. They obtained a 15 percent response rate across the board.

Deciding to try out Vsnap, Trisha Antonsen, senior manager of social media at Wayfair, recorded quick, individual videos for each influencer she met and shared the Vsnaps, using the platform's Twitter sharing feature. Through built-in analytics, Wayfair saw its influencer response rate rise to 38 percent. Although email communication limited event follow-up messaging to one individual or recipient, the average Vsnap message reached an average of 22.5 people due to social media sharing.

Multichannel Content Dissemination

Media and merchandising empire Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) is a hotbed of multibranded content across platforms that range from print magazines and radio to Web sites and video experiences, according to Kerry Tucker, MSLO's senior vice president of integrated marketing. "Video is a channel we're really exploring and doing great things with," she says.

As a merchandising partner to Home Depot, MSLO was looking to promote Home Depot as a destination for all things home, while simultaneously promoting its branded product lines sold through the home improvement superstore. This spring, the partners formally launched the Home How-To video series to bring Martha Stewart—and Martha Stewart–branded products—to consumers in a personal and interactive manner.

Before rolling out a yearlong campaign series of videos this spring, MSLO evaluated its consumer base. "When we were thinking about our 2013 strategy with Home Depot, we [recognized that] our consumer base are doers," Tucker observes. The question was, "How do we elevate that and encourage people to 'do' more, because Martha, by nature, is a teacher, and people come to us to learn how to cook, garden, entertain, and decorate."

With video, the company was looking to leverage its reach and resources as a media platform to promote the products it sells at the retail level. Videos were designed to be disseminated in two ways. The first is through a curated environment, where consumers sign up to receive a Home How-to newsletter twice a week, which Tucker says is "certainly the most trackable" of formats. The second video format will take advantage of MSLO's vast video distribution network including AOL, YouTube, Facebook, and Yahoo! Home. Consumers can receive mobile push notifications to alert them when content refreshes to view new videos at any time.

The major difference between the two methods of video consumption is that newsletter curation tends to attract the "loyalist," while the video distribution network at-large tends to draw in people who are more interested in video in general or "those who are very interested in a specific project, but who aren't necessarily interested in a week-over-week video series," Tucker says.

The brand is experiencing 40 percent growth every month in the 18-to-34-year-old category because it has deliberately made content resonate with a younger audience. The audience in the digital space is landing back at MarthaStewart.com in ways the company has never seen before, Tucker notes. Because consumers are coming in droves through Pinterest and YouTube environments, the company has had to adapt with the digital shift.

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