15 Online Video Marketing Test Ideas

In today’s presentation published at Target Marketing, we share our top 15 online video test ideas. If you haven’t tried video yet, consider this a nudge for you to reinvent yourmarketing approach and broaden your direct marketing skill set. And on the subject of reinventing skills, in few moments we’ll share with you exciting news about an evolution of this blog and how we plan to introduce you to topics that go beyond video marketing.

We put our heads together and came up with a list of the top 15 online video marketing initiatives that we recommend you test as we move toward the important fourth quarter sales cycle. So let’s get right into the list.

1. Create, or update, a video with a personal guarantee direct from your CEO and share it on your website, promote it in an email to your customers, and post it on YouTube.

2. Make it a point to interview three satisfied customers, then build your video archives with new videos of customers and their testimonials added at the rate of at least one every month.

3. Create a video that demonstrates how your product is made, or how it works. And don’t forget a call-to-action to buy it!

4. Create a series of videos that give your customers or fans a behind-the-scenes look at your product or people.

5. Send an email to your customer list announcing your series of videos and make sure you tell them to watch for more videos in the series to get the complete story.

6. You can contact your email list with purpose, and more frequently with video, so test a campaign with a series of videos where you send weekly emails for a few weeks. Then, evaluate open and click-through rates to see how video works for you in email marketing.

7. Include the word “video” in your subject line. Testing has shown that this alone can increase open rates. See for yourself, by conducting a simple A/B split test, using “video” in your subject line of one version versus an email without the word “video” in the subject line of the other version.

8. Video is proven to increase social media engagement, so include video in your social media postings and encourage your fans to share it with their friends. Ask viewers to “like” your video, so you encourage social signals and build followers to your YouTube channel.

9. Consider an email opt-in campaign where you create a short video that introduces the story, but for the viewer to get the rest of the story, they have to opt-in for the follow-up video. With this approach, you will add opt-in email addresses to your list, and verify who is truly interested in your product or service.

10. Test a pay-per-click campaign with the enticement to watch a free informational video. This is another opportunity to create a landing page with a short video, and the invitation to opt-in with an email address for the remaining videos in the campaign. Just remember: don’t jump to the sales pitch too quickly.

11. Create a YouTube channel if you haven’t already, and make sure you optimize it with keywords in the title, in the description, and don’t forget to include tags, and include a transcript of your video on YouTube so the words appear in closed-captioning. Not only are you including people who may be hearing impaired, you’ll help YouTube categorize the content of your video with keywords.

12. Test video advertising in display or text ads on YouTube, and test a 30-second pre-roll ad on long-form videos on YouTube.

13. Test video length. You’ve heard us say time and time again that you must keep your video tight. Viewers will stick with you as long as the story is well told, tightly edited, and with the promise there will be something great at the end that makes it worthwhile to watch the entire video.

14. Create a video sales letter where you convert the copy of a long-form direct mail package to a video, using words on screen and voice-over.

15. Carve out a percentage of your budget to test video. Any smart direct marketer knows that a percentage of every budget should include testing of some type. In the direct mail world, you probably set aside a percentage of your budget to test new lists and new creative. We encourage you to allocate a part of your budget to test video, as well.

On the subject of budgets, consider allocating a part of your budget to engage in tests of new forms of online media to reach your prospects and customers.

As I mentioned at the beginning, our blog is evolving and expanding to encompass many of those oftentimes puzzling new online direct marketing opportunities.

We’re long-time direct marketers. I started in direct marketing in 1978, when we didn’t have personal computers to crunch numbers in spreadsheets, writing copy was done on a Selectric typewriter, making it a challenge to edit, and graphic design was done with pen and ink, line rule tape, transfer type, wax, and rubber cement. So we’ve been there and know how challenging it is to change.

While reinventing one’s core competencies should be an ongoing process, in recent years, the requirement to reinvent so that your skills and organization remain relevant has accelerated. So as re-inventors of our direct marketing skills, the editors of Target Marketing have encouraged us to expand the topic of our blog beyond video to include topics like:

  • Using retargeting to bring back and heat up a warm lead
  • Integration of customer relationship management systems to manage leads
  • How to become proficient at the analytics of social media so you can better understand its effectiveness for direct marketing
  • Using content for inbound marketing
  • Online competitive analysis
  • ... along with additional subjects that we, as long-time direct marketers, believe you should understand and consider testing.

So starting in a couple of weeks we begin a new blog named Reinventing Direct. We’ll discuss new ideas, how direct marketers could apply these opportunities, and break it down for you in non-threatening, practical ways so you can better understand it and reinvent your direct marketing skills. We’ve been in your shoes. We, too, are continually learning, or reinventing, how we solve marketing challenges. We hope you’ll follow us on our new blog, and we invite you to suggest topics in the comments area below, or email me directly with your thoughts.

On behalf of my co-author, Perry Alexander, it’s been our pleasure to have authored Online Video Marketing Deep Dive. Thank you for being a loyal follower and we look forward to sharing our tips with you soon when we launch Reinventing Direct.



Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.